Now that India has lost its chance to take a shot at the 2007 World Cup, I was wondering if we can use the craze for cricket to make money. Yes, the BCCI is making tons of it already, but they still cannot insure their sponsors of losses (to the tune of Rs 150 crores; approx. USD 35 million) to Sony Entertainment Television and unaccountable losses to other sponsors due to decreased viewership of the remaining matches.
Have all matches rigged!!!
Easier said than done. But it can be done. And No, I am not saying that it will be done illegally. So what am I going to do?
I am planning to start a company on the lines of the WWE
The sport will be cricket. Let's call this firm Cricketmania Inc. (CMI)
CMI will have individual players (from different countries) contracted to play exclusively for the CMI. Players will preferrably be flambouyant and aggressive, so that they can be over-hyped (like the Sachins, Laras, Sehwags, Dhonis, Afridis, etc. of the world) or be tough hunks (Haydens, Freddies, Sir. Viv. Richards, Gayles, Graeme Smiths, Khans, et.al). They also can be dangerouls looking like the Donalds, Nels, Vaas and Akhtars of the world. Rarely will contracts be offered to the placid Dravids. Flemings, Chandepauls, Youhanas, DSilvas, Kumbles, Warnes et al)
Teams will be based on countries, no doubt. But there will be guidelines provided to the teams as to who'll win and who'll lose. Every player should have a guideline for # of runs to be scored, wickets to be taken, catches dropped, etc. The players can improvise within a given set of guidelines. Ofcourse, teams with the highest fan following will reach the finals and will often LOSE (WC 2003 was perfect for most advertisers as India reached the finals)
Yes, initially, the quality of cricket will not be as good (read there will be no perfect yorkers, perfect out/in swingers, fast balls, slow balls, etc.) . But let's face it, the viewers want the batsmen to score. They do not want the bowlers to take wickets. Ofcourse, these will be one-day matches (maybe even Twenty20 cricket)
How do I allow legal rigging?
By mentioning this fact on the company factsheet!!! The company will publically claim (not publicise) that the matches will be played with a set of suitable guidelines for participating teams. Since all players from all teams are under contract with the firm, they have to oblige. The players obviously do not have much of a future in the actual cricket anyways, so they better comply :-)
If WWE can be a thumping success, so can CMI!!!