March 24, 2010

The IPL thread

I love cricket. I love IPL - the concept, the conduct and the clink. Like the last two seasons, I have been closely following this third edition too. The matches till now has been superb and the quality of cricket on display in most matches are top-class. If there were doubters of whether cricketers would play whole-heartedtly for a franchise based format, they can now go and have a cup of tea because the format clearly works fabulously well.

It needs either a fool or a brave-heart to be able to put money on who will go on to win the tournament. For, firstly the format of the game is such that it is absolutely unpredictable and secondly (and more importantly), there is a long way left to go. Having said that, my money is on the Deccan Chargers and I hope they win this time too. Will they? We will wait and see. Can they? Surely, absolutely.

RCB, MI and DC are looking very good at this stage. Yet, the match of the season till date came in the form of a tied-followed-by-super-over match between KXIP and CSK. It was an important match, not just for the entertainment value but for the way KXIP won the match from almost being nowhere. That result will shower a lot of belief on many teams who might find themselves is a similar situation in the matches to come.

Interestingly, the mainstays of most teams have not been the high-ego-high-reputation youngsters, but their sober, senior team mates. Be it a Gilchrist/Symmo for DC or a Tendulkar/Sanath for MI or a Hayden/Murali for CSK. I am not taking away anything from the yonger lot but we will do well if we do not take anything away from the older lot too. Look at Kumble's accuracy in delivering bowls or the catches being plucked out of thin air by Dravid/Ganguly or the crisp textbook shots played by Kallis, and you will realize that they might be still calling the shots in T20 like they have in the more beautiful Test match cricket.

The beauty of the IPL lies in the lack of loyalties to a country/state/language. So when a Southie in Karthik leads DD against a Northie in Raina doing the job for CSK, the regional bias gets thrown out of the window. It is amazing how cricket cleans up the stains of regional politics. For, it is very plausible that Mumbai wins the league due to the talent of a Dhawan or Tiwary. Will some regional politicians suggest Sachin not to accept the trophy?

The pleasure of seeing Kumble bowl to Hayden with Boucher keeping wickets - three stalwarts from three different countries - is beyond words. It emphasizes the passion they bring in to play the game they love. How many of us manage to do that in our lives? I am truly jealous of them. Many say they play for money. Anyone who understands the intensity of cricket being played in IPL can only laugh at such observations. Money can be a motivator but cannot be the foundationstone for what Tendulkar does with the bat.

How can I not talk of the Mongoose bat! It looks weird to see Hayden holding something that looks more like an axe than a bat. But then, it is apparently effective. Symmo, like Hayden, is also a user of that bat. Would love to see what the monster can do with the mongoose.

My sense is that in insipid tracks of India, bowlers can not be the ones who decide the outcome of the game. And so, the quality of batting will decide the winner. Team with the best bat would go on to win the league. On their day, any line-up can do that as Dravid rightly answered to a Harsha Bhogle question after one of the matches. Peaking at the right time holds the key. Or else it will be like what DD experienced the last two times. Will they be third time lucky? Lot of people do think so. I am not one of them though. As I said earlier, we will wait and see.

So, here's to IPL and here's to awesome display of cricketing talent. Looking forward to more moments of brilliance. May the best team win (and may DC be that team!)

10 comments:

Nitin said...

Sir,
Modestly, I have a question that if the players are not playing for Money's Sake and for Passion..then why don't the likes of Sachin, Dhoni and creamy ones like that are donating their Money earned from the IPL to any Noble Cause..since for them there is no marginal utility of Money at this stage of Financial Level where they are currently..

U No Hoo said...

To my mind Nitin, these are two entirely different issues. Irrespective of whether they give away a lot of money to charity or not, the motivation for playing quality cricket must still be originating from their love of the game. Money is merely a by-product of that love and passion.

As an aside, there is nothing wrong in playing for money if someone does so, as long as it motivates him to play better rather than bend the rules by indulging in activities like match-fixing. Earning money is not a sin. Not giving money after earning is also not a sin. If they do it, good for the society. If they don't, hard luck. Earners of money can very easily think that they pay a reasonable amount as tax and their duty ends there. If the government makes a mockery of such taxes, it is their problem.

Bottom line for me is, not giving money as charity does not necessarily mean that they are playing with greed for money.

Also finally, they may well be giving a considerable amount for charity, you never know.

Narayan said...

i pray DC not winning this time :D
hope MI or RCB emerges as the winner.. :)

Anonymous said...

A very tough question for all IPL fans and followers:
Are the advertisements shown in between overs or are the overs bowled in between advertisements?
Wouldn't mind handing over a month's stipend to the one who answers correctly:)

Nitin said...

Sir,
One more question that what's your comment on PT Usha's comment that the money spent on IPL is more than the entire budget of some states..Means she wanted to say that even if a bit of it is spent on sports other than cricket in which also we have huge undiscovered talent like athletics, hockey, tennis, badminton etc etc..India will surely emerge to a place where it deserves to be..

U No Hoo said...

@Anon: I had started to write a post on the commercial side of IPL. Stalled it mid-way though.

@Nitin: Again, with due respect to P T Usha, I cannot agree with her view. Corporates and investors are in the game to make money. And no one wants to put money in a sport where there is no juice. Developing hockey, badminton, other sports is a chicken and the egg story. Does money go into it first or the audience interest is visible first? I believe it is the latter. Fir instance, a lot was talked about the recently concluded Hockey World Cup. It was marketed relatively better than earlier times. But nothing came out of it. There was no frenzy attached to it. Bottom line is not many love to watch Hockey. As simple as that. The audience decides what must be seen and what must be not. Corporates and investors just follow the audience. So I am against this talk of forcing to putting money in other sports to develop it. It should not forced on. If someone wants, great. If not, hard luck.

Free market economics, basically.

Anonymous said...

I sincerely hope that it wasn't my offer of a month's stipend that killed your apetite for the topic.
If it did, then you can now safely assume that you are normal.

Shruti said...

hie sir,,,
dis time MUMBAI INDIANS is goin to win the IPL....

Suresh said...

Well Said Sir About The IPL ..... I Liked it ..... BUT THE LINE AT LAST IN BRACKET LOOKS BAD

Vanita Bodke said...

Well I guess , Its MI who look like front runner and I agree with you one aspect ...The seniors playing the game... I remember in one of the interviews before season 2 , he said :In IPL I didn't do well in last tournament but like an 18 year old I wanna try it once more .....

Also I am glad youngsters in every team are getting guidance from seniors...

I feel Bowlers & fielders holds key to win consistently in the tournament...Bhajji , warne ,malinga , kumble , Shukla (RCB) , piyush chawla...the list is endless ....