The third season of the IPL is just round the corner. Last week saw Pollard (WI) and Bond (NZL) taking the honours in the auction. The auction of Pollard saw a tie at the maximum price of $750,000. Eventually, the sought-out all-rounder went to the Mumbai Indians for $2.3 mn, with the IPL taking the overflow of $750,000. Now the fine print – all of this – for a one year deal!
I watched the auctions live on TV; actually quite boring with the exception of the fight for Pollard and Bond. Baffling – none of the Pakistan players got picked…whoa…aren’t these the guys from the T20 World Champion team? Anyways, rumour had it that the teams had been advised to stay away from picking them, given the political situation between the estranged nations. And given the turmoil in Pakistan, these guys would surely have been banking on this additional source of income, which sadly wasn’t to be.
Now I don’t give a damn if a $750,000 deal went through with Pollard or Afridi – none of that’s ever going to make it my way. What leaves a bad taste is the fact that the IPL committee asked these players to procure no-objection-certificates for participation, which they did. Then the committee also went on then include them in the auction list. And then, the fiasco that took place – live – with a few idiots. Several reasons were cited by the franchises, including concerns of their availability and security, which are laughable. India hosts the hockey world cup in a month’s time that features Pakistan, of course. Pakistan does not have international commitments during the IPL; as a matter of fact, West Indies do and Pollard might be a part of it. That’s exactly what you can get when you mix bollywood and cricket, with actors having to act without a script and dialogues. All said and done, in simple words, they wouldn’t go against the IPL, would they?
Interestingly, this week saw a few ministers and actors stand up for the Pakistani players. Of course, we also heard a few say, ‘how dare you stand up for them’ – but that’s another tangent. Finally, we also heard what the Pakistan board and players said. Their anger is well justified, though we may be away from the truth. Afridi may have actually said, ‘main nirash hoon ki hum iss saal IPL nahin kelenge (I’m disappointed that we won’t be playing the IPL this year)’ that may have ended up being translated as, ‘I’m disappointed and angry, now we will not play in the IPL’. Okay, jokes apart, I am very keen on what the IPL Committee has to say or for that matter, will they apologise?
Honestly, I doubt if they will. They’ve made their money (Pollard was probably a bigger jackpot for the IPL than Pollard himself!) and they’ll be working hard to make a lot more in the next 90 days. And even more when the two new teams are up for sale and the re-bid for players happen in July! And here I am, thinking how I make a percent of what they would.
Anyways, the bottom line is…
Eyes – will watch
Pay – people will for sure
All – will be happy (err...not really but does it matter?)!
Cheers to that!