by Veturi Srivatsa
Book: "The IPL Story - Cricket, Glamour and Big Money"; Author: Abhishek Dubey; Publisher: Pearson; Pages: 218; Price: Rs.199
At a time when book stores are flooded with compendiums on the 2011 World Cup, an intrepid television reporter has come up with a sizzling story on the Indian Premier League (IPL).
Sleaze sells and on TV it grips the viewer more as an instant trial is conducted,
judgment pronounced and executed in a matter of an hour. If the same story is narrated in a racy style, it can be unputdownable.
That's what Abhishek Dubey of IBN 7 has done in compiling meticulously and chronologically the shenanigans of the IPL Governing Council and its high-flying commissioner Lalit Modi, running through events in a dramatic fashion in his book, "The IPL Story - Cricket, Glamour and Big Money".
The writer has traversed beyond cricket, business and big bucks, linking it all to corruption, a fascinating subject for TV channels to flog day in and day out.
He has clubbed Modi with the high and mighty in the world of sport, saying he would have been to cricket what Juan Antonio Samaranch was to the Olympic movement, Joao Havalange to soccer and Bernie Ecclestone to motor sports. In the same breath, he has also likened Modi to Ramalinga Raju, Suresh Kalmadi, Ashok Chavan and A. Raja -- the people who have used the system to their advantage but, at the end of the process, were mired in corruption sagas and had to go.
Dubey goes on to write a political treatise on how these and some other people have taken shortcuts to shortchange the stakeholders.
His summary trial and daring conclusions notwithstanding, the 218-page book published by Pearson may still leave a whole lot of questions unanswered. But Dubey seems to have consciously left them to the imagination of the reader. He has presented his well researched facts to help them make up their mind. It is more than a mere Twenty20 game.
The narration is as effervescent and Hitchcockian as a T20 match, tracing the origins of the IPL, its auction of franchisees and players and the nocturnal activities on match days. He has also touched on the socio-economic issues of the IPL.
Unlike a couple of earlier books on the subject, which either dealt with pure economics and bunglings or a blogger's view of it, this one tries to encompass all aspects of the sport and politics and, for good measure, reminds us that nothing can escape the media's hawk-eye.