Cricket

Lalit Modi makes an astonishing statement about the future of IPL

[caption id="attachment_65773" align="aligncenter" width="580"]Modi Ji Lalit Modi opens up about the future of Indian Premier League. Image Source: twitter[/caption]

XtraTime Web Desk: The founder of Indian Premier League Lalit Modi thinks that in this cash rich league players will soon earn more than 1 million dollars per game and due to its popularity the fans can see it in a four-day test format.

Modi, who is wanted in India living in London for a long period of time has given an interview to The Telegraph.

Many cricketers are already multi-millioners after playing IPL but Modi thinks if IPL’s US$12m salary cap is removed the world will see the best players move into the top earners in world sport.

"The IPL is here to stay. It will be the dominant sporting league in the world. We have one and a half billion people in India that are dedicated to the game of cricket," Modi told The Telegraph.

"The income levels of the Indian population are rising, you will see international and domestic brands wanting to target the Indian consumer. Where are they going to go to do that? They are going to go to only one product, the IPL. Why? Because it gives consistent ratings, it delivers, it has a great fan base and nothing is better than the IPL for advertisers because they get value for money. If that happens then the IPL will overtake the NFLs of this world.

Going forward you will see an IPL match grossing not less than $200m a day in terms of revenue, each match. If you have a season of 60 matches the value will be billions. It would have been reached already if there had not been infighting in the BCCI [Indian board] but it will get there eventually.

"Remember the BCCI does not pay for players. The IPL council does not pay for players. It is the owners that pay for the players' purse. What happens if the IPL loosens that purse and gets rid of the salary cap making it a free market? It is going to go like Premier League football. The salaries will be out of whack. You will see players making $1-$2m a game. It will happen sooner rather than later. That will change players' psyche and loyalty.

"At the end of the day it is great for the players. They will make a hell of a lot of money. If you are a good cricketer in the world you can rest assured you will be picked up by the IPL. If you are good you will make millions. If you are even second-rate you will be picked up. It will become a great sport for them.

"The percentage of the overall income for a player annually will be 80-90 percent from the IPL. In a free market the person with the deepest pockets will win. The players will gravitate towards who pays the biggest salary. Boards will have to live with that fact. It will be unfortunate for them but it will be a bonanza for players."

Modi believes international cricket is becoming increasingly irrelevant, particularly to the Indian audience.

"It is of zero value to the Indian fan. First it was the Indian team then everything else. Now it is the IPL first, then everything else. Tomorrow you will see bilateral cricket disappear. Big series will happen once every three or four years like the World Cup," he told The Telegraph.

"The ICC will become an irrelevant body. It will be full of fat lugs who have no power. They can scream and shout now and in the future they will threaten to throw India out if they try to expand the IPL but India has the power to stand on its own feet. It does not need anybody. They have a domestic league that it is going to be 20-times the size of international cricket.

"At one time international cricket was the bread and butter of the Indian board. You will see it dwindle down to a single digit in terms of revenue, less than 10 percent will be from ICC and international events. I guarantee that. IPL will be more than 90 percent of business for BCCI going forward. No other board will be able to compete with that because they do not have the domestic market. They have the players but not the domestic market. That is the key, your domestic market."

Modi felt a window for test cricket and a world test championship could survive if all nations got together and made it a proper tournament. But it had to be a championship.

Modi also had some advice for the English scene as they look to revamp their domestic Twenty20 league. He said they ahd to follow the IPL formula rather than that of Australia's Big Bash and private ownership was a key to that.

"If they do not have teams owned by private owners they are finished. If it is going to be owned by the board and the counties it will not work," he said.

"You have got to have the money from the owners. If you have ten billionaires sitting at a table who all have big egos, want to win and the best players, they will pay for it. Then you compete with IPL.

"If they copy the Big Bash with teams owned by the board then it will always remain a small player.

"The Big Bash is a fly to be swatted on the wall compared to IPL. Its revenue is negligible to the IPL. ECB will be the same. It will make a little bit of noise but when it comes to players the big money will be in India. Boards relying on TV revenue is not enough, they have to have private investors."

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