Atherton credits IPL with changing game

Atherton credits IPL with changing game

“The IPL was the inevitable result of India’s new-found infatuation with Twenty20 cricket, and the can-do attitudes of Lalit Modi, the vice-president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India, and IMG, the sports management company,” Atherton wrote in ‘The Times’.

“Cricket, suddenly, had changed, with players being bought and sold according to their market value, and owned now, not by national governing bodies, but by private investors.
“The effects are still being played out with international players retiring early to take up IPL offers and the world game wondering how to cope with this challenge to the established order of things,” he said.

Atherton said India fell in love with the Twenty20 format they had initially rejected only after Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s men captured the World Championship title in 2007.

“Until its team’s victory in the first World Twenty20 competition, India had rather turned its nose up at the newest, shortest, brashest form of the game. At least, the television executives had, feeling that the truncated nature of the game, and shorter advertisement breaks because of the time imperative, threatened revenues.

“The enthusiasm that greeted Yuvraj Singh’s six sixes in an over, off Stuart Broad, and India’s ultimate victory over Pakistan changed all that,” Atherton pointed out.

Among other events of significance, Atherton said the England’s 2005 Ashes triumph, the terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in March last year and the doomed Twenty20 all-star match sponsored by American billionaire Allen Stanford, were some moments that were not just significant but also challenging for international cricket.

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