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The business of T20

NIKHIL VARMA
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book Ravi Ramu talks about his experience of owning a T20 team in the Karnataka Premier League

What is most important while selecting a good cricket team? How do you value a cricket team in a league that has not been launched yet? These are some of the questions Ravi Ramu and his friends had to find answers to after bidding for one of the teams in the inaugural Karnataka Premier league in 2009.

The answers to these questions form the crux of the book Inside Indian T20 . The book penned by Ravi takes readers into a journey of the process of setting up a T20 squad in a nascent league (KPL) and leading it to victory in the first season.

Says Ravi: “We started with just an idea to bid for a team. We had no idea about the returns from the investment from the venture and whether it would be a success. We decided to take a gamble and it paid off.”

He adds, “I have worked in many management roles across the globe and was initially wary on how managing a team would be. It has been a great experience and I have enjoyed it thoroughly. It has helped me take to the T20 format of the game as well.”

Ravi is a keen follower of the game and felt that a side needs a good captain and a coach.

“They need to be people who would rally their players and make everyone give their best. I wanted a captain and coach who have the correct attitude to lead. This holds true in a cricket field and a corporate office.” Giving an example from the cricket field, he contends, “Mike Brearley was a mediocre player, but an excellent captain. He had the knack of managing a team well and getting results from the players. That is the perquisite for any captain.”

Ravi says that he met his players only once in the course of the tournament. “I do not think owners have a role to play in how a team performs on field. That is the job of the coach and the captain. I feel that it is very important that every player should be in his own zone, when he is on the field.”

He adds, “I do not agree with the oft repeated statement that cricket is a team game. It is not a team game like football or hockey, where you need passes, good saves and a team effort to do a good job. In cricket, when you are batting or bowling, you are playing an individual game. The team does not determine how you bat or bowl as an individual.”

The main problem that the Indian team has faced in its slump over the last 18 months has been the lack of a communicative coach and captain, says Ravi. “You need someone who makes you comfortable in the zone or coaxes you into it. That does not seem to be happening, which is a major cause of concern.”

Inside Indian T20 has been published by Rupa and is available for Rs.250.

NIKHIL VARMA

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