Days after it said that IPL was hastening the death of test cricket, it has emerged that the venerated London-based MCC (Marylebone Cricket Club), the world’s oldest cricket club and the former governing body of international cricket, is considering buying an IPL franchise when it expands in 2011 (via TOI). The Daily Telegraph reported that a consortium, which includes the MCC, may bid upto $200 million for an IPL team. IPL is expected to expand the league and introduce more teams into what is now an eight-team tournament.
IPL’s commercial success and its million dollar contracts for players have been criticised to be a major distraction for cricket players. MCC’s World Cricket Committee recently said that test cricket was on the verge of extinction in most countries, with players considering an IPL contract their ultimate goal. With high monetary rewards for a limited time commitment and a format that is less demanding physically, IPL has skewed incentives for cricket players everywhere and priorities for many.
The DT story points out that one hurdle before stronger ties between IPL and English counties is the England & Wales Cricket Board’s broadcast deal with Sky. The channel has exclusive rights to all cricket played in England, while Multiscreen Media (Sony) is IPL’s official broadcaster.