Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Spot (fixing) less era of Indian Cricket

Spot fixing or fixing of the match is not new to India earlier also the players like Mohammad Azharudin and Ajay Jadeja has been involved in match fixing. In the year 2000 Azharudin was a captain of India and was caught by CBI on the allegations of match fixing. As per the CBI report Mohammad Azharudin confessed to fixing games with the help of Ajay Jadeja and Nayan Mongia. At that time I was just 9 years old so didn't even understood what match fixing is?

At present the level at which I am passionate about cricket, I find it as big thing as selling its own nation for some amount of money. When you don't like spot fixed naturally on the face then how can you like spot fixing in the match. As we go out in the market to find spot removal cream to remove spots from the face, similarly we need to find out some pretty strong punishment to remove spot fixng as I feel life ban is not enough. Some more strict actions needs to be taken to remove fixing with its root.

After Azharudin and other players' life ban, reins of team India was given in the hands of Sourav Ganguly. Ganguly along with Sachin, Dravid, Kumble, Srinath and Laxman put the base of world champion team India since 2000. These players had such a strong personality that if anyone tries to raise a finger on them then their finger used to get burn automatically. So these players made a spot (fixing) less team with their discpline & professionalism. They set an example for youngsters that nothing matters more than playing for India.

Players like Yuvraj Singh, Harbhajan, Zaheer, Sehwag, Gambhir etc. came under Ganguly, Dravid & Kumble. Under them these players also learnt the lesson of India first. So overall it was a spot (fixing) less decade or you spot (fixing) less era of Indian cricket. During that decade we won world t20 as well as the 50 over world cup.

It was the high time to put India's dominance over the world cricket then IPL 2013 happened and all those fixing scandals came out. And big names including players, team owners & even BCCI cheif were involved in it. All politicians and cricketers turned politicians came into it by saying to stop IPL to gain political advantage. I would like to say them that it has also been done in international cricket so that too should be banned right. Now everything is hid under the champions trophy win as the big names were getting involved. I feel proud that IPL as an Indian brand has grown so much but it equally saddens me that it was created in such a corrupted country.

Now its time to clean the dirt from Indian cricket as the trust of the people towards the fame is on stake. Its time to bring back those spotless legends of Indian cricket & allow them to control the board. If it happened then I am sure with likes of Ganguly, Dravid & Kumble India will be back in that spot (fixing) less era again & the dream of Indian dominance on world cricket will come true.

Friday, 3 May 2013

A Revolution in Cricket Industry

Twenty 20 format of cricket was introduced in English County Championship in 2003 by ECB. Since the introduction of this format of cricket, it has created revolution in its industry. It is getting popular very quickly as compared to other formats of the game. Twenty 20 cricket is fast, entertaining and adds new color to the game. Twenty 20 normally ends within three hours so it is fast. We see the most attacking form of the game as we see more 4s & 6s plus dance & music makes it entertaining. Music, cheerleaders & dances adds new color to the game. The first twenty 20 international was played in 2005 since then it has never looked back. Soon after that first twenty 20 world cup was played in South Africa which was won by India & the current champions are West Indies as they won the fourth twenty 20 world cup recently.

Now let's go back in 2008 the year in which Board of Cricket Control in India (BCCI) launched Indian Premier League (IPL). IPL changed the definition of club cricket. For the first time in any sport players were auctioned to play in IPL. IPL invested huge amount of money in this format of cricket. IPL offers such a huge amount of money to players that they have started prefering to play in IPL instead of playing for their country. IPL teams were bought by great Indian tycoons such as Vijay Mallya, Shahrukh Khan, Mukesh Ambani, Preity Zinta etc. So it became second highest paid league in the world beating English Premier League (EPL) in that matter. This entire star studded event became a huge success & it gained lot of popularity over its five seasons. With its success Champions League T20 (CLT20) was launched in which champion teams of twenty 20 leagues around the world competes to become the champions of campions.

You might be thinking that why am I writting about it as every one knows about it. I am writting about it because I can say that with start of IPL, revolution speeded up like a fire in the forest. With the advent of IPL cricket became popular in non playing nations like U.S and China with its shorter format, star studded nights, music, dance, exciting games etc. By witnessing the success of IPL many countries has started their own t20 leagues like Cricket Australia launched Big Bash League (BBL), last year Bangladesh cricket board launched Bangladesh Premier League (BPL), Sri lankan cricket board launched SLPL & Pakistan Cricket board West Indies Cricket board is about to launch  Pakistan Super League & Carribean Premier League.

At present the situation is that the International Cricket Council (ICC) is doing changes in the longest format of cricket to keep people interested in that too as tests are finding it hard to survive. The condition of test cricket is because of T 20 cricket as people are getting the result within three hours rather than waiting for five days for the result of match. Popularity of T 20 cricket has reached to a level that it is on the verge of becoming an olympics sport. By seeing its popularity even players are diverting themselves towards it by retiring from test cricket to concentrate on the shorter formats of the game.

Twenty 20 format has won advertisers also along with its fans. Advertisers are always ready to advertise where viewership is highest and twenty 20 cricket generates viewership and high involvement. Moreover its unlike soccer and tennis, here much longer duration is available for advertising. So it offers several opportunities for branding and communication. Be it celebrity endorsements, commercial time on television, contest and promotions, team and umpire uniforms, cricket bats and stumps, boundary ropes, sight screen, and just every imaginable space is being used as commercial medium.

Twenty 20 cricket is like the grand son of test cricket, but here it is like grand son kicking his grand father out of the house. Its one way of looking on other hand Stuart Robinson, the former marketting manager of ECB said it is "intended as a stepping stone for people to watch longer version of the game." In the end I want to say that launch of twenty 20 has helped the game a lot as it has started matching the popularity of football, basketball, etc. twenty 20 surely ha created hysteria among its fans but it has also attracted many new fans. So twenty 20 cricket has definately been a revolution in the cricket industry but a good one.