IPL Auctions: Auction of Player, Talent or Stardom?

Posted on January 21, 2010 in Sports

Menorca Chaturvedi:

Kieron Pollard, West Indies- Bought by Mumbai Indians for a record breaking $2.3 million. Shane Bond, the Kiwi- bought by Kolkata Knight Riders, for $1 million. Nine other players bought at varying prices between $50,000 and $720,000.

Phew! Mumbai saw one of the biggest auctions in the history of cricket, as bidding began for the best International players, for the upcoming Indian Premier League-3.

The money on show during the IPL auction has not only raised eyebrows, but has also given a glimpse of where cricket’s future is.

So, what is it that the players look forward to? Is money the key factor here? Or is it the ticket to International stardom? Striking a different note altogether, during a conversation with Thainews, cricketer Rajiv Bhatia said, “Cricketers should not see the money. We don’t start playing cricket for money. It is good that so much money is flowing into the game. As long as a cricketer performs, money will come his way,”

So, participation and ever —improving performance seems to be the best interests of first class players.

However, a school of thought believes that in IPL, there is no meaning of talent if the player does not have stardom. Last year’s auctioning for the IPL involved quite a bit of controversy, as some people felt that certain multi-talented players were not ‘auctioned’, owing to their lack of stardom.

Cricket, which was considered to be a struggle in the yesteryears, seems to be one of the most promising and lucrative career options to youngsters these days. Talking to ThaiNews, B. Vanchi, adviser to GMR Group, which owns Delhi Daredevils, advocates T20 tournaments, which are a combination of cricket and entertainment. Encouraging youngsters to unleash their potential, he says, “Every youngster can now dream of playing cricket and earning money as well. We have slots for under-22 and domestic players in the team and for youngsters it is a big opportunity to showcase their skills .There is a minimum price that we will have to give to domestic and u-22 cricketers but they will get more than the base price of $50,000 and $20,000 respectively.”

The IPL-3 Auctioning, however, took a new turn, when surprisingly, none of the Pakistani players were sold. This resulted in a huge blow to the T20 Champions, who felt insulted and a flurry of comments and protests were seen. The team owners maintain that their decisions were made, keeping in mind, the availability of players as a factor. But, in an ugly turn of events, the sports ministry and parliamentarians of Pakistan called it an “Indian conspiracy” to insult the nation and their cricketers. With India’s relations with its neighbours being brought to a scary edge, I wonder what might be coming with the next Auction!

So, are cricketers indeed awarded for their performance? Is it the rightful tapping of talent? Or is it a mere push to their stardom, also giving way to political drama?

With immense moolah being circulated, surge of excitement ahead of us and controversies doing the rounds, the IPL continues to be the talk of the day, and the big debate remains unsolved.

What are your views? Drop in your comments below.