On September 12, 2007, Modi’s Indian Premier League was formally launched in a high-profile ceremony in New Delhi. Modi was joined by some of cricket’s most powerful men. Among them was the IPL Board of Governors, made from three former captains of the Indian national team and 4 BCCI officials. Several players of international stature, including Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Sourav Ganguly, Anil Kumble, Australia’s Glenn McGrath, and New Zealand’s Stephen Fleming, were also on hand to support the league, as were the chairmen of varied cricket boards and therefore the ICC.
All of the country's major television stations and magazines covered the sport. Modi said that the IPL would begin comprising of eight franchises, each associated with a town. The teams would play an annual tournament featuring Twenty20 cricket, with each game lasting roughly three hours. Modi’s concept for the IPL would be to “entice an entirely new generation of sports fans into the grounds throughout the country. The dynamic Twenty20 format has been designed to attract a young fan base, which also includes women and children''.
He said that the last word goal was to make a franchised domestic cricket structure for India. The league’s board would be responsible for creating the tournament schedule, providing regulations and match officials, maximizing media coverage, and guaranteeing exclusivity within a team’s geographic region. “Each franchisee will get one habitat and can need to plan to build stadiums at their base,” said Modi. These franchises would get marketing rights and also a share in the centralized revenue, which was yet to be decided.
They would also be entitled to local revenue from ticket sales and other sources. Modi envisioned that each team was to have 16 players, including a maximum of four foreign players and a minimum of four players drawn from the Under-1914which each team was based. International players would require the approval of their respective countries’ cricket boards; matches to be played for his or her countries would always take precedence over IPL matches. Players would earn salaries, but not the choices and bonuses common in American sports leagues.
Many would undoubtfully earn generally more from sponsorship deals. There would be a player draft, almost like those in American professional sports leagues, and teams would be permitted to trade players. As Modi then conceived the inaugural tournament, the league’s eight teams would participate in 59 matches played over 44 days in April and May 2008. The first 56 games would feature each team playing one another team twice during a round-robin format. Only four teams with the most points in the round-robin matches would qualify for the second, knock-out stage, featuring two semifinals and a final.
The tournament winner would earn a cash prize of $3 million, with additional cash prizes for the best pitcher and outfielder, and for a variety of other special awards. Launching the IPL made headline news in India and still, the league had made no formal arrangements with any players, franchisees, sponsors, or TV broadcasters. Never was Modi actually certain about the need of the franchises constructing stadiums.
And there was a competition to consider: Chandra’s domestic ICL was about to play its inaugural tournament upon his return from the World Cup tournament, Modi partnered with Andrew Wildblood and Peter Griffiths, both vice presidents at IMG World, a major international sports marketing firm, to give scope and definition to his vision for the IPL. Modi and the IMG team scrutinized the business models of myriad sports leagues in the United States and Europe in order to determine which aspects they would borrow to form the IPL.
In guiding the work of IMG, Modi identified four constituencies whose interests that they had to look at in detail: players, broadcasters, franchisees, and cricket boards. They also had to consider the competition; after all, Chandra was also working to build his ICL into a successful intercity Twenty20 league. The first game in the IPL’s inaugural tournament was to be played on April 18, 2008. Before that date, Modi needed to persuade each of the four constituencies that the league was in their best gain. What followed was a snapshot of where things stood between Modi and the four major constituencies in India in late December 2007.