IPL cricket – an adverse colonial point of view. Sour grapes?

We all constantly debate on whether IPL is real cricket, or will it destroy the cricket that we all grew up on. But one fact is indisputable. It has changed the financial structure of cricket into a major international sporting tournament, that will in time compete with football. And it is very very entertaining.
So is the rest of the world hating that India is the nation that is the leader. Is the rest of the world unable to get off it’s outdated colonial attitudes ? It’s time for the world to realize that this really is Asia’s century. Not an Asia’s century that panders to the West, but an Asia’s century where Asian consumers rule the Media World.
Please read the following article that appeared in a very responsible South African newspaper. A more racist point of view I have not read for a long long time.
And if you wish to read the text here, just read on….

Bollywood won’t play in Bloem
World will realise that IPL is a caricature of real cricket
Mar 9, 2010 10:56 PM | By Alex Parker
Alex Parker: There’s no avoiding it. If the cricket world is discussing whether two new teams are worth a billion dollars, and whether the new time-out system is better than the old one, it can only mean that Lalit Modi’s Moolah Express has rolled into town. Yup, it’s time for the IPL.
It’s a time of year I dread, because I just cannot summon the energy to give half a hoot about a tournament that is heavy on promise and light on entertainment.
Last year, I recall, it was easy to be attracted to the fuss. There was noise and excitement and a great many dancing girls and loud music. This is fun, I thought. But then I watched the cricket and it was, generally, awful.
It’s also interminable, dragging on and on, with endless same-same showdowns between teams I don’t care about, owned by Bollywood stars whose acting I find silly, and industrialists for whose companies I feel nothing. Does it really take seven weeks to establish which is the best of eight teams? When there’s advertising to be sold, it certainly does.
Still the good news is this: Despite the IPL’s protestations about it being a huge international contest, I suspect over the years it’ll fade away somewhat and become a little bit like World Series Baseball. It may have international ambitions, but it is parochial in its nature.
The limit on international players in the teams is four, which means much of the IPL is made up of middling-to-good journeymen Indian cricketers. That’s great in India, but after a while, when the rest of the world has worked out that beneath the noise this is still cricket – albeit a grotesque caricature, people will realise that what they’re watching isn’t that great.
Take away the fripperies – the music and the cheap, plastic Bollywood glamour – and what you’re looking at is not much different to county cricket, which is made up of a few top-class foreign and local Test players, some Kolpaks and middling-to-good journeymen English cricketers.
And not too many people in, say, Bloemfontein, tune into that.
That’s why the music is quite so loud, and the dancing girls quite so naked. That’s why there are time-outs, and that’s why the camera is on some dude in tight jeans and dodgy sunglasses called Shah Rukh Khan. It’s because the cricket is so mindless, with its “DLF maximums”, its short boundaries and its flat wickets.
And, you know, it’s really fine. I don’t begrudge it. It’s great that cricket is so huge in India. People overseas will watch it in the years to come, but I think not in the numbers Mr Modi would like.
While the English Premier League is clearly his inspiration, he is being held back by provincialism. The reason everybody watches English soccer is because the teams are packed with the best players in the world – not just four per team, but 11 per team. It’s as good as it is possible to be.
And they don’t play dumbed-down soccer either. That’s why the IPL and the Premier League are in fact worlds apart, and eventually people will realise it. The tournament is to be broadcast free-to-air in the UK, on ITV. Those viewership figures will tell a tale, I’m sure.
Back home, I’m going to be watching some South African provincial cricket over the next few weeks to see what talent is coming up from the provinces.
There’s nothing else on, after all.

4 thoughts on “IPL cricket – an adverse colonial point of view. Sour grapes?

  1. Shekhar, your point of view seems reasonable and interesting. However I have two comments:
    1. A while back (https://www.shekharkapur.com/blog/archives/2008/05/ipl_like_quick.htm) you made a point similar to one of the points the author makes lamenting the demise of “real” cricket.
    2. I wish you held back the race card – biased, nationalistic etc. is fine, but using the race card is unreasonable. I am not ready, just by reading the article, to cast the author as a person who believes one race is superior to the others. Using the race card so liberally also dilutes the magnitude of other crimes and mass crimes commited on the belief that one race is superior to the other and so the inferior race should be discriminated against or even eliminated.

  2. Hi Shekar,
    I don’t see this Article being racist at all. I am not surprised of author’s point of view. Its very natural that our “Bollywood” movies,music sound loud to the outside world. We present the IPL the same pompous way.

  3. Actually I have to agree with the article, it is completely spot on 🙂
    IPL is infact the equivalent of ‘World Series Baseball’ which is really only played and enjoyed by the USA. The world doesn’t get the Bollywood stuff, and it’s going to be a hard sell for other nations to get excited about the money India is making on it ..

  4. I truly like the way IPl is going on currently. IPl is not just for making money for the cricket board but also for searching big plus points for Indian Team. I am really anxious to see the ultimate battle of ipl hopefully we will see DDR vs MI in a little while.

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