Saturday, 11 October 2008

IPL causes England to have a MFH (Migraine From Hell)

It appears that the Sri Lanka series, scheduled in England for next summer, is now in doubt due to contractual obligations of the Sri Lankan players to the IPL.

The Sri Lankan Board have assured the England camp the series will happen, just without 12 of their top players. Oh, well, that's alright then. Who needs Muttiah Muralitharan, Mahela Jayarwardene and Chaminda Vass?

And the reason the tour is in jeopardy? Obviously not because these players want to earn their crust in a tournament not representing their country, but a franchise, and not because they feel it more important to be participating in such a competition than being in jolly old England, but apparently because the England and Wales Cricket board are concerned about how this will effect the television rights without Sri Lanka's best bunch of cricketers.

What has this once beautiful cricket world become? Representing your country comes second place to money and tours may be postponed or cancelled because the amount of money originally estimated may deflate faster than the FTSE on Friday morning.

This is not cricket. This is not how it is meant to be. The IPL is clouding players' judgement and money has become the devil.

Alastair Cook was honest enough (or maybe just without his PR bodyguard at the time) to admit that the Stanford game is all about the prize bonus and not about the competition, the high of beating the better team, the buzz of lifting a trophy that's been worked for, grafted for and earnt and not their bank balance (although desperate times...).

The game is losing its soul. Something is rotten in this state of cricket.

(Sunday, October 12. Further to this blog, Scyld Berry has written a very interesting article about this fiasco here, Simon Briggs also has an interesting view on this debacle here.)

16 comments:

val blundell said...

Who's going to want to fork out £50+ to see a lack lustre Sri Lankan side, especially when we have paid a fortune to see the Aussies during the Ashes campaign!
This is just what we all feared would happen..it was inevitable.
Money breeds contempt in any walk of life and cricket is no different.
I guess we all just thought better of our 'cricketers'.
I dread to think what the future holds for our beloved game!

Homer said...

Nightwatchgirl,

A little background is in order -

Sri Lanka were roped in for a 2 Test series because the originally scheduled team, Zimbabwe, was not an option after the British Government took a stand.

And the ECB is contractually obligated by Sky Sports to host 7 Tests and 15 odd ODIs during the course of the English summer.

So the ECB offered the bankrupt Sri Lankan Board 2 million pounds to fill in the void and thus avoid its own default with Sky.

Now, per the original FTP, Sri Lanka was not scheduled to play any cricket in the April May timeframe, which is why the payers, who stand to lose money in the IPL, are up in arms.

Also, the decision by the Sri Lankan Cricket Board to tour England was done without informing the players or taking their consent.

Cheers,


PS:- You will also be interested to know that the whole push to get Zimbabwe out of the ICC by the ECB was not out of any altruistic reasons like human rights but because if Zimbabwe clung on to their one-day status, England faced the prospect of losing the right to host next year's World Twenty20 Championship.

The ICC would have been forced to relocate it, and estimates suggest this would cost English cricket in excess £10 million.

Cheers,

The Nightwatchgirl said...

Val - it's so nice to hear from you again. NWG has missed your comments.

Homer,

NWG thinks there is also some background necessary:

1. Sri Lanka were not 'roped' in to this test series, they accepted. Cricket is a game and not a war.

2. NWG is very glad Zimbabwe were taken off the ECB's list, and it maybe so that it was not done for political or social reasons, but you cannot argue that whichever was the culrpit, Zimababwe not playing England is a good thing. Other teams have objected playing them, governments have stepped in, so England are not the only ones.

3. NWG is not sure if Sri Lanka are similar to England and have central contracts, but surely when your country tells you to play, you play. Regardless of when you were told.

4. It is no coincidence that the large sums of money paid out to those Sri Lankan IPL players play a huge part of them not wanting to play in England during May.

5.The ECB may have offered Sri Lanka £2 million for the series to cover their Sky contracts and may well fine Sri Lanka $2 million if the tour does not go ahead, but this will be more than made up by the IPL paying the Sri Lankan board for the release of their players for the next ten years.

6.Finally, as NWG understands it, the IPL, due to India's dominance in the ICC, will now take precedence over Tests and therefore international cricket in May will become a thing of the past.

©hinaman said...

@ Homer,

since when does a nations tours itinerary been subject of players' consent?

aren't Sri Lankan players contractually obligated to play whenever their boards decide on a tour? If yes, has it not been clarified by ICC that national contracts overides that of IPL?

If there was no IPL, I'll bet the players would be fighting to get a place on that tour, they wouldn't have grumbled the slightest.

There in lies a hypocrisy.
Sorry I am unable to buy in your argument.

©hinaman said...

@ NWG,

Twenty20 cricket in the form of IPL is a cancer that will kill the traditional cricket I know. And like cancer it is and will spread.

For a while cricketers have played for the money more than the pride hence the many endorsements - that was still within the realms of the traditional forms of cricket.

IPL has shown them a different cricket. Maximum money grabbing with minimal effort. Failures will not affect their ICC rankings, it will all be obscured by the dancing cheerleaders.

I started watching cricket when it was only played in white over 5 days. I have seen it changing since.

I am certain the soul of cricket I knew is now dead. We only have the body dying slowly in front of our eyes.

I was crucified on BBC 606 for having written this - my article got moderated and removed.

The Nightwatchgirl said...

Chinaman,
NWG will never moderate any comments and would certainly never remove them. All are welcome and especially yours.
NWG completely agrees with you. What will the ICC do about it? Something or someone needs to stand up to the money and fight for the game.

Homer said...

Nightwatchgirl,

My post was to provide some background for this

"It appears that the Sri Lanka series, scheduled in England for next summer, is now in doubt due to contractual obligations of the Sri Lankan players to the IPL."

Cheers,

Homer said...

@Chinaman,

"since when does a nations tours itinerary been subject of players' consent? "

I am sure Andrew Symonds and Kevin Pieterson will be better placed to answer that question.

"aren't Sri Lankan players contractually obligated to play whenever their boards decide on a tour? If yes, has it not been clarified by ICC that national contracts overides that of IPL?"

Now, per the original FTP, Sri Lanka was not scheduled to play any cricket in the April May timeframe, which is why the payers, who stand to lose money in the IPL, are up in arms.

So, is your case for centrally contracted cricketers to be treated as bonded labor?

Also, the IPL requires participating players to be cleared by their Boards.This is the crux of the problem between the Sri Lankan players and the Sri Lankan Board.The ICC has no locus standi here.

"If there was no IPL, I'll bet the players would be fighting to get a place on that tour, they wouldn't have grumbled the slightest."

Yes, and we would be complaining of how players are being ground to dust by greedy Boards.

"There in lies a hypocrisy.
Sorry I am unable to buy in your argument."

My original post was not an argument- just a presentation of facts that led up to the present conflict.

The ECB had a financial motive in filling the gap brought about by Zimbabwe's non participation, the Sri Lankan Board saw this as an opportunity to fill its coffers, the players affected saw this as a dent in their incomes.

Greed is an universal virtue.

Cheers,

©hinaman said...

@ Homer,
centrally contracted players bonded labor? -
You are joking, aren't you?
Do they play for free?

At my last recall they get paid (a fortune by the rest of the country standards) to play cricket.

If the words on the contract specifies they make themselves available whenever their board asks them to, they have to honour that contract.

They have no choice.

Homer said...

Chinaman,

Are you telling me bonded labor does not get paid?

Cheers,

D charlton said...

Panic not, team - IPL will not kill Test cricket.

Twenty20 and IPL need Test cricket to provide them with heroes and stars. Twenty20 has only three self-made stars - Sohail Tanvir, Shaun Marsh and, er, Darren Maddy. Almost all other players relied on Test cricket for their profile. I don't think this will change.

If you take away the foundations of the house, it's not a pretty outcome.

The Nightwatchgirl said...

Nightwatchgirl likes an optimist.

©hinaman said...

@ Homer,

yes of course.

Bonded labor also called debt bondage is a means of paying off loans with direct labor instead of currency or goods.

The labourers never get paid.

Sometimes it goes on for generations, called pwnage or pwn slavery each generation paying off debts of forefathers.

Why do you think child labor is still rife in many countries? Because they are "bonded labourer".

PoorCricketFan said...

Hi Nightwatchgirl - saw your link on ‘cricketwithballs’...

...and I must agree with the first comment by ‘val blundell’. Kudos to Alistair Cook for telling it like it is - and “Null points” to Peter Moores for his corporate BS rebuttal.

Here’s hoping that the scheduling gap can be adequately filled ASAP (for cricket’s sake, not $ky’s!)

Thanks for a great site.

The Nightwatchgirl said...

Poorcricketfan (aren't we all?), thanks for your comment. As you will find out, Val is right about everything. She's Nightwatchgirl's conscience.

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