Mumbai:The Indian Premier League (IPL) will soon start grabbing headlines, some for controversial reasons, others maybe for the on-field action. When glamour meets go-for-it cricket and greenbacks are part of the deal, one can be sure that this hi-decibel drama is seen and heard across the country. Yet, It is not just the tournament that is bathed in publicity because of the big money, generous helpings of controversy and cricket figures that read something like 36-26-36 which incidentally is no Wisden record, just the anatomy of some models that seem to descend on this tournament with startling prominence.
Even the pre-tournament auction is now big bucks property. The auction of cricketers coming up in Bangalore on January 8 and 9 has become a hot ticket television event.
Reports state that there is a rush for advertisers for the auction itself and advertising slots are going at record rates for the auction. Slots are going for Rs 50,000 per ten seconds. Another report states that the taxmen would be watching the auction very closely. Given the deafening hype that has enveloped the auction itself, and India's penchant (perish the thought, say some) to turn cricket into cricket-ainment, (cricket and entertainment) it may not be too long before an IPL auction goes something like this: The auction itself may be interspersed by songs and dances and even as IPL item number cannot be out of question. Not just the taxmen, but Bollywood directors might watch the auction carefully scouting for dancers and actors for their forthcoming movies.
Then again, one might see a slew of companies jumping on the bandwagon; the auctioneer might stride in, plastered with stickers all over his anatomy, all sponsors of this unique auction. A fashion house might even design special outfits for those involved with the auction and taglines might read: auction participants outfit designed by... Even a ramp running across the auction room with participants may soon be a hilarious but distinct possibility.
All this may sound goofy and far-fetched but it is entirely possible. Who had thought that cricketers would go under the hammer? The glorious uncertainties of the game might one day in this slightly alarming futuristic scenario include industrialists, cricket coaches and former cricketers breaking into a bhangra at a cricket auction after they 'win' the bid for a cricketer, because it is mandatory to do so. A company specialising in wheat production from Punjab may have sponsored the post-bid win reactions. O balle balle, it's a whole new ball game after all.