After nearly a month long speculation about IPL as to whether it would be held in India or outside India and if in India then are all the states going to cooperate. Finally the speculations were put to rest on Sunday the 22nd of March just 20 days before the tournament gets underway.
It was ‘painful’ to shift the IPL from India but with their ‘hands tied’ they had no option except for relocating the tournament, said Lalit Modi, commissioner and chairman of the tournament. I don’t know if he really feels that way but that is what he told the press. As the news of IPL going abroad spread there was lot of angry reactions from length and breadth of the country and also from the Indian players having a well deserved rest in NZ after their victory.
The first edition of IPL was a huge hit and this time around the pre tournament action had caught everyone’s attention as the tournament was clashing with the General elections. Some supporters were of the opinion that the elections should be postponed if necessary due to security concerns which I think is not right. I think this whole situation could have been avoided. By moving IPL out India’s security image has taken a beating in Western eyes which may equate us with Pakistan and Afghanistan. By conducting the IPL as scheduled would have shown to the whole world our national resolve not to bow before terrorism. My point of view is simple. Even if the all security forces available were deployed for the elections, there is no guarantee that no untoward incident will take place during elections” and did we went on doing our daily chores despite the 26/11 and the Lahore incidents. Why then this anxiety about the IPL? Our security competence is superior to Pakistan’s and with sufficient gaps between the polling process and the IPL matches, adequate security can be arranged for both. The venues can be confined to the States confident of handling the IPL and elections together. And in times of recession a tournament like IPL would have given a glimmer of hope. It’s so surprising that if a state cannot guard 22 players then how they can give security to millions of people. I don’t have expertise in security and all but common sense would tell that 1000 policemen would be enough to stage a match in a city. Don’t tell me the states don’t have enough forces.
For every issue there are bound to be arguments and counterarguments. We have talked about how the IPL fanatics feel but now let us look at the other side. “Image depends not on bravado but results”. Taking avoidable risks by striking a pose will be seen not as strength but immaturity. The best example that i would like to quote is the recent attack on the srilankan team in Pakistan. When Indian security experts felt that the country was not safe were touring then how did the srilankan officials get it wrong. And what followed after that is known to everyone one of us. So in our case here any failure would damage our image even more. There is no guarantee about the future in this world. But, other things being equal, deploying 1000 security persons reduces the risk of something going wrong compared to deploying only 100. If nothing can be guaranteed, it should make us not reckless but extra careful. Planning security for a theatre or a shop is vastly different from a cricket match with thirty or forty thousand spectators and several foreign players participating. Relative superiority in security matters is irrelevant as terrorism has occurred even in high security countries. There is no terrorism-proof country and no precaution can ever be considered sufficient. Should something go wrong, the IPL would surely blame the government for inadequate security? This can neither be proved nor disproved. But, IPL at the cost of secure elections is certainly not the best economic stimulus! Moreover Elections are no regular affair and come only once in 5 years unlike IPL which would be held every year, so postponing elections would be stupidity, General elections are a hundred percent public matter, a Constitutional obligation and a pillar of our democratic polity.
Now that we know that IPL is out of India so what does that mean for the franchises and the players. I don’t think moving IPL out of India would have any bearing on the popularity of the tournament.
The tournament would see the participation of all the players considering that England or South Africa are the possible venues for holding it so there would be no security concerns.
- The quality of grounds and nature of wickets would make it interesting.
- Indian youngsters would get a good opportunity to play outside India which many would have only dreamt of and get used to conditions there and maybe a few can make a statement for future.
- Sony is the biggest gainer as now all the Indians will be glued to the television and the quality of Cricket in TV will go up 10 folds.
- Indian teams will have no shortage of support abroad but it will be interesting to see whom they support.
1. BCCI would have to shell a lot of money as the expenditure of hosting teams abroad would be definitely more.
2. Franchises: Most of them would lose out on local sponsorships but franchises like Reliance & Kingfisher-UB Group have a huge international market to tap into.
3. Sponsors: Huge international market up for grabs in addition to Indian market.
4. Fans: Indians fans who go to cricket grounds to watch their teams play will be disappointed but new fan base will come into picture.
5. Support workers like ground staff, local ad companies, News agencies will be the most hit
“Cricket is a religion in India and its devotees should not be disappointed.” But sometimes mind should take over emotions…