This loathsome thing called the IPL.

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.

10 comments
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  1. Very well said. I endore your views one hundred percent, and feel you have hit the nail on the head.

  2. Test cricket is making love to your wife
    One day cricket is screwing a whore
    T 20 is masturbation
    Plain and simple

  3. I see no ‘hideous retribution’ as the piece is, in fact, spot on. T20 and IPL is the biggest braindead circus there is. And there’s talk of even having a 10 overs a side game….

    @Fateh Jung: :)

  4. Clean bowled. :)

  5. Excellent article and I agree completely. I just hope that T20 does what you say it should: eat itself to death. I hope it’s not the more fatalistic malignant cancer that will eventually kill the real game. In any case, I surely feel that T20 and IPL especially has any ‘value’ today because of the quality of test cricketers it attracts. I.e., if you have no test cricket and hence no Sachin or Kallis or Kumble, then you’ll also not have any T20……..

  6. With you all the way. And pray that your wish is granted (…a swift demise to this game and its perpetrators)

  7. I want to agree with you, but I can’t, atleast not on all points. I would not call myself a puritan, but I did have lots of problems with the remixing of all old songs, to say the least. But somebody did enjoy it, and who am I to deny them that? It’s the same argument for t20. Sure, it is commercialised to an extent that it’s just there in your face all the time, but it doesn’t take away from the fact that, some of the very best cricketers in the world are coming together to play as a team. It’s like an all-star NBA game. I love it. A few points I did not agree with.

    1. “game full of guile and dexterity is rendered as tactically fascinating as a drunken bar-room arm-wrestling competition”

    That’s just plain wrong, the guile, dexterity and skill is now even more put to test with the added pressure of a shortened game.

    2. “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”

    Well, it goes without saying Bollywood stars and liquor barons are the only ones with the time and money to indulge in buying a team. Guess anybody would, if they had the time and money too. I know I would.

    3. “Is there a more embarrassing sight than watching Desi crowds reacting to a camera being pointed in their direction?”

    In this case I do have to agree with you. But it’s true of any sporting event or for that matter, any even, where there is a camera. We take particular pride in making fools of ourselves in front of a camera. What else explains the success of all those reality shows?

    4. “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!”

    They are probably laughing all the way to their banks and world cruises, but to imply that the competitiveness is faked is plain dumb. Over the years scandals one after the other has been trying to convince us that its all for the money. But I really would like to believe that, when shane warne is bowling to sachin, even in an under arm gully cricket match, sachin would try his best to hit it for a six and warne would try his very best to get him out.

  8. Lets agree to disagree on the sporting/skill merits of T20 vs Test Cricket. Yes, granted that ground fielding may have improved due to the arrival of T20…….but how many of us go to watch the sport for Ground Fielding I wonder.

  9. wah!

    after months of basing my academic papers on your film reviews, i finally discover that you have a blog as well. and i come here to find that the man with the most bizarrely amazing website, the most incredible radio show, and the best ice cream in pakistan … is a cricket puritan.

    hahahahaaha!

    i hope you appreciate that i am not trying to be a bitch. its just that without having been exposed to you, i doubt if i would have ever started appreciating anjuman and her ilk, and developed a fascination for pushtoon-gore.

    to now find that there is something that shocks and shames the abominable Dr. Phibes. this is delicious.

    i for one am a T20 fan, especially after the two world cups. unfortunately, the relentless IPL-fights on the blogosphere have exhausted me, so i am going to reserve my opinions. i just can’t get over the fact that even the world of mondo bizarro has a sense of propriety.

    that said, i hope you can tell that i am a great fan of your writings and your works. and your ice-cream - supersonic superfudge sundae became a trophy for us at lums, indulged in only after the completion of the most arduous tasks.

  10. may unpronouncable volcanic ash rain down upon the T20 World Cup in torrents of burning acid……..oh what joy to watch LIVE on Geo TV as Shahid Afridi’s ego is consumed by the flames and rendered a shrivelled up piece of toast!

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