Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Expansion teams

The announcement of two new IPL franchises sounds familiar, and while the process is much less drawn out in this case, can we draw any parallels with the AFL's expansion?

While Fremantle and Port Adelaide have been around long enough now, the IPL has accepted a second team in a cricketing heartland state (Pune). However, they have also taken on a "Western Sydney" expansion area 'not known for cricket' (Kochi). The apparently deserving alternative of "Tasmania" has been left out (Ahmedabad), perhaps continuing to supply fans for teams from neighbouring state(s), especially "Hawthorn", who play some games there (Rajasthan).

Of course, these analogies are far from perfect: The IPL (thankfully) has no Victorian roots. It might be a more realistic depiction of the relative populations, and (probably only slightly) fairer to Kochi's cricketing heritage to align them with the Gold Coast. While the Chargers this year might look like the homeless Kangaroos of old, some might think that designation would also fit Warne's Royals better than that of the Hawks. But does that make Ahmedabad the Gold Coast? I'm getting confused...

My point (other than being entertained by my own confusion) is that it's interesting how quite different mechanisms of decision making (both directed at making money, it should be said) have led to similarly disputed choices when it comes to expansion. Having said that, my colleague from Ahmedabad isn't concerned with the news at all - the whole thing seems safer ground than looking at the leagues' respective approaches to providing players for the new teams!

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