The fifth edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) was followed with much fanfare. There was no dearth for excitement as glitz, glamour and grandeur was the order of the day.
“The IPL as a concept is a great idea and the excitement levels just get higher each year,” feels Roshni, a student. In India, hype has become part and parcel of cricket, and this tournament is no different with the advertisers, sponsors and team owners demanding their share of the pie. When asked if the hype is justified, Karishma, an avid follower of the game, replies: The excitement quotient generated by the tournament was inevitable as celebrities were involved, apart from good quality cricket on the field. “The big money involved in the tournament is the major source of the hype,” says Mukund, a software professional.
IPL has changed the face of summer vacation in our nation. “When I was young, my friends and I used to play till late evening. Now, all the kids stay at home and watch the matches instead,” says Ramesh Kumar, a professional. His son Ashwin chips in, “The tournaments made my evenings thrilling and it was two months of awesome fun.”
IPL-5 is over, but not the hullabaloo. Controversies have taken over with many of them still in spotlight. From allegations of spot (and match) fixing to various incidents of indiscipline, the IPL was in the news for all the wrong reasons and the media, for its part has used these controversies to the hilt.
“Celebrities need to realise that they are in full view of the media glare and should act responsibly,” stresses Roshni.
Adding to this Sneha, a college student, emphasises, “The allegations of betting, spot fixing and match fixing need to be probed by the BCCI as they are serious matters. They have to stem the rot, but before that they have to put their house in order.”
The IPL juggernaut's powerful role role is complete. It has made its way to stardom and success clashing against the sensibilities and trusts of a cricket crazy nation.
“In India, the heady combination of power, politics and entertainment has killed the spirit of cricket. Too much of commercialisation has also taken the charm of the gentleman's game” laments Jayanthi, a home maker.
She feels that crassness, ruthlessness and grotesqueness has come to define the nature of modern cricket in India and the subtleties and nuances associated with the game has been relegated to the back burner.
“How can anyone expect the IPL to be any different?” she wonders.