How a mid-season transfer window can work wonders for the IPL
IPL 2018 is expected to be a mega event with the return of Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals, along with the reshuffling of teams, which has filled the fans with enthusiasm. The 11th edition of IPL has everything to look forward to.
It is thus an appropriate time to introduce a new set of features that can make the tournament more interesting for the fans and fair for the teams and players. Taking a leaf out of football leagues, induction of 'mid-season player transfer' in IPL, during which the players can be transferred from one team to another, can be exciting. These players can be transferred only during a 'transfer window', which is a period in the middle of the league.
Here is a brief on how the player transfer works in league football:
The buying club must approach the selling club with details of the player they want to buy, along with the amount they deem fit.
Once those terms have been agreed, the association representing the selling club must confirm the player's identity.
Once that confirmation is in place, FIFA will allow the process to continue.
The association representing the buying club requests an International Transfer Certificate (ITC) from the selling club's association.
The selling club's association either delivers the ITC or rejects the request.
If delivered, the buying association must then enter the player's registration date.
The player becomes eligible to play for his new club.
His new club completes payment to the selling club and uploads receipts to the International Transfer Matching System (ITMS).
The transfer is complete.
Millionaire players, demanding managers and wily agents turn this period of transfer window into a summer soap opera.
Why is it needed in IPL?
Exciting for the fans
IPL viewership generally drops a little during the mid-season time. Following is the IPL 10 and IPL 9 viewership analysis :
The table shows a little slump in viewership for the week four, five and six. A player transfer window during this phase of the tournament can bring back the excitement amongst the viewers.
Helps team battling with sudden injury blows
Sudden injuries leave team management struggling to find the right combination of players. Last IPL was a testimony to this with 13 key players in the injured list before the start of the tournament. Some of them couldn't play a single match.
Teams like Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) and Delhi Daredevils (DD) lost their key players due to injury. Both RCB and DD ended the 2017 season at the eighth and sixth position respectively in the points table. A transfer window in the middle of the tournament could help teams recover from such injury setbacks and make the IPL stage very even.
Better opportunities for benched players
Every season there are a significant number of benched players in the IPL. Many overseas and talented Indian players are brought on board for a large amount of money but they end up sitting on the sidelines for best part of the tournament.
The following list puts weight on the above fact:
These players do not make it to the playing XI as teams prefer to go ahead with the winning combination. In such cases, a few of them can be transferred to a team willing to get the player contracted. It is a win-win situation for the buying team, the selling team, and the player.
A lot of money saved
It helps the selling franchise save a lot of money. A cherry on the cake, they also get to earn the transfer fee which is a significant amount of money. Here is an analysis of how the teams tend to waste money on benched players:
Note that irrespective of the fact that players are benched or are a part of the playing 11, they need to be paid full salaries. Thus money can be saved by the virtue of a mid-season player transfer.
The concept does appear promising but there are certain challenges involved in bringing this to reality.
Increased chances of wrongdoing
Cash-rich IPL has already been haunted by the evils of betting and spot-fixing. In the 2013 season, three cricketers, Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan were found of guilty of spot-fixing. Bringing in player transfer could result in more cases of corruption.
Behind the door deals
Players may try to contact prospective buyers via an agent and try to push a deal. This could be for better compensation or a more important role in the team.
Although challenges are big, if correct regulations are in place, it could well be one of the biggest reforms in league cricket. A system like FIFA's International Transfer Matching System (ITMS) can ensure transparency is maintained.