The IPL: A peek into the future
The Bollywood Cricket Confederation of India (BCCI) has signed a contract with the Association of Straws & Sons for a jaw-dropping $100 billion, the breakup being: team sponsor $ 30.22 billion, kit sponsor $19.67 billion and media rights $ 50.11 billion.
The IPL commissioner of the BCCI, Mr Cricket Czar, recently announced his plans for the future of the IPL at the start of IPL 6 which was relayed all over the planet including the island of Litla Dimun, the volcanic island of Aogashima and Sing Sing. The Curiosity Rover, on the way to Mars, picked up the signals and cosmonauts aboard the international space station Soyuz saw it live and had a hearty laugh over it.
The function was held at the Taj Mahal Hotel's Crystal Ball Room II which was built a kilometer from the Gateway of India on the Arabian Sea to be used only for IPL franchises and its players as well as Bollywood stars. The global television rights of the two-hour programme itself were auctioned for $50 million. The members of each team flew into Mumbai in their own brand-new Air IPL planes. They didn't get down from the planes nor did the planes land. The planes which hovered above were anchored to the sea through laser screws, washers and bolts.
After a mind-blowing gymnastics show by Chinese acrobats, songs by AR Rehman and Lady Gaga and belly dance by Shakira, Mr Czar took the stage. Acknowledging an ovation from the glitterati, Mr. Czar read out his vision for IPL over the next five years. Since time is money and money is everything in IPL, he read it out while only briefly pausing for applause which came from planes anchored above, fishermen moored in boats and crazy fans on the shore.
The gist of his speech, which was sold at $50 per word, is as follows.
1. In IPL 7, each paying spectator will be ushered into his seat by three cheer girls with a smile and a kiss for a hospitality charge of $25. This would generate additional revenue of $200 million for IPL.
2. There will be two breaks of three minutes after every seven-and-a-half overs which will enable the cheer girls to change their dress. It will also take care of complaints from spectators who may get tired of seeing the girls in the same dress for the entire duration of the match. The dressmakers will add a further $100 million to the IPL kitty every seven-and-a-half days in each IPL calendar.
3. IPL 8 will be held in grounds of all countries that play cricket. The local associations will cough up an IPL royalty of $10 million for each match. At least $1 billion is expected from this.
4. An International IPL Cheer Girls' Dancing School will be opened in London with umpire Billy Bowden as its director. The girls will learn Bollywood dances numbers, which means they have to unlearn whatever they have learnt so far. Bowden will devise new ways to declare fours and sixes.
5. The US Cricket Association wants to have IPL 8 matches in their cities. The IPL will directly negotiate the media rights with CNN, ABC and NBC networks and hope to get revenue of $10 billion at least. If US president Barack Obama or the future president agrees to toss the coin for the inaugural match and the finals, the revenues will get doubled. By auctioning the coin an additional $5 million will be generated. Bollywood and Hollywood stars will do a nightlong song and dance act. The first day will be used to teach game of cricket for US spectators.
6. By IPL 10, using stem cell research and human cloning, the IPL intends to have look-alikes for leading players like Sachin Tendulkar, Jacques Kallis and Chris Gayle so that they won't have to field at all. In fact, they won't even have to be there. This also opens the door for greats of the past like Sunil Gavaskar, Kapil Dev, Tony Greig, Kris Srikkanth, Mohinder Amarnath, Ravi Shastri and Sanjay Manjrekar to stage a comeback.
7. As anchor however, only the original version of Navjyot Singh Sidhu will be preserved and he will be declared as the voice of the IPL. Wren and Martin have posthumously agreed to include Sidhu as their co-author for their future English Grammar editions. The books will have authors Wren, Siddhu and Martin on its cover.
More about E R RamachandranE.R. Ramachandran, a corporate manager-turned-columnist has contributed to Hindustan times and Deccan Herald. He is a regular contributor to the Churumuri blog and writes a weekly column for Mysore Mail, a local Newspaper. Satire being his forte, he combines cricket and other sports with politics, in 'tongue in cheek' articles. He firmly believes that another 22-ball century can never happen again in any format of cricket like the one Don Bradman did in November 1931. And feels it is time for BCCI to do something to improve India's fielding and running between the wickets.
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