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IPL - no surprise this scam

“A BILLION betrayed for a few lakhs” is how the Times of India called it. The Hindu wrote, “Sreesanth puts IPL in a spot, fans in a fix.” That way, one needs to be neither shocked nor surprised. It was just waiting to happen.

The Indian Premier League (IPL) has been the most prolific revenue stream in recent years. It pulls crowds in the thousands on ticket prices that are astronomical. There are constant efforts at expanding the contours of entertainment: if in the earlier years it was a threesome cheerleaders of buxom, sexy dancers, today this includes dancers with local cultural flavours more fully clad. From the drinks served and the food offered to television ads, everything is expensive. With flourishing businessmen and superstars as team owners and with players bought through auctions, there is money all over the place.

In a system where players are bought on vastly varying prices, there is bound to be heartburn on the part of those at the lower rung. A few players at the top have been bought at million dollars, and those at the bottom paid just a few lakhs of rupees. Plus those bought at high prices may perform poorly compared to those at the bottom.

Purchases are made based on past performance and the stature of a player rather than his current capabilities. Like: Ricky Ponting bought for $400,000 by the Mukesh Ambani-owned Mumbai Indians. His record has been consistently poor despite the glamour of his opening the innings with the other celebrity Sachin Tendulkar. This most illustrious pair has been a disaster for MI in all the initial games featuring them. Mercifully, Ponting opted to sit on the bench and the Indian God of cricket still struggles to show consistency.

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