In a Cricket crazy country like India, Cricketers are often lucky enough to qualify as cult heroes. Every move of theirs on and off the field is thoroughly scrutinized and followed. In the event of the massive technological boom, the audience finds themselves closer to their stars courtesy of social media happenings.
But, for a ’90s kid, things have changed dramatically and are gradually beginning to have a damaging subplot brewing underneath the franchise worship mindset.
The IPL is arguably the biggest T20 league in the world today with revenues going through the roof. It’s fascinating. It’s entertaining. And in the end, it’s a bit like a grand film-set of a live movie being shot that has cricketers hanging out on it.
To borrow a quote from Hollywood, it’s Matrix of Cricket. To most others in India, who don’t mind worshipping mortals- successful that they may be- such as Kohli, Dhoni and the others- this is Bahubali on 22 yards.
Is it not?
So, where’s the problem?
The year 2019 will see the World Cup return to its original home and with the hosts witnessing an unprecedented power boom in their ODI ranks, the World Cup could be an exciting affair. In more ways than one, it explains the fact that the IPL shouldn’t be staged just months before the marquee tournament begins.
Who’s listening anyway?
When the IPL got underway in 2008, it was supposed to be a domestic tournament with a generous dash of international flavor which would benefit the Indian young Turks by providing them exposure and also rake in plenty of money.
A vital question!
Has the IPL frenzy become so maddening so as to whip the World Cup into oblivion?. Only few are talking about the burn out that especially the Indian players would feel due to some mindless T20 games scheduled in a hectic manner.
What’s the Indian perspective?
Some iconic T20 dazzlers from England and South Africa will leave mid-tournament to give themselves enough time to concentrate on the World Cup.
Is the respectable BCCI, one of the finest bodies governing the sport anywhere humble enough to follow suit?
The richest cricket board hardly follows anyone.
Well, the players are supposedly committed to their World Cup plans with intermittent breaks during the IPL.
Inexplicable to say the least.
Which franchise would risk resting players like Kohli, Dhoni or even a Rishabh Pant and hamper their chances to excel in the tournament?
To sum up the discourse, India’s chances at the World Cup could suffer a major roadblock owing to the hectic IPL schedule. Are Indian fans ready for such a disastrous debacle?
Maybe, the obsession but borderline lust of franchise cricket would numb any such sensibilities in the future. And with the mentoring presence of Tendulkar, Ganguly and VVS Laxman, no Indian Fan would sense any danger.
The one who grew up seeing cricket being held at a Sharjah; at a time where there was no Dish TV but cable connections; when there was just Sachin versus Shane, Lara vs McGrath; and in short, a single-colored jersey that united fans from world-over instead of relying on the power of multi-colors, this fails to fit into the T20 insanity.
So, let the biggest T20 tournament kick off which is all set to be consumed in its own ego.
Strange times indeed as only few sense the hollowness which is slowly developing albeit with a glittering facade.
Beware Indian Cricket beware.