Question: Will you follow the IPL as closely as you follow India’s international matches?
Yahoo! Cricket's answer: "Yes"
There was a time when we had to wait for months on end to watch televised cricket. Now there’s a match on almost every other day – to say nothing of the deluge of games during the IPL. Come April 4, regional fires shall be stoked, merchanidising will be in full swing and - despite all the spiel about a financial masterstroke destroying the spirit of the game - there will be thousands glued to the action.
But will this following match the hysteria that is generated when India competes internationally or, in a season blotched by several reversals abroad, even surpass it? In other words, will the IPL manage to engage the public to the same degree as an international series involving India does?
Our answer is a big “Yes”. For all the contrarian talk that the IPL has spawned, a majority of the target audience bears no grouses against the tournament. To them – and to a lot of us whose job doesn’t involve reporting, analysing and making a living off it – the event is an ideal companion to kick one’s shoes off to after a hard day at work. As long as there’s cheap entertainment (and the league is rapidly transgressing into the category of planned entertainment from the territory of pure sport) available at the punch of a button,nobody really cares who’s wearing what colours and whose bat is coming down straighter.
But that’s just our opinion. Why don’t you tell us how zealously you’d follow the IPL-2012 or how you couldn’t be bothered how many DLF Maximums an overpaid troll has managed to clout. The best responses, as always, will find a pride of place on the page.
[Update, March 28]: Thanks for your responses.
The pro-IPL responses:
Alok looks at the brighter side:
Do we choose between Barclay's Premier League and Fifa World Cup? Why is it that we always like to criticise Indian cricket? The IPL has done wonders, not only to cricket but also to India as a nation. We have emerged as a cricket-loving nation capable of taking it to the world, with good management, marketing and entertainment skills. Be proud that we host the most prestigious cricketing festival of all times.
'A' says the IPL has a good future:
IPL is indeed a masterstroke. In countries like the USA, sports leagues have been around for decades. People are fanatical about their local clubs. IPL is following that path. Perhaps not my generation, but the younger ones in their early-to-mid twenties, teens and kids will grow up on a diet of club rivalries. International cricket is preferred by slightly senior age-groups because that's what they grew up on.
So if I give a subjective opinion (being in my early 30s) I would not follow IPL as much. I may just watch a few games for entertainment. This article talks about "regional fires" but that would not matter to me because I can’t see any difference between a Punjab XI and a Chennai XI. I like players on both sides. I am a Punjabi and I don’t see a strong Punjabi presence in the Kings XI team. Hence regional loyalties are hard to establish. From an objective point of view, the youth will continue to be loyal to the IPL, so eventually it will rule the cricket world. International cricket, especially Tests, will die in India eventually which is very sad but quite likely.
Rohit says T20 is the flavour of the era:
I think IPL is a great idea! And I'll give it a big yes! It is a great form of entertainment for the cricket-loving Indian audience. If athletes are given the money that they think they're worth, they'll obviously be happy and perform better. What's wrong with that? That's human nature. IPL is a huge source of revenue generation and also provides lots of jobs. I think we as Indians should support this and get on the bandwagon. It also gives a platform for selectors all over the world to scout athletes of their respective countries. Increased competition always leads to better results. T20 cricket is becoming increasing popular all over the world as people have 10-20 minutes to watch at least 4-5 overs and see things happen like players hitting fours and sixes than waste an entire day watching players be in a defensive mode. In today's world, lesser and lesser people have so much time.
Amal Biyani says IPL helps bring the world’s best talent together:
IPL is far more attractive than usual cricket. There’s no nationalism, just a bhelpuri of talent and entertainment. And everybody enjoys snacks more than regular food. An IPL team consists of the best of cricketers from all round the world playing as single unit — a dreams for some people who want to see Sachin & Jayasuriya open together, Symonds & Harbhajan playing for the same side, etc. It’s all there. IPL certainly has an edge over the regular cricket.
And the pro-international cricket brigade says:
Srs_Rocker says he misses the ‘India feeling’ in IPL:
IPL doesn't give that "India feeling" — it's more regional domestic cricket with giltz and glam. If I've to choose between IPL or international matches, I would choose the second without any second thought.
Jayanta Mukhopadhyay says there’s no greater theatre of cricket than Tests:
I must go for international cricket. Test cricket is my favourite. When India are not playing I watch the other nations play Tests and ODIs. A cricket team or player’s greatness can only be judged by performance in Test cricket.
Yogesh asks a pertinent question:
IPL is a good medium of entertainment but it has ruined Test and ODI cricket. Who can say IPL has given good players for the Indian team?
Naveen has a problem with the length of the tournament:
Two months of IPL is too much. It is a sheer waste of time. I would only see a few matches, mostly of my regional team. I would prefer to see more international matches.
We will let Sandeep have the parting shot:
IPL feels like a picnic and not cricket. It degrades the game. It seems batsmen play with a mace — gada — and not bats. The only thing missing in the IPL is a ferris wheel.
Thanks for reading. We look forward to your participation in the next topic.