IPL-10, a matured version


Its almost three weeks that the tenth version of IPL has started. At a point, it may feel like this post is little too late. But, the point of view, I am addressing is more of a kind of realization after its three weeks experience.
Almost ten years back, when IPL started, things were different. It was more like a new born baby, who brings all the excitement in home. No matter, who does what in relation to it, it feels good and exciting. So, an advertisement mentioning prayers being said in Pakistan for Sehwag and what not made us feel good. In real sense, there were followers for a team. There was a huge fan following of KKR back then, because Dada was their captain. Considering his captaincy skills, plus the kind of treatment he had received from Indian cricket team, KKR was a big hit. This was followed by Mumbai Indian, of course because of Sachin Tendulkar. In addition, there were some teams like RCB, DD,CSK, KXI which were again famous because of the players and sometimes because of the people associated with it. It was a big hit.
 Then as IPL started progressing, it went through many phases. We saw, how even big shot players become vulnerable, on and off ground. How priority for players change suddenly. A face of the team player suddenly becomes a load to be relieved. It was just the beginning of professional face of IPL, coming across us. While we were cheering for a team, being carrying our city name, suddenly, it had no local representation.
A major change that happened was the absence of Pakistani players from the successive IPL series. Initially, it was widely discussed. The absence of those players were strongly felt. How every one was missing Shoaib Akhtar and Sohail Tanvir and all the lot. But sooner, those memories too faded. Now, no words of it are ever heard.
While the professional face of IPL hurt the senior players, it also brought up another angle. IPL can make or break players carrier. It introduced us to very young and talented emerging players. IPL made them big in just couple of matches time. All of them started dreaming of a chance to play for their respective countried, especially the Indian players for India.
But with the new season of IPL, suddenly those set of players were replaced by another set of players. Do you remember a player from Kings XI Punjab, Paul Valthaty ! He emerged as a sensation in 2001, probably IPL4 season. But now where is he? Nowhere. Infact, I took a long time to recollect his name and search for him. There is a big list of such players, who  don't exist anywhere. Take another example of Saurabh Tiwari. I guess just 2-3 seasons back, he was a find for the Indian team. He even played a couple of matches for India. But today, I don't see him in any team. Atleast, I couldn't find him. Another face of professionalism of IPL.
One black spot on IPL is of spot fixing. This was the phase when IPL was like in its teenage. There is not end to enthusiasm. And when there is no barrier, sometimes its difficult to understand, whether the act done is wrong or right. Something similar happened here too. Being a hub of big money, people got attracted to IPL not just for the cricket, but to make money too. If not by right manner, then any other means available. This put players like Sreesanth, Chandela in trouble, who tried to make quick bucks through spot fixing. Forget players, even the owners of the teams got entangled in betting. Result, teams like CSK and RR got barred from the new seasons of IPL.

All such things happened in last nine years. Probably the players, owners, media, viewers learnt a lot from all different kinds of experiences. This is the tenth year of IPL. Even after  three weeks of game being over, no such issue has emerged as yet. Players seems to behave responsibly. Owners are minding their business of just investing and really participating in actual cricketing act. Media also knows what to highlight to get more TRP. A new formula has been developed where cricket is just another dish on the platter, other than dance and fun and so called cricketing discussions. Even the past cricketers have learnt to dance and speak some couplets, shayris to attract the audience. And most importantly, the viewers have learnt not to get unnecessarily engaged with any team and just enjoy the game.

All in all, IPL as of now seem to have got matured itself and every body around it. Of course, even matured people will sometimes act foolish. So, we do expect some kind of funny turns as IPL progresses ahead. But, I am pretty happy with its present shape and enjoying cricket in its present status.

IPL-10, a matured version IPL-10, a matured version Reviewed by Ka Jo on April 25, 2017 Rating: 5
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