Indian Pathetic League – Indian Prurient League – Indian Plunder League – One can term IPL in so many ways but the undeniable fact is that IPL represents the deadly cocktail of vulgar entertainment, gambling, speculation, alcoholism, etc., to the total exclusion of sport as it is traditionally understood and practised. All things associated with IPL are natural as the whole show is a high voltage corporate marketing glitz. There were some angry voices when price tag was fixed on cricketing demi-gods. But, it was touted as their NAV and not lease money. When the organizers thought that icons alone cannot lure crowds but you need girls in their self-demeaning attire to get the cash boxes ringing, then why not intoxicate the crowd? Vices attract and one is glued to everything else except the game of cricket. Support was also enlisted from new vocabulary – sportainment. Unfortunately neither sport nor entertainment remains – what one gets is casino effect. Branding has reached ridiculous levels and desperation is showing up. Sport is a religion and the rigours of sports are more arduous than penance. When sportsmen party hard, flirt and rock till dawn getting drenched in alcohol, the hands can hardly sustain the craft of reverse sweep or swing in the morning.
Tobacco companies sponsored the game in yesteryears but one could have hardly heard of Benson & Hedges Nights – but IPL nights are here to ‘entertain’ our tired young heroes wielding willows for the nation. IPL corrupts cricket and the masses. Devotees of the pristine game are taken to illusory land of enthralling and explosive show. With night comes darkness and for the dawn, one has to wait. After all, booming IPL is just a business and bust is logical. Let us wait till we can applaud gentle strokes and wonderful strikes in broad day light – no paraphernalia of jerseys, contests, SMSes, branding of anything under the sun. Let us retain optimism - a Benaud will appear and transport us to the pitch rubbing shoulders with those gentlemen.- GK