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.