Friday, 9 May 2008


I am actually wondering how a particular friend of mine would react when he opens this page, to see me out of all people blogging about cricket. The last time he tried to explain some detail, I shushed him and said don’t bother ‘cause its all Greek and Latin to me.

But IPL goes much beyond cricket. See, honestly, I haven’t seen a single match and don’t want to either. Cricket just isn’t my can of coke [which happens to be the soft drink I’m addicted to]. The way I see it IPL is India’s new Bollywood, the new phase of the entertainment industry of our multi-faceted multi-cultured country. It’s like a movie, something that is appealing to all the people of India and abroad of course without the barrier of language or cast or any such.

The IPL reminds me of a circus of sorts, and that too not just any circus, it’s more like cirque-de-soliel, or like a composition showcased at Broadway or a dance-drama of sorts choreographed for Julliard. There is a lot of melodrama, action, storyline, locations, the hot women, the sturdy macho men, the sorrow of loss and the jubilance of victory which means that at least one team always has a happy ending. And before I forget, there is the also big money involved. Pretty up everything needed for a potboiler masala flick.

There is not one newspaper or magazine or channel that is not hyping the IPL. And it all began much before the actual cricket, the publicity, the drama, the controversies. Players from around the world were auctioned off, and the amounts paid almost made me faint. The owners are all characters by themselves, movie stars, business tycoons and a beer baron with a golden stud. Right from day one, it was evident that this was going to unfold to be interesting and amusing and entertaining to say the least.

Then I believe came the names if these teams and media hype. Shah Rukh and the Kolkata Knight Riders, Mallya and the Bangalore Royal Challengers and what not. The credit must be given where its due and so kudos to those who coined these names, ‘cause they’ve managed to invoke enthusiasm and gusto just by hearing a name. Lets not forget to mention the billboards, hoardings and the other advertisements that were used to announce that the teams have arrived and that the INDIAN PREMIER LEAGUE is almost upon us.

Now pardon me, but since I’m not much of a follower of the game, I don’t know the minute or major stuff that happened in the build up to the event. But once it did start the tamasha was awesome. If I am nit mistaken, the hullabaloo started with our very own Bhajji and Sreeshanth. Both team-mats at the national level but on opposite side of the fence, field rather for the IPL, one said something, the other slapped him and they got punished, but the one who meted out the punishments was not really doing the right thing and the person investigating the case is appalled by the video and so forth.

Then came the whole Shane Warne-Saurav Ganguly fiasco. Now I don’t quite know who said what to whom and why and all but, I am aware that there was hungama, something to do with the third umpire and the unspent tempers of the aussie& the desi.

And how could I not mention, the hot pulsating women. Gimme a this and gimme a that, the cheerleaders. There’s nothing left to say about them, I guess. About how they are reducing the standard of the gentleman’s sport with their pompoms and how they are adversely affecting the Indian men and how they polluted the Indian morals and values. But really, don’t these politicians have anything better to do than try and cover up these women who are only trying to do their job, of adding a little spice to the game?

And then there’s Shoaib Akhtar, the banned now, but suspended till the last date of IPL dude, who will be joining Shah Rukh and his knights, adding to the hype of the IPL.

And of course, I do believe there’s good cricket too, you know. That too, it has succeeded in bringing rivals together, to play in one team, to work together , to plan together and to play together. If not for anything else, then definitely at least for uniting gifted players and beginners from around the globe, IPL deserves applause.

Controversies may come and go, but we have to all unanimously agree that the Indian Premier League is a triumphant enterprise. It has the formula for success. Glamour, game, power, publicity and a cricket hungry following. It has written history as the new era of cricket as well as entertainment. I do believe that the Indian Premier League is here to stay.