Cricket’’s dilemma: Economics or respecting traditionDecember 31st, 2008 - 1:59 pm ICT by ANI
Sydney, Dec.31 (ANI): Cricket is a game forever on the cusp of disappointing its traditionalists.
If 1932-33 was its defining angry flashpoint (Bodyline Series), then this year, or more specifically 2009 when the second season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) gets underway, must challenge Packer’’s 1970s World Series revolution as the most violent rupture in the sport’’s economics.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, 2009 looms as a crucial period in clarifying where the game is headed, for its fans, players, administrators, and those that make money from it.
One test will be the integrity of cricket’’s new constellation of money and power - with India and Twenty20 at its center - in the face of the world’’s financial crisis.
According to an article in the paper, much will depend, of course, on the shock’’s impact on Indian development and the rise of its middle class.
In 2008, the competition threatened to dislocate the peculiar economic form of cricket’’s labor market.
The strain on cricketers has surely intensified since Bradman’’s day (1928-48). If the pressures on The Don left him unwilling to express his natural fluency, where does this leave players now?
What thoughts, say, weigh on Moises Henriques on his approach to the crease?
Henriques, a 21-year-old all-rounder from the same St George club Bradman once played for can”t win a permanent spot in the New South Wales side.
Nevertheless, his talent and promise last month earned him a 450, 000 dollar contract to play in the Indian Premier League, the Twenty20 competition.
The signing triggered the familiar concerns about the clash of money and sport. How might this level of financial reward, so early in one’’s career, toy with the natural pulse of a player’’s nerves? When players of similar ability have such wide disparities in earnings, it must prompt dressing room disharmony.
Unlike other codes, most top cricketers rely on selection by their national body to guarantee them a living. Cricket has never had this problem.
Its administrators have always enjoyed a “monopsony” on playing talent - or the market structure where one buyer, or employer of labor, can pick and choose from many sellers, or sellers of labor.
By offering club contracts in the millions of dollars to some players, the Indian Premier League threatens this relationship. The threat will hinge on whether its investors, who are gambling on an expanding pool of discretionary income in India, hold their nerve.
There is also the prospect of growing revenue from gambling.
In overall terms, the economics of Test cricket will be fine. The bigger challenge will be, for fans of Australian cricket and for the sake of Australian cricketers, to avoid looking to the national team for succor as the economy blackens. Instead, it will be more fun and fitting, in 2009, to embrace the fascinating spectacle of failure. (ANI)
Tags: crease, cricketers, cusp, disharmony, disparities, dollar contract, dressing room, financial reward, fluency, henriques, ipl, moises, money and power, natural pulse, new constellation, new south wales, rounder, sydney morning herald, traditionalists, twenty20