A take on IPL
Searing heat, Holidays for kids so keeping them busy with hobbies, camps and books, Mangoes, Vacations, Guests, Ice cream/beer parties depending upon your age/vices, Swimming, and finally since 2008 IPL made it into rituals of typical summer landscape of lifestyle.
Every night 8 pm was the time to switch on, see the best of international cricketers in a mix with the new Indian talent hitting "Maximums" , Fours, getting wickets, catching and getting runouts.
Initially when it all began in 2008, there was MonkeyGate looming after landmark Indian tour down under, so coming at right time IPL diffused tensions and made cricket a gentleman's game again. But that doesn't mean the aggression has died down on field.
There are many naysayers who feel IPL is circus, fixed, over rated, overkill of cricket. corrupt. And add to that wham bam non classical nature of t20 cricket over the longer formats. But for someone like me who has grown up on watching cricket and being a diehard fan (self proclaimed), any ball getting a wicket, or any stroke getting run is cherished. Add to that the drama of asking rates , match situations, brilliant performances, wrong decisions, and on the field tensions. They may say that only foolish watch ipl where players, officials, broadcasters, advertisers , all those who matter make money while we spend it as well as time and efforts. But watching IPL has been fun for last 10 years or so. It's more fun than watching unending serials, talk shows and stereotype movies. Aren't these cliché as well ?
It's been one experience watching in comforts of living rooms but also another to watch it in stadium. It's a big pain , crowd, heat , queues, traffic etc, but still the atmosphere compensates for all this.
There have been issues , controversies, scams, owners problems, accusations , even murders. But then watching Gayle hitting sixes, AB playing those incredible shots, Virat's skills, Malinga's yorkers, Dhoni's finishing, young players showing off their talent, incredible fielding all makes these issues irrelevant for someone who is focused on cricket. As far as T20 format is concerned its only way cricket can be globalised. Cricket is followed by at least 25% of world population so means something and cannot be ignored.
Uncertainty of results add the intrigue. Any bottom finisher team can upset board leaders on any given day.
Staring with Mcullum's innings, Sachins innings, Gilchrist final innings, Dhoni's sixes in last over, Gayle double century, Pollards hitting , hattricks, Maxwell miller hitting, KKR's consistency there are many memories. Add to that personal memories of get-togethers, parties, public viewing events , those seen at exotic places while on vacation around important memorable matches. It's been an enjoyable experience
Mumbai, KKR, CSK won twice, Hyderabad also did same twice though they had different owners. RR inaugural run under Warne was intriguing as well as conspiracy theory angle. Let's see who wins 10th one.
Please note i am not on BCCI payrolls or of any stakeholder but plain simple cricket fan. But it's been fun all the while. It's now a part of Indian Summer just like Alphonso Mango: Delicious.
Author runs a blog : http://nayakgiri.blogspot.com