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Just call back the Indian Captain!It is national shame followed by ongoing IPL cheer leading scam enveloping national pride!


Palash Biswas

ET investigations revealed that a 15% stake bought by Dhoni earlier this year in the sports marketing firm that manages him has spawned a tangled web of business associations, raising issues of propriety and conflict of interest in at least two situations.ET investigations revealed that a 15% stake bought by Dhoni earlier this year in the sports marketing firm that manages him has spawned a tangled web of business associations, raising issues of propriety and conflict of interest in at least two situations.

Just call back the Indian Captain!It is national shame followed by ongoing IPL cheer leading scam enveloping national pride! In a startling revelation, a leading Indian business daily has reported that India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has 15 percent stake in a sports marketing firm managing him and three other Indian cricketers.Enough should be enough!MS Dhoni led an IPL team owned by the son in law of the Presdent of Indian Cricket Board who reluctantly refuse to step down and managed to install an interim President, Jagmohan Dalmia who has been known as the master player of all fishy affairs and displayed his skills as President of Indian Cricket Board, President of Cricket association of Bengal and as ICC Chairman earlier to wrap up the matter smoothly. It is shameful that all our great icons including Sunil Gavasakr, Kapil Dev, Ravi Shastri and K Shrikant prove to be the best associates of the black business of Cricket. Chennai super king was allowed to play the final at Kolkata depite the arrest of its owner. The Fixing Mixing Bating teams aligned to continue the game. Dhoni`s wife Shakshi is told to be very close to Bindu Dara Singh who worked for the bating fixing racket. Dhoni continued as Indian Captain despite his glaring failures but all the respected proven seniors have been discarded mercilessly without considering their great contribution to Indian sports and the Nation. We should feel ashamed to claim to be cricket lovers at this juncture!

Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who has been facing criticism over his silence on IPL spot fixing scandal, landed in a new controversy over his business deal with one sports marketing firm -- Rhiti Sports Management.

Why should the vice president of a corporate house, Indian Cement is allowed to continue as Indian Cricket team who is also responsible of untimely unrespectable exclusion of the national heroes like Saurabh Ganguli, Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman, Anil Kumblay, Birendra Shabag and on one other than the God of cricket, Sachin Tendulkar who liberated Indian cricket earlier while it was scammed as never before by Md Azharuddin and his men. However the ruling Congress made him a member of Parliament. It showcases how much the ruling hegemony cares for whatsoever scam as it is proved again and again in so many scams during all the seven decades we boast of to be independent citizen of a democrat republic!

 


According to the report, Dhoni's conflict of interest arises on account of his position as the captain of the Indian cricket team and IPL franchise Chennai Super Kings. 

Dhoni, in his capacity of the skipper of the national side, has a say in the selection matters. Also, he is the vice-president of India Cements – a company that owns CSK.
 


"On tour, the playing 11 is picked by the captain, vice-captain and coach. The players managed by Dhoni`s company will have an unfair advantage," former India cricketer Maninder Singh was quoted as saying by the daily.

The four other cricketers that the sports firm (Rhiti Sports) manages are Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja and Pragyan Ojha.

Rhiti Sports is owned by Arun Pandey, a close friend of Dhoni. In 2010, Dhoni signed up with Rhiti reportedly for Rs 210 crore, an average of Rs 70 crore a year, the costliest deal in Indian cricket.


The firm, in which Dhoni had bought a 15% stake, was set up by his close friend and business associate Arun Pandey. The firm manages business deals of cricketers including Dhoni, Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja, Pragyan Ojha and RP Singh. Now, Dhoni's business deals with the firm have come under scanner following a report published by The Economic Times (ET). The daily in its report raised two questions -- being Team India captain, both One Day International (ODI) and Test cricket, is it right for Dhoni to put his suggestions before team selecting committee? The daily claims that Dhoni's stake in Rhiti, puts him in the conflicting position where he has a 15% share of the profits earned by Rhiti Sports from managing these four players, even as he opines or votes on them in team selection meetings as the Indian captain. The report also raised questions regarding Dhoni's role as captain of Chennai Super Kings (CSK), the Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise. Dhoni is a Vice-President of India Cements which is owned by BCCI chief N Srinivasan and the the company also owns CSK. The ET report also points out that after eight consecutive Test losses suffered by India in Jan 2012, Srinivasan reportedly used his veto powers as president to stop a 3-2 vote in the selection committee to remove Dhoni as captain and player from the Test team. Two cricketers -- Raina, Jadeja play for CSK and once again Dhoni's conflict of interest has come under scanner. Joint secretary of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) -- Anurag Thakur said, "I have heard it for the first time. If there is a concern, we may look into the matter." According to the report, Dhoni did not respond to questionnaire sent to him via mail. Srinivasan has already stepped aside from BCCI's day-to-day activities. His son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan, who was known as CSK owner, is in jail over his alleged role in IPL spot fixing row. Now, it might be a tough time for Dhoni to face upcoming time.

Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni's continued silence on spot-fixing and betting scandal in Indian Premier League (IPL) intrigued many to question is loyalty to the game.


However, a curious conflict of interest has emerged between Dhoni's business role and his cricketing responsibilities reasoning his mum on the issue.


According to reports, as many as four regular players in the ODI circuit are managed by a sports firm where Dhoni reportedly has a 15 per cent stake. This puts the Indian skipper in a conflicting position as he has a share in the profits of the firm even as he opines or votes for these players as Indian captain.


Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni's continued silence on spot-fixing and betting scandal in Indian Premier League (IPL) intrigued many to question is loyalty to the game.


However, a curious conflict of interest has emerged between Dhoni's business role and his cricketing responsibilities reasoning his mum on the issue.


According to reports, as many as four regular players in the ODI circuit are managed by a sports firm where Dhoni reportedly has a 15 per cent stake. This puts the Indian skipper in a conflicting position as he has a share in the profits of the firm even as he opines or votes for these players as Indian captain.


 Post ET reporting about the likely 'conflict of interest' between Indian cricket captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni and his business, prominent people in the cricketing world have reacted saying he could be 'guilty'. 

While Kirti Azad has said that Dhoni could be guilty of conflict of interest, Jaywant Lelehas also said that such a conflict may exist and that the BCCI should have been aware of this. 

In an interview given to ANI, Azad, who has been at the forefront of the criticism over the functioning of the BCCI and the spot fixing that is taking place in the Indian Premier League ( IPL), said: "I have come to know that Dhoni has a 15 per cent stake in Rhiti sports, which has contracted some Indian players. He is also the vice president of India Cements, the company owned by N Srinivasan. Now, we have to see whether it is a matter of conflict of interest." 

ET investigations revealed that a 15% stake bought by Dhoni earlier this year in the sports marketing firm that manages him has spawned a tangled web of business associations, raising issues of propriety and conflict of interest in at least two situations. 

The first situation is in his position as the captain of the Indian cricket team in all three formats of the game. This sports marketing firm - Rhiti Sports Management, set up by Arun Pandey, a close friend and business associate of Dhoni - also manages four other current cricketers: Suresh RainaRavindra JadejaPragyan Ojha and RP Singh. 

This puts Dhoni in the conflicting position where he has a 15% share of the profits earned by Rhiti Sports from managing these four players, even as he opines or votes on them in team selection meetings as the Indian captain. "There is definitely a conflict of interest in this case," says former cricketer Kirti Azad, who was also a selector in 2002-03. 

Reacting to the news, Dilip Cherian, Image Guru said, "There are much bigger conflicts of interest in cricket today than this. This is not something that is hidden, would have been conflict of interest if it was hidden."


Having avoided the media before and after the final of the Indian Premier League, India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni today maintained a stoic silence on the spot-fixing scandal that has, among others, also led to the arrest of CSK's Team principal Gurunath Meiyappan. 

On expected lines, BCCI issued a diktat that the journalists attending the press conference won't be allowed to ask questions on the spot-fixing scandal, which rocked the cash-rich league leading after the arrest of three cricketers including India international S Sreesanth. 

When Dhoni was asked why has he not responded as the leader of the Indian cricket team, the media manager Dr R N Baba stopped the scribe from probing the skipper further, asking him to stick to questions pertaining to Champions Trophy. The team is leaving for England later tonight for the tournament. 

Dr Baba is an official of the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association and is also one of Srinivasan's close aides. He has performed the duties of media manager for a major part of the last season. His son Aparajith is an U-19 India and contracted player of CSK. 

Another question that was put forward to Dhoni was how difficult it will be for him and the team to instil faith in the cricket loving people that everything would be "fair" during Champions Trophy. All Dhoni could manage was a chuckle as Dr Baba again sprung into action stopping the journalist from probing further. 

As far as cricketing queries were concerned, one got the routine predictable answers from the India captain -- it has been the case for the better part of the last six years. 


The sports management firm that manages Mahendra Singh Dhoni today clarified that the India skipper holds no stake in the company, putting to rest speculations about a possible conflict of interest. 

It was reported in the media that Dhoni has a 15 per cent stake in Rhiti Sports which also manages Suresh RainaRavindra Jadejaand Pragyan Ojha, besides the Indian captain. 

However, the firm made it clear that Dhoni was a shareholder only for a brief period, and currently has no stake. 

"As on date, MSD holds no shareholding in Rhiti Sports Management (P) Ltd. However, it is made clear that shareholding was allotted to MSD on 22.03.2013 only to secure certain old outstandings which were due for more than one year. 

"Further, the payments were cleared in April 2013 and the shareholding was transferred back to promoter of the company on 26.04.2013," Rhiti Sports chairman Arun Pandey said in a statement. 

In 2010, Dhoni signed up with Rhiti Sports reportedly for Rs 210 crore, an average of Rs 70 crore a year, the costliest deal in Indian cricket. 

"We at Rhiti Sports Management Pvt Ltd are greatly aggrieved at the widespread media reports regarding alleged conflict of interest of MSD. 

"Though not obligated to but in order to put at rest these widespread speculations, we are issuing the following statement to bring in knowledge the correct factual matrix. 

"It is made clear that the Management of Rhiti Sports Management (P) Ltd understands its obligations to the field of sport and the country and adheres to the laws of the land," he added in the statement. 

Interestingly, two of these players -- Raina and Jadeja -- are part of the same IPL franchise, the Chennai Super Kings, which is also captained by Dhoni. 

Ojha had joined Rhiti Sports during Australia's last tour of India.


Investigations reveal 15% stake bought by MS Dhoni in sports marketing firm Rhiti

Rhiti Sports Management, set up by Arun Pandey, a close friend and business associate of Dhoni - also manages four other current cricketers: Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja, Pragyan Ojha and RP Singh.Rhiti Sports Management, set up by Arun Pandey, a close friend and business associate of Dhoni - also manages four other current cricketers: Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja, Pragyan Ojha and RP Singh.
NEW DELHI: Is there a conflict of interest between MS Dhoni the businessman and MS Dhoni the Indian cricket team captain? ET investigations reveal that a 15% stake bought by Dhoni earlier this year in the sportsmarketing firm that manages him has spawned a tangled web of business associations, raising issues of propriety and conflict of interest in at least two situations.

The first situation is in his position as the captain of the Indian cricket team in all three formats of the game. This sports marketing firm - Rhiti Sports Management, set up by Arun Pandey, a close friend and business associate of Dhoni - also manages four other current cricketers: Suresh RainaRavindra JadejaPragyan Ojha and RP Singh.

This puts Dhoni in the conflicting position where he has a 15% share of the profits earned by Rhiti Sports from managing these four players, even as he opines or votes on them in team selection meetings as the Indian captain. "There is definitely a conflict of interest in this case," says former cricketer Kirti Azad, who was also a selector in 2002-03.

Dhoni did not respond to an email questionnaire sent to him on May 31 while Pandey declined comment. "I have heard it for the first time," says Anurag Thakur, joint secretary of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). "If there is a concern, we may look into the matter."

The second situation is in Dhoni's position as the captain of the Chennai Super Kings(CSK), the Indian Premier League franchise for which he, Raina and Jadeja play and whose team principal Gurunath Meiyappan is currently in custody on charges of illegal betting and sharing team information with bookies. So far, Dhoni has maintained a conspicuous silence on the spot-fixing and betting scandal, raising whispers that his position is perhaps compromised by the ties that bind Rhiti and him to CSK and its ownership.

Rhiti Sports Management, set up by Arun Pandey, a close friend and business associate of Dhoni - also manages four other current cricketers: Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja, Pragyan Ojha and RP Singh.

Meiyappan is the son-in-law of N Srinivasan, who on Sunday agreed to step aside as BCCIpresident till the probe into the IPL betting and spot-fixing scandal is on.

Back in January 2012, after eight consecutive Test losses suffered by India, Srinivasan reportedly used his veto powers as president to stop a 3-2 vote in the selection committee to remove Dhoni as captain and player from the Test team.

Srinivasan is also the owner of India Cements, the company that owns CSK and in which Dhoni is a vice-president. And Rhiti, riding on its prized client Dhoni, markets CSK. "Dhoni is part of the corridors of power," says Rahul Mehra, a lawyer who has been railing against sports management in India.

"Which selector will oppose Dhoni when he is a part of the think-tank in CSK, which is owned by a company of the BCCI president, and he himself is a vice-president in that company?" Under BCCI rules, the 15-member team for a tour is picked by a group of five selectors. The captain and coach have a say in the selection meeting, but they don't have a vote. "The captain gives inputs to selectors," confirms Thakur of BCCI.

On tour, the playing 11 is picked by the captain, vice-captain and coach. "The players managed by Dhoni's company will have an unfair advantage," says former India cricketer Maninder Singh. Rhiti Sports today probably has the best portfolio of cricketers among sports management firms. Dhoni is a factor in building that portfolio.

A young cricketer playing for Delhi told ET, on the condition of anonymity, that he was worried about joining a rival sports management firm because of the impact it may have on his selection for India. Shailendra Singh of entertainment marketing firm Percept, which has managed cricketers Kapil DevSourav Ganguly and Yuvraj Singh in the past, feels, in principle, there's no problem in the arrangement Dhoni has with Rhiti, but adds it needs to be seen in the current context. "There's so much muck in the corridors," says Singh, joint MD of Percept.
"It's just too coincidental... things are too comfortable." Dhoni and Pandey go back about 15 years, starting as friends and, along the way, becoming business partners. Around 2007, Pandey started negotiating endorsement deals for Dhoni. The pinnacle of their business relationship came in July 2010, when Dhoni stumped the sportsmanagement landscape by choosing greenhorn friends over grizzly veterans to manage him. His three-year deal with Rhiti Sports was for Rs 210 crore, or an average of Rs 70 crore a year, the priciest ever in Indian cricket.

Extrapolating from the filings made by Rhiti Sports, which is an unlisted firm, with the ministry of company affairs (MCA), Pandey seems to have almost made good on his word. In 2011-12, the latest year for which numbers are available and the first full financial year of the deal, Rhiti Sports recorded revenues of Rs 63 crore and a net profit of Rs 2.5 crore. MCA filings also suggest that in the first 18 months of the contract, the relationship between Dhoni and Rhiti Sports was structured as a client-company relationship, and that Rhiti Sports existed primarily, if not wholly, to service Dhoni. Rhiti Sports drew income from sponsors, kept a commission and paid the balance to Dhoni.

In 2011-12, when its income was Rs 63 crore, it showed operating expenses of Rs 59 crore. Its annual report does not disclose how these expenses were broken up between payments to Dhoni and commissions to Rhiti Sports. The structuring of that relationship changed in 2012-13 as Dhoni started acquiring equity stakes. MCA filings show that a Rhiti Sports board meeting held on March 22, 2013, approved the allotment of 30,000 shares (or 15.1% stake) to the Indian captain.

The shares were allotted at par value, which means Dhoni paid Rs 3 lakh for the 15.1% stake. "For a going concern with a turnover of Rs 63 crore, it is unusual to do valuation at par and issue 15% equity," says a chartered accountant, on condition of anonymity. Dhoni also floated entities, in partnership with Pandey and/or Rhiti Sports, to enter into new business areas like image licensing (in March 2012, through Rhiti MSD Alamode Pvt Ltd) and gyms (in February 2013, through Sportsfit World Overseas Pvt Ltd).

In Rhiti, MSD Alamode Pvt Ltd, Dhoni and his wife Sakshi hold 65%; Pandey 30% and Rhiti Sports 5%. According to company filings, it is in the business of "licensing the use of theMahendra Singh Dhoni (MSD) name for various products like consumer goods, luxury items and other fashion-related products, and enter into ventures/business with MSD". Sportsfit World Overseas is in the business of gyms. Rhiti MSD Alamode owns 73% of this company. Another 26% is held by Sajid Shamin, the former marketing head of Reebok India, and 1% by Arun Pandey.

In other words, Dhoni has an equity interest, direct or indirect, in at least three firms of which Rhiti Sports is also a part. Possibly four. It seems Dhoni, who has a passion for motorcycles, also owns a stake in Rhiti MSD-N Motorsport India. This company runs the MSD RN Racing Team, which participates in the World Superbike Championship.

The company was originally called N Motorsport India and promoted by two Bangalore residents, Nandish Domlur and Amit Sandill. On September 2, 2012, that company moved an application to change its name from N Motorsport India to Rhiti MSD-N Motorsport India. ET could not establish from MCA filings the company's shareholders. But the company's website shows that it is headquartered at the same Delhi address as Rhiti Sports. Further, Pandey is its MD and CEO, Domlur is co-MD and Sandill director. The other two people listed under 'management' are actor Nagarjuna and Dhoni.

(With inputs from Vijaya Rathore)

Former cricketer Kirti Azad on Monday again suggested that Indian cricket captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni could be guilty of conflict of interest, as was the case with Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president N.Srinivasan.

In an interview given to ANI, Azad, who has been at the forefront of the criticism over the functioning of the BCCI and the spot fixing that is taking place in the Indian Premier League (IPL), said: "I have come to know that Dhoni has a 15 percent stake in Rhiti sports, which has contracted some Indian players. He is also the vice president of Indian Cements, the company owned by N.Srinivasan. Now, we have to see whether it is a matter of conflict of interest."


Azad appeared to be reacting to an Economic Times report that raised the question of a conflict of interest between M.S. Dhoni the businessman and M.S. Dhoni the Indian cricket team captain?

Investigations undertaken by the business daily have revealed that Dhoni has bought a 15 percent stake in the sports marketing firm that manages him earlier this year.

It spawns a tangled web of business associations, raising issues of propriety and conflict of interest in at least two situations.

The first situation is in his position as the captain of the Indian cricket team in all three formats of the game. This sports marketing firm - Rhiti Sports Management, set up by Arun Pandey, a close friend and business associate of Dhoni - also manages four other current cricketers: Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja, Pragyan Ojha and R P Singh.

This puts Dhoni in the conflicting position where he has a 15 percent share of the profits earned by Rhiti Sports from managing these four players, even as he opines or votes on them in team selection meetings as the Indian captain.


"There is definitely a conflict of interest in this case," says former cricketer Kirti Azad, who was also a selector in 2002-03.

Dhoni did not respond to an email questionnaire sent to him on May 31, while Pandey declined comment.

"I have heard it for the first time," says Anurag Thakur, joint secretary of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

"If there is a concern, we may look into the matter," he added.

The second situation is in Dhoni's position as the captain of the Chennai Super Kings (CSK), the Indian Premier League franchise for which he, Raina and Jadeja play and whose team principal Gurunath Meiyappan is currently in custody on charges of illegal betting and sharing team information with bookies.

ALSO READ: Dalmiya's phoenix repeat at BCCI

So far, Dhoni has maintained a conspicuous silence on the spot-fixing and betting scandal, raising whispers that his position is perhaps compromised by the ties that bind Rhiti and him to CSK and its ownership.

Back in January 2012, after eight consecutive Test losses suffered by India, Srinivasan reportedly used his veto powers as president to stop a 3-2 vote in the selection committee to remove Dhoni as captain and player from the Test team.

Srinivasan is also the owner of India Cements, the company that owns CSK and in which Dhoni is a vice-president. And Rhiti, riding on its prized client Dhoni, markets CSK.

"Dhoni is part of the corridors of power," says Rahul Mehra, a lawyer who has been railing against sports management in India.

"Which selector will oppose Dhoni when he is a part of the think-tank in CSK, which is owned by a company of the BCCI president, and he himself is a vice-president in that company?" Under BCCI rules, the 15-member team for a tour is picked by a group of five selectors. The captain and coach have a say in the selection meeting, but they don't have a vote. "The captain gives inputs to selectors," confirms Thakur of BCCI.

On tour, the playing 11 is picked by the captain, vice-captain and coach. "The players managed by Dhoni's company will have an unfair advantage," says former India cricketer Maninder Singh.

Rhiti Sports today probably has the best portfolio of cricketers among sports management firms. Dhoni is a factor in building that portfolio.

Shailendra Singh of entertainment marketing firm Percept, which has managed cricketers Kapil Dev, Sourav Ganguly and Yuvraj Singh in the past, feels, in principle, there's no problem in the arrangement Dhoni has with Rhiti, but adds it needs to be seen in the current context.

Former BCCI secretary Jaywant Lele also endorsed Azad's views, saying there definitely appeared to be a conflict of interest in Dhoni's case.

Arun Pandey: The man behind brand MS Dhoni is anti-thesis of sports agent

Pandey is the anti-thesis of the sports agent, rustic in his appearance, non-calculating in his ways, prone to letting down his guard.Pandey is the anti-thesis of the sports agent, rustic in his appearance, non-calculating in his ways, prone to letting down his guard.
"He (Pandey) can work very hard," says the marketing head of a multinational whose brand Dhoni has been endorsing for over a decade, not wanting to be named. "If you call him for a meeting at 4 am, he will come." In early-2010, with Dhoni's contract due for expiry, leading sports-management firms IMG, Percept, PMG Sports, World Sport Group, Purple People and Planman Consulting all made presentations to Dhoni. He listened. And went with the upstart, Pandey and Rhiti Sports.

"It's a relationship (between Dhoni and Pandey) based more on trust than commercial advantages," says Manish Porwal, managing director of celebrity-management firm Alchemist Talent Solutions. The website of Rhiti Sportsdescribes Pandey, rather economically, as "enterprising". It goes on to describe the company's philosophy: "All management can be reduced to three words — people, product and profits. People come first. "It is said that Rhiti may be working on lower commissions than the 10-30% that is the standard for sports-marketing firms.

When ET had asked this of Pandey in July 2010, he had said: "It's a relationship of trust. Mahi (Dhoni) has confidence in us. He's never questioned a deal we have done. He knows we will do the filtering at our end." Today, Dhoni endorses 24 brands, including Reebok, Pepsi and Aircel. The scope of several of those deals 
has widened. For example, key sponsors of Chennai Super Kings — Aircel and Gulf Oil — have a Dhoni connection, in what is a case of a team publicity riding on its marquee star. Since 2012, the business relationship between Dhoni and Pandey has deepened and widened.

Dhoni has picked up a 15.1% stake in Rhiti Sports, raising issues of conflict of interest between the firm's business interests and his role as the captain of the Indian cricket team with a say in player selections. "Maybe it's also a relationship of gratitude — obviously the person who becomes bigger in his career takes his family and friends along," says Porwal.

"The aspect of Dhoni's career that Pandey manages is crucial. Some shares here and there don't matter in the bigger picture." The two have also floated companies to licence the MS Dhoni brand name, to set up a chain of gyms under the brand name SportsFit and, reportedly, also own the Mahi Racing Team India, which participates in the World Superbike Championship. Amid all this, Pandey, even as he talks about his proximity to industrialists, is still somewhat of a recluse, averse to giving interviews, always deferring to Dhoni.

"Both (Dhoni and Pandey) are alike that way," says the head of a rival sports-management firm, on the condition of anonymity. "They keep to themselves, appearing to be focused on the task at hand and speak up only when absolutely necessary." The one place where Pandey puts himself out liberally is Twitter, where his handle (@ArunPandey99) has several pictures of him in, among other settings, gyms, stadiums and racetracks — places closely connected with the business interests of his friend, and biggest client and business partner, MS Dhoni.

Promote the IPL as family entertainment

At least the IPL has now blossomed into a full-fledged drama worthy of Indian television and its entertainment-inclined audiences.At least the IPL has now blossomed into a full-fledged drama worthy of Indian television and its entertainment-inclined audiences.
At least the IPL has now blossomed into a full-fledged drama worthy of Indian television and its entertainment-inclined audiences.

The short-format game's inventors need to be commended for bringing in a more diverse viewership for cricket - albeit via unconventional or inadvertent means - for had IPL stuck to only cricket it risked being confined only to buffs eventually.

Even more than the presence of skimpily clad cheerleaders, the unending procession of scandals has injected a component of excitement to the tournament that has probably brought in hordes of new viewers. When a team or player's inclusion (or exclusion) is no longer dependent on conventional norms such as league positions or fitness , but on imponderables such as betting cartels and intracricket rivalries, the potential for crowd-pulling surprises rises.

The recent inclusion of a family drama - allegations of funny business, complete with wayward scions - has increased IPL's attraction for a non-sporting audience. The IPL means different things to different people depending on whether it is viewed via a sports or news channel, but a whole family's evening entertainment is taken care of, either way.

All we need now is a serial with IPL and its shenanigans as the backdrop, so that interest does not flag between each edition of the tournament.
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