IPL for India: A boon or bane?
The fifth edition of the Indian Premier League is in its final stages.
This year, though, the majority of the action was centred outside the cricket pitch with a number of controversies grabbing the headlines of national newspapers and television.
The match-fixing revelations, the Shahrukh-MCA brawl and the most recent Delhi hotel incident, all have brought bad press to the league, leading to a serious debate on whether IPL is really necessary and beneficial for the game of cricket.
In his column in The Hindu, noted cricket historian Ramachandra Guha forwards a wonderful take on the detrimental effects of IPL on the Indian capitalism, economy and market.
With a very tactful insight, he has successfully explained why the Indian Premier League has so little Indian about it. A few questions he raised in the article are of great concern for everybody involved with the great game of cricket in India and throughout the globe.
The illogical distribution of franchises and financial discrepancies in their allotment is definitely a very serious topic of discussion. The scheduling and length of the whole tournament is also an issue, as sometimes it takes a toll on the fitness of main players. There is also an urgent need for a total revamp in the model how BCCI functions as the sole controller of cricket in India.
If they run a cricket administration carrying the name of our country, they have a moral obligation towards each and every citizen and cricket fans. They definitely need to look into a number of questions which arise every time the IPL season arrives.
I can hardly recollect any positives that the Indian Cricket team has drawn from the IPL in the 5 years since its inauguration.
The ultimate achievement of any team in any form of the game is to win as many number of games as possible. But after winning the first T20 World Cup in 2007 followed by the inaugural edition of the IPL, India has always performed dismally to say the least in each and every T20 WC that has followed, as well as other T20 internationals.
Many IPL advocates argue that that it is more of an entertainment platform rather than an out-and-out cricket competition, but entertainment is only good until it is not affecting a player's performance in the real game.
We saw what happened after IPL 2011 and the shambolic performances by the Indian team in tours of England and Australia were a clear indication that the competition had affected the game of vital Indian players because of injuries and fatigue. Even Indian captain MS Dhoni has raised the issue of the excess of international games. Thus, it is very hard to understand what is he doing taking part in the IPL again.
As loyal cricket fans, it is our right and duty to ask all sort of questions to the authorities that run the Indian cricket administration. If they are unable to solve the problem soon, it's time that a higher authority like the sports ministry to intervene and make the necessary changes in the way the sport is run for the good of India and its cricket team.