At the end of ten editions of Indian Premier League, one gloomy forecast from the early days of this T20 domestic league which has been disproved is that it would devalue test cricket. On the contrary, IPL has financially supported other formats in India. In an earlier cash flow blog, Board of Control for Cricket in India’s financial statements were analyzed to show that IPL seems to be cross-subsidizing test cricket. A relevant extract in this context from the earlier blog follows. “In 2015-16, the “surplus” from IPL contributed Rs 211 crore- 15% of BCCI’s annual income of Rs 1,365 crore. To get a sense of the increase in IPL’s importance over the last nine years, consider BCCI’s financial statement for 2008-09. In that year, the surplus from IPL was Rs 15 crore, which was 2% of BCCI’s annual income of Rs 711 crore.” It is one thing for BCCI to generate a surplus from IPL. But what is more important is the impulse among administrators and even players to enhance rewards for cricketers representing India in tests. For example, Virat Kohli and Indian national team’s coach, Anil Kumble, in a recent presentation on central contracts to BCCI and the stopgap Committee of Administrators pitched for a substantial increase in the annual pay of players who represented India in tests. A report in Times of India said that Kohli and Kumble pitched for a 150% increase in the contract pay to Rs 5 crore a year. It suggests that even a player like Kohli who is perhaps the most successful product of the IPL generation- he played in the T20 league for three years before he got selected to play a test- sets store by test cricket. Even if a younger generation of fans shows signs of being lukewarm to the longer format of the game, young players hold it in high esteem. If this regard for test cricket is to translate into monetary benefits for players good enough to get selected to represent India in this format, IPL’s continuation may be the key.
Posted by : Anubhav, Posted on 27-05-2017.