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IPL brand dips after spot fixing

Chennai, May 17 () : IPL brand has taken a dent. BCCI President N Srinivasan is more worried about spot-fixing than the three players named in the FIR.

The cricket board is literally facing a `towel in the trousers’ syndrome. Till now everything seemed to go without any controversy. Year after year, the brand value has been eroded but this time Sony –Pepsi were all happy with the way the game was going on.

A recent study had for the first time in two years put the IPL’s overall value at 4% higher than last year at $3.03 billion (Rs 16,362 crore). Last year’s value was $2.92 bn (Rs 15,768 crore).

Only the marginal increase came after two years of decline that saw the brand value go from $4.13 bn (Rs 22,302 crore) to $3.67 bn (Rs 19,818 crore) and slip to $2.92 bn. Totally, there was a loss of nearly $1 bn.

Ultra Tech, the team sponsor of Rajasthan Royals is red-faced after having just paid Rs 30 crore for renewing the two year contract. Pepsi, which just launched a new drink Atom and the main sponsor is putting up a brave face by skirting the issue of being hit by spot-fixing, and moving on to fair play. Official broadcaster says everything is fine with viewership.

Rajasthan Royals (RR) has always been in controversy. It won the first IPL trophy but after that it has been mired in financial irregularities. BCCI has thrown RR out of IPL for violation of the agreement but with the SC stay order it came back, allegedly with support of ex-IPL Commissioner Lalit Modi.

One of the promoters of the RR is Suresh Chellaram, brother-in-law of Modi. Modi is now hiding in London, after the scam blew open, had seen that Chellaram got the team cheaply. It was $64 million and the lowest priced franchise.

Shilpa Shetty and her husband paid $41.6 million to a UK biz man Mohan Badgle, the owner of RR for a 11% stake. The Enforcement Directorate has slapped charges that Shilpa and Mohan of having used the Mauritius route to launder the money. There are no records to show Shilpa of having paid the money, said then BCCI President.

RR used to boast of getting not so top cricketers for less money and getting excellent performance.

Mohinish Mishra (Sahara Pune Warriors) P Sudhindra (of the now-defunct Deccan Chargers), Amit Yadav, Shalabh Srivastava (Kings XI Punjab) and Abhinav Bali, a Delhi player, were suspended by the IPL after a channel did a sting operation last year. The spot fixing trail leads to Kochi where Sreesanth operated through his friend Damodaran to clinch deals with Dubai centered bookies. He was behind the private club that conducted matches in Dubai.