A sports event that does not entail hyper-nationalist sentiments would be one truly dedicated for the love of sport, or so one would think. What is increasingly being referred to as “India ka tyohar”, is for me, nothing more than a quick moneymaking stunt by those for whom cricket by itself is not an attractive option.
Here are five reasons why I call the Indian Premier (Pataka) the item song of cricket:
- Crass entertainment: First things first, IPL is not cricket, it is cricketainment. Somewhere between its copious amounts of glitz and glamour, what gets lost in the IPL, is the essence of cricket. Popularly known as the “gentleman’s game”, what IPL brings to the table in the name of cricket, has nothing “gentlemanly” about it. Ever wondered why a sporting event would need an Anushka Sharma, Hritikh Roshan and Shahid Kapoor at its larger than life opening ceremony? Simple. Because that’s what IPL is about – stars, entertainment and a mockery of the sport our countrypersons and people across the world have loved.
- Objectification of women: No IPL match is complete without cheerleaders shaking a leg (or their booty, to be more precise) with their colorful pompoms and gaudy makeup. To be honest, every time a batsman hits a six, I wonder whether the reason behind the maddening crowd’s exhilaration is the six itself, or the joy of watching scantily clad White girls jump about euphorically. There must be a reason we seldom see Indian cheerleaders at the IPL, right?
- Money over game: Ever since its inception, the IPL has been fraught with endless controversies and scams. The 2013 spot fixing and betting case that culminated in the arrest and eventual banning of Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila and Ankit Chavan, adequately betrayed the muck that goes on behind all the ostentation in the IPL. Betting, spot fixing and having links with bookies are the norm at IPL.
- Fatigued players: So taxing is the IPL regimentation for most players, that when they are called on national duty, they are either injured or simply too fatigued to do justice to their national uniform. After about 40-50 days of tireless cricket, the players have limited energy to expend for their national teams.
- Conflict of interests for club owners: Many of the club owners also happen to be members of the BCCI. While selecting teams for the national squad, their personal preferences of players of their own IPL team, often eclipses national interests. And who can blame them? As owners of a particular team, one is bound to have a soft corner for their own players. But what may be at cost, is the performance of the national team internationally. This drawback is exclusively for the Indian team, for the international players go back to their homes which remain impervious to the developments in IPL.
Hence, the IPL culture, which may be the most easily consumable form of cricket for the new age sport lovers obsessed with speed and indifferent to nuances, to me, it’s all a sham!
Image Source: The Viewspaper