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Indian Premier League Exclusive

Media release

June 23, 2008

Indian Premier League Exclusive

It was billed as the biggest and best spectacle the cricket world has ever seen.

Eight franchise teams stacked with international stars playing boundary-smashing Twenty20 in front of 60,000 feverish Indian fans in the stands, and millions more watching at home on television.

But what was it really like for players such as Kiwis Stephen Fleming and Scott Styris, and coach Martin Crowe in the thick of the pressure-stacked atmosphere?

Did the players, coaching staff and IPL bosses rate the glitzy competition which finished last month a success? And what impact do they think the IPL will have on international cricket?

These questions – and a whole lot more – are answered in a fascinating behind the scenes documentary, Inside the IPL, on Sky Sport 1, Saturday, June 28, at 8.30pm.

Sky Sport presenter and producer Alex Lewis gained extensive and exclusive access to Fleming, Styris and Crowe during the most frenetic seven week sports show in the world.

“I felt more pressure watching these games than anything I’d experienced in my time,” admits Crowe, chief cricket officer for the Royal Challengers Bangalore.

“I’ve aged, lost more hair and have not slept….I’ve been petrified,” he later confides to Fleming, who starred for the Chennai Super Kings, during a candid Inside the IPL chat.

Inside the IPL also highlights the competition’s no expense-spared flashiness – one team owner flew in the scantily-clad Washington Redskins’ cheerleaders to a controversial reception – and tackles IPL boss himself Lalit Modi on several thorny issues.

Styris, back in action for the Black Caps in a 50-over international against England screening live on Sky Sport 1 after the IPL doco, hopes the competition can find a happy medium with established formats. But he fears that record IPL salaries may eventually win out.

“It’s been reported in the media that some of the biggest stars will be earning between 10 and 15 million for seven weeks work which is staggering,” says Styris, who played for IPL wooden-spooners, Deccan Chargers.

“It’s going to be tough for players to turn down that sort of money when they can slog their guts out for 10 months of the year and make 10% of that…if they’re lucky.”

Inside the IPL, Sky Sport 1, Saturday, June 28, 8.30pm


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