Monday, 26 April 2010

Trick or Treat: IPL

Boy, did I ever think the Chennai Super Kings would win this season of IPL. I was sure though that Mumbai Indians wouldn't win the tournament. They were at the top of the points table too long to win the tournament. Call it my clairvoyance, or Sod's law, or just plain common-sense. It was too clear that MI wouldn't win the title. And that means I win the bet with my sister and she now has to treat me (The poor little thing doesn't know that I cleverly manipulated the terms of the bet so the odds were on my side. *wink*)

For the first time, I watched so much cricket. I didn't really care about cricket or any other sport for that matter during season 1. But I do have one memory of season 1... singing Korbo Lorbo Jeetbo in the lift with my friends in college to the wrong tune, and my chagrined KKR-fan friends correcting me. Very much like the Kingfisher's Ooh La La La Le Oh ad.

Season 2 was when I was formally introduced to the format and that was when I learnt all about the game. I still wasn't exactly watching matches during season 2. I only watched the second innings of the final match in a room full of supporters of the Royal Challengers while I, all alone, supported the Deccan Chargers. The Deccan Chargers won, but I'd learnt my lesson. That I am an Indian and that means I must belong to a mob. Standing out of the crowd isn't so much fun.

Come IPL3, with a TV in my cute little rented haven which my mom totally despises, I decided to support RCB and watch a few matches (the reason not being the sport, but that I'd read somewhere that some BSchools were contemplating introducing "creative" topics such as cricket, hockey and football into Group Discussions. Yikes!). Anyway, I shook hands with the game, got to know the game better, made a few wonderful memories watching the game (such as the IPLGate, the Zoozoos, Dhoni's lost Maxx mobiles and the apple of everybody's eye, the MRF blimp!) and now I'm all set for IPL season 4 to support yet another team, and yet another set of ads.

That is, if the IPL is not scrapped. What started with Lalit K Modi's tweeting about the details of the Kochi team ownership has now snowballed into the biggest scam I've ever seen. Corporate honchos, Bollywood stars, politicians, the country's so-called "elite" all embroiled in the biggest controversy I've seen. I've always maintained that however entertaining the IPL matches are, it is a huge HUGE waste of economic resources. With more than half the country below poverty line, such extravagant display of wealth only heaps insult on the deprived. What's worse is that the owners of the teams call it a solely-business proposition, which is not wrong, but I'm disheartened to hear that they so blatantly ignore their responsibility towards society, the very reason they thrive and exist. Whatever happened to Corporate Social Responsibility. Why is it that when the IPL was played in South Africa last year, scholarships and gifts were given to children, teachers and schools there and when the game is played on home soil it becomes a solely business proposition devoid of social responsibility? Cricket and IPL's popularity could be leveraged to create awareness, to encourage people to improve their communities and solve issues.

The "breaking" news right now being Lalit Modi's suspension, I heard a reporter on some news channel saying, "After half a decade of friendship between BCCI president Shashank Manohar and Lalit Modi, the BCCI president heaved a heavy blow on Mr. Modi" Uh. Hello. What the hell. What else is Shashank Manohar supposed to do? Grant amnesty because Modi is a friend? If he did that, he'd be accused of favouritism. He suspends Modi and such statements are made. If I were in Shashank Manohar's place and I had to suspend a close friend for nefarious activities, I'd do it. With a heavy heart. But do it, nonetheless. What Modi did was wrong and he must face consequences. A wrong is a wrong. Is a wrong.

Is a wrong.

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