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IPL team owners enraged after BCCI cuts ties with IMG

August 31, 2009 1 comment

High-profile owners of team franchises in the Indian Premier League have reacted furiously to the Indian cricket board’s decision to snap ties with event management company IMG, reports said on Monday.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Saturday terminated its contract with the International Management Group, which helped it launch the lucrative Twenty20 league in 2008.

Business tycoon Mukesh Ambani and Bollywood superstar Shahrukh Khan, both owners of IPL franchisees, have shot off angry letters to the BCCI.

“I am personally shocked at the unilateral decision of doing away with the services of IMG,” the Times of India quoted Ambani, who owns the Mumbai Indians team, as saying in his letter.

“It is also worrying to me that such a significant decision in relation to IPL has been taken without even so much as consulting the franchises.

“I strongly believe that this decision, if taken forward, will destroy substantial value for all the stakeholders, especially the franchises and dilute the success of IPL in the coming years.”

Kolkata Knight Riders owner Khan said IMG had been “an integral part of the tournament management and its success so far” and questioned the logic of the board in ending the deal.

The BCCI had entered into a preliminary agreement with IMG in 2008 to promote and manage IPL’s affairs. IMG was to be paid 10 per cent of the tournament’s gross revenue as commission.

But the board felt the amount was “disproportionate to services rendered”.

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Categories: IPL News

Let BCCI decide on Shoaib’s case: Shah Rukh Khan

April 14, 2008 1 comment

Kolkata Knight Riders team owner and Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan said he wants the Pakistan pace spearhead Shoaib Akhtar to play in Indian Premier League (IPL). He reiterated his desire for Shoaib’s presence in his team in a press conference at his residence.

Shah Rukh also said that it’s now up to BCCI to take a decision whether they want the Paksitani bolwer to play in cash-rich Indian Premier League or not.

Controversial fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar’s chances of playing in the lucrative Indian Premier League seemed to be receding with the tribunal to hear his appeal against five-year ban not likely to decide on the matter soon.

Given the busy schedule of the chairman of the appellate tribunal Aftab Farrukh, retired judge of Lahore High Court and now a practicing barrister, it is unlikely that the case will be decided in a hurry.

The IPL starts on April 18 and organisers have said Akhtar, who was to play for Kolkata Knight Riders, would not be eligible to play in the Twenty20 tourney until the Pakistan board removes the ban imposed on him on disciplinary grounds.

“I don’t think we are going to have a situation where the appellate tribunal will reach a decision after one or two sittings and given the busy schedules of the chairman and Salman Taseer the hearings could drag on beyond a month,” a PCB official told.

The tribunal, which had former Test player Haseeb Ahsan and former federal minister Salman Taseer as other members, was set up last week and has a minimum of seven and maximum of 30 days to reach a decision on Akhtar’s appeal.

Akhtar was handed the five-year ban for breach of the players Code of Conduct, having publicly criticised various board policies after he was overlooked for a central contract in January.

Meanwhile, PCB chairman Nasim Ashraf, Disciplinary Committee chairman Muneer Hafeez and Akhtar will appear before the Senate Standing Committee on Sports and Culture on April 14 for a hearing called to look into cricket matters and the events leading up to the ban imposed on Akhtar.

Categories: Cricket News, IPL News

IPL relaxes media restrictions

April 10, 2008 Leave a comment

The standoff between the Indian Premier League and the media over controversial guidelines to cover the inaugural tournament looks set to ease as the IPL governing body has issued relaxed guidelines for media to cover the Twenty20 extravaganza.

The IPL has toned down some of its earlier restrictions, especially benefiting the print media and their respective websites. However, the websites having no print association would not be able to cover the matches from the ground. The IPL ban on news agencies supplying images to the websites stays. The fresh guidelines have been issued after a meeting with media representatives and IPL governing body members on Tuesday.

The new guidelines, which have been reduced to two pages, allowed website reporters to the venue a day before the match and for post match press conferences only. No online use or publication or syndication of any photograph clicked by accredited photographers is allowed except for the website of the publication.

The media gallery of a website can have up to any six pictures per match beyond whatever else is carried in the newspaper’s various editions.

The rules however warned the photographers for supplying pictures to any third party, including web portals and syndicates.

Earlier, IPL chairman and Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) vice-president Lalit Modi agreed to relax rules to benefit the print media after discussing the matter with the Sports Journalists’ Federation of India (SJFI) and sports editors of mainline dailies on Monday.

Last week, the IPL had announced the media guidelines for accreditation, which a large section of the media houses found unacceptable.

The SJFI, on behalf of sports journalists and photographers, requested the BCCI President Sharad Pawar to resolve the contentious clauses.

The contentious norms arose from IPL’s terms and conditions, in which BCCI attempted to appropriate intellectual property rights on photographs shot by media organizations. IPL had banned websites from the event and demanded that agencies and print media houses upload, at their own cost, the pictures shot by them on IPL’s website for unrestricted use. Media organizations were irked by these guidelines, which amounted to restricting the use of images in any other publication even if it belonged to the same media house.

That BCCI was under some pressure was evident – the link to the media guidelines on the official tournament’s website was deactivated soon after the controversy broke.

Categories: Cricket News, IPL News

BCCI releases details on how it will sell IPL

December 19, 2007 Leave a comment

India’s cricket authorities released terms for owning teams in their proposed Indian Premier League, projecting the franchises as both a profit-making business opportunity as well as platforms for corporate branding. The prospectus, however, doesn’t set any minimum bid price for tenders set to be floated later this month.

BCCI vice-president and chairman of Indian Premier League, Lalit Modi 

BCCI vice-president and chairman of Indian Premier League, Lalit Modi Successful bidders will get to keep 80% of revenues in the first two years of operations.

Their share gradually goes down to 50% in year 11. Revenues are expected to be generated through television rights, sponsorships, tickets, food and other sales as well as premium and box seats.

The 75-page document, which comes with interspersed pictures of cricketers, notes that the league’s format of just 20 overs per team is one that is now most preferred by fans of the game. It claims that 76% of Indian cricket fans favour it over one-day matches and five-day Test matches and notes how it will get high television ad rates.

During the recent India-Pakistan cricket series, Test matches shown on channel Neo Sports attracted Rs3 lakh for a 10-second spot while one-day matches got Rs5.51 lakh for a similar slot.

But, a similar spot during the final of the Twenty20 World Cup in South Africa earned broadcaster ESPN Star Sports Rs800,000, the prospectus notes. The league will be “a must have, prime time content for broadcasters” who will have 12,744 10-second ad spots during a typical season, the prospectus said.

Other than suggesting what ad spots might sell for, the prospectus gives little clues on suggested prices for those aspiring to buy teams. “The bid will require each bidder to state the total franchisee fee they are offering for an initial 10-year period,” it says.

In earlier interviews, the league’s chairman and vice-president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India, Lalit Modi, had said the price would be $50 million (Rs198 crore). The league will take “cricket to a whole new level that once upon a time ago seemed like a fool’s dream,” Modi wrote in the prospectus.

“It means we finally revive domestic cricket.” Apart from the franchise fee, a bidder would have to pay player and staff salaries, stadium leases, security, travel and accommodation.

The league will publish an intention to tender (ITT) later this month and the auction of players will follow immediately after the franchises have been awarded. The ITT will name cities and stadium terms with bidders allowed to bid for multiple locations.

The league is scheduled to begin in April at the start of India’s fiscal year when new advertising and marketing budgets kick in. Some major sponsors of cricket had mixed reactions to owning teams.

One top official at Pepsico India Holdings Pvt. Ltd, who didn’t want to be named, said his company wasn’t interested and that “our calendar is full.” A Bharti Airtel Ltd spokesperson said it was “premature” to discuss buying a team. Future Group chairman Kishore Biyani said: “There would be a very strong chance we will participate.”

Categories: IPL News

BCCI okays $400,000 sign-on fee for Warne

December 15, 2007 Leave a comment

Shane Warne will be the Indian Premier League’s most expensive signing, at a cost of US$400,000 for the first season, set to kick off in April 2008. The finance committee of the Board of Control for Cricket in India met in Mumbai on Friday and approved several decisions taken by the IPL’s governing council regarding payment of its players.

The fee quoted for Warne is the signing amount for him to be part of the player pool from which franchises will bid for the rights to employ players within their ranks. With Brian Lara reportedly being paid US$1 million to appear in the Indian Cricket League, and the market heating up over the two rival leagues, Warne and similar big-ticket signings could rope in well in excess of US$1 million, sources revealed.

The second-highest signing-on fee has, not surprisingly, been paid to Glenn McGrath, whose nifty line-and-length bowling see him join up for US$350,000. Stephen Fleming, whose agents flirted with the ICL but in the end held back – to the extent that Fleming was one of those present at the IPL’s launch – also nets US$350,000.

Mohammad Yousuf, who had reportedly signed with the ICL before being lured away by the Pakistan board – which made no effort to stop Inzamam-ul-Haq, Abdul Razzaq or Imran Farhat from joining the unrecognised league – has signed up with the IPL for US$330,000. A surprise entrant in the top five – and at the moment the list does not include current Australian or Indian cricketers – is Shoaib Malik, who is guaranteed US$300,000.

The ICL, which is nearing the end of its inaugural edition, will hand out approximately Rs 18 crore [approx. US$4.5 million] in total prize-money for its 16-day tournament.

The fees have been decided for only 34 of the 49 cricketers signed up by the IPL, sources said, and, of these, only 11 have received [partial] advance payments. The only player to receive payment in full is Yousuf, not surprising given that he was once a dead certainty to join the ICL. It is understood that McGrath is among those who have been given a sizeable advance.

The 29 others who have received contracts:

[All amounts in US$]
Australia Justin Langer 175,000
Sri Lanka Farveez Maharoof: 150,000, Kumar Sangakkara: 250,000, Mahela Jaywardene: 250,000, Muttiah Muralitharan: 250,000, Sanath Jayasuriya: 250,000, Nuwan Zoysa: 100,000, Dilhara Fernando: 150,000, Chaminda Vaas: 175,000, Lasith Malinga: 200,000
Pakistan Mohammad Asif 225,000, Shahid Afridi: 225,000, Shoaib Akhtar: 225,000, Younus Khan: 225,000
West Indies Shivnarine Chanderpaul 175,000
New Zealand Daniel Vettori 225,000, Jacob Oram 200,000, Scott Styris 150,000, Brendon McCullum 175,000
South Africa Loots Bosman 150,000, AB de Villiers 175,000, Albie Morkel 200,000, Graeme Smith 225,000, Herschelle Gibbs 225,000, Shaun Pollock 200,000, Ashwell Prince 150,000, Makhaya Ntini 175,000, Mark Boucher 175,000, Jacques Kallis 200,000.

Categories: IPL News

IPL only with CA consent: Gilchrist

December 7, 2007 Leave a comment

HOBART: Wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist says Australia’s cricketers are not trying to be “rebels” and will heed the company line when it comes to playing in the Indian Premier League.

The vice-captain said on Sunday that he was one of about a dozen top-level players to receive a letter from Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland, warning them against playing in next year’s IPL Twenty20 tournament without Cricket Australia’s consent. Cricket Australia has told 11 of its top players, including captain Ricky Ponting,

Brett Lee and Gilchrist that they would not be granted permission to play in the ICC-sanctioned Indian Premier League’s Twenty20 tournament.

James Sutherland claimed the players signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to play in the tournament in April and May without consulting the Board. “A number of significant issues remain unresolved, particularly regarding Australian players’ participation in the proposed events and the terms of participation,” Sutherland said. Australia’s top players could earn up to $1 million for just a few weeks’ work with the IPL.

This is on top of their Cricket Australia contracts, which are worth a minimum $1,40,000. — Agencies

Categories: IPL News

Gilchrist’s fears about IPL

December 5, 2007 Leave a comment

Melbourne: Cribbing about burnout and then making a beeline to play in the cash-rich Indian Premier League (IPL) would portray cricketers as hypocrites, fears Australia vice- captain Adam Gilchrist.

Gilchrist said though cricketers had always played county cricket to earn extra money in the off-season, complaining about burnout and then making a dash for cash in the Twenty20 might project them in a bad light.

“I do see that, I think that’s definitely something Cricket Australia will feel, and that’s something we as a playing group have to consider,” Gilchrist was quoted as saying by The Age.

“(But) it has been going on for years and years. Players have been going to England in off-seasons and taking opportunities to play and learn the game and earn some good money over in England. But I do understand critics might say that we are trying to get less (cricket), but when something else comes up we want more,” he said.

Neil Maxwell, IPL’s Australian agent, however, argues that IPL’s shorter format would reduce the workload. “Players who have looked to make money in the past have tended to go to England, where they can be playing county cricket for as many as five months,” said Maxwell “This is an alternative to that,” he said.

Categories: IPL News