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Why are you not watching IPL? [Media Monday]

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If you think you follow IPL, this post is not for you (no offense meant, but you are a minority &  this is to save your own time)!

According to recent reports, IPL-4 has lost its shine this year with highest TRPs of mere 3.9% reached by 2 games as against TRP of 4+ reached by 5 matches last year. Compare this to World Cup matches which went on to reach a TRP of 6.5%+ even before the Quarter finals, while India-Pak semi final touched a record breaking TRP of 11.74%.

Forget about TRPs even in general I don’t see any excitement or people talking about their favourites team or rushing back to their homes to watch their favourite matches- do you?

Why is it so? I don’t know the exact reasons but there could be many, so I’m putting them in the format of poll and seeking your votes :)

As far as I go, firstly, I am really bored with excessive cricket – It has been non-stop 6 months of cricket and additionally, I have still not been able to digest Sachin & Dhoni & Sehwag & Yuvraj playing against each other…no, it just does not cut it…what about you?

  1. Altaf Rahman says

    @ Balaji,

    I am sorry if I have hurt feelings. This is Trak.in and not rediff forums. Thats what I like about this blog where we fall into meaningful debates. Now ignoring your retort and looking into what you actually meant, I think we can still continue this debate. So I would like to say this :

    You are right when you said I no nothing of any other sport. I have my limitations. Though I participated in many sports during collage days, I am clearly not interested in ‘Body Contact games’ like the ones you are mentioning. And once I saw Kapil Dev in action, I fell in love with cricket and never looked farther. Though I keep track of all non body contact games like Tennis, Squash, Badminton. I am clearly not interested in Soccor or rugby.

    In my view, the very existance of body contact games is based on how to overpower opponents and make them surrender. Non Body contact games depend on showing skills and making moves and wait for opponent to make his moves. The beauty of the game is in its skills and execution. Not in result. Thats why a test match even though played for full 5 days end with a draw which typical US games can not understand. Therefore modifying cricket which is a non body contact game into the rugby mould is not a solution.

    If you are thinking that why dont we Indians turn cricket into something like Rugby may be many Indians like the idea. But being a typical Indian who knows only Cricket (in its original form) I can not digest it. But may be I am outnumbered.

    Thats why I said in my last comment in the end that if people loves IPL in its present form (in fact it can be modified some more to fit into more of your juicy vision), I think no one should stop people from getting their entertainment. But it should be clearly seperated from “Cricket”.

    An example : Boxing is a game with rules. But when people cant get enough of it and want more excitement, they discovered WWF. They insisted on calling it wrestling until they were ordered to call themselves entertainment, not wrestling.

    On the same lines IPL should be called something else but not cricket. But can be continued to cater to the different group of people.

  2. balaji yadhav says

    Clearly Mr Altaf looks to be too old or too naive to understand anything about business.
    Indian cricket fans are much more responsible than the hooliganism in English soccer or the wild fights which break out in any match in NFL or NHL in US.
    “Two bit nobody screaming…”” big words for a man who clearly hasnt seen any other sport or has any knowledge about world sports. Aussies drink beer and say racist comments in a cricket match,the same NZ crowd you were talking about have you ever seen them in a Rugby match in the Super Rugby or should i educate you about what a Super Rugby match is.
    Mr Altaf kindy get an education or maybe a job so that you have a better knowledge on things.

    1. Arun Prabhudesai says

      Balaji, I think it is important that you do not get personal in your comments – Altaf has been giving terrific insights on our articles regularly, and it is important that we should all respect each others views. If you have a disagreement, do put it accordingly…but…again…dont get personal..

  3. Altaf Rahman says

    I see your point of view of how Indians can “dominate”, “overpower” world cricket and how “its all about Economy stupid” and “Time to think about business”

    But when you see the points mentioned above its all about typical Amrican attitude about how you sit on the tip of the tree and watch passers by with suspecion. Its all about hatred, intension to dominate etc and etc.

    However if you think about basics like what is cricket and how many formats are there and how each match fits into a format (tests, first class, ODIs and List A matches) and why few nations play test cricket while others play either first class and others play List A matches your thinking will have higher vision.

    Agreed that money is the central issue for any thing like managing affairs, maintaining stadia, media and all that.

    However if you give preference to money over basics and ethics, there is nothing to debate or discuss. Once you reach that stage, what ever I say leads to argument.

    If its only money, yes we should expand IPL and pulvarise other test playing nations into submission and make every one to come to BCCI president to take approval even to host a test series. Yes we should can have the baility to make ICC become a pet dog of BCCI.

    Let me give you an example of the difference between cricket in India and New Zeeland. Has anyone observed a test match between NZ team and any other team in NZ? For e.g. when a match is going on in Wellington, observe the crowd area. They do not even have seats. The area is grass and people relax and watch cricket while their kids are playing around. Some people on bycicles stop at the fence and watch few balls bbowled and proceed with their affairs.

    Now compare that with the mass histeria in Indian stadium. When they turn the camaras to crowds what you see? Some two bit nobodys screaming at full throat with wild eyes. You can infact count their teath while they keep screaming.

    If Balaji is refering to this kind of lousy herd of histerical crowd, while explaining Economy and Business, his point is valid. I can say this is what finally cricket has degraded to. I think there are many others who care for cricket in its purest form.

    Yes, I watch test cricket for a full 5 days with interest even if it is between WI and Bangladesh (though sometimes its boring) not because I am unemployed nor I got waste time on my hand. Waste time is a relative word and depends on person to person on what he thinks about waste time. If your father is old and sick, if you think spending time with him is wasting time and think the same time can be spent in earning few more rupees, no one argues.

    Bottomline is apart from Economy, Business, domination, overpowering, there is something called coexistance and accomodation.

    I still feel IPL does not fit into Cricket – Test cricket or ODI or first class matches or List A cricket. This is not cricket. If people want such entertainment, it should be catagorised as some thing other than cricket.

  4. balaji yadhav says

    How is 3 hours of cricket overkill seriously have you ever watched every single ball of a 50 over match or a test match if you have then you must be unemployed or just have too much time at your hands. It is actually much more beneficial to India to undermine International cricket and promote domestic cricket lets have IPL longer like the EPL they dont have matches like Eng V France in England, there are almost 1000 domestic soccer matches in England. If its not overkill for US.UK then its not for us. why should Indians donate to foreign countries. Time to think about BUSINESS especially ones who read a BUSINESS BLOG.

  5. balaji yadhav says

    How many times should i say this
    If Indians really want to watch cricket we should watch the IPL first cause all the time and love we give to world cup cricket has gone right to the coffers of ICC and not Indians… This IPL has made sure that the money stays within India. Its all about the Economy Stupid.. just as Clinton would say.
    The United States are masters at this game they have undermined the World Basketball Championships and have made the NBA as the defacto world cup ,how can a Miami Heat vs Chicago Bulls game be called as a world championship they even proclaim the NBA winners as world champions Do you know that the world series in Baseball is not exactly a “world” series.Japanese and Cubans whoop the Americans in Baseball but they dint participate in the so called World Series.
    Which is what we should do undermine international cricket and project the Domestic cricket cause as far as the World cricket is concerned we have no business in giving Donations to foreign countries especially racist ones.
    Putting you country FIRST is a responsibility for every Indian..
    By IPL we are getting entertained and being patriotic at the same time not through the world cup.

    1. Arun Prabhudesai says

      Interesting and well reasoned take on IPL balaji, I had actually not thought about the whole affair in this way. Still, having said that – I think IPL is a serious over-kill. OVer 100 games of cricket in 50-60 days is just too much for anyone to bear…

    2. Yash says

      Balaji does have a point over here. I am not against IPL. And I actually do keep a track of points table, but non stop cricket for last few months is getting too much. Cricket is the king in India and I definitely love that. Unlike Americans who call all their sports Wolrd Series and World Championships, we are truly a cricketing superpower both on and off field.

      The timing of current IPL is bad. Right after the World Cup is overkill. Altaf does have a valid point about injury as well. If IPL had come after some break say somewhere around June-July, it would have been more entertaining.

      And honestly one day you see Kohli and Yusuf Pathan carrying Sachin on their shoulders and next week you see the same guys rejoicing Sachin’s wicket is……… confusing (for lack of a better word).

      IPL is good. Its welcome. We are Cricketing superpower and IPL is the crown jewel. But timing is bad.

  6. rabi gupta says

    wow analysis from Altaf :)

  7. Altaf Rahman says

    Other than some general curiosity of which teams were performing better, I do not bother even to check who is performing. My reasons for no interest are many.

    1) First and foremost, I am against the very existance of IPL (which I consider is the illegal child of Lalit Modi and the Greed of BCCI). It does not fit into any catagory of Tests, First Class Matches, ODIs, etc. As a general rule, the smaller version of games should give way to the bigger ones. For example, if Ranji Trophy is going on, if a player from a state team is selected to play for his country, the players priority and heart should be with the higher duties. But what is happening is IPL has grown like a cancer to such proportions that it has the ability to disturb Test series of other nations also. Present situation : Chris Gayle is stranded in IPL while his country is playing a test series. English and Sri Lankan players are still in IPL while their teams are preparing for a series. Some players are so obsessed with money that when their teams demand their services they decalre retirement. e.g. Lasit Malinga retiring from Tests recently.

    2) There is no Loyality factor in IPL. Neither cities command loyalities nor players command Loyalities. e.g. I am from Vijayawada. Principally I dont have to support Deccan Chargers. Till last year, Gil Christ was in Deccan team and suddenly I find him hitting sixers of Deccan. What should be my reaction?

    3) IPL brings all kinds of charectors together. There is a saying “When money talks, shit walks”. Can any one imagine Bhajji and Andrew Symmonds playing together?? It happens only in IPL.

    4) IPL causes injuries. Just before the oncoming West Indies series, Sehwag injured his shoulder (or may be the injury is there already but agrevated in IPL)

    5) IPL brings ugly personality in people. Has anyone imagined Rahul Dravid dancing down the wicket to hit the ball to midwicket boundary?

    All the hype created is due to the strength of money. Take out money factor and see players loyalty.

    6) IPL brings sleeze into a gentleman’s game : Recently a Cheerleader of Mumbai Indians was sacked and packed back to South Africa. What is the crime? She wrote the day to day happenings in a blog. She wrote about how players behave in late night parties thrown by BCCI. Also how ordinary Indians react to lonely forign ladies. This will not happen if it is not for IPL.

    Bottom Line : IPL is not cricket. IPL is tamasha. Its a live show. Cricketers can dance, Actors own cricketers, forgotten film artists find a chance to sit infront of camaras to increase their visibility, scandals give media exposure,

    My recommendations for IPL to have respectability :

    1) ICC should consider hosting such events in all Test playing countries (by trimming the format) and give equal level to all the trophies.
    2) IPL or all other nations PLs should accomodate between any ongoing Test/ODI series. They can not demand the series to be shifted.
    3) Cheerleading should be given some concept. Dont just have some forign girls in shorts swing their hips for few minutes. There should be some concept for cheerleading. Like in US Cheerleaders perform some acrobatics before each game and encourage the team during the match.
    4) Unlike few cities, all Ranji playing teams should compete for the trophy. The present format is lousy. Why Baroda with rich cricketing tradition be ignored while Kochi with no cricketing history considered. (Guys!! This is not for controversy. I am serious about concept. If you have concept, contradict me)

    Just my two paisa :)

    1. Arun Prabhudesai says

      Altaf,

      As usual a very analytical and informative comment :)
      I know…especially your last point….Kochi of all the places !!! ridiculous

  8. Nikunj says

    I think the auctions have entirely changed the teams. Teams that are doing good are either the ones that retained their players (hence, chemistry) or the ones that were already at the bottom and had nothing to loose (KKR). This infact has caused a serious problem to a fans loyalty for his team. For example, I cannot relate to Delhi Daredevils if Sehwag and Gambhi do no open, since they were doing it for 3 years.

  9. vijay gupta says

    I feel that everything is fixed in the IPL since mumbai indian lost the final in the Last IPL against chennai super kings.

  10. Yash says

    I am bored. Its overdose of Cricket and I agree with pinnacle of Cricket and team mates playing each other points as well.

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