Watch IPL matches at PVR, Cinemax or IPL multiplexes

Cricket crazy fans may have another option for watching IPL matches, apart from going to stadiums and watching it live on TV.

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Shilpa Shetty invests in Rajasthan Royals IPL team

Joining the league of Shah Rukh Khan and Preity Zinta, yet another Bollywood star has taken the the IPL plunge. Shilpa Shetty, along with London-based businessman Raj Kundra, has bought a 12 per cent stake in the Indian Premier League team Rajasthan Royals. Shah Rukh owns Kolkata Knight Riders, while Preity Zinta has a stake in Kings XI Punjab.

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Pakistan cricketers get nod to play IPL 2009

Cricketers in Pakistan will now be able to be part of the prestigious Indian Premier League (IPL). With the Pakistan Sports Ministry making it clear that it is not averse to Pakistani cricketers taking part in the second edition of the IPL which gets underway in April.

However, the ministry has reiterated that the players’ security would be their own and respective IPL team’s responsibility. According to the ministry it has already sent its recommendations on a note moved by the Pakistan Cricket Board to the President’s Secretariat, said reports.

It may be recalled that the Pakistan Cricket Board had earlier moved a note seeking to know whether the ministry would allow Pak players to take part in the IPL this year. The nod from the ministry has clarified that the players can individually decide what they want to do and that the minitsry had no qualms abot their participation in the IPL. The ministry also said that it has stated its no objection reagrding this. The note has been sent to the President’s Secretariat for further action.

According to norms, the President’s Secretariat is authorised to issue a guideline or policy for the players to participate in the IPL. Earlier reports had said that the PCB had moved the note to the ministry seeking its opinion after the IPL authorities asked it to confirm if Pakistani players were allowed by their government to take part in the IPL.

It may be noted that the IPL top bosses had conveyed to the PCB that if Pakistani players were stopped by their government from playing in the Twenty20 tournament they would not be paid anything but if they couldn’t take part in the league because of Indian government’s decision that they would be fully compensated.

In the meantime, the ministry has also added that it had earlier decided not to send its national hockey and squash teams to India owing to the fact the relations between India and Pakistan were not very bright. Post-Mubai terror attacks the two nations are not seeing eye to eye taking into account the not so good relations between the two.

IPL 2009 trade window closes, 7 players traded

The IPL trade window for the season 2009 closed yesterday, with seven players being traded.

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IPL 2009 season update: Players being traded, Australian and England players eager to turn up

The year 2008 brought a new revolution in the field of cricket with the commencement of Indian Premiere League (IPL) 2008. It was a huge success commercially and introduced many unknown talented faces, and had a fairytale where the underdog team – Rajasthan Royals – working under a charismatic captain Shane Warne took the trophy.

There is no doubt that IPL 2009 if nothing will be a better version of what we saw in last year.

The ongoing economic crisis may have tempered the enthusiasm a bit. But IPL title sponsor DLF assured that their commitment with the IPL is resolute for the next five years. DLF is a real estate major, an sector that has been hit hard by the economic slowdown. Rajeev Talwar, the group executive director of DLF said, “DLF will continue to play an integral part in helping develop the league into a truly world – class platform for showcasing and developing cricketing talent globally.”

As the league becomes older so do the teams. At least three franchisees have decided to pare their teams down to their essential requirements, and hence reduce the number of players they would have on their roster in 2009. What was it that made the teams take such measure? Recession would be an obvious answer, but no. With the second season of the IPL, teams have just become more mature and wiser. It seems these teams are working to a target, and know exactly what kind of team composition would help them achieve it.

With the player trade window open for one month, IPL teams are planning player transfers and new signings. The Bangalore Royal Challengers are eager to have the Karnataka captain Robin Uthappa in their team. In return, they are willing to give up the services of the left-arm seemer Zaheer Khan to the Mumbai Indians who would appreciate his inclusion in the team.

Sources say there could be a possible captaincy switch between Rahul Dravid to Robin Uthappa, if the later makes it into the Bangalore Royal Challengers.

Meanwhile Mumbai Indians have already made a trade by swapping left-arm seemer Ahish Nehra with the left handed opener Shikhar Dhawan of Delhi Daredevils with no money exchanged.

Deccan Chargers are all set to have a contract with the U P bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar after his amazing performance in the Ranji trophy, who also managed to take the wicket of Sachin Tendukar on a duck, the little master’s first in the Ranji trophy.

The IPL 2009 season might also see players from England taking part with different IPL franchisees. England Captain Andrew Strauss said that he and his players can afford to participate in the upcoming IPL season without having to compromise with their national duties. Negotiations are on between The ECB and PCA and players are eagerly waiting for things to get sorted out before the deadline of February 4 set by the IPL board. Meanwhile talks are going on between IPL and ECB for having a stable cricketing calendar. Chennai Super Kings have already started their talks with the flamboyant English all-rounder Andrew Flintoff. Reports say they are eager to buy him.

On the other hand, Cricket Australia has allowed the players to play in the IPL and will not ban any of the top players. However, they also made it clear that the players who are unfit or carry any injuries will be barred. The CA public affairs manager Peter Young thinks that the two month outing in India could be a good platform for the players to prepare for the upcoming Ashes series, despite the list of injured players they have that includes Brett Lee, Andrew Symonds, Peter Siddle and Shane Watson.

All together, the IPL 2009 tournament seems to be sumptuous and promises more breathtaking encounters. The IPL 2009 is scheduled to commence on April 10, for an absorbing two months of cricketing action till May 24.

Sri Lankan board and players shun England for IPL 2009

For Test playing nation Sri Lanka, it seems to be T20 that takes prime place, as of late. Putting a full stop to speculations and a debate that was set to rage, Sri Lanka’s two Test tour of England next year has been put off.

The reason: Sri Lanka has finalized a deal that will commit the future of their international players to the Indian Premier League (IPL) at the expense of Test cricket.

The latest news follows a series of happenings where Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) has been pushing to make its star performers to be available for the IPL matches, This meant that the scheduled tour of England is off. The SLC  is said to have been categorically decided that the IPL will be the Sri Lankan Board’s top priority for the next decade.

The SLC deal with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) in this regard has come about so soon. The deal is in fact a money spinner, compared to the Test commitments. It has been reported that in return for committing its contracted players to play in both the IPL and the Champions League for the next 10 years, SLC would bag close to $70m from the BCCI. Besides, the SLC has also been offered yet another carrot. According to the BCCI, Sri Lanka will be included in two tri-series tournaments that would get underway in 2009 and 2010. This means that added financial gains are on the anvil for SLC.

The English tour is the one that would suffer with all the goings on in this part of the world. As if in consolation, the SLC is said to have offered the English Cricket Board a three-match one day international series to be played around May 25, in the place of next summer’s Test series against England. It remains to be seen if ECB is okay with the plan.

T20 Super Series: Will it really take off?

The Indian Premier League and the Champions Twenty20 tourney had heralded the arrival of super fast cricket. It seems like the game is getting even faster.

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Darren Gough keen on playing IPL matches

Where is former England Darren Gough heading for, post-retirement this summer? IPL, where else? Read the rest of this entry »

States to use IPL to boost local tourism

The state governments are using the high momentum on Indian Premier League Twenty20 tournament to promote tourism industry in their land. The state governments believe that by giving tax concessions and other facilities, the tourism sector could attract large number of people to the state during IPL matches. The idea is to promote and sell other tourism properties in the states clubbing with Indian Premier Matches. Sources close to the Tamil Nadu state tourism government confirmed that they have been giving shape to a well thought out strategy to cross sell state tourism projects with IPL matches.

Eight state governments in the country are getting direct benefit of Indian Premier League extravaganza. Most of the matches in the tournament are attracting large number of visitors from other part of the country. Teams from Delhi, Maharshtra, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andra Pradesh, West Bengal, Rajastan and Punjab are participating in the IPL tournament now. Also the governments have been getting lot of revenue from matches being held at different stadiums in these states.

The thinking among the governments is to make use much hyped and highly popular Twenty20 matches to promote tourism in their respective state. The Maharashtra government has taken first lead in this direction by proposing a entertainment tax exemption  for IPL. It has decided to waive 25 percent entertainment tax for the IPL thereby giving away revenue of at least Rs 8-10 crore per year. Maharashtra is hosting 10 matches including two semi-finals and one final in the IPL match schedule. As per the Bombay Entertainment Duty Act 1923, any show, musical, performance that’s organised with an intention of making profit need to pay entertainment tax to the state government. Also government used to levy entertainment tax on test matches and one-day internationals.

The franchise owners, mostly business tycoons and Bollywood stars, have spent crores of rupees to buy teams and players for the world’s richest cricket tournament that began on April 18.

Doping test hassles for IPL

With IPL matches getting more momentum there has been demand for scientific models for dope tests for players participating in the IPL matches.

Recently an International Cricket Council (ICC) meeting held at Dubai has asked the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), the ‘owner’ of the Indian Premier League (IPL), to introduce an anti-doping code for the tournament.

The IPL has also given shape for a dope code based on the World Anti Doping (WADA) Code. It is expected that Board of Cricket Control Board of India would start a new model for players for random testing.

But it is not yet clear that how can the dope test, if implemented, be effective in the IPL tournament. There are still doubts over the move of the ICC for a dope test.  Many people have questioned the relevance of testing in the IPL.

There are also apprehensions that an international player competing in the IPL be sanctioned as per the WADA Code in case there is a ‘positive’ test and an anti-doping violation charge is proved. The BCCI does not have an anti-doping code and thus it cannot conduct tests or sanction a player.

But the IPL machinery has no teeth for taking disciplinary action against players on ground of positive dope test. They have only power to suspend players from ongoing matches. There is no hint that how BCCI could deal with the issue if an anti-doping rule violation charge was proved. The IPL code has the standard two-year suspension for a first violation and life-time ineligibility for a second offence.