Boon or Bane

Published: 2021-09-04 05:25:10
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Twenty20 as a game has finally emerged now – after the World Cup was staged last year; this is the next prominent step. It remains to be seen if this format is used to the best impact or is it being treated just like the proverbial golden goose? With the Indian Premier League season in full bloom, the cricketing world has suddenly become exciting and entertaining as never before. The Indian Premier League has brought about a lot of firsts – with the auctioning of cricketers, with the salaries of the cricketers reaching an all time high (expected to increase further next season!! , with the introduction of cheerleaders for the teams, the chance for Indian youngsters to mingle with the cricketing greats of different countries and the entertainment industry’s involvement with IPL… the IPL has caught the fancy of the nation and other cricket playing nations worldwide. Money is being poured into cricket like never before. Corporate cricket is well underway. Is this corporatisation going to be a boon or bane for the game of cricket? The corporate culture will definitely bring about a heavy burden of accountability at all times, which in a sport like cricket (where in almost anything can happen) is quite unlikely.
The players will end up having a few bad days and a few good ones. Cricket is after all a game, and a “corporate rule” can definitely kill the game. The IPL will have to see to it that the players’ interests are well taken care of. IPL has indeed succeeded in providing world class facilities, flashy flamboyant apparel and sports kits and sky high salaries, media attention et al. The cricketers from the smallest of towns in India have shown tremendous display of talent and character and all of them do want to stand up and be counted and are making the optimum usage of this opportunity of interaction with the worlds best.
Sacking of CEO’s and captains for non performance of the team can make or break the morale of the team members and leave them scarred for life. Decisions even if taken the corporate way need to be taken extremely responsibly. If the IPL succeeds in bringing the talented young Indian cricketers to the fore, guards their interests and helps in making a future with cricket, it will indeed be the best thing to have ever happened to Indian cricket! Dhoni’s decision to step out of the Sri Lanka test series due to heavy schedule, Ishant Sharma’s underperformance due to pressure in arly stages of career, spat between players who share the same dressing room otherwise and many more incidents do not approve a new revelation of sorts for the Indian fans though. With the debate on cheerleaders proving to be perennial, IPL appears to be synonymous with controversies. If cricket has been longing for purists and conventional fan support, this glossy event cannot support the cause as it has already given the powers to the hands of the ignorant big shots giving rise to sparks in the Bangalore team ; needless to mention the names.
Though the so called old-fashioned players did not fade from limelight, it only appears as a feast for the guests and not as owned by themselves for which failures of the fancied  added to the irony. If the face of Indian cricket is said to have become young, it would be a pitfall again as only the foreigners had a chance to exploit them to the core. Of course they would have gone through a steep learning curve, but the question of their positions in the Indian team is again silenced without answers. It has only helped the other nations to exploit our lust for money.
Entertainment has finally started to leach the spirit of sport with the stars of the silver screen, trade off between the famous gentleman ness and profit and the geographical split that has hampered the national integrity – not to mention the incident of Sehwag calling for cheers from the crowd for the reason that an Indian has performed are only the highlights of some shameful incidents. One can only regret for thinking the positives of this event with these shortcomings notwithstanding. We do not need to resist ourselves from saying that the Indian Premier League has been damned on us.

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