‘Strategy breaks’ to expedite matches, not earn revenue, says Lalit Modi

Denying that boosting advertising revenue is the real reason behind introducing ‘strategy breaks’ in this year’s Indian Premier League, IPL Commissioner Lalit Modi on Wednesday said it is actually aimed at expediting the matches.

In yet another deviation from tradition, the second edition of the Twenty20 extravaganza would see teams getting a five-minute ‘strategy break’ after 10 overs apparently to get their acts right.

Even though many feel the move was aimed at increasing advertisement revenue, Modi insisted it was just to speed up proceedings.

“I absolutely disagree with that,” Modi said. “We did a calculation last year and 100 per cent matches went over an hour beyond their schedule time. It was just delays and delays. We had enforced extremely high penalties but major of the time teams were ready to pay the money because they were back and forth talking to the players, strategising.

“So we have given them a time-out after every 10 overs and enforced high penalty like USD 3000-4000 in case of delay. The objective here is to fasten the game in fact and not slow down the game and at the same time, giving time and opportunity to the managers and teams to regroup and discuss their strategy,” Modi told a channel.

Asked for his reaction to the war of words between Kolkata Knight Riders owner Shah Rukh Khan and former India captain Sunil Gavaskar, also an IPL Governing Council member, on KKR coach John Buchanan’s controversial multiple-captain theory, Modi said it was completely the team’s prerogative to do whatever it deems fit.

“Whoever owns a team has a right to do whatever he thinks. I think Sunil is right in his way and Shah Rukh is also right.

“I think Shah Rukh has thought out his strategy… it’s actually a prerogative of the team,” Modi said.

The IPL chief conceded it would not be the same after the event was shifted out of India but was confident that the razzmatazz would prove a success.

“It’s Indian Premier League and we should be having it in India. But circumstances forced us to move out.

“But I’m looking at the positives… the tickets were exhausted within a couple of hours of opening and people told me this is the fastest selling event in South Africa’s history,” Modi added.

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