Disaffection and heart-burning!

The IPL is recognised as one of the top five leagues in the world but without fail every year it will be Indians who will try and bring it down!

The next IPL season is upon us and Chennai Super Kings captain, M. S. Dhoni, has started his preparations.   -  M. Vedhan

Indian cricket’s poor cousins season is over. The rich guys’ season — the Indian Premier League — starts now with Band, Baaja and Baraat. The razzmatazz, the noise, the hyperventilation, the handwringing will be seen in all its glory.

Players who have never been heard of will walk in airports and hotel lobbies as if they are the fathers of Sir Don and Sir Garfield. On the field they will probably get the odd game but they will be on TV channels as they know who to sit next to in the dugout and on whom the cameras will regularly focus on. Even when they carry drinks to the superstars on the ground they will return to the dugout as if they have given the best advice to those on the field. Most of them will not be seen on the cricket field till next year’s IPL.

This year’s edition has started early so as to finish well before the ICC World Cup. The Supreme Court has mandated that there should be a minimum of 15 days between the end of the IPL and the World Cup and that is being adhered to. However, many teams are going to lose some key overseas players as their respective boards have asked them to return early for the pre-World Cup integration camps. This could well mean that some teams will be without their game-changers.

There’s been some talk about India’s World Cup players not participating in the IPL because of its proximity to the World Cup and the fear of injury. An injury can happen any time, even on the first day of the World Cup, for a sportsman’s career is a hazardous one indeed. Having said that, the commitment of the Indian players is incredible.

100

A huge crowd waits at the M. A. Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai for the IPL ticket counters to open.   -  PTI

 

While the World Cup will be at the back of every player’s mind there won’t and shouldn’t be any slackening of effort from them for their franchise teams. The franchises have paid top dollar for their services and will be expecting nothing but the best from their players.

There was also some talk of a shortened IPL to protect the Indian players from injury. This is a case of Indians once again ready to hurt what is a world class event. Questions will never be asked of the domestic tournaments of other countries by their countrymen but we are world champs in pulling our own back.

Look how there is hardly any talk about how Ricky Ponting, the assistant coach for Australia in the World Cup, and Craig McMillan, the batting coach of New Zealand, are able to be a part of the IPL, while the Indian coach and support staff are barred from helping out any IPL franchise! We suspect and doubt the integrity of our own! Sad but true!

The IPL is recognised as one of the top five leagues in the world but without fail every year it will be Indians who will try and bring it down. A few days into the tournament articles will appear that the viewership has dropped, the advertisers are going somewhere else, the ground attendance is less and such like. All written by Indians out of sheer jealousy as they are not involved with the IPL and don’t benefit from it. Of course they will make it sound as if they are the only ones who care about Indian cricket while those of us who have played and sweated for it and still do are there only for financial gains.

Fact is all those who criticise the IPL are doing so because they are not a part of it. Many ‘Gandhijis’ who took panga with IPL have been seen as not quite being the Mahatmas they were pretending to be.