What started as a new form of cricket has inadvertently slipped into the realm of politics, glamour and much more. Points chart shuffled each day; excitement was in its full swing last season. But is IPL really all about cricket or something else?
Different experts see IPL season 4 with different point of views. Some say it offered ex-cricketers a means to sustain & earn livelihood, budding talent to display their skills on the field and of course, lots of money and fame. Others say this T20 format has nothing sportive in it, and that politics & glamour have replaced cricket.
The first season of this corporate cricket jamboree witnessed euphoria of unimaginable degrees. With time, its face has changed. Lots of controversies sneaked into the last two seasons. Though World Cup victory set the perfect stage for IPL season 4 to commence; however, not allz well.
This season has failed in terms of viewership. Only 21.99% of viewership! Earlier seasons’ matches had stadiums almost jam packed to their full capacities with crowd. What a flip! The Television Viewer Ratings (TVRs) are drastically low. Sponsors and organizers are highly disappointed. What could be the reason?
It’s because IPL is out and Politics & Glamour Quotient are In! Well, all three fall under different realms. But IPL has been made a combo pack of these three distinct subjects. Controversies, verbal wars among players, disagreements among selectors in picking up players, franchises grappling with ownership disputes—all these problems hovering IPL season 4. This sporting event cannot be called as ‘Gentlemen’s Game: Cricket’any more.
Talking about the biggies and their power game, teams like Mumbai Indians, Royal Challengers Bangalore etc. are owned by the Big Corporate Daddies like Mukesh Ambani, Vijay Mallya etc. Lots of money, lots of power!
On the other hand, teams like Kings XI Punjab and Kochi are owned by different groups in partnership. However, what remains unclear is that what part of team exactly is owned by the individual group. We all didn’t come to know about these burgeoning issues in the last seasons of IPL. Why? Was it because of corruption or due to the fear that any hullabaloo would be created out of this issue?
IPL is indeed not a mere cricketing tournament. It’s a blend of cricket, politics, glam quotient. Its result—IPL becoming more and more commercialized with every IPL season. Players are being overpaid. Imagine Gautam Gambhir being sold out to Kolkata Knight Riders for a whopping amount of $2.4 million for just a couple of months. Is it not a sheer display of money power? Who among the players would not like to sacrifice his international commitments to flock around this goldmine of IPL?
Could you ever imagine some time back that IPL would be majorly based on politics than cricket? Sourav Ganguly was dropped from the IPL squad as three major franchisees opposed Kochi’s inclination to buy him. Politics, Politics! Remember IPL season 3’s Shashi Tharoor’s controversy, then Lalit Modi’s controversy. Politics is certainly in!
Cricket buffs could never imagine Bollywood meeting cricket until IPL began. Shahrukh Khan, Preity Zinta, Shilpa Shetty with other co-actors and friends can be seen dancing & screaming for their teams in the VIP stands. Then, Cheer leading hungama by barely clad cheer leaders. Certainly, complete dose of entrainment and glam quotient.
Cricket Council needs to think about the future of this sport in the long run. Else, this cash-powered cricketing event would soon be completely missing its real essence of the game.
Well, we all are desperately hoping that the true spirit of this game doesn’t get overshadowed by other factors in IPL Season 5.
Look forward to your views on this!