Weeks into the self-confessed circus, the IPL, the die-hard Sri Lankan cricket fan is still debating the country vs IPL issue, while the average fan is still confused as to which team is playing whom since most IPL teams are wearing blue these days.
As predicted, Slinger-Malinga is releasing thunderbolt after thunderbolt (much missed in Australia and the Asia Cup), while the rest perform in random patches of brilliance. As Kumar Sangakkara, apart from one ugly over of attempted improvisation against PWI (no ,it does not stand for Prisoners of War in Iraq), demonstrated there is nothing quite breathtaking as watching a Sri Lankan bat. The only prediction I have got wrong, it seems, was regarding Cameron White who seems to be back at his best. But DC still continue to flounder like a Maruti 800 in a drag race.
Back to the debate on IPL vs country; one of the foremost voices against the IPL since it’s inception has been Arjuna Ranatunga. It is well known that the chubby one dislikes IPL as well as the T20 format. There seems to be a general view that the world would be better off without both the IPL as well as the T20 format. Whilst I agree that the IPL is evil, the same cannot be said about the T20 format itself. It’s common today to associate the evil of the IPL with the format, which is an injustice to the latter.
Imagine if T20 cricket never happened and the BCCI started conducting a 50 over league among Indian franchises with foreign players invovled? Due to the longer duration, it would not have been as successful as the IPL. But India is cricket crazy and such a tournament would have still been lucrative for players from teams like West Indies or New Zealand. Lucrative enough to ponder the pros and cons of playing for a franchise, as opposed to playing for the country.
By adding stupid interviews conducted by stunning model-cum-presenter females, who cannot distinguish bail from ball, along with deplorable commentary by a semi-successful kiwi pace bowler, who thinks he is Army Armstrong and other frilly fancies; IPL has dragged cricket to a low point. But still that does not affect the potential of T20 cricket to appeal to the masses and in the future almost single handedly sustain its more illustrious siblings.
Yes, it’s not quite Test cricket and it does ruin the technique of players – we all know that. I have also heard that an official has stated the possibility of banning T20s at the school level. That way, we might be able to preserve their techniques. But, when school kids have their Android devices to play games, surf the web and do a million other things, will they even bother to watch cricket unless it’s colourful and fast paced?
If future generations do not take to cricket, who’s technique will we preserve?