Monday, March 29, 2010

IPL – RAT Race?

Before the ICC 20-20 World Cup began in England last year, Cricket Analysts were predicting India to be one of the strong contenders. The reason they cited was India was the defending champion and the experience in IPL. The first reason sounds logical, but the reasoning with respect to IPL experience is not convincing. The entire hullabaloo surrounding IPL may give an impression that IPL is one of the premier T20 tournaments, but deep inside it’s just a domestic league with some national and international players. And the cricket played over there can’t surely be termed as world class.

Try to get the winners of IPL to play a T20 series with an international team I’m not asking to play with Australia or South Africa or Pakistan. A T20 series with Newzealand or West Indies will surely tell the differences between an international class of cricket and IPL standards. Then how come IPL has such a fan following, revenues, and the players are so really interested that they need a separate window for this event.

The reason is pretty simple; if you are a true cricket fan a match between Australia and Bangladesh would be pretty boring given both the teams play according to their standards. But a match between Zimbabwe and Bangladesh would be really interesting as both teams play a similar standard of cricket. This is what is exactly happening in the IPL, all the teams that are not so world class competes against each other playing a similar standard of cricket.

We almost had 3 versions of the league and except for Yusuf Pathan and Ravindra Jadeja no one was really able to make a consistent international appearance. As a matter of fact the Indian selectors give a lot of importance to the runs made in other domestic tournaments like Ranji trophy, Duleep trophy, Challenger series... etc. And most of the new debutants both in ODI and in Test cricket like Abimanyu Mithun, Sudeep Tyagi, S.Badrinath and Murali Vijay have made to the national team because of their performance in other domestic tournaments and not IPL. This speaks volume about the league that claims it to be playing the most competitive T20 cricket.

The reason why this League is so famous because India is filled with lot of Cricket maniacs who can spend their useful time in watching lot of cricket and some like me writing blogs about it. And also there is Bollywood twist to it where the owners sit in the dug outs along with their team which I feel is 100% nonsense. What can a team owner sitting in a dug out can possibly do rather that getting the TV camera`s attention. Can they provide a useful tip on field placing or on which bowler to bowl in a crucial situation? Have you ever seen Owners of Man U or Chelsea sitting in their dug outs? Some owners claim they cheer the team, trust me a team owner can only add pressure rather than cheering the team. These extra curricular activities of the team owners do help to get the crowd attention and their endorsements thereby increasing revenues.

The final word is IPL is a Rat Race as some wise men said long back that, “Even if you win a Rat race you are still a Rat”. It’s a jungle out there and you need Tigers and not Rats.


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