New Delhi: The Indian Premier League has never been considered as a serious cricketing tournament. During the last 10 years of its existence, the cash-rich league has been known for its glitz and glamour more than the quality of cricket it produced.
Well, that is going to change from the 11th edition of IPL.
Star India bagged the IPL media rights and they have pledged to concentrate solely on cricket action. Their top boss, Uday Shankar, promised it will continue to be the case even in their newly-acquired T20 league.
“You have seen on Star Sports our focus is strictly on the sport. We believe that the spotlight should be on the sport and we will continue to do that… I am not commenting on what anybody else does,” Shankar told Hindustan Times.
“Our BCCI rights get over in less than six months and the Indian team, over the next few years, is going to be travelling abroad so much, and we don’t have the England and Australian board rights. With IPL, we have a breather,” said Shankar.
“If it (our figures) were slightly less, we would not have got the rights. We won by a really narrow margin of 2-3 per cent, so we were very close (in predicting the right value of IPL),” the STAR chief said.
“Whatever controversies might have been, they have been there all the time, but the IPL has gone on to become bigger and bigger. It is for the news media, we are a sports broadcaster.”
Having earlier helped Star grab the BCCI and International Cricket Council media rights, when asked where he would place Monday’s win, Shankar said, “In each bid, you put in large sums of money of your company only because at that time it is the most sensible thing to do. Right now, we have done this because our BCCI rights were coming to an end and we wanted to redefine our cricket package.”