Sunday, May 13, 2007

Subhash Chandra and Twenty20 Get Serious

Just yesterday when I saw this article on Cricinfo, it got me really interested in the whole thing about Subhash Chandra's plans of emulating Kerry Packer.
Brian Lara, Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath and "more big names to follow" are being linked to a breakaway Twenty20 competition taking place in India this October, according to the latest issue of Spin magazine. There is expected to be a formal announcement on the same on May 14.

Getting top level stars of the quality of McGrath and Lara mean many things apart from just the excitement it would generate.

Firstly, Chandra is putting a LOT of money into this dream child of his.
Getting big stars, especially those who have just announced their retirement from the game, means he has given them a bloody good offer they might find hard to ignore. These stars anyway demand the kind of money he is willing to put in to his show.

He is getting the right people.
That goes without saying. It would be a gross mistake to say any of these three are past it despite their retirements from the game. And snaring these players would lend this tournament an element of credibility and hence attract a lot more 'stars' into the tournament.

Timing of the tournament
Although this might be too early to say, but the expectations from the public is at an all time low at present. So a star struck tournament in a novel format, with good publicity would spell good news for the public. More than that, it could give a good kick to the BCCI's backside to come up with innovations of its own, as a successful tournament would definitely threaten BCCI's monopoly over cricket in the country. However, as I said, October is a long time and the tournament comes after the Twenty20 world cup. Performance at that tournament and the general public morale could be crucial in determining the kind of response one could expect for Chandra's 'circus'.

Subhash Chandra, the businessman
Although Zee TV hasn't quite managed to reclaim the Hindi entertainment segment from Star Plus, and is a shadow of its heady days during the cable years of the early 90's, Chandra is still a shrewd businessman, and ambitious too. This experiment is a make or break thing for him, and he will go to great extents to make this event a success. Expect aggressive campaigns, huge billboards, pop-ups on Rediff (and Indiatimes and all such desi portals), ad spots on the huge Zee network and of course blogs over the next few months in the lead up to the tournament.

Hopefully it turns out good for cricket in general and Indian cricket in particular.

1 comment:

  1. There's a lot of money in cricket especially in India.. I think this is one of the things that was bound to happen. What I'd like to see, though, would be a Twenty20 league with a good mix of international stars and local talent.. coz unless you can get crowds to the stadium, no such comptt. would be a real success even if makes back the money through TV rights and such..