IPL: A Golden Goose but only in the short run
The Indian Premier is the world's richest cricket league but it will be interesting to know the kind of surprises it is ready to throw.
IPL beckons yet again
It’s that time of the year again when the cricketing frenzy hits the country hard, so hard that it sometimes almost knocks of things of political or social importance in its stride. This frenzy, the talking point in question, is the phenomenon called the Indian Premier League.
What I aim to jot down here is the human or rather the emotional side of it – that sport gives you everything you want. Also, it takes everything much away quicker.
Who knew that the first day of IPL would lay the foundation for one crazy league for the years to come, majorly thanks to Brendon McCullum’s blitzkrieg of a 73-ball 158 for the Kolkata Knight Riders against the Royal Challengers Bangalore.
IPL has survived a decade and it has got the best inspiring, success, and comeback stories ever. It also has the most heart-wrenching, career-threatening, and distressing ones too.
Opportunities for the youngsters
Since its inception, IPL has been one of the biggest blockbusters to hit the TV screens since the beginning of time in the Indian fraternity. It has great powers and with great power comes a great responsibility – the power of picking a person out of nowhere, putting him in the limelight with fame hitting hard on the face, and then dropping him back in a way that he remains confined probably for the rest of his career.
That’s how the cycle works. Yes, there are life-changing moments for youngsters and senior players alike, but it doesn’t let one forget the stark realities of life. Life changes in a gap of four to six months, and the cycle repeats year after year, or maybe it stops after just one season.
On the contrary, this league has given so much to players who have dealt with the pressure and excelled to make it to the national team. Yuzvendra Chahal is a prime example of that.
IPL only a smaller picture of things
In my playing time so far, I have had the opportunity to play with a lot of seasonal wonders, extremely talented ones but lost the plot one way or the other. One of my very good friends (I am not quoting his name since I want him to make it big and then do a story on him) accumulated enough fame in Mumbai cricket around a decade ago.
A few years later, he found himself amongst the cricketing stalwarts and corporate honchos amidst the IPL setup and things that you dream of as a very young cricketer. Another few years later, he quit cricket.
There are probably hundreds of such stories between us who have shot to fame in one go, and have ended up being a nobody and only have tales that start with an ‘if only’ to narrate. There have been Paul Valthaty, Swapnil Asnodkar, Rahul Sharma, and the likes of those.
While the first two represented Kings XI Punjab and Rajasthan Royals respectively and piled up runs, Rahul Sharma went a step ahead and represented India after playing for the Pune Warriors.
Cricket has an extremely short shelf-life and therefore as a cricketer, one shouldn’t aim at anything less than playing Test cricket, as it is the only way to toughen you up as a player and an individual. IPL is a shorter challenge, the bigger picture lies way ahead.