A Requiem For The ICL

The latest news from the IPL — that is, off the field — is full of intrigue and scandal. Taxmen raiding the IPL offices (or not raiding, Lalit Modi insists, but simply turning in for a stroll)? The Cochin team putting in a bid with backers who didn’t know what they were backing? Twitter twitter?

Of course, we don’t know if anything illegal has taken place. We don’t know much about anything, really; the BCCI and the IPL are hardly paragons of transparency. But I wanted to just pass a little note about how badly I feel about the ICL’s demise. It always struck me as patently unfair that a group of athletes could not organize themselves and practice their trade without the BCCI’s authorization. The specter of the ICL belies any claim that the IPL is a triumph of the market; if the IPL is winning, it did so by quashing the competition, not engaging it.

I don’t know if the market could have tolerated two Twenty20 leagues. But I think there would have been so many other benefits (Econ 101 tells us enough about that). In the IPL, we have a situation highly prone to conflicts of interest and corruption: one man controlling access; huge amounts of money; shifty politicians (and I hate to count Shashi Tharoor in this group, but what is the matter with this man?) hanging around.

2 thoughts on “A Requiem For The ICL

  1. Russ says:

    While I don’t feel any great regrets about the ICL, I do think it served a valuable purpose in pushing the powers that be to take some useful reforms seriously.

    Those reforms still have a long way to run though. Until the bulk of players, not just the internationals are able to play for good money week in week out, there will be profits to be had from poaching them for a league and having more regular games.

    I daresay we haven’t seen the last such venture either. The limit of four international players per side in the IPL is keeping a lot of talented players out of the loop. The next ICL probably won’t be Indian, is all.

  2. Prahlad says:

    Yes, I agree with you on Shashi Tharoor. I had always assumed that the man was above this petty politicking. Many years ago, I read “The Great Indian Novel” with avid interest, and I thought that someone with such an interesting take on history would surely not be one to repeat it. But now ..

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