Cricket is now not only a bat & ball game. From gentleman’s game to the kid on the street, cricket has taken several forms and shapes. Technology & television have evolved this game as best entertainment in many commonwealth countries. Match fixing scandals had reduced the television viewers and ratings of cricket. Then a new star is born, “Lalit Modi”. IPL ( Indian Premier League ) of cricket had created a huge hysteria in most cricket playing nations, overtaking the famous English county cricket. The glamour, glitz, money, fame, cheer leaders, color, nail biting finished matches gave a new dimension to this game of cricket which had become a boring sport to watch. Today the entire nation of Indian is almost at a standstill while a live match is telecasted on TV. Subsequently the commercial rates during the match time had reached at its peak. Players getting endorsements, international players mixing with the local talent and lots of color around this event gave a new meaning to the game of cricket. The viewer was back, but this time the viewer became more interested in the merchandise of IPL products. Never in the history or cricket and anywhere in a test had playing nation cricket become a fashion?
Teenagers got busy discussing the statistics, discussing the strategies, debating who should be in and who should be out. I wonder even the team managements ever seriously discussed with player’s details at such depths, what the street side common man discussed with his friends. Due to the surge of IPL craze many parallel businesses like hotels, coffee shops, bars, pubs, and restaurants started to flourish. Some even suggested there should be probably two or three IPLs in year.
However, the common got very busy watching the IPL on TV, his kids buying the IPL products, teenagers going to bars and just drinking for another reason. All this glamour, glitz and the nail biting finish didn’t convince me on the player’s seriousness for the game. Many national players left their countries cricket side and limited themselves to the modern day version of T20 or IPL. Less time, big money, lots of parties and plenty of chicks. The players lack to show any commitment during the game, their relaxed attitude and less technique makes me think if the game of cricket is going to be like next WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment). Post-IPL the same players are not at all interested in playing for their countries, because they already made enough money with this new form of game. Players are most of the time unfit to play for their country. If sportsmen booze, dance party whole night, shoot commercials, date celebrities and seldom practice then how on earth they are going to perform.
Apparently, cricket is a bat & ball game, but that bat & ball game required natural talent with proper technique to make it a game. Today it’s really become a bat & ball game, all one got to do is go to the pitch to bat and swing the bat when the bowlers bowl. Either its hit for maximum or boundary if not you’re out. Bowlers just bowl in frustration and what we see more extras, wide & no balls. The technical part of this high staked version of cricket is lost. The franchisees have raised the stakes to phenomenal prices, without knowing the exact nature of game. Perhaps we are trying to make it like NFL or NBA, but this is minus any real technical part involved. The worst part or some might call it the best part are the post match night parties, players are drunk, craving to stick around with those beauties and eventually waking up late in the morning. Then how can one really perform on the field. Although we have seen some great fielding, batting and some substantial performers. But the way IPL is leading the noble game of cricket into the night club I wonder if we could really produce in future some Don Bradman’s, Sunil Gavaskar’s, Sachin Tendulkar’s & Gary Sobers and many past legends of cricket.