The Crotchet’s Corner

My perspective about all things inconsequential

Non-Resident Indian Premier League ???

So, it’s going to be a Non Resident – Indian Premier League.

 

Indian Premier League

 

The IPL was all about City Franchises competing against one another, and the idea was to have local talent on show, with local flavour thrown in. Sure, it was all about cricket, but there was a lot more besides – glamour, glitz, drama, Bollywood, business tycoons, etc.

 

The fact that each Indian “City” team of sixteen players could have eight foreigners was merely a matter of incidental detail.

 

Ok, that’s fair enough. English, and for that matter many European, football clubs are stuffed to the gills with foreign players – Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger once sent out a starting 11 consisting solely of imports.

 

The IPL business model was to provide cricket fans with good, clean, unadulterated fun, with all the excitement of a truncated, and increasingly popular, version of the game. The fans present at the stadia in 2008 lapped it up, eager for an encore. Television watchers enjoyed a game that lasted three hours.

 

Even the critics of the Twenty-20 format condescended to give their grudging acceptance of the IPL as something that was here to stay.

 

Fans, advertisers, broadcasters and media types had a great time. The IPL and the BCCI stocked up their coffers while other less endowed boards watched with considerable envy.

 

And, now, the paradox – the INDIAN Premier League is to be played on foreign shores.

 

Politics has, unfortunately, got rolled into the cricketing batter.

 

The politicos don’t like it and are reacting like children who have had their candy snatched away. The franchisees are relieved that the event will, in fact, take place, fans who would have thronged the cricket grounds are grumbling, and the TV watchers do not care a jot as long as they get to see exciting slam-bang cricket.

 

The IPL and the BCCI would have lost money big-time had this year’s edition been shelved. Postponement was not an option considering the tightly packed international schedule. Hence, they did the sensible thing and decided to move, albeit temporarily. It is going to cost an arm and a leg to do so, and it has been reported that the new hosts are eager to get involved – I’ll bet they are, for there is a big money windfall that has unexpectedly come their way.

 

Moving the event away from home turf will, unquestionably, dilute some of the charm. Sure, a vociferous youngster from Rajauri Gardens, Dadar, Villivakkam, or Behala is likely to lend a more passionate presence as compared to his counterpart from Johannesburg or Durban. That will be a sad loss.

 

However, in the larger scheme of things, it will still be great fun to watch. Would you rather see the event canned?

 

Call it the Non-Resident Indian Premier League, if you please. You will enjoy it nonetheless.

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March 25, 2009 - Posted by | About this and that, Cricket | , , ,

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