It is Time to Wear the Pragmatic Lens, because IPL seems to be in a Mess

“Can you really put a cap on what shockers the game of Cricket can produce? Can anyone just write off a team at any stage? Are the fans really assured of their team’s victory when it scores 200 odd runs in a T20 match? Do you really believe that miracles are not just myths?”


Source: EconomicTimes

Fearless chases have hit the top of each of our minds over the past one week with the Mumbai Indians and Kolkata Knight Riders having shown us, like Harsha Bhogle aptly describes it “The brute force generated by monster bats, has begun to overcome what bowling can offer.”

No matter how many optimists out there choose to ignore what looks like a naked truth in their bid to avoid yet another heart-break, the time to put up the ‘realistic and practical’ lens seems to have arrived and the need is now more than ever before.

I am not asking questions on the basis of the last few matches but it is an observation that is being made for quite some time now. Philosophy has a quote, “Little drops of water make the ocean”, similarly, it is these small-small things that have now taken us to the point where we need answers more than the optimists who want to defend the game and turn on their blind eyes. When a large majority of people start asking questions, when a thousand men believe that there is something dodgy, when the Mudgal Committee is constantly denied a probe into our “Satyavadi” IPL, I cannot but choose not to be a defender of the game.

Here are my two cents and observations which prick my conscience constantly. It is not just this edition of the IPL but suspicion is being bred in the minds of the people, for a long time now. Here we go:

1) Our beloved “consumer-friendly” has taken the pains to show a repeat of all matches since the start of this season including the toss. Kudos to their efforts and sensitivity to our needs. But my question to them would be that why the match replay of MI vs RR, played on 25th May, 2014, does not have the toss? We missed to shoot it, is it? Or was it of no importance that it could have been removed from the final take, oops the ‘true’ version put up for the consumer’s sake?

2) I would want to tell you a short story before I begin with my second observation. I remember when we were kids and were to host a cricket tournament; we would not release the fixtures until the teams for semi-finals were decided. The argument we used to do so within the organizing team was to ensure that our host team would play an easier opponent in the semis which would drastically improve our chances to reach the finals. Trust me it worked in 90% of the cases.

Okay, the story was just a “filler” because my editing team wants me to write at-least a 1000 words. Any resemblance to other parts of the article is totally co-incidental and not my intentions at all (LOL).

For any tournament, the mandate generally is that the entire fixtures list is out well before the tournament begins so that it helps the teams plan well. This becomes of prime importance from the franchise point of view to know how many do you play at home towards the most crucial business end of the tournament and who you play as well and that somewhere helps you plan better. What was surprising in this year’s IPL was that the phase 2 fixtures are decided in the middle of the tournament (How on earth did the franchisees even agree to this, I am still surprised) and somehow CSK and RR begin their ride on the losing-streak band wagon and dig a hole for themselves.

What adds fuel to the suspicion of the recent KKR and MI victories is the question if it was decided long back that KKR play the first qualifier at Eden gardens MI should play the eliminator in Mumbai? This guarantees a full house thus my doubts take me far enough to believe that this isn’t a script of just a 3 hr movie, it is a Sitcom series that we are witnessing, presently telecasting Season7.

No wonder, millions await to download the latest episode, oops to watch the latest match and see what happens to the protagonists. No prizes for guessing who the heroes are.

I had heard about SRK being banned from the Wankhede for a good number of years. I also had heard that they constantly wanted to shift the IPL finals away from Wankhede or quite some time now and they succeeded as well. Not allowing the DJ to be played post 10 pm is such a strong reason alongside a few other reasons as well. #justsaying

3) Time for yet another fun-filler (I choose to believe, unlike popular opinion, that I can be funny and so can be the fillers I write).

There lives a renowned King of the world who also is the father to 8 sons but only 1 of these was his real son, thus obviously the favourite one while rest were all adopted. These sons were addicted to gambling but were gladiators by profession and fought for 8 rich men from around the globe and participated in the Gladiators Premier League (GPL) each year. The favourite son, managed to enter the top 4 each year at GPL thanks to his excellent ‘mind’ which took risks and succeeded almost always. The King was always worried about the attention that his sons’ gambling brought to the family but somehow managed to shield them. As expected, 2 of the sons got caught for gambling which brought a lot of dis-repute to the family and made the public demand for death sentences for the 2 accused. This would have been a perfect example to set, but the King only wished so, since 1 of the 2 caught was his real son. Though he managed to save their face in front of the masses, justice had still to be met. So it was decided by the King’s council that if the sons wanted to stay alive, they pay for it in the upcoming GPL by way of early exits but to not make it too obvious and the sons were left with but no choice. These two sons started well and were comfortably en route to yet another top 4 as expected but then suddenly they started slipping and the brother who was also the defending champion, ousted one of the 2 accused to set up a quarter-final tie with the favourite son, the other accused, but was comfortably defeated there. This raised further questions on the ethics of these gladiators. The King was however happy that one of them was done paying for his sins. But now, it remains interesting to see if the King suddenly goes easy on his favourite son and believes the slip-up so far was enough a punishment and lets him taste victory again. Irrespective of who takes the cup home, the King continues to make money and to stay happy because he thinks the spectators are fools and would never come close to deciphering his tactics (ROFL).

I think the story was well detailed that I decide to give a pass to my third observation.

4) Continuing the previous story to make my final point. This is a tribute to the favourite son’s excellent ‘mind’ that was responsible for his brilliant display at GPL. This ‘mind’ was one of the most envied minds of the world not because of the power he held, but because of the calmness and risk taking inclination. Trust me, this ‘mind’ was once claimed to have ‘King Midas’ touch’ too. People made him their demi-god and often observed his each and every move closely. But ‘mind’ had to underplay his talent as per ‘daddy’s’ punishment so he decides to do funny things in the name of taking risks. One match he fought without a shield while in the next decided to fight with his left hand. What ‘mind’ believed would be applauded in the name of ‘risk’ unfortunately raised questions on his ability to lead. My only request to the people watching GPL would be that ‘mind’ remains to be one of the most brilliant one not only in GPL but also in the world. Do not mistake his moves in GPL to be his own, he might be just exercising ‘daddy’s’ orders. If it were his way, he would have preferred death rather than to put up a foolish face and lose respect.

My fourth observation is not just about the favourite son’s ‘mind’ but many other high-profile ‘minds’ in GPL. Their sudden dip in performance is temporary trust me. They are all but mere puppets, the strings are being held by people like the king in the ‘minds’ case.

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