Category Archives: Advertisement

Dravid and Dhoni “Run Easy”

An ad campaign on Reebok’s “Run Easy” featuring Rahul Dravid and M. S. Dhoni.

Dravid and Dhoni run along with Thierry Henry, Nicole Vaidisova is running, Carolina Kluft and others — some recognizable and others not so recognizable (by me at least).

— Mohan

Disclaimer: We have no connections or relationships — commercial or otherwise — with Reebok, nor are we seeking to endorse/recommend their product. We merely paste adverts here that have a cricketing theme/connection.

BCCI’s match scheduling approach

Kudos to the BCCI for initiating some positive measures in spite of the fact that these steps were reactionary (and one or two ‘knee-jerky’ such as the sponsorship issue). However, it is disappointing that they have not talked about the scheduling of international matches except for the fact that the national team will play more domestic matches. In my opinion, it is a key area that needs to be addressed and acted fast.

Scheduling is important for obvious reasons:

  • Give players enough time to recover from injuries, mental pressure or burn out so that they can come back rejuvenated
  • Allow players time to get back to form by letting them play first class cricket and hopefully came back with confidence
  • More importantly, it helps keep the public interest alive by limiting International matches. Unless there is some novelty value, the crowds will stop coming eventually. There is no point killing the proverbial golden goose!
  • Finally in the long term, crowds will come and sponsors will pay only when the team is winning and playing good cricket since scheduling plays an indirect yet significant role in the teams performance

Here are my suggestions:
Do away quota system for Associations
Do away with quota systems for assigning matches to different cities/grounds. BCCI’s flimsy reason is that a portion of the revenues generated through tickets and stadium adverts will go to the local association. This has no doubt adversely affected the standard of pitches, quality of the stadiums, spectator safety and besides; players have to put up with additional travelling and difficult playing conditions. At least for Tests, grounds should be limited to Mohali, Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bangalore and Chennai. Surely, there are other creative ways of allocating funds to these associations.

Limit ODIs
We need to play exactly 6 home tests each year and at least limit home ODIs to 10 or a 3-team series (like the Australian format). The following stats will make interesting reading:

Year : Tests (home/ away) : ODIs (h/a)
2006 : 12 (3/9) : 32 (7/25)
2007* : 9 (3/6) : 48 (25/23)
* I have included possible future games for 2007. Interesting to note that for this year alone ODIs would have increased to 54 if India had qualified for the Super8s and a whooping 56 if they reached the finals!!

In my opinion, BCCI should aim for 12 Tests (6/6) and roughly 30 ODIs (10/20) each year and no more. But the problem is they have already signed sponsorship deals and telecast rights which are likely to have caveats on how many matches India will play over the next 3 or so years.

Lock-in schedules
The schedules for these matches should be locked in at least 12 months before to enable better logistics management and pitch preparation.

Rotation policy with a difference
While the BCCI has more control over limiting home games, they may have to compromise on the away tours. India may end up playing a lot more ODIs and Twenty20s. The BCCI therefore needs to manage this carefully.

My suggestion is to set thresholds for number of playing days by playing role. This should include both domestic and International matches.

Unless a situation arises where the bench cannot replace a player and all other options are considered he should be given a break. Indirectly this will create a pressure on improving both the quality and quantity of the bench (not overnight, but eventually).

This will also allow untested yet talented players a fairer go to represent India. Unless chances are given, we will never know for sure.

I understand that that this is easier said than done. Thresholds will no doubt be different for fast bowlers, spinners, and batsmen. Throw keepers and all rounders into the fray and it becomes even more complex. I agree, that the equation is not straight forward as there can be many variables like a spinner may not bowl more than 10 overs in a test match in England!

Answers will only evolve over time but it has to start somewhere; and a good place to start is looking at the stats for the last 4 or 5 seasons. If the coach, captain, selectors, team physio and statistician work on this together, a draft version can be created within a week.

I am glad that the BCCI has come out in favour of organising more ‘A’ tours. As Mohan Krishnamoorthy has suggested in his post ‘Two teams :: Mixed signals from the selectors…’ , it is important that ‘A’ teams play nearly the same if not more ODIs and tests as the senior team. Hopefully quality players will come through the system.

-Vish

BCCI & the ‘Endorsements clause’

Cricinfo has brought out some aspects of the ‘endorsements clause’ in this good article by Sambit Bal. BCCI is going to limit endorsements to 1 or 2 sponsors per player. This is sending out a signal that echoes popular public sentiment: “Players are earning too much money without concentrating on their job.”

The BCCI also says that there should be no filming for advertisements 2 weeks before a series.

Now this is a high handed way of highlighting the issue. BCCI wants to appear strong in the public eye and in a typical manner are trying to dictate terms to the players.

At this rate they will also start telling the players “which balls to choose for the square cut or the hook shot!”

Yes I am exaggerating a bit here. But can’t the BCCI not handle it in a more positive manner?

Look just tell the players “Be available for cricket for x no of days in a year.” Go on leave for the balance, play cricket, shoot ads or do whatever you want. Cannot the BCCI come up with a way in which they get a minimum commitment from the players on this? Then sponsors can shoot a zillion ads during a Dravid getaway in Kovalam! I personally feel very strongly on this issue. Every time the team loses, they are blamed for appearing in ads! Like Sambit Bal says in the above Cricinfo article, they appear in ads only because they perform!

Sanjay

Unravelling the Super8 schedule!

After the Rediff expose of the ICC schedule bungle — perhaps as a result of an overzealous website editor/copywriter — I did some thinking on the nomination of the teams as A1, A2, B1, B2, etc.

For a brief period the ICC schedule website, had the following rule in it (copied from Rediff who were quick enough to clip it from there!):

    Team names for the Super Eight stage are indicative based on the top two teams from the Group Stage qualifying. If these two teams do qualify they will be seeded in position 1 or 2 as specified regardless of whether they finish first or second in their group. For example, if South Africa wins Group A and Australia comes second, for the purposes of the Super Eights, South Africa will still be A2 and Australia will be A1.

Note that the ICC runs two schedule websites, here and here — the latter being the website being run for the ICC by its official Internet partner, http://www.indya.com!

Let us think this through logically. The Super8 stage is a league where every team plays every other team apart from the one from its own Group (which it would have played already and carried over points from). So, it doesn’t really make a difference which team is named A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, C2, D1 and D2 — given that they will all play each other! For example, even if India wins all its 3 group games and tops Group-B, it would not make a difference if India is named B2 and Sri Lanka (say) is named B1 — as long as India carries over 2 points into the Super8 stage.

Now, why would the ICC want to label India as B2?

Easy. If the ICC did that, India would play most of its games on Saturdays or Sundays. Big TV audience. Big moolah! Clever.

The ICC would maximise its TV revenue if it labels the teams in the following way (assuming no upsets in the Group games by the 8 minnows that are just there to make up the numbers and fatten the stats).

    A1: Australia
    A2: South Africa
    B1: Sri Lanka
    B2: India
    C1: New Zealand
    C2: England
    D1: Pakistan
    D2: West Indies

This will mean that marquee games (or showcourt games) that would have larger TV audiences would be on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays! Note the strategically positioned gap in the schedule between the Wednesday 4th April and Saturday 7th April. That’s so that India can play South Africa on Saturday the 7th of April, if we follow the labelling as above. An alternative to the above labelling is that D1 and D2 are swapped — this would make a toss of a difference to the “revenue earning” games that matter — as far as the ICC is concerned! The swapping of A1 and A2 will also produce reasonable dollar results for the ICC — after all, is that not their main concern?

However, I am pretty confident that India will be labelled B2 and Australia will be A1, regardless of the Group results.

In the event that the labelling is as I indicated above, India’s Super8 games will be:

  • Saturday 31 March: Australia V India
  • Monday 02 April: New Zealand V India
  • Saturday 07 April: South Africa V India
  • Wednesday 11 Apr: England V India
  • Sunday 15 April: India V Pakistan
  • Thursday 19 April: West Indies V India

How convenient? This is smart, but devious of the ICC, in my view. Devious because I haven’t seen this transparently explained anywhere. In the absence of such transparency, most people would like to believe that the labelling follows the normal rule which would suggest that the leader assumes first spot in the Group table…

— Mohan

The Great Indian Huddle (Pepsi Advert)…

One last video for the day — could not resist! This is also an old one called “The Great Indian Huddle”. Nice advert. Cute kid.

— Mohan

Ps: I have no connection with Pepsi. We have merely pasted adverts here that have a cricketing theme.

Blue Billion (Pepsi Advert)…

Talking of adverts, here is a Pepsi ad that features Sourav Ganguly. The ad is a few months old — taken when Sourav Ganguly was still out of the team.

[Youtube=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xFkJNlvtqYs”%5D

— Mohan

Ps: I have no connection with Pepsi. We have merely pasted adverts here that have a cricketing theme.

New Advertisement (Nike)

Check out the new Nike advert:

— Mohan

Ps: I have no connection with Nike. We have merely pasted adverts here that have a cricketing theme.