IPL deserves an exclusive window

David Lord Columnist

22 Have your say

    Rajasthan Royals bowler Shane Warne appeals unsuccessfully for a wicket during an Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket match between Rajasthan Royals and Pune Warriors in Jaipur, India, Sunday, May 1, 2011. (AP Photo/Gurinder Osan)

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    One of the briefs of the International Cricket Council, the sports’ governing body, is to “position itself and be empowered to promote, develop, and act in the best interests of the international game as a whole”.

    We all know that’s what it’s supposed to so, but rarely does.

    The perfect case in point is the highly-successful Indian Premier League – a cash cow of massive proportions.

    Whether cricket fans worldwide like or dislike the Twenty20 format, it’s here to stay, with the IPL the premier tournament.

    But it needs a window on the international calendar that is international cricket free. The tournament deserves that standing.

    It also deserves to have the very best cricketers in the world available for the entire seven-week schedule.

    And the majority want to play, not like the six Australians, Michael Clarke, Shane Watson, Mike Hussey, David Warner, Ben Hilfenhaus, and Ryan Harris, who had to play in the Caribbean until last night where they wrapped up the series 2-nil.

    They travel to India later today.

    On the other side of the coin, the Windies were without the dynamic Chris Gayle, Kieron Pollard, Dwayne Bravo, and Marlon Samuels, who chose to play IPL rather than for the Frank Worrell Trophy.

    That said, India runs international cricket by generating 75% of the ICC’s income, and its chairman is Indian Sharad Pawar.

    He can always count on voting support from Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and the West Indies which begs the question why hasn’t there been an exclusive IPL window, nor even talked about it?

    Even stranger, Pawar hasn’t made a move that would shore up the IPL forever in his own country.

    Yet the ICC has already decided the IPL will be allowed to increase their teams from the current nine to 14 by 2014. That decision will only choke the IPL even further without an exclusive window.

    The other plus for an IPL window? Those internationals who chose to miss the IPL, or miss out on selection, will be able to spend nearly two months at home.

    And with the international calendar so full with Tests, 50-overs, and Twenty20s those cricketers would relish such a long break which would allow niggly injuries to heal, and prolong careers.

    There isn’t a negative in an IPL window.

    David Lord
    David Lord

    David Lord was deeply involved in two of the biggest sporting stories - World Series Cricket in 1977 and professional rugby in 1983. After managing Jeff Thomson and Viv Richards during WSC, in 1983 David signed 208 of the best rugby players from Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and France to play an international pro circuit. The concept didn?t get off the ground, but it did force the IRB to get cracking and bring in the World Rugby Cup, now one of the world?s great sporting spectacles

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    The Crowd Says (22)

    • April 28th 2012 @ 7:18am
      Garfield Robinson said | April 28th 2012 @ 7:18am | ! Report

      What happens when other T20 leagues demand to be treated like the IPL if they get a window. It is possible that other leagues could grow to rival the IPL. Will they be given windows also?

      • April 28th 2012 @ 9:59am
        Damo said | April 28th 2012 @ 9:59am | ! Report

        That’s never going to happen because only India can generate the type of money the IPL pays out.

      • April 28th 2012 @ 11:43am
        Timmuh said | April 28th 2012 @ 11:43am | ! Report

        Garfield’s question is mine as well. Its a domestic tournament which draws international players. Should the same be done for the T20 leagues in every Test nation? Why should money be enough to make the IPL more important to the international calendar than every other league? Why should the ICC give special concessions to a league that doesn’t invite all players (Pakistanis)?
        There is a case due to players, particularly of the poorer nations who don’t pay their player big wages, being forced to choose – and then the money talks; but so van the money from the South African, Australian and English leagues. Should roughly 20 weeks a year set aside for T20 windows? The IPL is the largest paying, and therefore the most problematic in terms of conflicting with internationals, of the leagues but its not the only one.
        The case for any league being given a window and not other leagues would be much stronger if a large slice of that league’s money was going to help fund the financially weaker Test nations and to assist the Associates and Affiliates.
        As things stand, nations themselves can decide not to play internationals over that period if they suspect thy will lose a large slice of their teams. That the West Indies chose to play a series over that time is a concern, given they do not have the money to retain their own players. (I confess to ignorance, as to whether the West Indies available months for home series are limited by seasonal factos such as hurricanes, etc.)

    • April 28th 2012 @ 8:05am
      Robert said | April 28th 2012 @ 8:05am | ! Report

      I echo your sentiments Garfield.Mind you,i didnt know the IPL was on.Obviously the hype from the first season has been killed off and thankfully nobody is too concerned in Australia that its not shoved down our throats on tv

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      • April 28th 2012 @ 12:02pm
        Blaze said | April 28th 2012 @ 12:02pm | ! Report

        Being on a digital channel wasn’t nessicarily being shoved down our throats.. I’m actually disappointed that I dont get the option to watch our Aussies in action… Not even on foxtel.

        • April 29th 2012 @ 9:09pm
          Lolly said | April 29th 2012 @ 9:09pm | ! Report

          You might be able to watch it on youtube through one of the indian newspapers’ sites. I can’t remember which one but the live stream they do is excellent.

    • April 28th 2012 @ 11:40am
      Morning Son said | April 28th 2012 @ 11:40am | ! Report

      Well, the ICC has already released its future tours program. I am looking at it right now. All cricket fixtures have been listed up until 2020.

      We play an Ashes series in 2013 (England), 2013/14 (Australia), 2015 (England), 2017/18 (Australia), 2019 (England).

      So we basically have an extra Ashes series then we would have if the fixturing at stayed as it normally was.

      England would have toured Australia in 2014/15 and then we would have toured England in 2017.

      The IPL window is impossible – the fixturing list is already decided.

      People have to remember that outside of England and Australia, and possibly South Africa. Cricket players are relatively poorly paid. Indian players get a lot of money from endorsements.

      Players from the smaller nations, like the West Indies and Sri Lanka, will always lean towards playing in the IPL rather than playing for their country. The money is better. I’d do the same.

      • April 28th 2012 @ 12:15pm
        Timmuh said | April 28th 2012 @ 12:15pm | ! Report

        No nation has ever stuck to the future tours program sice it was first introduced. Australia, India, England all drop their series with Zimbabwe and Bangladesh on a whim with regularity and other series get moved, added (especially pointless limited overs tours involving India), etc all the time. The FTP is a guideline that’s usually well out of date before its announced.

        • April 28th 2012 @ 1:00pm
          Morning Son said | April 28th 2012 @ 1:00pm | ! Report

          So you think Australia are going to drop an Ashes series or England?

          Fact is, you are not going to be able to have an ipl window.

          • April 28th 2012 @ 1:16pm
            Timmuh said | April 28th 2012 @ 1:16pm | ! Report

            No, I don’t think an Ashes series is lkely to be dropped – but there are other tours in world cricket; and many of those are subject to the whim of various boards.
            You could have an IPL window, I just don’t think its a good idea – and nothing can be judged from the FTP unless the ICC is granted the power to actually enforce it, a notion none of the rich nations will ever support.

    • April 28th 2012 @ 12:08pm
      Ian Whitchurch said | April 28th 2012 @ 12:08pm | ! Report

      If the IPL gets this, will the BCCI split the money ?

    • April 28th 2012 @ 12:25pm
      sheek said | April 28th 2012 @ 12:25pm | ! Report

      Good morning David,

      My head says I should agree with you, but oh dear, there are a few problems here for me.

      1. I don’t care for T20 cricket.

      2. I certainly don’t care about the IPL.

      So there, I’ve drawn my line in the sand & call me “dinosaur” but I’ll ignore any ridicule that comes my way from Gen X & Gen Y.

      ‘They’ say you can’t stop progress, but I also like to think progress should have some reasoned wisdom behind it other than another tasteless opportunity to make a bucketload of cash.

    • April 28th 2012 @ 4:34pm
      Brian said | April 28th 2012 @ 4:34pm | ! Report

      It would be logical. More so if in exchange for a long IPL exclusive window the BCCI would give up some scheduling power over the rest of the year so all boards could give more control to the ICC.

      Fantasyland stuff though when your talking about the BCCI, ECB and CA etc

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