City-centric rivalry key to success of IPL: Lalit Modi

March 27th, 2008 - 9:42 pm ICT by admin  

Mumbai, March 27 (IANS) With the launch of the Indian Premier League (IPL) nearing, IPL chairman Lalit Modi admitted that the success of the league would depend on real competitive cricket between different city-centric teams and not because of antics of Shahrukh Khan. While delivering the keynote address at a convention here on topic “Sports as an Entertainment Option” Modi said, “The real city centric rivalry between teams can pull the crowd into the IPL matches and players have to show genuine commitment towards their respective team in the league.”

“It’s not going to happen overnight, it will take years, creating emotions and rivalry is a real challenge for us,” he added.

The tournament, which was set up to counter an unofficial Indian Twenty20 league Indian Cricket League (ICL), will be played over 44 days in eight cities and would feature 59 matches.

“We want the IPL to be one of the icon brands in the world and we are going to push everything that is required to achieve that,” said Modi, who is also a vice president of the Indian cricket board.

Former Indian cricketer Ajay Jadeja came down heavily on the mini version of the cricket and said that the “cricket cannot be marketed.”

“Crowd in the grounds has to believe what they are seeing is real and not a reality show,” he added.

Taking a dig at the IPL, Jadeja said, “Fast paced exciting colourful cricket is a grand idea but in India cricket fans will take time to adjust to the concept.”

“Cricket crazy fans in the country associate themselves with the Indian cricket team and they want to watch Indian team playing,” Jadeja added.

The IPL, to be played in March and April each year, has eight franchises that were sold for a combined $700 million to firms and consortiums for a 10-year period.

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