Not such a 'Premier' league this
Premier Leagues galore everywhere whether it is Premier League of USACA (United States of America Cricket Association) or of KSCA (Karnataka State Cricket Association), they are sprouting from every where so much so that it has become the scourge of modern day cricket. First, while it is totally understandable that franchise based cricket is the future of cricket – like I have been saying for more than a year now – you also better ensure that you have the ability to pull it off.
Yes, money on offer in the Yankee land and the huge television market there is sure to be lure shrewd and opportunistic businessmen into tapping into its riches never mind the failure of Allen Stanford or the unofficial American Premier League in the last year. But then you have to ensure that the objective of encouraging locals into the game thereby achieving true expansion of the game into newer pastures is not compromised upon. With things standing as is, I do not see how USACA can replicate IPL which in essence still puts 7 locals on the park with 4 non-Indian internationals. A similar attempt though is encouraged for the betterment of local talent and promoting cricket in the USA, it might not be able to lure investments from the business bigwigs. It’ll be interesting to see if Harvard brains and MIT mouths are hired to conceive that product that will bring in the money for both the players and the organizers and franchise owners.
My state board, KSCA announced its variant of the IPL – KPL (Karnataka Premier League) last week. Again, the model is to have a 5 state players and other local talent in each of the 8 franchises. This bemuses me especially at a time when Karnataka is struggling to put together a half-decent First Class side in the domestic Ranji Trophy. 5 state players in one side makes a minimum of 40 state-level players across the board in the league which simply means many of the division cricketers in the state will be elevated to this level when they neither are ready for it or simply not good enough. Given that I played club cricket as a school kid more than a decade back might still get me qualified into one of those franchise teams. And with a minimum bid priced at Rs. 20,00,000 I am quite certain even the most affluent businessman wouldn't want to waste so much of money on me but will be forced to which makes the entire gamut of exercise futile. Not that I am complaining!
In any case, as Bangalorean, I’m techie by default. A Bangalorean, techie and a prospective KPL player, which gives me this idea – talk to the who’s who at USACA and get them to outsource the tournament here to Bangalore. They can call it USA Premier League or whatever there and we’ll call it KPL here. In any case they are used to us doing the work for them!