Sunday, April 20, 2008

It's Victory for Cricket in the end!

IPL - The three letters of the alphabet, which in recent history has rigged up the fiercest debates in the interest of the future of cricket. The Mega Launch in Bangalore on Friday night has really been only a tip of the iceberg for what this competition has in store for millions of fans across the world. Multi Millionaire businessman Vijay Mallya owning the team from his home town, Bangalore Royal Challengers had little to complain even as his team lost to Sharukh Khan's Kolkata Knight riders, after the game. The format of IPL seems to have pulled in a chord for the average cricket follower, the largest mass, a treat for any advertiser and millions and millions of dollars still to be made.

The heady mix of bollywood entertainment and action packed cricket that this format of the game has raked in compels me to correlate this from a business point of view to the famous business mantra "The money is in the bottom of the pyramid". The bottom of this pyramid of cricket followers is the masses comprising the average office goer, the rickshaw wallah, the page 3 party animals even the 'saas bahu ' fans--the housewife. This is for the common man who in his everyday walk of life has no time to appreciate the 5 day version of the game and its unique uncertainties that make it a game of slow strategy. He has no time to appreciate the direction of the swing or the effect of the blowing wind. He has no time to understand the nuance of a sweet 'googly' or the sinister 'doosra'. All he has is 3 hours of peace, after a hard day's work; maybe with his cup of filter coffee or with a bottle of local rum. He needs some action to pump up his adrenalin that he may forget the face of his boss, the face of his wife. He wants to see colors on his newly bought color TV, not merely white hats and a red ball. He loves to see the fireworks, he loves the scantily clad cheerleaders. He loves to see Preeti Zinta or Sharukh Khan dancing on the stands rooting for their respective teams. He doesn't need to be loyal to any team. No nationalism, patriotism or any of those complicated philosophies. Just plain and pure entertainment.

While the purists will not disagree with me on the possible success of the business model. They hate what this might do to the beauty of the "Gentleman's game". I have some good news for the purists too. Remember the India Australia series down under? Remember the ugly controversies? Remember the "monkeys" and the "weeds"? IPL will change all that. Ricky Ponting of the Kolkata Knight Riders comes running down the pitch, for a high five with the very Ishaant Sharma when a wicket is taken. Laxman consulting Symonds or Dravid advising Kallis are scenes that speak for the victory of cricket over narrow nationalist views. The day may not be far when the Indian from Hyderabad will think twice before supporting Harbhajan (who happens to play for Mumbai Indians) when an on field row sparks off between Harbhajan and Symonds again.

It’s a global village. The IPL is the only format that can take the game above the nationalist feelings. In the end, it’s the Victory for Cricket.


Hari said...

The games is now business to make money. slowly will be to other disciplines also.physical expose will be things of past. It should not allow to happen

Sita said...

The IPL has re- written the history of world cricket. Its great to see people of different countries playing in one team.

I was seeing an interview of Harbhajan Singh yesterday when he was saying that this would be the first time that he would be playing against all his team mates and that he was very excited.

It would be tough for a player to play against someone who has been in his team, as your team mates very well will know your strengths and weakness.

Such kind of mix and play will help the players gain much more than what they had been getting so far. They can learn a lot from their otherwise called "opponents". I am sure that Ganguly can learn a lot from Ricky Ponting and Jayasurya can learn a lot from Sachin.

Cricket, unlike many games, has crossed a step ahead and propagated to the world that it is only a game played for fun and excitement and not only for the sake of nationalist feelings and sentiments. It has shattered the boundaries of country and religion.

Hats off to the people who initiated this IPL tournament. We are indeed proud to host this in India this time.

Rekha said...

Now a days Cricket has become the money game.In other sence it is good to the country Economy also.I think our government should take advantage to overcome inflamation.
Isn't a good idea for the growth of the country??????if it is true i think we should encourage money game much more times.

Ganesh Nayak Ullal said...

I should say IPL has won the first battle for cricket. I would like to see a day when cricket competes successfully with football/basketball in 100 nations of the world. That would be true victory for cricket.