Indifferent Premier League

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April 21st, 2009 Aabhas Sharma

Being a sports freak has a lot of drawbacks. People tend to take you for granted as far as watching sports is concerned. And the magnitude of it hits you the most when the Indian Premier League (IPL) is on.

It’s assumed that you must be glued to your telly watching each and every ball of “the biggest sporting extravaganza”. So conversations with friends revolve around how weak the bowling attack of Rajasthan Royals is and you are expected to pitch in with your views on it.

Relatives will give - and seek your - expert opinion on what a brilliant innings Sehwag played, when the fact is you were busy watching re-runs of Friends (yes I did that a lot during the first season of IPL).

Personally, cricket in its Maggi noodles avatar is something which I am not too bothered about.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think of myself as a snob as far as cricket watching is concerned. I enjoy the occasional drama and edge of the seat stuff that T20 guarantees.

But give me a two-hour session of test cricket where 40 runs are scored but the players are fighting tooth and nail, over a three-hour slam bang cricket where the idea seems to be who can hit the ball longest out of the ground.

Of course, I can understand why the IPL remains such a huge draw. It’s fast paced, requires very little of your time (as compared to test matches or even ODIs), and most importantly for the paisa vasool audience, it’s all about having fun.

I may be an extremist but for me one of the biggest reasons of watching in any sport is to actually care about a particular team winning or losing. In the IPL, I find that majority of the time that goes out of the window.

‘Fans’ of IPL are content with enjoying the action and are somewhat indifferent towards the end result. It doesn’t matter too much if their team lost the match as long as they were guaranteed some action packed moments, something which is a staple ingredient of most IPL matches.

How can you expect enjoy any sport, where winning or losing is secondary and entertainment is primary. At least, I can’t.

As I said at the beginning of the post, being a sports fanatic has many drawbacks. And one of them is that you end up taking sports a bit more (in fact, a lot more) seriously than the rest. Fun and games are good, but sports is a serious business, at least for hardcore sports buffs. And when indifference creeps in, like in the case of IPL, it sadly fails to cut the ice.

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7 Responses to “Indifferent Premier League”

  1. rahul Says:

    Whatever you have written is very highly personal, and you should not be generalizing your views. How do you know that people are watching the matches just for fun and not for an end result ? I am supporting a few teams (and get very disappointed if they dont win) and so do MOST of my colleagues and friends.

    And you yourself admit that you enjoy occasional drama and edge of the seat stuff that T20 guarantees, which means that you have a narrow horizon yourself, otherwise you would see the entire match and hoot for your favorite team.

    My understanding of your views from your article is that when its a 5- day Test Match, you will focus on the end result (obviously because without the result, the Test Match is one of the most boring sports) but when you watch the IPL, you are focusing all your energies on the glamour associated with it (cheer girls, etc).

    and my submission is that, IPL/ Test Match, the essence is a cricket match (which will definitely have a result) is being played and you should enjoy it, if you are fond of cricket

  2. Omigosh Says:

    IPL is a yawn this time

  3. Pattu Says:

    Nopes, the two main reasons why IPL/T20 is a hit and will remain so are

    - its the simplest version of cricket (minimal discussions/focus on technicalities just like football - imagine in cricket the ball touches the pitch 600 times in an ODI, whereas in football it is running on the ground for almost 30 kms in a match – yet they never discuss ground state as much as pitch is discussed in cricket)

    - the unpredictability factor, ie the better team need not win. (unlike in tests and ODIs where only the better team wins)

  4. Venkatesh Says:

    Modi may be responsible for destroying cricket as a sport and turning it into a circus - Indian audiences have long been hostage to the vagaries of the BCCI but unfortunately continue to be passionate about any trash that remotely resembles cricket. Throw in Sony and other media that pillages on “eyeball” revenues and we have this ludicrious version of the game. Aspiring cricketers will show no interest in bowling as this version heavily favors hitters (I emphasize hitters, not batsmen) - whatever Modi’s indulgences during his college years in the US, it is having an effect now - unfortunately there is no regulatory body to keep this maniac in check

  5. DR Says:

    completely agree with your view….in today’s age of instant gratification gully cricket has a new and highly advertised avatar ” IPL”…. the spirit of a Test match or even a One-day, where you would sit through out the day in the Sun in the stadium, watching your cricket heroes has gone

  6. Anubhav Says:

    You are right but I guess with every new generation, each sport goes through a change….sadly the same is happening to cricket…today’s gen -y neither knows or respects cricket in its original form and hence T-20 is a hit….

  7. Awadhesh Says:

    Likes your views.. Many people missed out the very essence of the sport.. You have rightly pointed out that.

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