Monday, April 28, 2008

Incredibly Popular or Irredeemably Polluted?

Now that everybody is speaking about IPL and its effects on the game of cricket, it would be remiss if I didn't put my two knuts in (as they say, Bhagwan ke ghar der hai...). After all, my love for (and experience of) the game is well-documented.

Given that I haven't seen any of the matches and given the lack of an essential ingredient (to wit, a TV) even if I wanted to watch one, you would be asking yourself, “how can this guy comment on IPL one way or another?” For all those "you"s out there, let me clarify first that I am neither for nor against IPL. Secondly, I am a Punekar (do scroll down to part about “Punekar” in the link for details). (Actually we don't need to continue after that, but still), thirdly, as you can tell by my experience, I am no less expert on cricket than most other people online.

So, why don't I find IPL the very embodiment of capitalist evil and an abomination of the great game? Simple. To paraphrase (and possibly extrapolate) PuLa, "in other countries, cricket is played on the grounds. In India, every hallway and compound has a match going on." How many of us haven't played 6( and lesser)-a-sides and T20s (or T10s or F5s) long before anybody else thought of the game? Don't we all have fond memories of those "hit out or get out" games (and less fond ones of team-mates who refused to listen to the first part of instruction at the worst possible moment)?

Not to mention, now the tournament seems to be serving a unique blend of sports for men and drama to rival any saas-bahu show on TV for women (with “ees thappad ki goonj” and all that). Talk about all-family entertainment.

Just leave out the cheerleaders.

Which brings me to the main point I have against the IPL. No, not the commercialization of the game, not the attack on Indian culture, but the underhanded tactics used by the teams to win the "gentleman's game". Now, using scantily-clad and attractively-gyrating cheerleaders to distract your opponents is just an overt method. There are other more subtle, but more dastardly methods in use on the ground. How else can you justify players draped in highly reflective golden helmets playing under high-powered halogen lamps? Talk about (opponents'-eyes-)dazzling performance. But then, what else can you expect from the team owned by the guy who steals (or tries to) others' girlfriends and fiancées (and now, wives) for living?

In summary, the gist of this post is that, as an Indian, I... have an opinion about IPL. Does it really matter what that opinion is?

Didn't think so...

- The Great Eagle Has Spoken

P.S. This post grew out of a two line comment on Amrita's post. (Tell me I didn't hear the word “cancer” just now) After all, what is a genius but someone who creates an epic out of a single word?


Amrita said...

well at least you did the smart thing instead of doing what i always do which is leave a post on someone else's blog :)

I really dont think IPL is evil either. I think the mistake people make is in looking at it as business as usual. its almost entirely a new sport so you have to treat it as such. and hating on the IPL won't suddenly make Test cricket more popular.

Amey said...

@Amrita: Oh well, I am smart from birth you know ;) Then again, if you are looking everywhere and anywhere for post subjects (and coming up blank), you can easily turn a single line comment into a post :D

I know what you mean about business as usual. The whole auction thing was one more needless controversy. I mean, if the players are going to be paid for playing, at least this model gives them incentive to play better. That is, I hope the team owners at next year's auction (if it happens) will consider the player's performance this year to set the price. All in all, open market.

SiD said...

well, the best part of the post were those links to the movies.. " tries.. to.. wives." etc.. ehehehe..

IPL - the biggest thing to happen in Indian cricket.. the transformer.. the reformer.. ec etc... every indian ought to have an opinion on it :)

but i really liked the golden colored helmets and pads... atleast some innovation has been done on that regard... nahi to in international cricket, it is always different shades of blue, green....

Amey said...

@Sid: SRK has been getting away for that kind of thing for a long time now. Somebody had to call him out ;)

As for golden helmets and all, I am more comfortable with subdued, non-glossy paraphernalia. But then, now you are getting pink cricket ball, so who am I to say that...