Well, reading the title, many of you might be thinking what’s it all about. But seeing the present scenario, the full implications of the title will be understood in the coming years. I accept that the IPL has got a very big fan base and it is wildly cheered among cricket lovers – not only in India, but across the globe. But, let’s keep our feelings aside and reassess things.
It all started in 2008 when the then IPL commissioner Lalit Modi inaugurated the first edition of the IPL. He brought cricket and Bollywood together under one roof. The players were auctioned, and states divided, thanks to the EPL, from where he was inspired, I think. It was heavily criticized by many cricketing legends across the country and rightly so, because as a child I somewhere learnt that “Cricket is a gentleman’s game.” The IPL, according to me, made the quote slightly different; it made cricket a “money” game where players are bought and sold.
But those are different things; money has become everything these days. Leaving them apart, the criticism of the IPL gained strength after the expulsion of Lalit Modi from his post as he was charged with corruption. Following his expulsion, the team Kochi Tuskers were also excluded from the IPL listings, and recently, the Deccan Chargers were also eliminated from IPL as they were not able to pay their bank guarantee. The BCCI are searching for a new franchise to take their place in IPL and they are found to be failing in their mission. This clearly signifies that the IPL is losing its colour. In a report, it was also found that the Delhi team management is also going through hard times in terms of money; and we all know what happened to the Bangalore team’s owner Vijay Mallya.
Now from management, let us move onto the players. I will focus more on Indians. A player making tons in the IPL fails to perform for the Indian cricket team. We all know who they are: Viru, Gauti and Rohit. How is it possible for a player who remains in top form throughout the IPL, to fail to when it comes to India? This clearly indicates the money power. Now moving onto Sachin – our God of cricket. He truly is, and I am no one to criticize him. I am making it clear that he is my idol, but country comes first. Has anyone across the country asked him why he is playing for Mumbai Indians while still giving select series for India a miss? When he can play that well for them, why can’t he play for India?
Now a player like Jadeja, who has not even cemented his place in the Indian side, gets two million dollars to play for Chennai. If a player gets paid that much in tournaments which are not important at all, then what is the need for him to play for India? Many of us must have noticed that maximum matches of the IPL go to the last overs and sometimes spin on their heads in the last few overs and teams go on to lose the match from winning positions. We have frequently seen it happening in international matches. I am hinting at match-fixing which is not a new thing to hear if you are watching the news regularly. Last year many players were caught and banned in fixing in the IPL and outside too.
Another few things that have become common these days in the IPL are rave parties that have nearly spoiled India’s future star spinner Rahul Sharma’s career. My last point and the most important one that kills every cricket fan is, when India hosts such a big T20 tournament, then we should win every T20 World Cup. Well, just the opposite has happened after the start of IPL – we have not even qualified for the semis. We won the T20 World Cup when we had played just a single T20 match in 2007.
IPL is losing its fan base and support because every cricket lover wants pure cricket. And probably the days are not far when we will call “Once upon a time there was an IPL that happened in India….”