And for a Friday at the half way stage of an excitement called IPL, some thoughts….. some musings…..
IPL, now in the 13th edition, is not only one of the worlds most Successful sporting events, but a huge catalyser for Economic activities deep into rural and village India. IPL rules prescribe each Team to have a minimum of 16 players, of which 2 have to be from the BCCI pool of under-22 players. Some of them are incredibly talented and come from humble households. T Natarajan of SRH, from a village 30 kms away from Salem in Tamilnadu, could not afford to buy shoes and had not used real cricketing gear till after age 18, was snapped up first by KXIP for 3 crores !!!! Natarajan wants to build a Cricket Academy in his home town. Yashasvi Jaiswal, born in Bhadohi in Uttar Pradesh and son of a small time shopkeeper, left home as a kid all of 10 years, pursuing his dream of cricket into the Maidans of Mumbai. He lived and worked in a diary shop, got thrown out and ended up living with the Groundsman in his Tent. He was the Player of the Tournament in the Under-19 World Cup and picked by RR for US$ 3,40,000.
Even in these horrible Covid times, IPL is a success. Star Sports had paid 16,347 crores for broadcasting rights (2018-22). They now charge 12.5 lakhs for a 10 seconds advt spot. Fantasy sports App company Dream 11 paid 223 crores for this IPL Title sponsorship and the captains of the Teams don’t come cheap. Kohli is paid 17 crores, Rohit Sharma and Dhoni 15 crores etc. etc. So it’s big bucks for the par. Dream 11 now distributes 50 crores every day as prize money to millions of young and not so old participants in its contests. There are many many more “On-line” Games and Competitions. Kids and their Parents are happily engaged. That’s the multiplier effect and economics of this fantastic entertainer.
Let’s all recognise how cricket unites India. The Super Rich and the not so well off, the urbanite and the villager, all enjoy this super entertainer. Let’s rejoice and support Economic revival the sporting way, the secular way, the SEEGOS way.