The Indian Premier League is, perhaps, the final step in cricket’s journey to becoming a 21st century business enterprise. Rajdeep Sardesai in Hindustan Times:
My father was obviously born in the wrong generation. For his first Test for the country in 1961, he got a cheque of Rs 150. When he was part of the historic 1971 win in West Indies and England, he got the princely sum of Rs 750 per match. Contrast that with a Robin Uthappa, who without a single international century, is already a crorepati many times over. Or an Ishant Sharma, who after his first international tour, is already lining up mega-contracts. My own favourite story of cricket from another generation is related by the legendary Bishen Singh Bedi. In 1956, India defeated New Zealand in four days in a Test match. The team, paid Rs 50 per day at the time, did not receive an allowance for the fifth day. When one of the players dared to ask a cricket official for an additional Rs 50, he was curtly told, “Who asked you to win the match in four days?”
Tango with cash
Is all this for real, asks Pradeep Magazine in Hindustan Times:
Or was one watching owners of fat cheque-books sitting in a casino and massaging their egos by throwing mindboggling sums at star cricketers? Shahrukh Khan, the owner of the Kolkata team, found the whole bidding process so thrilling that he said he was getting ‘addicted’ to it. IS Bindra, a BCCI official, and a former Indian Administrative Service officer, had never seen a day like this in his life “ever”. Has cricket in India entered the age of sponsored gambling where its stake-holders are abdicating their responsibility and letting the ‘free-market’ forces take control of the sport?