Thursday, March 20, 2008

Pepsi to be the Official Drink

Pepsi Cola has signed up an deal with the IPL to be the official and only drink of the IPL tournament. Pepsi paid $12.5 million dollars to become the exclusive drink of the 8 teams in the fray.

The sponsor money will be divided among the 8 teams

Delhi Daredevils Is A Well Balanced Team

Virendra Sehwag was disappointed when they could not bag star bowler Ishant Sharma. Ishant the bean pole fast bowler from Delhi was bought by Karnataka for a whopping $950,000 dollars. The Delhi Daredevils did not have that kind of money to buy Ishant but are very happy with the team they have got.

Sehwag said that the team is well balanced with the right mix of good batsman, bowlers. They also have the right mix of youth and experience. He said of the all the IPL team Delhi had the best fielding side.

The Delhi Daredevils boasts of the New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori and Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik.

Indian players in the team include Gautam Gambhir, Dinesh Karthik, Manoj Tiwary, Shikhar Dhawan, Mithun Manhas, Rajat Bhatia, Pradeep Sangwan, Mayank Tehlan, Yo Mahesh and Amit Mishra.

Tickets for IPL auction

It seems Ticketpro will be handling all the ticketing for the IPL. Not only there will be online booking of tickets, but there will be booking through mobile phones as well.

Let’s see how much this system will be transparent. With the amount of money involved in the league one can expect a lot nexus between franchise, sponsors, cricket association etc. Already there was a conflict between Kolkata franchise and Cricket Association of Bengal(CAB) regarding percentage of sharing of tickets for IPL matches at Eden Gardens. Similar conflicts can be expected at other venues also.

One more issue, how much the tickets will be priced. Will there be pricing based on demand and supply model similar airline ticketing system ? Let’s wait and watch. I have already heard many rumours that the minimum price of the ticket will be around 5000 INR ! Will tickets at all the venues be priced the same? Or will it be that tickets in Bangalore will be more expensive than in Jaipur (Since bored software engineers are more likely to pay higher prices to watch the matches).

The pricing of the tickets is very important, as the organizers have to make sure that the tickets are cheap enough for stadiums to be full to make the matches exciting, but expensive enough to make some profits. There are going to be 8 matches in a short amount of time, and this is very different from the usual routine of 1-2 ODI matches every 2 years. Lets see what the BCCI and it’s associates make of this opportunity.

Karmayudh ya Dhanyudh ?

The IPL cricketing extravaganza will see eight teams representing different cities slug it out in the Twenty20 format. The teams are franchisees which are owned by the biggest names in corporate sector and Bollywood, but what’s more interesting is how the money is going to flow in this mega-event!

Let’s have a look at revenues and expenses of this billion dollar league.

*BCCI’s share: The winning bidders will immediately have to pay only 10 per cent of the price they offered. For example Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Group has to pay a little over Rs 44 crore for the first year. But they have to make similar payments for the next 10 years.

*TV rights: The BCCI will also get TV rights money. The sum is Rs 4200 crore put up by Sony and World Sports Group. It is to be paid over 10 years.

*BCCI’s expenses: The main expense is raising prize money and that will be 16 per cent of the TV rights.

*Franchisees’ expenses: Apart from the winning bid, the franchisees will further bid for at least 16 players, whose minimum salary will be approximatrely Rs 20 lakh per season.They will also have to pay for training, coaches, support staff and their own promotions.

*Franchisees’ revenue: The Board keep 20 per cent of the money raised from TV rights every year and another 16 per cent kept aside. The remaining 64 per cent is distributed among the eight franchisees as their income. They can also raise revenue from embossing logos on T-shirts, but not the principal naming rights.

These large volume of the money indicate that the real winner (read happy) will be the franchise which makes the highest profit and may not be the team which wins the actual cricket battle, similar to football leagues in which Manchester United and Real Madrid are successful clubs because they make lot of profit. Cricket is probably, but not rightly, going to be in the sideline.

British football inspired Shah Rukh to think of owning a team

Five years ago Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan was watching a football match in London when the idea of owning a team crossed his mind. Shah Rukh realised that dream - though in cricket, not football - when he bought the Kolkata franchise of the Indian Premier League.

'I was watching English Premier League (EPL) in London when I went for a spinal cord surgery there. I thought if something like this could be started in football or hockey in India. So, when the IPL happened, I decided to join it,' Shah Rukh, who was in the city Tuesday to launch his Kolkata Knight Riders team, told IANS.

In February 2003, Shah Rukh underwent surgery on his spine in London's Wellington Hospital and since then, he has been visiting the city at regular intervals.

On his philosophy of work ethic, Shah Rukh said: 'My life has three simple tenets - work hard, don't think bad about others, and be honest to yourself.

'The point is, don't be caught up in small things, go for success. If you are a player, be like Roger Federer, and if you are an actor be like Amitabh Bachchan.'

Asked whether his son Aryan's love for the game is also one of the reasons to own a cricket team, he said: 'It's not only for Aryan. It's for the youth of the country. I do a lot of social work, but I want to do something for sports. I want Knight Riders to be an inspiration for the youngsters.'

Shah Rukh said if he had taken up cricket as a career, he would have been a wicketkeeper. 'I was a wicketkeeper when I used to play cricket.'

King Khan also went down memory lane and recalled the first cricket match he saw, an India-Pakistan encounter in 1979. 'My mother was a magistrate and she got tickets for us to watch that match at Ferozshah Kotla, in which Imran Khan made 32.'

On Preity Zinta hoping to see the Chandigarh and Kolkata teams in the final, he said: 'I wish her all the best and hope what she says comes true. But I will not make such tall claims. I hope we play good, entertaining, robust cricket and in the process if we reach the final, there is nothing like it.'

Virat Kohli goes to Bangalore

The Under-19 World Cup winning captain, Virat Kohli, has been bought by Bangalore, as a number of members of the Indian youth team that won the title in Malaysia went under the hammer in the second round of Indian Premier League auction here Tuesday.

Other Under-19 players who were picked by various franchises included left-arm seamer Pradeep Sangwan by Delhi, wicketkeeper Shreevats Goswami by Bangalore, Taruwar Kohli and Ravindra Jadeja by Jaipur, Sidharth Kaul and Iqbal Abdulla by Kolkata and Tanmay Srivastava and Ajitesh Argal by Mohali.

Among the foreigners the most prominent name was Misbah-ul-Haq, the Pakistan batsman, who was picked up by Bangalore Royal Challengers, who will also have Bangladesh left-arm spinner Abdur Razzak in the team.

The first England player to be auctioned, all-rounder Dimitri Mascarenhas, was bought by Jaipur's Rajasthan Royals, who have also signed up South African fast bowler Morne Morkel, Australian all-rounder Shane Watson and Pakistan left-arm fast bowler Sohail Tanvir.

Shah Rukh Khan-owned Kolkata Knight Riders bought Pakistanis Salman Butt and Mohammad Hafeez, while Mohali picked up Australians James Hopes and Luke Pomersbach.

From Aussies

Australia's Test players are set to be allowed to play in the lucrative Indian Premier League before preparing at home for the May tour to the West Indies, the players' union said Thursday.

The Australian Cricketers Association said Cricket Australia has indicated there will be no objection to Test stars Ricky Ponting, Brett Lee, Andrew Symonds, Matthew Hayden and Michael Hussey playing in the first 14-16 days of the six-week IPL tournament, which starts on April 18.

They will then be required back home for a team camp before the touring party sets off for the West Indies in the second week of May.

"I don't think there will be a problem," said ACA chief executive Paul Marsh. "Certainly based on our discussions with Cricket Australia to date I don't see any reason why they wouldn't be able to play in the IPL, assuming that there are no other commitments to Cricket Australia," he said.

CA spokesman Peter Young said the governing body was in the process of going through details and options, which include the possibility of practice matches before the West Indies tour.

"Our first priority is to ensure the team has appropriate preparation for the tour of the West Indies," he said.

Australia's opening tour match in the West Indies is scheduled to start on May 16 ahead of the opening Test in Kingston, Jamaica, on May 22.

This week's cancellation of the tour to Pakistan over security concerns opens a window in a crowded international schedule, allowing some Australian players to fulfill around one-third of their IPL contracts and collect pro rata payments.

Symonds is the highest paid Australian player, with a contract of $1.35 million for a full season. Lee is on $900,000, Ponting $400,000, Hayden $375,000 and Hussey $350,000.