IPL has caught the imagination of the whole cricketing world and has turned out to be a bigger success than that was predicted. The controversies has added to the popularity of the tournament. Am sure no one will ever forget the great crying scene starring 'tough guy' Sreesanth. This single scene is said to have melted the hearts of women across India and they are now watching IPL regularly instead of their staple diet of 'Saas-Bahu' serials. According to an unofficial survey conducted by this blogger, they are expecting more tear-filled episodes in the IPL thamasha. Teenage guys who were moving away to more fashionable sports like formula 1,NBA and EPL have suddenly started loving cricket. No prizes for guessing the reason. Cheerleaders, ofcourse. The teens find it economic and safer to watch them when compared to renting an adult film cd and secretly watching them. Now they can watch all these safely in front of their parents under the pretext of watching 'cricket'. Even middle aged and expiry aged old men are watching this sport for the first time for this reason alone. And then there are the politicians. Their new hobby is dressing up the cheerleaders. My request to them is-"Please leave alone the poor girls and let them do their job. There are millions of people who don't have money to buy clothes in India. Why don't you think of some policies and aid programs to give them adequate food and shelter rather than investigating on which part of which cheerleader was exposed in the latest match of IPL".
The local chaiwala as well as the high end pubs are also enjoying the fruits of IPL as people crowd around TV shops and big screens every night to watch the matches. The cricketers are all happy except men like Charu sharma and teams like Bangalore. There've been unworthy men like Ponting who played and got paid and are now back home blaming the IPL. He's now asking his countrymen to switch off from IPL and stop paying attention to some retired australian cricketers sweating it out in India. Then, why did he keep quiet while he was busy playing in India? The film stars are also enjoying their night out at the various grounds around India. Shahrukh is seen dancing and screaming for his knight riders but sadly that dance won't last long as they will exit without seeing the semis. The lucky guys are the ones from Kings XI Punjab. Whenever they win a match, they get free hugs and kisses from their pretty owner Preity. Its no wonder then that the guys are competing with each other to win the honours. The list of top wicket takers in IPL is dominated by guys from Kings XI. Wondering how many kisses each of them got.
The star or better to say, the wannabe star of the whole show is undoubtedly the IPL boss Lalit Modi. He's a publicity hungry man who never lets go a photo op. My favourite scene was during the press meet after the Sreesanth-slap, Farooq Engineer made Bhajji and Sree shake hands and make up. The three of them were holding hands together and smiling when a third hand appeared from behind holding them. Then a head popped out and it was our glam boy Lalit. He also has this dirty habit of sitting with and cheering the team that is playing well at the moment. During one cliffhanger match, he had to switch ends atleast 5 times. Anyway, at the end of the match, he would be sitting with the winning team. Meanwhile, Mr.cool 'forever young' Vijay Mallya is having a bad time, with his team discovering news ways of losing with every passing match. His outbursts against Dravid and his team of attacking 'test' players hasn't added anything to his public image, rather it has taken some beating. But there was no shortage in the number of hot damsels accompanying him to watch the matches.
Coming to the cricket part of IPL, despite some so called purists calling it a 'rape of cricket', the matches were well fought in the right spirit and is one great dazzling advertisement for the game of cricket. It tests the skiils of the players to the maximum and puts their quick thinking ability to a hard grind. The old players who were predicted to perish in the tornado of slam bang hitting has infact shone even better than the young guns. Players like Sanath Jayasurya, Shane Warne, McGrath and Sachin Tendulkar are as athletic and spirited as any 20 year old. Their presence has infact turned out to be a blessing for the young ones who get the right guidance from these giants. The greatest gain of the IPL has been the bringing of some unheard of cricketing talents to the limelight. Players like Shikhar Dhawan, Gony, Saha, Abhishek Nayar and many others who were unheard of just 2 months back are now household names. Really, the future of Indian cricket is in safe hands. And there is a big talent pool in place now.
Having been there at the Chinnaswamy Stadium to watch the grand opening of this great sporting fest, am happy to see its astounding success. All in all we can say that the IPL party is here to stay. And 20-20 is the future of the game.
PS-The team is support is Mumbai, just for the simple reason of it being Sachin's team. Even after it lost 4 matches and friends made fun of me for supporting them, I continued my support. And now see what they've done. 6 straight wins and almost won the 7th, if not for some crazy run outs and some umpiring errors. Hope they'll win the championship.
your crusader Praveen