Saturday, March 20, 2010

Should there be more IPLs?

A proposal is doing the rounds among the cricket bigwigs on holding more than one IPL in a year. The idea is to take it abroad to places like the US and the Gulf, where there is a huge concentration of Indians.

There is no doubt IPL -- the 20 over-a-side, eight-team Indian Premier League Championship -- is a roaring success. It has now come to symbolise cricket, eclipsing not just the sedate 5-day Test version but even the shorter 50-over-a-side One-Day Internationals or the ODIs.

Success begets success. It's also said we shouldn't sleep over success, but look far ahead to reap more out of success. It all sounds good, ambitious, enterprising and what not!

But the plan overlooks an aspect of IPL that's so crucial -- the players. Did anyone consult them, before publicing the 'more of IPL' plan?

It's players, coaches, managers, umpires and a whole lot of support staff who have made what cricket, or rather IPL, what it's today. They are all under tremendous pressure to perform round the year. Their body and mind are stretched to the maximum. They have little time for relaxation or for their personal and family lives.

What about all of us who watch cricket and enjoy it. Already I have heard of many people who are sick and tired of their favourite sport and pastime. Strange, is it not, if one has to be fed up of something that he or she likes!

Well, there's definitely an overkill of cricket. How many matches will one see? Cricket may actually be under threat of losing its entertainment value. Even now, even during a T20 match many people, come to see the match only during the last 3 or five overs of each innings.

Cricket is much more than winning. It's about style as much as strategy. Great innings. Great bowling spells. Great catches. Great stops. Great field placements. We have all enjoyed that as much as the winning shot of our favourite teams.

Let's not dilute the significance of these fascinating facets of this great game.

IPL once year is more than enough. We would like to look forward to it once every year. Because what happens after a longer wait gives us unrivalled pleasure.

Let us not kill the goose that lays golden eggs.

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