Sunday, June 2, 2013

The IPL and Kerry Packer’s Circus


The IPL is in the doldrums. And most of the fans actually appear shocked. The outsiders always had an inkling that something was going to happen. Rumours of match-fixing and spot-fixing had been doing the rounds for the past couple of years. And now with the arrest of three players, charges against top cricket administrators and even a leading international umpire, it appears that the rot has set in deep. And now the same people who screamed hoarse with excitement over the “wonderful” turn of events in several IPL matches, have turned skeptics overnight and become the worst critics of this annual cricketing event.

But we need to put things first in perspective. Who were the biggest fans of the IPL – the ones who thronged the stadiums and watched every ball of these “tamasha” matches? Most of them were not true cricket fans. They would not be able to tell you basic cricketing facts like what’s a “reverse swing” or the difference between an ‘in-swing” and the “out swing.” It is a “sixer or wicket” group who were mostly attracted by the colourful clothing, pretty girls and big money of the IPL. And with an estimated 40,000 crores of rupees spent on betting each year, it’s a wonder that half the teams are not involved in spot fixing and match fixing.

The saga of the IPL takes us down memory lane to the late 1970s when the first “tamasha” matches appeared on the international cricketing horizon. Kerry Packer’s circus, as it was called, tore at the roots of traditional cricket and made it attractive to the new generation. Cricket became faster, more attractive, more unconventional and more professional – with the emergence of big money, better photography and cutting edge television broadcasting. Spectators thronged to watch the World Series Cricket played by the leading international cricketers. But the cricket establishment banned these players from playing for their countries because they joined the reformer, Kerry Packer.

Rewind to 2013 and the IPL. The cricket establishment is now organizing and encouraging what it once abhorred. In fact, IPL was once organized by the BCCI just before a T20 world cup, a couple of years ago, so that the fatigue ruined all chances of an Indian victory. That’s money before cricket for you.

And now for the cure... Legalise betting and use the revenue to lift the burden of millions of honest tax paying individuals. Don’t treat cricketers like criminals – since almost everyone is corrupt (despite what the ‘aam admi” hypocrites tell you). If you put all those who indulge in corruption behind bars - government officials and ministers, lawyers and judges, religious men and their leaders, social activists, police and businessmen, etc – India will become a lonely country! Then watch the IPL like you watch the WWF – you know it’s fixed but you still enjoy the action!

5 comments :

Anonymous said...

IPL rocks...These are only trumped up charges...Sreesanth is innocent!

Anonymous said...

Political Parties criticise the IPL when they're even more controversial...

Anonymous said...

I'm not a bookie or an underworld don BTW

Anonymous said...

Just a well wisher of some of the best cricketers India has ever produced..namely, Sreesnath and Co

Anonymous said...

Has everyone forgotten Sreesanth's fabulous contribution to Indian cricket.