The Jaipur IPL Team

I don’t understand why this emerging media consortium had to bid for Jaipur of all teams. I think they just got swayed by this one ODI where effective collection ensured that the revenues from the game are good. Jaipur isn’t that large a city, and I’m not sure how much of a cricket culture it has.

Two cities that I thought deserve IPL teams and didn’t get are Ahmedabad and Kanpur. The latter is one of the five “traditional centers” and has been hosting test cricket for almost 60 years now. UP has also been doing well in the Ranji and has quite a few people in the Indian squad – the catchment would’ve been so much better. The only problem with the Green Park is that there are no floodlights. One hopes that they are installed in due course and this city is allotted an IPL team.

The catchment areas for each team were announced recently. And it turns out that three out of four teams in the Jaipur catchment area are from Gujarat! So what prevented Emerging Media to bid for Ahmedabad then? The Motera is floodlit, and more importantly two of the four semifinalists in this year’s Ranji were from Gujarat, thus providing a real catchment (though one other state has been tagged on to each winning ground as catchment area, it isn’t too natural. Dhoni will never feel at “home” in Kolkata.). Also, from my perception, Ahmedabad has a much better cricket “culture” compared to Jaipur.

It would’ve been more understandable if the group that owns Jaipur had some kind of a connection with Rajasthan. However, there doesn’t seem to be any – the group is almsot wholly foreign – which makes matters of their choice even more perplexing. Were they put off by Ahmedabad because both Ambani brothers were bidding there? In any case, since the highest 8 bidders got teams (removing duplicate ownership), it is clear that what Emerging Media paid for Jaipur was more than what ADAG offered for Ahmedabad. Why didn’t they have enough sense to bid for Ahmedabad also?

All in all it seems to be a decision that completely misses out of the situation on the ground. I’m sure Emerging media would’ve been advised by some bankers/consultants who have absolutely no clue about the cricket situation in India, who would’ve used factors such as population, proximity to Delhi, etc. to pick Jaipur as the better winner. As mentioned earlier, I’m sure that one game where Jaipur got record revenues (due to good revenue management practices) would’ve also helped.

Two points before I close. Firstl, does anyone have data regarding the failed bids for the IPL teams? What Anilbhai etc. bid? If anyone does, please share it with me.

Second, the players’ auction is scheduled for Feb 20. Players have been split into classes (fast bowlers, spin bowlers, keepers, etc.) and their names will be drawn in random order, and the bidders should bid for the guy whose name just got picked. Wonder if it’s the most efficient process.

Put Comment