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!