NEW DELHI: In his book 'Not Out! The Incredible story of the Indian Premier
League', noted sports lawyer Desh Gaurav Sekhri has given a detailed
account of the achievements, controversies and scandals surrounding the
most lucrative domestic cricket tournament in the world.
its inception in 2008, the cash-rich T20 competition has attracted
brickbats and bouquets in equal measure. A heady cocktail of cricket,
Bollywood and entertainment, the IPL has run into trouble in recent
years due to allegations of match-fixing and corruption. The IPL has
also suffered a loss of popularity in recent years, with the 2015 and
2016 editions registering much lower television viewership ratings than
Sekhri has accurately pinpointed poor management
by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) as the reasons
behind the controversies and corruption scandals plaguing the IPL. While
giving the BCCI due credit for the success and popularity of the IPL,
Sekhri opines that the cash-rich tournament could have been much better
if not for poor management by the board.
Sekhri also observes
that the spot-fixing and corruption scandal of 2013 that ultimately
forced then BCCI chief N. Srinivasan to step down, had a tremendous
negative effect on the IPL and led to loss of popularity.
controversy eventually set in motion a sequence of events that led to
the Supreme Court appointing the Justice R.M. Lodha committee to clean
up cricket administration in the country. The Lodha committee put
forward several far reaching recommendations, including a radical
overhaul of the BCCI itself.
But Sekhri is not totally against
the IPL. Far from it. Rather, he staunchly believes that the IPL has a
bright future. He is a believer in the potential of the league and
laments that it has been squandered by the BCCI officials due their
The author lists out several suggestions
to improve the way the IPL is being run. Among his suggestions are
privatisation of the league and letting the franchises have a say in
administration as they are the ones taking all the risk.
suggests that the players' auction should be replaced with a players'
draft, similar to sports leagues in the US. According to Sekhri, a
players' draft will be more efficient than an auction and would better
serve the purpose of a level playing field.
The author has also
asserted that the IPL is not a proper league unlike leagues in other
sports like football or baseball in Europe and north America. According
to Sekhri, since the IPL does not follow the system of relegation
wherein a multi-tier league system rewards teams for improvement in
performance, it cannot be called a league in the strictest sense of the
He also opines that adopting the system of minor leagues
followed by several sports in north America will help improve the
quality of domestic T20 talent.
Sekhri also feels that the Indian
Super League (ISL) -- a franchise-based league set up by the All India
Football Federation (AIFF) -- has set up better governance parameters
than the IPL.
The book is a must-read for cricket fans looking to
get a clear perspective and insight into how the IPL is governed, what
it could have achieved and its future potential.