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Is IPL not cricket?

IPL 7 has come in for sharp criticism from various quarters © PTI
IPL  has come in for sharp criticism from various quarters © PTI

There is a general notion among the puritan Indian junta that Indian Premier League (IPL) is ‘not cricket’. Tanmay Mukherjee explains why the perception is utterly ridiculous.

“IPL is not cricket.”

“IPL is a circus.”

“IPL is so corrupt that it should be banned immediately”.

“Relieved that the IPL is finally over.”

Such opinions are not rare. In fact it authenticates the fish-and-chips-eating puritan inside your soul, and Puritanism is a parallel cool world.  If you can find your cosy corner in that parallel cool-world in this unrelenting Indian summer, it can only be good for you.

However, on behalf of the fan-base of Govinda-form-of-Cricket; here is a Danny Morrison commentary level attempt to put across few points:

(Disclaimer: This attempt towards defence excludes the TV packaging of IPL by SET MAX)

Point 1:

Money is not a bad thing. Kerry Packer proved it. Along with Packer, most of the heroes of the pure and classic era proved it when they sweetly sided with Packer’s Circus. TV TRPs prove it. Media space consumed by IPL proves it. The International Cricket Council (ICC) Cricket Calendar conceding an annual happy space to IPL proves it.

If the money-jazz of IPL is killing the essence of cricket, the very fact that you own a television set instead of Upanishads imply that you lead a vitiated life.

Point 2:

Not Cricket? I would prefer death over a happy life in a world where Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Anil Kumble and Wasim Akram stay associated with fake cricket only because of money. I disown the world where the Sacin Tendulkars and Rahul Dravids openly defend an institution that is killing the ‘Soul of Cricket’.

If IPL is okay for folks with tens of thousands of runs and several hundred wickets in the ‘purest’ form of Cricket, it should be okay with us.

Point 3:

Corrupt? There have been quite a few instances. But if that is your basis of rejection of the entire format, it is extremely sweet of you to stick up for Test cricket even after the Hansie Cronjes and Salim Maliks have lead to some interesting revelations about the ‘Gentleman’s Game’.

Also, it is safe to assume that Mohammad Asif, Mohammad Aamer and Salman Butt were actually playing an IPL match camouflaged as a Test Match.

And for those of us who firmly believe that every match in IPL is fixed, we must realise that conspiracy-theorising is a fine art. One should not bring it down to the level of a Test match on so dull a pitch that an innings from each team would be enough to see through five days.

Point 4:

IPL is harming Indian cricket? Has India never been whitewashed in a Test Series before? Was the ICC World Cup 2011 win was an accident? Are all the IPL finds making it to the Test team not up to the mark?

Are the fans really serious when they say Ranji Trophy keeps an average Indian cricket fan updated about upcoming Indian players in a more comprehensive way than IPL? Is it a terrible thing that a Suryakumar Yadav or a Sanju Samson is right in the limelight?

So?

The fact is, if one could not have enough of mutton rogan josh because you killed your appetite by having too much tandoori chicken, it is not the fault of tandoori chicken or the rogan josh. It is you who did not plan your meal properly.

If IPL is not Cricket, Kolkata is not a City.

(Tanmay Mukherjee is a Bengali blogger who loves the internet, food, cricket and Kolkata, and is keen on compiling trifles).

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