Wednesday, April 7, 2010

IPL to cricket - a boon or a goon?

You've got to admit that Lalit Modi's a genius. Forget that he's been called a gambler, a swindler etc.., and also the fact that he didn't make it to the presidency of the Rajasthan Cricket Board. He sort of made it all up with the money and fame he earned from the latest IPL.

"Apple introduced the concept of Windows. But Microsoft popularized the Windows concept." So says my class 11 computer textbook.
"ICL recognised the potential of domestic cricket but it was IPL which commercialised it" (I said this!)

ICL (Indian Cricket League) was the brain-child of Kapil Dev & co. - the rebels of BCCI (Board of Control of Cricket in India). The twenty-twenty event managed to turn quite a few heads but the money it drew wasn't any big. The BCCI wouldn't tolerate all such competition and came up with a slew of stringent actions. Players who participated in the ICL were banned from playing international cricket by the ICC. As a result, many players dropped out and there's been no ICL season 3 this time (I don’t know for sure).

So IPL (Indian Premier League) was brought out as a rivalry measure by the BCCI with more pomp and glory (and of course, with more dosh). Players were auctioned at unbelievable rates; teams were purchased by celebs; tickets were sold at exorbitant rates and TRP rates were mounting. The IPL sounded just too 'glitz' for the common cricket-frenzy Indian who absolutely seemed to love it (I did!)

There are 8 teams as for now - Deccan Chargers (won the last season), Royal Challengers Bangalore, Chennai Super Kings, Delhi Daredevils, Rajasthan Royals (won the first season), Kolkata Knight Riders, Kings XI Punjab and the Mumbai Indians. Two more IPL teams are to be added in the next season – Kochi and Pune.

Each team has the best of both worlds, I mean, there are both Indian and Foreign players. It was the first time I saw the Indian crowds cheering Mathew Hayden when Harbhajan Singh was bowling or Anil Kumble being booed when Adam Gilchrist was wielding the bat.

After the astounding success of IPL, came IPL season 2 with a bang. But it wasn’t as successful as its predecessor due to the fact it was played in a foreign country (South Africa). It remained popular though its TRP ratings weren’t actually soaring.

The on-going IPL season 3 is by far so boffo and is raking in so much money for itself, for the teams and for the Government as well (in the form of taxes). Even producers are hesitant to release their films during the IPL season. Exams are a hinderance but kids sometimes sneak to watch their home team heroes play.

 Test cricket was authentic but tiring. ODIs were adorable yet inconsistent. Cricket in its shortest format of twenty overs seemed to overcome all its shortcomings. It’s either cricket, lovingly gift-wrapped, complete with a satin ribbon and given to cricket lovers or just cricket, shortened, like cutting the feet according to the size of the shoe…

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