IPL 4 Snippets I

58 Comments

One of the many things that fascinate me about the IPL, in addition to Arun Lal’s rapier wit, Ravi Shastri’s landing strip on head  and the copious amounts of misti doi lathered everywhere, is the process of the entire process of the  player auctions. Unlike the international game where you are either blessed or cursed by the talent that is born within your shores, here franchises can buy talent and build up their teams, with things being made fair by the fact that they can all spend the same amount of money and can only play four non-Indian players. Choosing the squad then becomes a fascinating optimization problem, one where player value (their performance potential at their buying price) and squad balance become critical determinants in the success of the franchise.

Ideally the whole auction should take place with no minimum price with players being valuated solely on their perceived potential. Just like stocks. However the BCCI, in its infinite wisdom, has base price bands for the players which they formally announced a few days ago, putting yet another needless level of control over what should be a free-market exercise.

Looking through the bands, one can do nothing but scratch one’s heads just as one does when the government valuates assets.  For instance, in the highest band (i.e. Tier 1), we have players like Rahul Dravid and Anil Kumble while Sourav Ganguly, equally senior and equally good or bad in the T20 game, has been relegated to Tier 3. If respect was the reason for assigning Dravid and Kumble to Tier 1, then why does Ganguly not deserve the same privilege? And if true value was the reason for the assignment, then are Dravid and Kumble truly among the best players of the T20 game? This sudden appreciation in the stocks of these two players is of course doubly puzzling because in the initial announcement of the bands in November, Dravid, Kumble and Dada were all in Tier 3 (which I believe is the fairest assessment of their abilities in the T20 game—with perhaps Kumble in Tier 2 at the best).  I cannot think of anything that could have happened, performance-wise, to justify Dravid and Kumble going from Tier 3 to Tier 1 in this one month. Unrelated factoid: At the end of November, Kumble got elected  as an administrator in the KCSA. [Link]

And if this was not puzzling enough, it was shocking to see Gautam Gambhir languishing in Tier 3 with someone like Michael Yardy (the man has a T20 batting average of 28 and strike rate 111 and a modest bowling record, being principally a batsman) and Brett Lee (whose singing with Asha Tai has somehow seeped into his deliveries since he now bowls as effectively as Asha Bhonsle) in Tier 1. Accepted Gambhir has not had a good IPL last season, but he definitely is one of the world’s leading batsmen and worth many many times his base price.

Of course the undervaluing of Gambhir and the proper valuing might as well work in their favor, making them more of a value (definitely Gambhir) while Kumble and Dravid run the risk of having priced themselves out of the bidding, though with ten teams in the game this time I do not believe that is too likely.

One of my fears this year of course is my favorite franchise Kolkata Knight Riders. With their bidding system devised by experts from ISI (not the Pakistani organization silly), they assembled throughout the three years a collection of radio-active talent like Agarkar, Mortaza, Taibu, Bond, Butt, Mohammed Hafeez, Akash Chopra (a very good cricket writer [possibly the best in the country] but a lousy T20 batsman), Sunny Singh, Rohan Gavaskar  (to name a few), which while it made them the laughing stock of the league gave people like me great raw material over the years. Now with new administration and having already taken a good decision (getting rid of their all mortgage-based securities), I am afraid that in this franchise they might leave their pricing theory models and use that thing one never associates with the KKR. Namely common sense.

However in case they stay the endearing KKR of old (since India’s greatest superstar is still its owner), here are my suggestions. Please buy Brian Lara. What an amazing addition to the Kolkata franchise he would be. Some of his fans might be disappointed seeing this legend, who has not played any cricket for the past few years, cynically trying to make money while wondering if perhaps even Sir Don might have been tempted to yank off the respirator and sign on the dotted line for the lure of the lucre. And then please buy back Agarkar along with Ramesh Powar for a perfect Laurel-Hardy act and Wasim Jaffer for his pinch-hitting abilities——-and while you are at it, Mohammed Kaif  and Munaf Bobby Patel. For dynamism and Youngistan appeal, Ravindra Jadeja needs to be brought in and Bongs can never criticize someone with that first name.  Since Pakistani players are not available, much to the heartburn of the owner, for international signees I would recommend Ashraful (dropped by Bangladesh) and Mortaza (bought last time for 650,000 USD and bowled the last over for 21 runs in the only match he played).

But my biggest fear is of course the absence of Lalit Modi. Without him, IPL will be like summer without the swallows, the Congress party without the Gandhis, rosogolla without syrup and latakta circus without Lucky Chikna. I don’t care what you say about him but he brought character to the IPL, being the personification of exactly what the IPL stands for—-the DLF Double D’s of excess. And since this is after all India, where public memory is as short and anyone accused of corruption has only to lie low for a year before being forgiven, I do hope that Modi will be back. With perhaps Kalmadi as his understudy and lots of huffing and puffing sweat equity.

Let 2011 begin. May IPL 4 commence.

[Images courtesy: Rediff]

Advertisements

58 thoughts on “IPL 4 Snippets I

  1. “Ravindra Jadeja needs to be brought in and Bongs can never criticize someone with that first name.”

    — Classic Line!!

    P.S. Hardly a free market process with the caps on spending and non-Indian players in the playing XI

  2. Rao,

    Which MSM would point this out? You mean the Bangalore-based big abode for cricket website that has so many people writing for it? GB is the only place on the Net for reading the kind of things that MSM shies away from like criticizing Congress and calling out BCCI’s regional biases (unless of course it is Dalmiya).

    Avijit Das,

    FIP who? The wannabe-GB who wrote that horrible book? Thank you, we GB fans prefer the real thing.

    Rishi/Utsav,

    Now that you have finally come out of the closet, can we please have some of your wisdom here? I mean there are several “M” names, a person with the last name of Modi….can’t you think of SOMETHING?

  3. @ Anonymous:
    Don’t be harsh on FIP. He was interviewed only by Greatbong. Had he been worthless- that would not have happened 🙂
    His book was also published by Harper Collins, interestingly around the same time MIHYAP was released 😀

  4. Avijit,

    GB has “interviewed” even Kanti Shah. So? At least Kanti is original.

    Rupa publishes Chetan Bhagat as well as Arun Shourie, once at almost the same time. Does that mean…oh yes…you are right. Chetan Bhagat is as erudite as Arun Shourie.

  5. Avijit Das,

    I did not fight with you. Stop behaving like a little “Naah Naaah he picked on me, I will tell momma” girl. If you love FIP, go to his friggin blog. This space is for two kinds of people 1) die-hard GB fans only who appreciate him and not his rip-offs and 2) those who use the blog’s popularity to get converts to their “cause”.

    By the way, where did I mention FIP-baby as anonymous? I knew he came out, just like out Oot-sob here. (Oot chorechen konodin Lalmohan-babu, Oot?).

  6. GB and all others:
    Harsha Bhogle had tweeted that the price bands were fixed in consultation with the players themselves, and not arbitrarily/independently. I think he was responding to the exact same questions on why Ganguly was in a lower band, and he suggested that the player himself might have wanted it that way.
    If true (and I doubt he would say something like that on an open forum without authority), the debate over Tiers is a meaningless one.

  7. I think we’re interpreting the use of the ‘relegated’ differently. From the article, I took it to mean Dada was relegated to Tier 3 from Icon status. And even then, I did not attach the importance to it that you had.
    Different perceptions, which is of course absolutely fine.
    But as to Dada ‘not having a poor idea’ of himself, he might have done the smarter and more realistic thing if he indeed chose to be in Tier 3. Whereas Dravid and Kumble are taking a risk by being so high. It will be enormously embarrassing for them if they don’t get bought in the first round, won’t it?

  8. Aha, waking up in the morning and finding the first IPL post of the season on RTDM is priceless!

    I sincerely hope Modi is back and Ganguly captains the KKR team. Only then fun will come. The good thing is that Pakistani players are not up for auction this year too.

    Am not too crazy about cricket, but am crazy about your IPL posts. Keep them coming!

  9. The base prices are decided by the players. Instead of allowing them to set arbitrary base prices, for convenience sake, IPL has decided on these bands. However, IPL does suggest to the players what could be a reasonable base price for them. For example, there was this report that Michael Clarke wanted a base price of 1 million and Lalit Modi told him that he will be pricing himself out of the market. Finally, Clarke decided not to put himself to auction.

    As for Cricinfo reporting it as “relegation”, you don’t think it is possible they can be misinformed?

  10. is dada a part off kkr in ipl4?the buzz is that he wont be!!!!!?
    if this turns out to be true then its a shame.
    also ganguly was 3rd highest run getter after sachin and kallis in last ipl season.i hope kkr retains DADA

  11. Mohan, the Dravid-Kumble a-licker is back. Mohan baby, any chance *you* might be misinformed? (rather than Cricinfo), considering you are pulling this stuff out from an orifice (not the mouth).And by the way, any chance your royal fan-sir can tell us how your masters went upto Tier 1? Sudden change of heart?

  12. Mohan,

    Some players might have been given the choice and some players not. That’s the problem. The lack of transparency. It’s obvious that since Kumble and Dravid were classified in Tier 3, some agency must have moved them up. I would be curious to see any source that says that players and only players decided their brackets—each and every one.

  13. And Kumble/Dravid being in Tier 1 doesn’t mean they are among the best T20 players. It just means that taking ability, marketability, etc into consideration they believe they can command that price. After all, they have been part of a successful team, made it to semis twice, participated in two CL’s, Kumble being the inspirational captain who turned around the team’s fortunes in 2009 and was one of our most reliable bowlers last season. Moreover, their franchise has shown every indication of catering to the regional market by buying players like Uthappa from Bombay. Among all the franchises, Bangalore probably has the highest number of local players (i.e. Karnataka players) playing on average. There were matches last year, when as many as 6 out of 7 Indian players were from Karnataka (with Kohli being the other Indian). So they can be pretty confident of their chances with the Bangalore franchise, even if no one else is interested. On the other hand, we have KKR who have been abysmal failures in all three seasons, there were reports that their franchise has even dropped ‘Kolkata’ from the team name, their owner showing more indications of catering to the Bangladeshi and Pakistani markets than to West Bengal market (as you yourself have indicated many times). So Ganguly doesn’t have that regional factor in his favour, nor does his team have the kind of success that RCB have enjoyed.

  14. “I am afraid that in this franchise they might leave their pricing theory models and use that thing one never associates with the KKR. Namely common sense.”

    That is a distinct possibility, given that they have appointed Venky Mysore, former MD of Metlife India and Birla Sun Life, as their CEO.

  15. @GB, Ultimately, the base price has to be one the player agrees to, because they have to sign the contract before they can be auctioned. IPL’s interest is in keeping the base prices as low as possible, because they get a cut out of the difference between purchase price and the base price. But if the player insists on a higher base price, IPL has to agree. If they exclude that player from the auction totally, then the franchises can always go and deal with them directly, just as they do with uncapped players who are not auctioned. I believe Delhi bought David Warner outside of auction through such a direct deal.

  16. Mohan,

    You mean Venky Mysore being from Karnataka will do a better job than the Bong who held the post? Not at all parochial are we?

    You still havent answered GB’s question. How did Kumble and Dravid jump Tiers? Surely they must have done something that goes against, by what you say, IPL’s interests in keeping price low? Surely their sterling contribution in Bangalore’s performance (incidentally this is the franchise which selected Wasim Jaffer !) would have been evident in November. It’s another thing that RCB was carried by Kallis and their international stars (minus KP)and to a certain extent by Kohli but don’t let this come in the face of your parochial rant.

    At least in his defense Kishor is funnier.

  17. GA – i amvery much a “patriot” bong, and I would support whichever team dada plays for – simply because I dislike SRK.

    In fact, I would support any team that plays against KKR in that case

  18. @GA,

    Not only bongs, but every Indian, irrespective of his/her caste/creed/region or religion will support Ganguly playing for Pune or Kochi or any other team. 🙂

  19. Has anybody noticed the number of new players who have made ‘debut’ for India in the last one year ; probably a record ; 12 new players mithun, vijay, dinda, vinay kumar, umesh yadav, ashwin, naman ozha, pankaj singh, dhavan, tiwari, saha, unadkat. all these were given ostensibly to play in place of seniors who were rested and finding a new talent for WC. but with WC team most likely to have same old people and not a single player from the above, there is some thing more to this than meets the eye. apparently IPL4 has a regulation that a player is eligible for auction only if he has ever represented India. Well cynic in me sees a nice little scam in this.

  20. KKR 2011

    From

    SRK with a time machine and a big pout — only 4 foreigners:( , no Imran 😦 !!!

    1) Anshuman Gaekwad (Cool glasses)

    2) Geoffrey Boycott (Hot accent)

    3) Chris Tavare (Must have a natural strokeplayer at #3 to maintain momentum. We all know how Boycott can gets carried away a bit in early overs)

    4) Aaj-Haar (captain) (No-brainer – I mean just look at his betting record at Eden. And if I could finally get Ajju started on fair and handsome, I wouldn’t miss Imran that much)

    5) Sandeep Patil (Have to admin sheer hotness sometimes gets the better of my cricketing judgement)

    6) Robindro Singho (Only true desi all-rounder other than Imran – ODI averages 26 and 43 or is it the other way round? Does not matter really – our hands are tied. We got to pick a hot Bong named Robindro – no choice really)

    7) Sadanand Vishwanath (The face that launched a thousand cricket passions in 1985. OMG what a name (Always-gay World’s-husband, for my Sanskrit- challenged blonde friends). Beat that Gayle!)

    8) Stuart Broad (Pretty pretty pretty broad)

    9) Madan Lal (We do need one genuine quickie for the slog overs)

    10) Ishant Sharma (Never a bad hair day)

    11) Derek Underwood (underwood hehe)

  21. @Anon – what changed since November? Couple of things. Even the number of teams wasn’t certain in November. But now that we know there are going to be 10 teams, demand situation has changed completely and probably Kumble/Dravid are more confident now of commanding a higher price. Secondly, back in November, KSCA election negotiations were still going on and it wasn’t clear which side Mallya was going to support. If Mallya had decided to support Wodeyar against Kumble/Srinath, that would have put a spoke in their (Dravid/Kumble) relationship with the Bangalore franchise and naturally would have affected their ability to get a high price. But now that the elections have been won comfortably with Mallya’s support and he is even on the managing committee with Kumble/Srinath/Dravid/Prasad, they are probably more confident of their chances of attracting a high bid. So GB was right that KSCA elections played a part in Kumble/Dravid hiking their price, but probably not in the way he meant.

  22. @Anon – As for Venky Mysore, no, not just because he is from Karnataka, but because he has tons of experience running businesses being a veteran of financial industry both in US and in India. I don’t know much about Joy Bhattacharya, but all that I knew about him before he became KKR CEO was that he used to run some cricket dream team selection program on ESPN long back.

  23. @GA Question: Why do you say that KKR is from kolkata? The team has absolutely nothing to do with Kolkata. Lalit Modi decided that SRK’s team should have Kolkata in its name….and as far as I know, both Lalit Modi and SRK have absolutely nothing to do with Kolkata. Once in a while, SRK does add “Kolkata” before the name of his team…but that’s ONLY because he wants/hopes to make truckloads of cash. I wouldn’t mind if SRK’s team lost because it really doesn’t represent Kolkata/Bengal in any way whatsoever!!

  24. @ GA

    Ganguly is the most successful captain.and bongs are patriot no doubt about it.
    for instance during an India-PAk match at eden garden sachin’s dismissal was given out.however after watching tv replay it was clear that it was an unfortunate decision.the spectators started rioting and sachin had to walk around the boundary line to pacify the crowd.
    also I think you have forgotten 1996 world cup where India played with srilanka.
    there the match had to be called off as crowd went berserk and in 1996 ganguly wasnt in playing 11.
    dont you ever raise a doubt on bong’s patriotism OK?

  25. why are you mentioning Lara along with ravindra jadeja and likes? I hope I am getting it wrong when I think you are demeaning him. He is and will always be baap of all batsmen for the sheer joy he brings to watching attitude drive the batting and not technique solely.

  26. Sumit,

    I am just saying that since he had not played for four years and considering his absolute lack of interest during the time he played in the ICL, I would be wary of buying him at his high base price.

  27. TO,
    THE DIRCTOR / MANAGER DATED- 25-12-2010
    IPL
    INDIA
    APPLICATION- REQUEST FOR CO- OPERATION FOR A CRICKET PLAYER UNDER 16/ 17/ 18 /19 UP TO ABOVE AGE PLAYER.
    DEAR SIR,
    I WOULD LIKE TO INFORM YOU THAT I AM SYED AMIR ALI . I AM PLAYING THE CRICKET GAME SINCE 7 YEARS MY CHILD HOOD PERIOD AND JOINED NORTHERN RAILWAY CRICKET CLUB LUCKNOW . I AM YOUNG OF (15-7-1994) – 16 YEARS AND STUDENT OF UNIVERSITY. I AM SEEKING THAT KINDLY CALL ME AND SEE MY CRICKET MATCH PERSSONALLY , IF I AM SUITABLE , PLEASE GIVE ME A CHANCE TO PLAY UNDER YOUR KIND CONTROL SUPERVISION AND GUIDANCE.
    THANKING YOU.
    YOUR’S FAITHFULLY
    SYED AMIR ALI
    EMAIL: syedamira@ymail.com
    MOBILE NO. 0091 8127559439
    SYED AMIR ALI
    70D2/160 -SYEDWARA(RASOOLPUR)
    ALLAHABAD
    U.P

  28. “Some players might have been given the choice and some players not. That’s the problem. ”
    –LOL!! great sense of humor Mr. Ray
    yes indeed! that’s exactly what caused the economic meltdown

  29. GB,

    Its about time you start the analysis for the major contenders for WC 2011.. You can make it a series of articles with a SWOT analysis a

    Ram

  30. How did you miss Hokkaido? SRK’s favorite chinki BDSM partner, who does him 5 times a day facing westwards, as KJO gives his carpel tunnels some serious workout watching secretly in a nearby closet. But I am concerned too:( Without the stupidity of KKR, IPL will lose a lot of its lustre 😦 Please save KKR. Let us start a campaign!

  31. GB : Off topic and althout not a very uncommon phenomenon but this plight, I believe, DOES require your attention and action :


    SYED AMIR ALI
    December 25, 2010 at 11:06 am
    TO,
    THE DIRCTOR / MANAGER DATED- 25-12-2010
    IPL
    INDIA
    APPLICATION- REQUEST FOR CO- OPERATION FOR A CRICKET PLAYER UNDER 16/ 17/ 18 /19 UP TO ABOVE AGE PLAYER.
    DEAR SIR,
    I WOULD LIKE TO INFORM YOU THAT I AM SYED AMIR ALI . I AM PLAYING THE CRICKET GAME SINCE 7 YEARS MY CHILD HOOD PERIOD AND JOINED NORTHERN RAILWAY CRICKET CLUB LUCKNOW . I AM YOUNG OF (15-7-1994) – 16 YEARS AND STUDENT OF UNIVERSITY. I AM SEEKING THAT KINDLY CALL ME AND SEE MY CRICKET MATCH PERSSONALLY , IF I AM SUITABLE , PLEASE GIVE ME A CHANCE TO PLAY UNDER YOUR KIND CONTROL SUPERVISION AND GUIDANCE.
    THANKING YOU.
    YOUR’S FAITHFULLY
    SYED AMIR ALI
    EMAIL: syedamira@ymail.com
    MOBILE NO. 0091 8127559439
    SYED AMIR ALI
    70D2/160 -SYEDWARA(RASOOLPUR)
    ALLAHABAD
    U.P

  32. All international players have a choice on which Tier they put themselves in. That is the reason Ganguly was able to raise himself to Tier 1 now – maybe he has even received some indication from one of the franchisees that they are interested. Ultimately, their fate will be decided in the auctions. It is quite possible that Gambhir, despite being in Tier 3, gets picked up for a much higher sum than Ganguly or Dravid or Kumble, who are all in Tier 1 now. Essentially, these players are saying that this is the minimum they expect in case anyone wants them. I dont see anything wrong with that.

  33. dada unsold/… all KKR common sense going up and down.. while tiwari and gambhir are plusses, we really should have got pujara… and BRET LEE ?!!!??!!!!…. is he now going to act with SRK???

  34. Dada unsold? Really??? How tragic could this get! Sigh. Sniff. I can understand KKR disowning him, but pretty much everybody else meting out the same treatment- how unfair could the world and everybody in it get.

    Btw, I wonder which agency got his base price increased? wink.

Have An Opinion? Type Away

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s