Miscellaneous & Offbeat

Chance encounter with MS Dhoni


Mahendra Singh Dhoni is the current captain of the Indian national cricket team in limited-over formats. An attacking right-handed middle-order batsman and wicket-keeper, he is widely regarded as one of the greatest finishers in limited-overs cricket. He holds numerous captaincy records such as most wins by an Indian captain in Tests and One Day Internationals (ODI), and most back-to-back wins by an Indian captain in ODIs. Dhoni is born and brought up in Ranchi. We all are proud of him. He is an icon.

I was today returning home from my institute via Delhi.  When I was going to board the Indigo flight in the evening, I was surprised to see Dhoni on our bus! He was also returning to his home in Ranchi. I went to him and asked for his autograph. He immediately signed on the back of my boarding pass.

Autograph of MS Dhoni
Autograph of Mahendra Singh Dhoni on the reverse of my flight boarding pass

Dhoni is a nice, warm and friendly person. We had some chat while the bus was moving towards the plane. He happily obliged me and two other co-passengers, when we asked for a picture with him. In fact, he himself took the selfie!

Selfie with Dhoni
Selfie with Mahendra Singh Dhoni inside the bus from airport terminal to the airplane

It’s a great memorable moment in my life and I am really excited. Six years ago, I met another all-time great ODI player, the Sri Lankan all-rounder, Sanath Jayasuriya, on our flight. We were travelling from Colombo to Bangalore.

Business & Finance

IPL sports a $3.5 billion business valuation


Many of the world’s top cricketers will gather in India next month to compete in a league that didn’t exist 10 years ago, yet now contributes billions of rupees to the country’s economy.

The VIVO Indian Premier League 2016 features eight franchise teams representing cities across the country competing in 60 matches in the explosive Twenty20 short-duration version of the game.

322033-iplThe IPL follows on from the ICC World Twenty20, a competition featuring national teams that is currently approaching its climax in India. Though the IPL season lasts only a few weeks ─ this year’s tournament runs from April 9 to May 29 ─ the top-level international players taking part are lavishly rewarded.

The players are not the only ones to benefit. A report on the economic impact of last year’s IPL season produced by KPMG Sports Advisory Services found that the event contributed 11.5 billion rupees ($172 million) to India’s GDP. Another report, by the American Appraisal valuation services company, last year put the overall value of the IPL as a business at $3.5 billion, up 9 percent from 2014.

The direct economic impact of the IPL season, including spending on travel, accommodation, food and beverages, team outfits and equipment, promotional activities and the cost of staging matches, was put at 5.7 billion rupees by KPMG. The total output impact ─ once the multiplier effect of this spending across the Indian economy was taken into account ─ was 26.5 billion rupees. The KPMG report says three groups drove the economic impact of the competition ─ spectators, the franchises and the organizers.

Twenty20 matches typically last little more than three hours and entertain spectators with big-hitting thrills and rapid scoring. The first IPL season took place in 2008, and the competition was an immediate hit in a country that is crazy about cricket. Broadcasting and sponsorship cash poured in, confirming India’s status as the game’s financial powerhouse.

The success of the IPL spawned similar tournaments in other countries, and this has changed the global game.

H/T: Bloomberg Business