With this article I am sharing my views on how cricket can adopt for football and become more interesting.
There is no need to say anything, Cricket may be standing at a point where avoiding a nosedive is their task of high priority, and there is only one man who has survived a nosedive (albeit beautifully) and the guy is called Bond, James Bond.
It started when two most popular cricket teams from most popular region of world cricket crashed out from early stage of world cup 2007 in west indies, but the game itself saved gracefully when both teams with renovated lineup met in one of the most entertaining tourney in cricket history – inaugural t20 world cup. And then unveiling of IPL made it clear – the game is far from being unpopular and what happened is called shock, not nosedive.
IPL as the founding chairman and brain behind it Lalit Modi described was wire framed on the bases of some of the most popular football leagues. And it was enough excitement for the fans to see cricket playing like this. And when you offer such a great thing, you must save it from falling into the hands of controversies, not leading it to them. It was 2009 general elections and IPL’s much awaited second season were coinciding each other; it was when the father himself led his prodigy child into trouble. And then soon after this season there were more controversies than normal talks from IPL.
This was not it, being one of the most unpredictable games cricket has to be away of boredom and match fixing. And at sixth season knocking on doors it seems IPL has somehow failed to avoid these two. But still there is a room to improvement if they want to be longer. This is how BCCI and ICC can do to avoid an almost certain nosedive. How they can adopt from football around the world.First of all let’s see what we have right now.
1. The IPL: Cricket world’s most favorite word. Everybody wants to play in it.
2. Other Leagues: After success of IPL many countries are playing with same format, right now we have at least 5-6 similar leagues in England, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, South Africa, West Indies, Australia and Bangladesh by latest.
3. Champions League: A league played by champions of these region league.
Let’s see what changes can be done here, to make these matters more interesting
1. Make these league played on same time slot : Normally all leagues of football played from June to May Season, this works with a play dominated by clubs. For a game like this, dominated by international tournaments cannot afford to have such busy schedule. That’s why IPL is only a month long tournament. ICC must include it in their regular window along with other similar leagues and force them to play in same time slot.
2. If it’s a league play like league: That is: no semifinals and finals. Only play offs and at the end of the last day determines winners by points and/or run rate if needed. You can’t allow a team to be on third place every time and let them win the tournament from two shocks. Shocks are allowed but why can’t we reward the team on top as well? There are chances that the winner is determined a lot early, but let this happen as well.
3. Have transfer window between leagues, allow two if you can afford: Yes a transfer window where player and his agents roam from club to club. It’s no longer interesting when players and owners meet at a place and have their trading. Don’t let a player play from two clubs in same season, if he transfers from a club playing champions league to other club playing for same tournament allow him only to play domestic league for the same season. Study how transfer works in football and adopt same system for league.
A fact: A transfer deadline day (final day of transfer window) is far more interesting than a season of IPL + world cup.
4. Allow more teams to be played and introduce second tier: More teams means more revenue, second tier means less busy schedule and introduction of promotion (Top two or three teams of second tier will play in first tier in next season) and relegation (Bottom two or three teams from first tier will play in second tier in next season) means more interest remained for bottom level teams as well.
5. Have home and away games and two legged ties in CL knockout rounds: Each club team must have their home ground. Like IPL each team must play on home ground and on away ground. For knock out rounds introduce aggregate (total runs or total wickets taken in both the matches) and away rules (if aggregate scores tie team took most wickets in away ground will advance), allowing comeback and having revenge is always a part of cricket marketing, isn’t it?
P.S. And yes travelling of popular teams always promotes the sports and tourism in destination…
6. Promote the idea of fan operated clubs and let them have it. : Do you know what’s common between two of the top 5 most wealthy and most popular clubs in football? They both owned and operated by club members, which include fans (who attend match in stadium) technical and other staff, players and coach. They allow investment, they collect fund and they operate. And from many years they are the most known names in football world. And unlike others they are not handled by companies.
Did I name them? Do you already know the name? If not these clubs are named Real Madrid and FC Barcelona.
That’s it. That’s the whole possible ripping of football for cricket’s own success. That’s how James bond with bat, pad and helmet should work for this sport..