The Cricket Mandi
The Indian Premiere leagues, popularly known as the IPL has been a source of both paisa and 'pension' for many struggling and retiring cricketers over its glorious eight years. It is hence, just like the franchisees, the 'P' in the IPL could also be considered for revision. This edition of the IPL is exactly like every other where Cricket will take a back seat as many senior players look to outperform the juniors to make their way into the Indian squad like old times.
On the other hand many fresh talents would take centre stage to shape their career forward. Others, who have nothing left to achieve will keep minting money like the franchise originally intended to do. So here's a structure with the BCCI which was started by a gentleman called Mr. Lalit Modi who decided to take decisions flaunting his black money forcing him to find asylum in a different nation. That was followed up by a series of scandals, including Sreesanth and his white towel, Harbhajan slapping Sreesanth, something he deserved, Priety Zinta's chain of illicit affairs and alleged molestation charges against, ex boyfriend Ness Wadia and so on. The list is quite a long one. It was alleged that Chennai franchise, CSK was a part of corrupt activities in the 3rd season itself. However, to finally ban the team required 4 more seasons to pass by causing more corruption and money laundering being a part of this great form of cricket. The defaulter Mallya, decided to sell his team and take off, whereas the Chennai and Rajasthan franchisees managed to earn a two year ban.
As bad as one feels about Bangalore's new jersey, Yuvraj Singh could take some blame for the bankruptcy of Mr. Vijay Mallya, after all he and his son were the second most entertaining entities on the field after the cricketers themselves. After all, Yuvraj did take a humungous sum for doing practically nothing; just like the copywriters and designers of the new franchisees this year. The names are practically the most predictable first name every below average IQ around the world would have named their respective teams. Whatsoever happened to creativity. As far as jersey's though are concerned they managed to beat the names of the franchisees competing with each other on a fictional competition called, "Who is the worst". The existing flawed administration of the IPL though decided to take things one notch higher when they fired the most familiar voice of Cricket existing for almost 2 decades and even more. The Board of Control for Cricket in India definitely didn't have a reason concrete enough for banning the ever green Harsha Boghle from doing what he does best. However, the legendary, Navjot Singh Sidhu still seems to be screaming, laughing, emoting and at times even cracking one liners as intense as a fart which have definitely taken commentary a notch 'higher' as per industry standards. The drama around Harsha's axing has developed a mystery as complicated as an Abbas Mastan film pointing all fingers to BCCI secretary, Anurag Thakur calling the original perpetrator. Are we looking at a potential Race 3?
Coming to the Cricket scheme of things, tables have turned as now Shah Rukh Khan needs to partner with Sourav Ganguly once again to host matches at the Eden Gardens. As romantic as that sounds, the Kolkata Knight Riders haven't really ever played to potential when Ganguly was commanding the team. The greatest example for the same was the match on the 13th earlier this week when the Knights took on the Mumbai Indians in a clash at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata in front of a packed home crowd. Gautam Gambhir's aging ligaments did go for a spin when he finally started getting tired and not connecting bat with ball towards the end of the 20 overs of batting. We missed a shot of MS Dhoni grinning there. On a serious note that stands important as KKR was potentially the favourite for most of the game as they were on their way to score a massive 200 plus which didn't quite pay off.
Having said that, the game was a close one where Gambhir did troop his men nearly into their second victory, losing by a mere 5 balls remaining. As far as the other teams are concerned, much hasn't changed, Delhi keep losing like they have generally been used to over the last few editions of the IPL. Dhoni, no matter which team he is a part of keeps winning as they have their first game and are looking strong on winning more. Punjab is clueless still about their plans on playing Cricket and Bangalore, Mallya or no Mallya will remain the calender of aggression with probably the most brutal batting line up. The owners of the Bangalore team, whoever they are, should beat themselves up if they don't manage to life the trophy this season because if this team can't do it no team can.
Overall, the highly awaited IPL along with the glitz, the glamour, the drama and the controversies have made their way into the television screens of most households around the world. The Cricket Mandi has started all over again where promoters to auctioneers and cricketers, everyone will go home improving their mathematics as they keep counting the money they make of selling a once regarded patient sport. The evenings in every town in India will have their favourite evening hobby sorted as most corporate too will install new television and DTH sets within their premises which DTH commercials keep reminding them about after every over is bowled during the course of the game.
For the positives, entertainment will be at the fullest with many heroics on display, Harsha's proliphic commentary will be missed and Mamata Banerjee for sure should take a moment in promoting the famous ma mati manush slogan during the course of any game at the Eden gardens now that even Sourav Ganguly seems to openly lobby for them.