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Strike One against the IPL

April 19, 2008

Strike One against the IPL. Those familiar with the American past-time would have heard of the umpire’s exaggerated signal while signalling the first pitch that goes through ‘the zone’, baseball’s imaginary equivalent of stumps. Media restrictions and other totalitarian measures aside, the IPL can still bulldoze its way to being the biggest thing since the Packer series, the teeming mass of Indian cricket fans can ensure that. However, there is one way it can all wither away really fast.

The grand opening ceremony and the theatrical introduction of the captains followed by the signing of the ‘spirit of cricket’ was all fine. The cavorting Washington Redskin cheerleaders, more so. The droning speeches from the chairman of the BCCI and the ‘IPL commissioner’ were greeted by boos. You have to wonder what makes these gents think that the ticket-buying public cared about listening to bureaucrats looking to sound important.

The main event however, the game itself, was a damp squib. The Knight Riders did everything right by the script of those looking to make the IPL success, but the Royal Challengers were blown away by Brendon McCullum’s blitzkrieg. For the realistic, the game was over once Shah Rukh Khan’s team had posted over 200 against a side boasting more technically correct test batsmen than most test teams. Once Rahul Dravid had been dismissed to Ishant Sharma’s first ball, the writing was on the digital scoreboard. More than the dismissal, it was swing across the line followed by the ball cannoning into leg stump that underlined how T20 is no place for high left elbows and backfeet moving to get in line.

While Vijay Mallya might be wondering about the composition of his team, the other owners should be wondering what a few more one-sided games will do to the lustre of the IPL. The remaining games of the weekend take on significance, not just for the teams, but for every investor in the expected blockbuster.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. nestaquin permalink
    April 19, 2008 6:17 pm

    Did you find it curious, as I did, that the home crowd didn’t seem to care that their fictitious team were getting spanked?

    If the Bangalore boys continue in that vein surely the stadium will be half empty by the last match in the series.

  2. April 19, 2008 6:53 pm

    good point nestaquin, i think it’ll take a couple of good games for the crowds to identify with ‘their’ respective teams. no performance…no fans

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