This loathsome thing called the IPL.By Omar Ali Khan | February 7th, 2010 | Category: Extracts, Uncategorized
I know this is a blog entry that is going to provoke the most hideous retribution, yet it is a burden I need to off load and so I place my neck on the platter and await a mass chopping. I have no regrets; First off, I utterly loathe almost everything about the entire concept of T20 as essentially it succeeds in dumbing down one of the most tactical of sports to a 20 over grunt session where muscle overwhelmingly dominates over all other aspects of craft and skill. A game full of guile and dexterity is rendered as tactically fascinating as a drunken bar-room arm-wrestling competition - cricket with brawn and no brain played for the thirsting masses amidst semi-nude imported cheerleaders from the US of A thrusting and gyrating to Shah Rukh’s latest item number, “Tu baby badi fit fit soniye Na kar aise khit pit, khit pit”.
The same thirsting masses that throng stadiums at T20 matches and are actually far more interested in catching glimpses of themselves on the giant screen than even the bodacious squad of the jumping Barbettes hailing from somewhere not far from Stepford no doubt. Dressed in anything that will catch attention and armed with thick giant pads and thick markers where they vie for the camera’s attention with their insurmountable wit along with a touch of the good old butter (makkhan)…”Thank You Ten Sports” and “We ‘Heart’ Ten Sports” being a sign calculated to get maximum exposure. Is there a more embarrassing sight than watching Desi crowds reacting to a camera being pointed in their direction? You have wheelchair bound people suddenly leaping up Olga Korbut style with that most noxious of Mexican exports, the “Wave”; miraculously cured in the joy of the moment.
There are other sports that have also tried to broaden their appeal over the years (if that is the argument for the promotion of T20) but few if any have undergone such a drastic lobotomy that cricket has had to suffer. The equivalent of T20 in sporting terms would be something like six-a-side soccer or perhaps Tennis with sets shortened to the best of 3 games or soccer matches that last 10 minutes a half with instant death penalties thereafter for added excitement or then perhaps Mini Golf?
Cricket appears to be the only sport that has undergone a grotesque trans-mutation into a cheap circus act in order to fill the coffers. Interestingly there is hardly an International cricketer worldwide excluding Chris Gayle and the semi-retarded Shahid Afridi, or those ex cricketers using the IPL as pension money who reckon that T20 is a test of any level of skill. For the top cricketers, it is what it is…a farce, if a money spinning one but the fact is that the ticket buying public has lapped this Big Mac version of the game and its here to stay like a malignant disease that will hopefully soon gorge itself to oblivion on overkill.
Then, just when you thought the sport had reached its nadir, along comes Mr. Lalit Modi and the IPL stripping away any spectre of remaining dignity our sport enjoyed and turning it into a Flashy Bollywood Stage Show fronted by sirens Preity Zinta and Shilpa Shetty who can confidently differentiate between their deep fine legs and their silly mid off’s. These girls are anything but silly and frequently sit in on team meetings, tactical discussions and selection meetings to offer their sage advice. Perhaps the beleaguered Wicket Keeper Kamran Akmal could take some tips from Ms. Shetty or Ms. Zinta but alas it’s not to be as he happens to be Pakistani.
Meanwhile Shah Rukh Khan appears in the crowd with Mini-Me and waves sending them into orgasmic raptures of delirium, but then he blows them a kiss and its “Tu baby badi fit fit” all over again. Meanwhile the has-been brigade out in the middle such as Damien Martyn, Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath, Adam Gilchrist, Matt Hayden, Stephen Fleming carry out the pantomime a la fake TV Wrestling and its all huff and puff and competition ever-so-intense until they go laughing all the way to the bank!
As for the controversy about the Pakistani players not participating let’s just say if you had a European Football competition and left out all German players deliberately and offered the pathetic reasoning based upon the lines of “how would you expect a Holocaust victim or their families to feel” is beyond insane. Let this loathsome goose gorge itself to a swift demise and be done with.