IPL 20/20, like quick sex with no foreplay- the end of cricket we grew up on ?

Will there never be another Gavaskar or Tendulkar in Indian cricket ? Is the time to nurture cricketing talent over ? With fortunes being decided on the hit and miss formula of 20/20 , will it all be about instant gratification and financial returns from now on ?
Don’t get me wrong. I am addicted. But I am completely confused about who plays for who. While I knew who’s side I was on in an India/Pakistan match, how do I root for a great Pakistani bowler against Tendulkar ? And how dare Vijay Mallya speak against Dravid, one of the greatest Indian batsmen playing the game and should he not confine himself to selling beer ? Suddenly the much maligned Indian cricket board seems almost benign in light of the ruthlessness of the current owners of the team ! And I feel disoriented when the fortunes of the teams are being decided by the Australians and the Pakistani players that float in and out. Are Indian players going to be sidelined ? Will we ever be able to raise the spirit of Indian team together again after they have publicly fought against each other ?
We need to say a one minute silence to the cricket we knew, even as we welcome instant gratification.

23 Responses to “IPL 20/20, like quick sex with no foreplay- the end of cricket we grew up on ?”

  1. I agree. What’s also disturbing is that in a nation where Kaveri water and the outsiders issue is already dividing up states, the IPL teams are divided state wise to egg the audiences to connect to something in the mad mayhem.

  2. Rohit Mehrotra says:

    Naaah!
    I dont agree with the kaveri water and IPL dividing the nation further. Its just evolution! You should be the one to recognise all this too soon shekhar since you live in America….do you think Test match cricket will ever get acceptance in USA? and USA is a developed country isnt it? Softball/baseball….all quick games eh?
    So whats wrong with IPL….did you not see the crowd turn up? Or am I sensing a clear worry on the faces of the so called film-walas of India.
    Shekhar, you shouldn’t be worried at all…since the MASS has just taken a turn towards healthier form of entertainment (i.e) – Watching IPL instead of pure silly hindi movies…
    Classes will certainly wait for your movies like they always did!
    So let us cheer this new baby on the block NOT by observing one minute silence…
    Sorry if I sang a hindi song during the ‘one minute silence’ session!
    Regards
    Rohit

  3. shekhar says:

    Rohit, neither do i live in the US, nor am i worried about the fall in revenues in Hindi films. I am concerned about the game being different. About there being no more nurturing in cricket. I really enjoy the games and the crowds. I turn on the TV everytime. Not for cricket though, for the tamasha. So the question again. Will we see the rise of Tendulkars and Gavaskars in this tamaasha, or are those days gone ? shekhar

  4. Deepshikha says:

    Hey Rohit
    I donít think you quite understood the point Shekhar is trying to make. Let me site another example, it is like saying will we never get another KL Sehgal or Rafi or Manna De or Kishore Kumar or Nusrat fateh ali khan sahib etc in the history of music. This definitely does not disregard the new singers on the block. It is just highlights a much appreciated and rich genre of music gone by Ė music which was soulful and was clearly something with which we could connect to — So, there is nothing to take offense of and nothing to get hyper about. Personally though, I think true cricket lovers still want to see traditional cricket as opposed to the ‘2 minutes noodle’ type T20.
    And yes, I would like to request Rohit that please dont just take the liberty to compare sports with films — it is like comparing apples and oranges. I however accept that it is better to invest time doing other things than watching silly – karan johar – type movies, but then I guess these days we are fortunate to see one good movie coming up every now and then — latest being Khuda kay liye.

  5. Gopi says:

    SUPER KINGS!!!!!

  6. Gopi says:

    Shekhar,
    I think it is early times yet with the IPL and I think it will do a lot of good for cricket and especially Indian Cricket!! It has already uprooted a few good youngsters who have only been playing state cricket and now they are on the spotlight, rubbing shoulders and gaining the knowledge transfer from the internationals. They are also getting the opportunity to play pressure cricket in front of packed grounds and millions of TV viewers.
    Kumar Sangakara explained what this will do for Test cricket. He said it will speed it up, runs being scored quicker, hence more entertaining, and giving more results and less draws. This can only be good!
    I think if governed the right way, the future is very bright for cricket, and there will plenty more Tendulkars and Gavaskars!!
    Gopi

  7. Chethan says:

    I do agree with Shekhar. I havent seen much of Gavaskar as i was just born when he was in his peak. But i started watching, liking, loving cricket because of Sachin and Mark Waugh.
    And I am not at all interested in IPL cause it just does ignite any emotion in me! The bowler is a bakra and the batsman doesnt need any bat to bat but huge amount of luck… I mean, for god sake let cricket survive…
    Like the way Bradman appreciated Sachin, don’t we all want Sachin to appreciate someone else?
    There should be some difference between Cricket and Baseball… Right?

  8. shivani singh says:

    hi shekhar. i am not much into cricket anymore. my heart was shatterred many years ago when chetan sharma’s last bouncer was met by javed miandad’s sixer and india lost…..i remember i could not sleep that night and i quit. cut and dry, which is the only way i can do things.
    what strikes me about this post of yours is the title….the analogy. the similes you come up with are very astute, always. they remind me of arundhati roy’s ‘the god of small things’ which is a book full of the most beautiful analogies: spiritual/material/romantic/sexual.
    now i know that she had objected to bandit queen and i don’t have the slightest idea whether you know each other personally but what this makes me think is that ‘like minds think alike’. there is a great writer in you (i don’t need to tell you this). sometimes 2 people who thimk very very similarly can completely differ on one topic—does that make them different? almost certainly not.
    anyway i went on a tangent there. still no cricket for me.
    love, shivani

  9. Sid Singh says:

    Its all nostalgia – remembering how things were different in the old days. Yes, we will never have another Gavaskar again. So what? 20-20 will develop further and there will be other athletes and sportsmen who will become legends in the future.

  10. shekhar says:

    I doubt that we will have legends Sid. But we will have legendary moments. Like Shastri will always be remembered for six sixes in an over in Australia – but never became a legendary batsman. 20/20 is such a chancy game that there is no time for legends to be nurtured.
    Shoaib Akhtar won the match for Kolkatta tonight. It was an impressive performance from probably the fastest bowler alive. But what was even more amazing was that none of the batsmen could stand up to Shoaib’s speed. The rest of the match was not so good after that.

  11. Navin says:

    “And how dare Vijay Mallya speak against Dravid, one of the greatest Indian batsmen playing the game and should he not confine himself to selling beer ?”
    Dear Shekhar,
    I completely disagree with you here. Vijay Mallya is the OWNER of the team and hence Rahul Dravid’s BOSS. He grossly overpaid Rahul. He has every right to give Rahul a piece of his mind if Rahul and his team are not doing their job. In my opinion, he made a very bad choice when he hired Rahul Dravid to play for his team. I completely disagree with you that Rahul Dravid is one of the greatest batsmen produced by India. Far from it. If you ask me, Rahul Dravid is a total misfit for this form of cricket(20-20). I’m not getting into the merits and demerits of this form of cricket, but while we are at it, let me tell you that Rahul Dravid is perhaps the MOST UNINSPIRING Captain in the history of Cricket anywhere in the world. He just doesn’t have what it takes to play this form of cricket. Vijay Mallya has done the right thing in firing his team’s CEO, Charu Sharma and he would do well to fire Rahul as well. Both of them (Rahul & Charu) showed very poor judgement while choosing the Bangalore team itself. That’s why the Bangalore team is at the bottom of the pool and doing great damage to the Liquor brands which Vijay Mallya’s companies produce. If I was in Vijay’s place I would have fired the whole team and built the team again from scratch, this time giving the reins of the team to somebody worthier than Rahul Dravid.
    Cheers!
    Navin

  12. shekhar says:

    And what would you say if Tendulkar failed, Navin ? would you say that Mukesh Ambani as the owner of the team should fire him ? From what it seems , Tendulkar’s physical fitness is in question anyway
    Point is, if 20/20 is going to ruin the careers of current greats (and I disagree, Dravid was not called the wall for nothing )is it going to build Indian cricketers for the future ? I doubt it. Greats are nurtured and then become consistent. 20/20 is just about the moment.
    Interesting that the players with the best performances are non-Indian, and it just took the pace of Shoiab Akhtar, the batting prowess of the Aussies, the captaincy of Shane Warne to win matches. Only as the Aussies left did the Indian batsmen make themselves noticed. Even the new Indian blue eyed boy, Ishant Sharma, was left looking like an amateur in front of Shoaib Akhtar.
    It was strange to see the Kolkutta crowds roar their approval as Shoiab terrified the Indian batsmen into submission.
    shekhar

  13. kedar says:

    hahaha… even i get confused who is paying for which side…HBO or STAR movies are the best options in such situation! :))))))))

  14. Navin says:

    Hi again, Shekhar. Yes, I wouldn’t bat an eyelid in sacking Sachin also if he failed for an elongated period of time. Even I’m perplexed as to why did Sachin decide to play this tournament if he wasn’t fit to play for more than half the tournament. Maybe just for the money. I am not a fan of his either. But there is a huge difference in the styles of play of Sachin and Rahul. I don’t want to undermine Rahul’s contribution to Indian cricket as a batsman in Test Cricket and One day cricket. He definitely deserved to be called The Wall. But he’s just not useful enough in the 20-20 format. Certainly not as a Captain. He might be useful if he played under some other player’s captaincy who had more aggression than him.
    Now whether 20-20 is good for the future of Cricket? That’s a separate issue and I agree with you there that the answer to that question is NO. But if 20-20 is just about the moment then I feel there’s nothing wrong with living in the moment. After all, life’s greatest teaching to humankind is to “live in the moment”. ;) Cricket is just another form of entertainment now and we don’t have the time to watch it all day. The same concerns were raised when One day (50 overs) cricket was first introduced. Things have to change with time, Shekhar, nothing wrong with that.
    The obsession of Indian Sports Administrators with “building a team/player for the future” has done a great deal of damage to Indian sports. The job of the selectors (in any sport for that matter, not just cricket) is to choose the Best Players AT THAT POINT IN TIME. But in Indian cricket, they would give preference to a younger (but lesser talented) player over an older player (who’s comparatively more talented) with the argument that they want to build “a team of the future”! Thus being unfair to the older player who was more deserving to play on that given day. Such a faulty logic of “building a player of the future” leads to the selection of a mediocre team which ends up losing most of the games. Look at the likes of Shane Warne, Sanath Jayasurya, Shaun Pollock etc. who are just within kissing distance of 40……..they would give any 20 year old kid a run for his money even today!
    So, the point is that I’m not a believer of “building a player/team of the future”. If a player is good, he’s good at any age. A race horse will remain a race horse and a donkey will remain a donkey at any age. It’s always about the moment…..never about the future.
    I have no issue with this para of yours :
    “Interesting that the players with the best performances are non-Indian, and it just took the pace of Shoiab Akhtar, the batting prowess of the Aussies, the captaincy of Shane Warne to win matches. Only as the Aussies left did the Indian batsmen make themselves noticed. Even the new Indian blue eyed boy, Ishant Sharma, was left looking like an amateur in front of Shoaib Akhtar.”
    Agreed. You may even add the name of a Shaun Pollock here whose captaincy was responsible for reviving the fortunes of the Mumbai Indians in the league. Otherwise, if it was left to the silly Harbhajan, Mumbai Indians would have gone exactly the Bangalore Royal Challengers’ way! LOL. I don’t know why they made him the captain in the first place when Shaun was available.
    “It was strange to see the Kolkutta crowds roar their approval as Shoiab terrified the Indian batsmen into submission.”
    Now again, although I have no quarrel with the fact that Shoaib Akhtar is hugely talented and deserves the praise he gets, I am displeased with the way we Indians welcome Pakistanis to make money in our country. When it is an established fact that that country is sending terrorists & fake currency by the train-loads into our country, which is bleeding us physically and economically, why do we welcome their sportsmen and artists into our country with open arms? I really don’t want to see Pakistani sportsmen and film artists working in our country until their government stops sending terrorists/fake currency here.
    Cheers!
    Navin

  15. :) says:

    hi shekhar !
    ‘like quick sex with no foreplay’………
    hey….now that you mention it, it does seem like rape !
    …….of the spirit of the game ( where is the sportsman’s spirit when the player actually has an ‘owner’ breathing down his neck like a ringmaster in a circus ?! )
    is there any sport left in it or is it all about the money ?
    you’re justifiably confused when kolkatta crowds cheered shoiab against our batsmen……..if we dont cheer for our guys or boo the ones against us, then are ‘we’ WE at all or is it all about ‘I’ ?

  16. Rohit Mehrotra says:

    Naaah!
    Cannot be rape at all..
    Cannot be we against we
    Thats just a myopic view of things
    I do agree with shekhar that he turns on the TV for seeing the tamasha but then do we remember any 50 over match whose every single ball was spectacle to behold? No! The truth is…one cannot have ‘moments’ on every ball that is bowled in the game…and T20 is no different here. After Shoaib took all the key players out there was nothing left in the game.PERIOD!
    The length of the game is shortened thats all. You have to think quick act quick and react quicker! fun isnt it?
    Stupid team owners can not only damage their team’s morale, they can also look like a blot on the name of the game. SO let us not extrapolate one man’s stupidity to the entire game. By the way let us spare some thought for a silly team which has a myopic captain and who hasnt won a game convincingly! Look at the points table for more.
    There is sport and there is money…and I guess the only one to have a problem with that can be one who missed out on either or both!

  17. :) says:

    ‘stupid team owners’ own the team and therefore influence the spirit of the players and indirectly the game too ! when vijay mallya speaks against dravid he influences the players morale negatively ??
    the kolkatta crowds roar their approval as shoiab terrified the indian batsmen into submission does not seem strange ( we against we) to you mr rohit? its all very wise to say ‘let the best man win’ but be in their shoes once when they are having a bad day topped with their countrymen cheering for the otherside!
    as for the ‘sport’…….there is such an overdose of it that for many of us it serves as an overkill ! the ‘money’ would anyways be going to the players involved ( not excited onlookers :) )?

  18. justbe says:

    hey its just a play…and more importantly – so is everything else!

  19. Auro says:

    Isn’t it ironic, we are more keen to point out the failings/ill-intentions of the Pakistan government who condoned insurgents/terrorists (possibly not shared by a majority) while we are giving a clean chit to possibly a majority of Australians who believe that they are superior as a race. This is completely consistent with the UN Human Rights argument that racism has a new definition its not ethnic any more but socio-cultural-religion-based.
    Too few people had problems when Sanath Jayasurya was getting flying starts for Mumbai or Shawn Polock was getting miserly overs even by Test standards let alone Twenty20 or Matty Hayden was bullying hapless Indian rookie bowlers to submission. However Shoaib Akhtar trying to prove a point that he had a bad captain and bad administrators, is getting all the coverage. Just check with an ordinary Sri-Lankan, a South African or an Australian, or for that matter a Pakistani, who likes us more. You will be surprised.
    I still don’t understand what’s wrong with supporting a home team low on confidence like teh Knight Riders; Deccan Chargers would have much better results and Bangalore Royal Challengers would get there groove back. Dhoni got it right in Mumbai, “Don’t worry, they will support me when I play for India.”

  20. Malay says:

    Agree with Shekhar.. (btw, what a one-liner..
    IPL = Sex – foreplay! WOAH!!)
    Have a lot to rant against IPL, but wil say it in a few words for lack of time..
    a) Im concerned about the future of the game.. i fear tomorow my son will say “I wana play for SRK’s team” instead of wanting to play for Team India.
    b) Im concerned of ‘adulteration’ of cricket in the name of evolution. Surely the club format has taken football to a new level, but its still the classic 90-minute game, remember?
    c) Im concerned of excessive CEO-ism ruining the spirit of sport. u can sense the future from the ways of the result-oriented mr mallya. (He thinks the Bangalore RCs are another product off his stable.)
    d) the only thing i loved were the cheerleaders, but darn.. they’re also covered now.

  21. Subbu Iyer says:

    First, an emendation, if I may. Ravi Shastri never hit six sixers in Aus (vide post #10). It was against a bowler called Tilak Raj in a Ranji game, I reckon. On that note, considering Shastri’s glacial scoring rate in international cricket (Ahh..how does one forget the sight of him charging down the track to the spinner only to carefully defend on the front foot!), it is a tad ironic that he actually hit six sixes.
    More to the point, I don’t think test cricket will be obliterated. For, it has too much character to it. Also, the likes to Mallya will learn the hard way that money alone does not talk. Someone like Dravid can well afford to do without the money on offer.

  22. Sid Singh says:

    Shekhar I still think the game will mature and will become less volatile as teams become more balanced. This will allow players to develop and new legends to be born.
    Look at athletes in basketball and (american) football. The games don’t go on for 5 days, they are very fast paced, but players do develop into consistently good performers.

  23. abhi says:

    Quick sex, without foreplay. Jus loved that. But then, why should we bringing in the jingoistic nationalism here? Why can’t we just see cricket as just cricket and make the most of watching the best of players playing it out in our neighbourhood?
    Well, we can discuss the merits and demerits of T20 format, but then, the purists had a problem when 50-50 was introduced, too. Like it or not, the game keeps changing to keep pace with the changes around. Let me leave that topic for another day.
    I find it baffling to read when someone wonders why are we encouraging pakistanis to come play and make money here when that country is allegedly sending train loads of troubles to India…All along, we have been talking about keeping politics out of sports, and now, even as we celebrate the success of Indians (and of people of Indian origin) across the globe, the knives are out for the foreign players who have been ‘entertaining’ us at the IPL! Sad.
    Our players had played abroad too, for example,in English County; Did any of us say that was not right as they were playing for the British, who colonized and oppressed us for long? Do we still that grudge?
    We watch EPL, we watch Spanish League, we watch FI races, where is it writtern that people should always uphold their national identities on the sports field? Why do we expect the fans always carry their national flags? Why do we expect them to be justIndian players, when they can be great cricketrs without color or creed?
    And Sekhar, does your identity angst have anything to with this IPL dilemma?-)

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