Let me start of by saying that I don’t like watching cricket. I’m too impatient to spend my whole day or even worse, five days, in watching a match which is more or less the same throughout. Bowlers coming in and bowling, batsmen either hitting or getting out. It gets even worse when the batsmen are not hitting and not getting out either. The best part of a cricket match is last five minutes when you know it’s about to end and you know whose going to win or it can go either way. But no matter what’s going on, if Sachin Tendulkar is batting, I’ll watch it. I like watching Formula 1 races, or a Tennis match (if the player in it are the ones I support) or football (same story here, if I like the team or the club). These sports are not going to waste my whole day, they are full of excitement and the game can shift in an instant.
Then came the shorter version of the game in the form of T20. Along with T20 came the IPL (Indian Premier League). And a lot of hype was there. It became an instant success with the audience. And last year it happened in South Africa and also lost its shine. But this year, it’s back in India.
I’m a fan of IPL. It’s a great time pass on TV. When we really don’t get much to watch on TV, IPL is a nice thing. Most of the serials on TV are Saas-Bahu type, which are not watchable at all and the movies on channels like Star Movies or HBO are not always good. Also most of the series on Star World are either in repetition for a long time or are a year late then their US telecast. So IPL is a great thing for time pass. Also one doesn’t have to spend a whole day, 3 hours and it’s over. It’s also full of ups and downs. I try to keep track of most of the matches. Even if Mumbai Indians is not playing (which I support, just for one reason i.e. Sachin Tendulkar), I end up watching it and supporting one or the other team. Most of the players (Ganguly, Dravid, Yuvraj etc.) are Indian whom we have supported in the past so why not now. Being an Indian, some sentiments do get attached to these players (even if I’m not watching cricket) and it’s a good thing to watch them in action.
With the success of IPL also came its criticism. People say it’s more about money then the game, IPL being mocked as “Indian Paisa League”. But I don’t think it’s the case. If something appeals to the masses and have huge fan following the sponsors will come, so will the money. The best example is the Football Leagues (English Premier League, Spanish La Liga, UEFA cup etc.) in Europe. The amount of money involved is huge so does the fan following. People throughout the world follow these leagues (including myself). The other criticism being, it’s causing a lot of injury to the players. Well injuries can happen anywhere. Also it’s better to play and do practice instead of shooting for ads here and there.
For me, IPL is high on entertainment quotient. It’s worth the hype that’s being created and it’s a good time pass. When IPL is on, then there’s one thing on TV that’s actually good and worth a watch.