Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Don't kill IPL with 'Strategy Breaks'

Every sport has to evolve and bring in constant changes to the format to give the audience something new. Indian Premiere League in its second season has seen a very un-cricket-like change in the name 'Strategy Break'. One thing is for sure this concept was not the brain child of any cricketer. A cricketer will never want to spoil the momentum of the game especially in a format like the T20 where there is hardly time to settle down.

It can be very well understood who is the biggest beneficiary of these 'Strategy Breaks'. The television ad spots surely will fetch the BCCI huge revenue at the cost of the game. As far as marketing the game of cricket is concerned it has to be one of the best ideas we have seen in the recent past but it takes a toll on the game. The idea which has been most likely taken from the game of basketball has not found too many fans among the cricketers and die hard cricket fans.

The biggest name in world cricket Sachin Tendulkar has voiced his concern against the concept of Strategy Breaks saying it hampered the momentum of the game and seven and a half minute break was too long for a game like T20. Sachin's opinion has to be a testimonial to this marketing concept after all he has worked hard in the cricket field for 20 years and not sat in an air conditioned room and come out with a concept called Strategy Break.

It is a well know fact that the BCCI had gone overboard with marketing the IPL right from its first season. In an absurd movie it has also taken away the rights to publish images by the media houses over the internet as it has sold the internet rights to a single media house. The media fraternity had threatened to boycott the league in its inaugural season after which an agreement was reached between the media and the BCCI.

It may not come as a surprise to many if it was revealed that the Strategy Break concept was brought without the consent of any of the cricketers in the IPL Governing body. It may be too late to call of the Strategy Breaks this season as the deals with the sponsors have already been signed. The poor cricketers have become victims at the hands of the marketing graduates.

BCCI should look into it that all the changes that are brought to the game should have more cricketing than marketing sense. After all its the game of cricket that is being sold by the richest cricketing body in the world.


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