Millennium Post

Significant respite

Significant respite

The entertainment factor of IPL has been its landmark feature since its inception in 2008. The world's most popular franchise-based cricketing event has come to take a fresh role in the turbulent times that has spared none. It is indeed a respite to the burdened minds, overthinking the pandemic threats. The pandemic, of course, deserves great caution and thinking but being over-obsessed with it is part of the problem and not the solution. The physical threats of the pandemic will undergo amplification if it is coupled with mental stress and trauma — something which is less talked about but an extremely crucial factor in the fight against the virus. The imposition of curfew or restrictions in certain parts of the country, and voluntary indoor stay of individuals has greatly cut the scope of recreation activities. People have lived the life of isolation over the last year, enduring great mental stress. The IPL certainly eases off the situation by offering a window for viewers to turn their isolation into recreation in a safe and routine manner. It seems a perfect situation when one is not allowed of unnecessary outdoor movement, but has the opportunity to enjoy those moments with tea and snacks while remaining indoors. From the viewer's point of view, IPL matches are safe three-hour spots where we can divert our mind from the tense and pessimism-provoking news and views around death and destruction of the pandemic. But wait, the IPL's relevance to viewers in these disturbing times cannot be limited to such a narrow margin. The spirit is the essence of the matter; once we are determined to keep it high we will tide over the greatest of challenges. IPL matches are a showcase of this spirit by some of the heroes we endorse the most. It is a tale in a series, where our Dhonis and Kohlis fight, win and lose. Is it not this very spirit we need the most in our lives in the present situation? If something is keeping us away from the trauma and exhibiting alternating phases of victory, defeat and struggle in a light-hearted texture, it is serving us a great deal. Though this may not be stated and assumed objective of IPL, humans are known to discover new and better things in unprecedented times. IPL is also reinforcing the sense of fraternity and collective will as we see players from across the world coming together and performing at their best. Apart from the viewers, the IPL continues to be a good opportunity for players hailing from across the globe. Personal accounts of cricketers have shown in the past the stress they go through when they are kept away from the game for a long time. The worst part is that many of them fail to recover to their pre-isolation level and get lost in oblivion. Additionally, the IPL is keeping up with its tradition of launching new talents in the galaxy of Indian cricket. The new faces are showing great promises. Devdutt Padikkal stormed against the Rajasthan Royals a day before to lead Royal Challengers Bengaluru to a dominating victory. There are other new Indian players like Chetan Sakariya, Mohammad Siraj, Harshal Patel and Shahrukh Khan who are getting the attention they deserve. These youngsters are smacking sixes at will and blowing the bails. It is a very thankful thing that we have not lost the mega event to the all-sweeping effect of the pandemic. As the international matches have drained up over the last year and the T-20 World Cup is in the pipeline, the IPL appears to be a bright spot for teams and players. It will certainly guide selectors too as the Indian team is still not announced for the ICC tournament and there are plenty of talents to choose from. To sum up, it can be safely put that the IPL is a streak of light in the all-dark and depreciating safety conditions. While there still seems no light at the end of the tunnel, IPL is offering some warmth to its dedicated, new and occasional viewers. The games offer nuggets of hope against pessimistic conditions — offering mental peace which is not second to any need demanded by this time.

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