IPL-3 seemed to take off at the right time this season. Just what the cricket enthusiasts needed to beat off the heat!
This year’s IPL too has been nothing short of controversies, nothing sort of entertainment, nothing short of drama and of course nothing short of Bollywood as well. But a thorough inspection of this year’s IPL has indicated that the so-called ‘Grand Opening’ has not been that grand. Going by the information provided by the television ratings agency aMap, the opening match between the Kolkata Knight Riders and the defending champions Deccan Chargers clocked up a rating of 3.8 which is the same as that of IPL-1. This evidently says that there has not been a considerable increase in the number of viewers tuning in.
Indeed, the major, or one of the major stories of this year’s IPL has been the Deccan Chargers’ semifinal entry; from what looked like something that would have been a great humiliation to the defending champions. Out of their first nine games, the Chargers lost six of them, and all odds were against them. The team which made it to the finals of the IPL-2 had to make similar efforts this year too, to capture a semifinal berth, which indeed the Chargers did in style. From after losing six out of their nine games, the Chargers notched up 5 consecutive wins to make it to the semis.
This year’s IPL too, as every year saw a lot of betting. Investigations by the Times Of India has revealed that an amount of nearly 3,500 Crores has already changed hands while another Rs. 1,500 Crores has been pledged on the remaining matches.
This year’s IPL also saw the younger generation of the country performing up to their potential. Robin Uthappa of Royal Challengers Bangalore and Chennai Super Kings’ Murali Vijay have been shortlisted for the awards in the best batsman and the most dramatic performance categories.
Needless to say, IPL-3 has not been short of any controversies whatsoever. There have been controversies related to Yuvraj Singh after media reports of his intention to leave the Kings XI Punjab, as the captaincy was handed over to Kumar Sangakkara. Then, there have been controversies related to the Minister of State for External Affairs- Shashi Tharoor and the IPL Commissioner regarding the Kochi consortium and so on.
The particular controversy all started when a consortium led by Rendezvous Sports was set up to bid for an IPL team and approached the Minister of State for external Affairs for guidance. They were then told told to choose Kerala. In an official statement of the Minister of State for Exernal Affairs, Shashi Tharoor said ”Rendezvous includes a number of people, including many I have never met, and Sunanda Pushkar, whom I know well.”
Then, the Kochi owners came out saying that they were offered 50 million dollars by the IPL chief, Lalit Modi to sell their team. The CEO of the Kochi franchise, Shailendar Gaekwad claimed that Modi desperately wanted a new franchise in another part of the country instead of Kochi. Reacting to this, Lalit Modi chose none but his Twitter account to explain his version of the story. In a series of tweets, the IPL Commissioner alleged that the details of exactly who owned the teams were unclear as of then and also said that Sunanda Pushkar- part of the Kochi Consortium and a friend of the Minister of State for External Affairs, Shashi Tharoor, has been gifted equity worth Rs. 70 Crores. The owners of the Kochi Consortium then came out saying that Pushkar’s share as ‘sweat equity’ is in lieu of a salary for her Marketing experience.
The Kochi team owners also lashed out saying that it was completely unnecessary of Lalit Modi to maintain confidentiality regarding the shareholders of the franchises and have also made a formal complaint to the BCCI in this regard. To this, Lalit Modi has come out saying that it was Shashi Tharoor has pressed him not to question the composition of the Kochi consortium, to which the latter strongly denies.
Ultimately, the end of IPL may see the resignation of Lalit Modi as the Commissioner of IPL and it is the BCCI chief Shashank Manohar who is likely to take over.