Rewind, don’t be kind

February 23, 2008

From my interview with Lalit Modi from two years ago.

Why is the BCCI averse to Twenty20?

Why not 25-25? Why not 30-30. The issue right now is that the countries advocating it are only England and Australia. They have a drop in stadium levels so they are advocating it. We fill our stadiums. We have enough crowds coming in. We’re just getting into the game now. First they want to play a world cup of 20-20. They’re not even talking about going and promoting twenty-20 in countries first, play it for five-ten years, build the basis of 20-20.They’re saying lets go straight to the world cup!

But if the ICC says that, would you be interested in playing Twenty20?

They are saying that. We’re not interested in playing Twenty20. If the ICC mandates us to do it, and we’re the only people left, I think we’ll have no choice [Italics mine]. But in my view, I think we must have a domestic calendar for it first. It’s a totally new game. It’s a batsman’s game…

And that’s why the Indian public will warm to it…

That may be so but we need to do it at the domestic level first! I’m not saying no. I’m saying we have to do it at the domestic level first.

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5 Responses to “Rewind, don’t be kind”

  1. Mohan Says:

    I think IPL is the reason BCCI didn’t want to play international 20-20 too much. They probably wanted people to identify this format with IPL.

  2. thedailytamasha Says:

    And funnily, in today’s Indian Express, Lalit Modi speaks to Shekhar gupta (on Walk the Talk) and says – “IPL is a dream we have waited 13-years to achieve…” or some similar shit.

    He makes it sound like he was always for it…

  3. Rahul Says:

    Mohan, that’s not really the case. If you recall, right up to the T20 world cup they were still reluctant. The tournament’s popularity changed that. Of course, having the ICL around helped. If you read what Modi said, he was keen to have a city-specific league, but wasn’t happy with T20. With its popularity, Modi found the format to make his city league popular.

    TDT, yeah, he’s good with words. Probably meant his city-league idea, but makes it sound like T20 was what he was talking about. I wonder what the follow-up question was. “You waited 13 years to do this? Jesus, how slow are you guys?” Sigh. If only.

  4. Mohan Says:

    Rahul, yes, they were reluctant towards international T20. But as I said, may be the real reason was that they wanted to preserve this format for IPL even though stated reason was that they don’t like the format? Even in that interview you quoted, he keeps saying we need to try this format in domestics.

    I know Sony had a 25-over rebel league (with cheerleaders etc) planned back in 2000, around the time ICC rights were being sold. That was their backup plan in case they didn’t get the rights. They had even approached the players with the idea. And Modi himself had submitted a city league idea as far back as ’96. That may have been for 50-over cricket, but the idea of reducing the number of overs has been around much before England started T20 in their domestics.

  5. Rahul Says:

    I didn’t know about Sony’s plan. But as far as preserving the format for IPL is concerned, things started moving only after the ICL was announced.


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