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The King of Good Times has been hit by bad times in the DFL Indian Premier League. Vijay Mallya sees himself and his precious brands at the very bottom of the points table.

The question is on everyone’s lip: Should a cricket team be run like a business? Is a cricket team any different? Vandana Mittal has a nice article which debates this issue. Should the rules of business apply to cricket?

I say “Yes”. This is not a friendly cricket match over a leisurely holiday. This man has paid big money- $ 111 million- in this venture. He is entitled to make people accountable for results. He hasn’t spent so much to become the laughing stock of the cricket world.

If reports are to be believed the team- Royal Challengers- hasn’t bonded together like some of the others. Its captain has not been able to- from what we see on TV- energize the players and motivate them to fight till the end.

Cricket writes Pradeep Magazine in another article is a sport. The article, in my view, forgets the fact that cricketeres in this format have been paid big money via the auctions to perform. This is not the age of amateurs and professionals we saw 50 years ago when only the professionals were paid to play and looked down upon, may I add. Now every major player has been “bought” for a price.

One does not expect the team to win every game every where. But the owner is entitled to a decent return on his investment. Tell me, if you had invested even a fraction of $ 111 million in a company which flopped, wouldn’t you have squawked?

Let’s get this straight. The IPL is a business batllefield with tons of money riding on advertising, branding etc. If you expect super payments for the players, the owners, who are not wet behind the ears, will expect super performance too.

The cricket arena has changed for ever. There are lessons galore for the owners, cricketers and other investors as well. Next time you plan to make an investment in cricket, Dr. Mallya, get someone on your side who can tell you the truth.

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This is the 161 st of the “A Step A Day” series : To provide perspective and provoke thought to facilitate self-development across a wide spectrum of issues- big and small- crucial for executive success