The Indian fan (or for that matter the Indian voter) was least on the administrator, the owner, and the politician’s mind when it came to making a decision on holding the IPL this year. It seems more or less certain that this year’s league will be played in South Africa. Little does it matter what the fan thinks. How bizarre is it to have the Indian Premier League played in another country. If Chennai Super Kings play in Capetown, are they now Capetown Super Tigers? And all of this for merely protecting the sundry Politician? Yes, all this drama regarding security is all about protecting the politicians during their campaigns. It has nothing to do with protecting the citizenry. Isn’t it still fresh in our memories that it took more than 12 hours for the National Guard to get to Mumbai during 26/11 bombings merely because they had to fly from Delhi where they were protecting the Politician.
If it was truly all about security of the Indian voter, dare I ask why the government did not consider moving the elections by a month? After all what is more important to an Indian voter (I mean Indian fan), to see Tendulkar’s action or Varun Gandhi’s speech? Doesn’t “Action speak louder than words?” Does the Indian voter really know the make up of the first, second, third or the gazillion’th Front considering leading the country? I bet you the Indian fan knows the leader and the team make up of every IPL team. The Indian fan rather spend hours in line trying to get into Chidambaram stadium rather than waiting outside a polling booth only to find out that some one has already been gracious enough to vote on his or her behalf. And what do the results of the elections mean to the Indian voter anyway. The parliament tolerates the same old faces with the same old ideas only with a different set of friends and enemies. The country seems to be running fine despite the Politician’s presence. It does matter to the Indian fan if it is going to be Shane Warne or MS Dhoni who lifts the cup, it does matter if Abhinav Mukund becomes the new Yusuf Pathan of India. Shall we vote on it?
And why are the Mallyas, Ambanis, and Zeintas gung-ho about having the IPL on whether it is in Mumbai or in Timbaktu. Their revenues are from TV commercials and that will come so long as their is TV coverage in India whatever the time of day the games are held. They are going to be there at the grounds watching the games in real time anyways. What difference does it make to them if the fans are Indian or Persons of Indian Origin. Same skin colour anyways. The money that counts at the end of every game is the money that matters to them. And, by the way, they are pretty excited that this might open up new markets for them.
The IPL has become the biggest political corporation in the country. It will not be surprising if, based on the outcome of this year’s league, the IPL asks for a bail out from the government. No points for guessing who pays for all this!
P.S: By posting this article, I certainly did not intend to take away the glory associated with the amazing victory achieved in New Zealand. Those are and will continue to remain the cherishable moments in Indian cricket for the fan and the cricketer.
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In my view, after thumbing its collective nose at several cricketing establishments around the world — and getting away with it more often than not — this smells of a case of the BCCI flexing its muscles even within India.
This, in my view, is the BCCI calling the Indian Governments’ bluff!
Given how popular cricket is in India, the IPL may have even been a terrific vehicle for the current Government to spin its manifestos! Ahem! We are assuming the existence of a manifesto here, aren’t we?
However, the Government dug its heels and in the ensuing clash of egos, the BCCI took this extreme and in my view, somewhat unwise step!
The BCCI would be hoping for a show of public outrage at their decision — which could have then prompted the Government to relent on their tough stance and allow the tournament to stay in India!
This is a huge risk that the BCCI has taken. It could either spell the end of the BCCI or the Government! Don’t be surprised if Shashank Manohar and Lalit Modi are charged with anything from petty crime to expressing anti-national sentiments!
It would be a terrible shame if the IPL was moved out of India. It was as much the people that made the 1st edition of the IPL as it was the BCCI, the players, the sponsors and the franchises. Without that element, the 2nd edition of the IPL, if played in England or South Africa, could be a damp squib. That would be a pity!
As with most things in India, people have been sacrificed once again in the clash of egos. Shame!
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Perhaps they should have had a special election where everyone decides if elections should be postponed to make way for the IPL.
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