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Which direction is cricket heading to?

  • Updated: February 21, 2008, 4:36 PM IST

New Delhi: After the DLF Indian Premier League players auctions on Wednesday, questions are also being raised on what direction the game will take now.

More importantly; will players think of their cricket careers in an entirely new way and will February 20, 2008, go down in history as the day cricket changed forever?

After all never before had the game seen what it saw on Wednesday and many believe change is inevitable.

"I think it is going to be a watershed in the history of global cricket because this is the first time that a free enterprise, a private enterprise has come into play. For the first time club cricket is taking an international flavour. So I think this is going to be a major, major thing in international cricket," Lokesh Sharma, MD of 21st Century Media, says.

So far international cricket has been the game's driving force subsidising the domestic game in all cricket-playing countries.

But if the IPL takes off, players will be put in a scenario no one could fathom.

Can loyalty towards club override loyalty towards country? Some experts are quick to dismiss such fears.

"Not at all. It is the ultimate. Don't forget you have to play well in domestic cricket to get selected for international cricket and you will have to do very well in international cricket to get selected for IPL. So where is the question of domestic cricket getting downgraded," former India skipper Krish Srikkanth says.

And what about the fans though? Like fanatic football followers, will the IPL clubs too develop a frenzied following?

"Right now I am afraid it is going to be a little iffy because the real revenue earner here is going to be the television. And how many viewers are going to be locked on to a TV screen to watch Mallya team's vs somebody else’s team. It is going to be a moot question," Ad-man Prahlad Kakkar says.

So from April 18, a curious cricketing community will watch with bated breath as their beloved game steeped in tradition will change forever.

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