High on entertainment quotient, IPL season three gets a thumbs up from youngsters even after the recent controversies

IPL is much more than just about the gentleman's game: from the bidding of players and the celebrities attached to teams, to the recent controversy surrounding the bidding for the Kochi team. “It is entertainment,” says software engineer Anand V. “This is not serious cricket, this is just fun and excitement and all the controversies just add to the entertainment value.”

From exciting run-outs, nail-biting super overs and sixes being smashed out of the stadium, the series has the public glued. “It's an interesting format and has some of the best players from all over the world taking part,” says Rajasekar Sukumar who works for a multinational company. “What's not to love?”

The IPL certainly has brought in a lot of new cricket followers and fans. “Before the IPL, I never really watched cricket,” says Charanya Rangarajan, a biotechnologist. “This is fast-paced, fun and there is the added glamour of movie stars who are either owners or brand ambassadors.” However the IPL does have its detractors. “A tawdry soap opera is entertaining but it still doesn't compare to an Oscar-winning movie,” says Varsha Rao, an NGO worker. “I feel this format has ruined traditional cricket.” There are even suggestions that the matches are not played fairly. Varun R, an engineering student, says, “I do find it odd that few of the teams who have been consistently bad during the start of this season are now playing shockingly well and the ones who were really good are playing quite badly at the moment.”

But for the most part the IPL seems to have more fans than critics and for many of them the hard decision is deciding which IPL team to support. “I'm from Chennai and that's reason enough to support the Chennai Super Kings,” says Charanya. For others the decision is not that easy. “It's difficult to support just one team, as I have favourite players in various teams,” says Abhinav Vasu who works for Ford. Some prefer to divide their loyalties. “I support three teams: Deccan Chargers as I'm from Hyderabad, Mumbai Indians because Sachin plays for them and Kolkata Knight Riders because of Shah Rukh Khan,” says, St. Francis College student, Shireen . “I will be happy if any one of these teams win.”

With this IPL season nearly coming to an end and only a few more matches to go, controversies are pushed aside, and people are gearing up for the finale. “Honestly I couldn't care less about the controversy, every corporation and organisation is mired in some controversy or the other,” says advertisement executive Sharad Raghavan. “It's only because of the public figures and the big money involved in IPL that it gets so much coverage.” This view is shared by others as well who just want to enjoy the cricket. “These controversies really don't affect me or my friends,” says Debabrata Das who works in media. “At the end of the day I just want to watch a good game and may the best team win.”