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How will the IPL change cricket?

By Simon Austin

Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Andrew Symonds and Jacques Kallis
Dhoni, Symonds and Kallis are three of the stars taking part
It has been described as the Indian revolution, the tournament that will change the face of cricket forever.

The Indian Premier League (IPL) introduced new levels of glitz, glamour and wealth to the game as soon as its first auction was held in February.

Since then it has overshadowed the start of the English county season and dominated the cricketing agenda.

BBC Sport talked to some of the main protagonists in the IPL to ask what effect they think it will have on world cricket.

PLAYER: SOURAV GANGULY

Sourav Ganguly

This is such a big tournament and players are giving such importance to it, that the ICC has to work out a time when all the players are available to take part.

I'm sure all the Test-playing nations can sit down and find a time for the IPL.

Why should the English players be deprived of the financial benefits of taking part?

I can certainly see England players like Kevin Pietersen taking part in the IPL next year.

The IPL will be a threat to county cricket, but I don't think Test cricket will lose its importance.

The players give importance to Test cricket. We know it is the real cricket and always will be.

606: DEBATE
IPL will be something new, a new format and a new type of team. When we started, Test and one-day cricket was always the priority, but people have realised it sometimes gets a bit long.

Twenty20 is basically a revenue earner. Now we will have to wait and see what the ability of players and the turnout for the matches is.

I'm sure it will kick off well and we'll have to see if the interest can be sustained.

Sourav Ganguly is captain of the Kolkata Knight Riders and has played in 106 Tests for India.

COACH: JOHN BUCHANAN

John Buchanan

It's crucial that the administrators understand what they've got here.

Everybody has to allow a window for players to come into the IPL, earn their money, and then go back to their countries.

I foresee a situation where we have eight to 10 zones around the world and you have zonal play-offs in a three or four-week period.

Then you would have a world series, in a roofed stadium in say Dubai, Australia or America, which would be a carnival of cricket.

Administrators need to understand some of the potential dangers. Cricketers are professional people with a professional skill that doesn't last a lifetime.

Take the West Indies. They are almost bankrupt as a cricketing nation, yet you've got wonderful players over there.

What will they say if they get an offer from the IPL? Chris Gayle was signed by us for $800,000 but would struggle to probably earn a 20th of that back home.

England, India and Australia players are relatively well remunerated, but virtually every other country struggles.

Countries need to understand that their players will be subsidised by this short tournament and then go back and play in their country competitions.

But Test cricket will always have a following. Maybe not a following that comes through the turnstiles, but a latent following that listens to, reads about and understands the game.

John Buchanan is coach of the Kolkata Knight Riders and a former coach of Australia.

OWNER: MANOJ BADALE

Manoj Badale
Any tournament that aspires to have the best players in the world is going to be poorer for not having access to England, one of the major cricket-playing countries.

But it's a reality that the IPL was always going to clash with at least one domestic season, because the calendar is so packed.

And when you look at the players who are on show and bear in mind that each team can field only four foreign-based players, there's plenty of talent there.

I think it's critical for the IPL that all the franchises operate within the rules of the various cricket boards around the world.

We have the only English player currently in the IPL, Dimitri Mascarenhas.

His county, Hampshire, were incredibly supportive, pro-active and flexible and looked for a way to make it work for the player.

We conducted the conversation with the full knowledge and involvement of the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and they saw it as very much a decision for Hampshire.

Manoj Badale is the chairman of Emerging Media, which owns the Rajasthan Royals.

AGENT: DAVID LIGERTWOOD

David Ligertwood
I would be very surprised if there isn't a big increase in the number of English players in the IPL next season.

It will be difficult to resist, because the players want to play and there will be pressure from the Indians.

If you get someone like Vijay Mallya (owner of the Bangalore Royal Challengers) wanting Pietersen to play for Bangalore, he could make that happen by offering a very lucrative package.

Pietersen would command a salary in the $1m plus bracket, there's no doubt about it.

I don't see any point in the ECB being dogmatic about it. In all new ventures, you need to be open minded.

If the scheduling can be worked so that England players can be made available, even for a few weeks, people need to have a positive approach to that.

I think it's purely a scheduling issue. I don't think anyone wants to see people playing in the IPL instead of for their countries.

The ECB will need to be more flexible, particularly when there aren't Test matches or international games on, for example at the start of the county season.

David Ligertwood is the main agent for the IPL. He has brokered 24 player deals for the competition.

ICC CHIEF: HAROON LORGAT

ICC chief Haroon Lorgat

I think the IPL will be a real challenge.

Whenever there are large sums of money at stake, the possibility of conflict is a lot stronger and one would have to be very careful in managing it.

That's a genuine risk. But hopefully member countries will adhere to the principles they have agreed to.

As long as the BCCI maintains the right of the ICC to control the game internationally, I think it will work well.

I would love to see the Twenty/20 as an opportunity to grow the game around the world.

Haroon Lorgat was appointed chief executive of the ICC on 4 April and will formally take over from Malcolm Speed on 1 July.

IPL CO-FOUNDER: INDERJIT SINGH BINDRA

IS Bindra

We want to function as part of the global cricketing family.

In the long run, we will do a lot of good to cricket and make it truly a global sport.

We would love to see English stars like Kevin Pietersen and Andrew Flintoff as part of the league - they are the only players missing for the time being.

We will be very happy to do anything to accommodate the requirements of the ECB and ensure that these players can participate, but not by disrupting the system.

We don't want to be a rebel league, we want to be part of the system, with the support of the ECB.

Unfortunately, the only season the IPL clashes with is the English one, so we have to find some way of accommodating their requirements as we go along.

The ICC have said they will try and find a permanent slot for the IPL, which will make it a lot easier for the players to know what the calendar is and what the options are.

IS Bindra is a co-founder of the IPL and sits on its governing committee. He is also a special adviser to the ICC and former head of the BCCI.

LEGEND: KAPIL DEV

Kapil Dev
If English players want to play in the IPL, I'd say please come and play and work out a better life for yourselves.

How can you stop anyone getting education and learning more in life? Do you say that unless someone gets educated in a certain school, they cannot be educated?

Let's not be hypocritical. Contracts should be very open. Whenever a player's country or county is playing, they should turn out for them, but when they are free, they should be allowed to do whatever they want to do.

People from all around the world are coming to play in England. Is that wrong? When we say we are coming to play in England, you people are happy.

Nobody stops us, no board comes forward and says 'no'. When cricket is being played in India, that's also good.

Kapil Dev was India's captain when they won the World Cup in 1983. He is now head of the Indian Cricket League, a rival to the IPL.


Interviews by BBC Sport's Arlo White, Rahul Tandon and Simon Austin.


see also
England bosses soften IPL stance
16 Apr 08 |  Cricket
IPL founder warns England stars
15 Apr 08 |  Cricket
Indian Premier League team guide
15 Apr 08 |  Cricket


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