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The DLF Indian Premier League has captured the imagination of the cricketing world – and I for one am not going to complain.

But that has a corollary – the amount of stuff being written about the tournament and all things related, some part of it negative, that it has become staggering, to the point where you are tempted to paraphrase Mark Twain’s line about reading so much on the evils of smoking that he gave up reading.

The tournament is in fine shape, thank you very much – and so are the owners, the sponsors, the television broadcasters and everyone else who have put their money where their mouth is. What people forget to take into account is that the DLF IPL is as much as a business franchise as it is a sporting endeavour to promote cricket at the grassroots – and a business enterprise does not count profit and loss after every one week. Or, for that matter, after every year.

Our activities as far as running Season 2009 of the league in South Africa go may be short term, but as I have always emphasized in the past our goals are long term – and we are sure of getting where we want to be.
All of that brings me to the reason for this blog. Much of the commentary about the DLF IPL is written in a vacuum, without the reporter doing due diligence, looking at the numbers, talking to those involved, balancing the story out.

Consider this blog my small attempt towards that balance: over the duration of this tournament and even beyond, I hope to use this platform to address concerns, talk of strategies and of our plans, goals, hopes, dreams and desires. As with any financial enterprise, there will be aspects of our operation that are not meant for the public domain – but whatever is within my power to share, I will.

And no, this is not going to be a dry as dust narration of facts and figures. Each day, my job as the DLF IPL Chairman & Commissioner imposes new challenges and puts me in contact with people of all stripes: past and present cricket greats, astute coaches and managers, business magnates and Bollywood superstars, political leaders from across the cricketing world…

Being with them, talking to them, hearing their insights on cricket and on the world, has been endlessly fascinating; an unlooked for, and hugely welcome, bonus to the job I do. I have often thought it sad that I alone get access to all this information, insight, and even sheer fun – hence too, this blog, as a medium through which I can share stories of these encounters and the insights and fun they bring.

Finally, this blog is not one-way; it is not me talking, you listening, but a conversation – so talk to me. Organising the tournament, running from venue to venue to attend to the hundreds of little details that go into making a big event is exhausting and time-consuming; even so, I’ll find the time to read your comments, even if during the tournament I may not have time to respond to them.

So let’s hear from you; and be assured you’ll hear from me.

Lastly, everywhere I travel I am truly humbled by how graciously the people of South Africa, have allowed us into their country and their homes; with warmth and hospitality and even more amazed at their readiness to adopt teams and players in the DLF IPL. To them and to the millions of fans back home in India – I say thank you! And to the millions of fans watching Season 2009 back home in India – I say that we will be back home next year!
I now look forward to some to some fabulous action on the cricketing greens at Kingsmead at today’s double header!

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Kolkata Knight Riders Supporter
Comment by adilqibal on May 24, 2009 at 14:12
hello mr.manji..do u like ipl

Chennai Super Kings Supporter
Comment by Mahim A. Nagar on May 24, 2009 at 12:14
Mr Modi I have a complaint,

Are we just buying/copying (to be precise) the concept of football leagues that run elsewhere. Why don't we cross and make our own concepts something insane, unique but definitely Our own to which this world emulates. Being a popular event is not enough being a Unique and Our won is more important. Yesterday, though there was this semifinal-2 , a great match , a nail biting event, BUT no one seemed so serious about it watching it or following IPL2 so seriously. Reason (1) Its not in India which I'm sure you'd agree, (2) People have better things to do in this busy life./ Sure you've worked hard on this and I appreciate your effort, Its making Cricket as a sport in the same popular leagues such as football, baseball and like.... but here's the missing link we are not growing beyond popularism. this business is sure going to last till the people are not bored of the same concept...many players all over the world playing among themselves and then nothing...We need a serious innovation here Mr. Modi...IPL 3 should be someting a concept that world is not seen before , something unusaual and insane, and I'm sure you are one person who doesn't blink on tring and experimenting new things. Hope to have something REALLY NEW in the coming IPL3 but for now All the best for the Last session of the league2009. May the best win.

Chennai Super Kings Supporter
Comment by PANKAJ JHA on May 24, 2009 at 0:14
Dear Lalit,

If you are thinking of IPL and IPL International, then you are the right track. IPL-2 has proven enough indication how successful IPL International Edition can be. Surely the 8 teams hang in dismay for one full year before they can perform again. So the continuity of team is very much lost. They should be given more opportunity to stick and perform together than the current 8 weeks in every year.
I would rather suggest you to make Indian Grand Prix where any recognized 20 Top T-20 club team can be invited to participate and via for Title position. Even with 20 teams, it can be made in played in 24 days. 8 teams would be from India and balance 12 teams can come from all other nations.
How to squeeze it in 24 days and make it interesting? Divide all 20 teams in 4 grous consisting of 5 teams each. Each group will have one semifinalist and one challanger from our IPL teams and rest 3 from invited teams. Each group will have 10 round robin matches that will make overall 40 games in 20 days. 2 top teams from each group will qualify for knockout stage quaterfinal - 4 games- 2 days. 4 winners will go to semifinal 2 games - 1 day. 2 winners to final 1 game - 1 day.
You will have much more to make it more attractive and addictive.
Best Wishes
Pankaj Jha
-------------------
visit www.preventaccident.org and join hands in spreading awareness to avoid accident and ensure life.

Chennai Super Kings Supporter
Comment by Parthasarathy VN on May 23, 2009 at 15:07
well done in a very short time, Lalit keep it going.

cheers!

Chennai Super Kings Supporter
Comment by manan barot on May 23, 2009 at 12:40
hey man how you doing?
i have one suggestion for you can you make IPL an international event? i mean just make a rotation policy and let other cricket playing nation(except Pakistan!!) host this awesome event from my prospective it would be a awesome idea as we have already seen which amount of success you guys have got in south Africa!!!

Deccan Chargers Supporter
Comment by Chaitanya Krishna on May 22, 2009 at 18:18
Mr. Modi I would like to congratulate first on your success and also like to add my advice here to include the ICL players in the second season as some good talent went on that way..................

Chennai Super Kings Supporter
Comment by PANKAJ JHA on May 19, 2009 at 7:35
Dear Lalit,

Believe it or not, with IPL-2 you are making global impression and changing the face of cricket. Cricket at enterprising best. Cricket with Emotion, Drama, Entertainment. Cricket with refined skills. It is only going to be better every year. There are many international stars who are only warming the bench in IPL. One has to be really peak to be in the playing eleven. The fight for place will make better, fitter and smarter players. The international exposure, young Indian guys are getting will also make them a better player overall.

Surely you have managed to start a change in global cricket. The real effects of it will come in the long run.
At this point of time, I can say that you have successfully started IPL & IPL International (IPL-2). Now what's next in your agenda?

May you keep raising the bar.

Best Regards
Pankaj Jha

Chennai Super Kings Supporter
Comment by Yusuf on May 18, 2009 at 21:17
Way to go Lalit Modi ! Business venture is way for forward Brand India and IPL is just doing that.

Delhi Daredevils Supporter
Comment by Syed Yusuf Mehdi on May 18, 2009 at 16:50
Dear Mr. Modi, I have a Suggestion: Please make it mandatory for every team to have one or two Indians in their Support staff. Restricting the number of international players in the playing eleven has been so beneficial for the young Indian players. Likewise a similar rule for the Support staff can be very constructive and productive for the domestic cricket in India. This is my humble opinion. Thanks.

Delhi Daredevils Supporter
Comment by Syed Yusuf Mehdi on May 18, 2009 at 16:46
Dear Mr. Modi, You have done a great job whose real impact is still not fully evident.

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