The IPL 2 (Indian Premier League), which is being held in South Africa is becoming a big joke this time around. Though Mr. Lalit Modi and co put together some good effort to make it colorful and guaranteed on time delivery of the tournament, the undertone now is MONEY and not cricket!
The South African cricket board has done a wonderful job by hosting the tournament at such a short notice. However, there are some things about this edition of IPL that makes it less attractive for the cricketing world.
First of all, the game rules were changed to make money for the advertisers and Sony Entertainment Television. It is really pathetic that a prolonged and so-called strategic break (10 mins break after 10 overs in an innings) is taking the momentum and steam away. Sometimes I felt that they are using much more than 10 minutes. This break has nothing to do with on the field strategies but to stuff more ads for the Indian spectactors watching it on the TV
Secondly, I am really getting irritated with SET MAX’s ‘technical difficulties’ at key moments during the game. This usually happens during the toss and I get a feeling that they are intentionally doing it.
Thirdly, the weather, which was cited as the prime reason for moving IPL to South Africa (and not England) doesn’t seem to behave as predicted. Half the matches so far have been shortened or wiped out due to bad weather.
As I mentioned in the last post, I was hoping for really fiery pitches so that some of the Indian batting heroes in dead rubber gets to reassess themselves. Definitely the pitches are much better than those in India but somehow not as pacy as expected.
I am also disappointed due to the fact that only 4 foreign players can be used in the 11 member team. Probably this number should have been 5 or 6 as the match is being played abroad. Talking about the game abroad, we are also missing the noise and buzz in the stands that you get to see in India.
The missing real fanbase is another issue. Since there’s no concept of home and away matches for the local teams (Chennai, Delhi etc) some part of the excitement and fan support is missing.
The money aspect is visible in every stage of the tournament. Several teams have sent back their under performers ruthlessly to cut cost. The emphasis is always on how much the broadcasters and team owners can make.
The only positive so far is the older stalwarts who are proving their points. Anil Kumble, Muralidharan, Shane Warne, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, Saurav Ganguly and VVS Laxman are just proving the fans that with technical perfection the problems with age can be offset. Many of the young batting heroes and young bowlers have already failed miserably.
I hope that the situation improves as the tournament progresses and weather gets better. But certainly, since IPL first edition had set a lot of expectations, this time around it is turning out to be a less exciting event.