This essay appeared in the Hindu Sunday Magazine in mid-March 2010. Also see http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/mar/12/indian- premier-league-just-not-cricket and www.mikemarqusee.com
MIKE relaxing in Jodhpur, India
The third annual instalment of the Indian Premier League is being launched with even greater triumphalist trumpeting than the first two. The show is reeling in big sums and attracting worldwide attention. Lalit Modi is easily the best known cricket administrator on the planet. Even in Britain and Australia, where the IPL and Indian cricket power in general have been viewed with intense and often unbalanced suspicion, the tone is changing. Mike Atherton and Peter Roebuck – serious analysts – have both hailed the IPL’s privately owned franchises as models for the future. Once the franchises have taken over, writes Roebuck, the ICC “will be empowered not by self-centred countries but by businessmen with high expectations” who are “free from impossible responsibilities and the petty politicking” that mars international cricket. Read the rest of this entry ?