IPL is not started as a commercial publicity stunt. It is an Off shoot of a clash between the BCCI and the ICC on the one hand and an organisation Indian Cricket League - ICL formed to conduct twenty 20 matches in India. The ICL was founded during 2007 by Zee Entertainment Enterprises, a member company of Essel Group of Subhash Chandra, a private Enterprise.
Its Board consisted among others Tony Greig, Dean Jones and Kiran More. Kapil Dev Ramlal Nikhanj (Kapil Dev)was the chairman. The ICL was initially to comprise six teams playing twenty 20 cricket with plan to increase the number of teams. It also had plans to start 50-over matches.
Since it was an unofficial organisation, the national cricket boards warned their players from taking part in the matches of ICL. Because of this most of the players who were part of the 1st season of matches were retired international players. In this 6 teams played in 3 stadiums in India. The 2nd season in 2008 had 8 teams playing in more venues.
The BCCI took the ICL as challenge to it and tried to dissuade Kiran More and Kapil Dev.They pointed out to Kapil that his presence in ICL will have conflict of interest as Kapil was the Chairman of National Cricket Academy owned by BCCI. BCCI removed Kapil from NCA and threatened players playing for ICL. Side by side they incresed the payments to the players of their team and other facilities were introduced.
The BCCI started its own international Twenty20 league under the name Indian Premier League in April 2008.
The ICL petitioned to Delhi High Court and the Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Commission of India in 2007.The Delhi HC ruled in favour of ICL.
However the BCCI introduced several incentives to its IPL players and increased the remuneration many fold. They gave tremendous publicity to the activites of the I P L. They introduced the glamour girls from the film and other similar industries as cheer leaders during the plays. They got the full publicity of the media. All these adversely affected the I C L and ICL had to fold its shop.
Since there is huge money involved in auction, salaries, franchises, commercials, broadcast rights etc it is getting more and more commercial and glamourised and corrupt. If it continues like this it will become worse than the CWG and will out beat horse race and stock markets as a channel of betting and match fixing.
Ramanathan A R