Indian Super League (ISL) has failed to such an extent that it doesn’t offer the viewer even half the excitement (ecstasy could be the right word) as IPL does © IANS
Indian Super League (ISL) has failed to such an extent that it doesn’t offer the viewer even half the excitement (ecstasy could be the right word) as IPL does © IANS

By The Flying Freak

Please note: This is a satirical article

Glittering inauguration, well-lit stadium, few Bollywood stars dancing to popular tunes (predominantly Mika Singh stuff), Amitabh Bachchan in attendance, Chief Minister of state hobnobbing with industrialists (one of whom usually has a Ambani suffix) and the list goes on. Indian Premier League (IPL) has set a certain definition followed by every league in India. At the end of it, the purpose remains the same, big money and a large viewership for the sport. Hence there is no harm in copying the tried and tested IPL combo. But the Indian Super League (ISL) has failed to such an extent that it doesn’t offer the viewer even half the excitement (ecstasy could be the right word) as IPL does.

Where do we begin? Pre-match show? ISL doesn’t even have a quality pre-match show. Having Mayanti Langer talking sense about football is such a joke compared to the standards set by female anchors in IPL asking questions like ‘Are you enjoying cricket here?’, “Did you go shopping?”, “Do you think your team can win?”

Let us ignore that for now. What about the toss? It’s usually a jam-packed stadium with spectators and viewers all in readiness. Yet the referees are busy chatting with the two captains, a hush-hush affair and then they part ways. No one even asks the two captains how much they are planning to score and the reason behind their decision after toss! How on planet can you miss those? Has Ravi Shastri missed such minor details ever in his commentary stint in close to two decades?

Then comes the experience while watching. As Indians, we love to watch cricket sprinkled with clichés. Yes we understand that all 22 of them can actually see the ball like a football but the players also need to get an eye in. The goalkeeper makes some terrific saves but do you even care to appreciate that their hands are as safe as a bucket? What about the strikers who are the match-winners and big strikers of the football. None of these can be seen in the commentators hired from abroad.

Most part of the match is already spoilt for the viewers due to such bad commentary. The little spare time during an IPL contest is spent watching the faces of team owners and stars who attend the matches. Instead, here we are forced to watch a hyperactive team manager as if the US president has asked him to invade Afghanistan right now.

And when it comes to scoring goals, they just remain a normal goal, no renaming after a sponsor. After the match, no one gets Keep Calm awards, no cash prize for players named after Agarbattis (Incense stick brand), glue and pens.

Did we talk about absence of cheerleaders in the stadium? No one dancing right in your face to entertain you and you expect people to come to the stadium to watch 22 men running around a ball? ISL, take some proper lessons from IPL before dreaming big!

(The Flying Freak eats, lives, drinks cricket, but likes to mix up the sport with everything. An aspiring vocalist, he is aiming to win the Ghanta Awards soon.)