Friday, May 30, 2008

The Heady Cocktail called IPL

Sixes galore, Sexy sirens oozing oomph, legends licking their wounds, rookies ruling the roost, celebrities hogging the cameras, corporate honchos cheering or sneering their teams, last ball defeats, one run margin victories, celebration kisses, frustration slaps, the glitz and the glamour have all made the first Indian Premier League tournament a heady cocktail. And everybody’s head turned.
IPL is not just cricket. It is much more than that. It is multi-billion dollar business doused with showbiz glamour and publicity. It has seeped into everything and it is everywhere. Newspapers write reams about it, TV commercials eulogize each team with song and dance, T-shirts, caps, mascots, fireworks and what not. Everyone is gripped by the massive fever of it.
Is it good for cricket. A tough question to answer but it has done a whale of good for cricketers. With one shot and with just one tournament every player has become a millionaire. With hitherto unknown names like Rohit Sharma, Venugopal, Amit Mishra, Sangwan, have overnight become heroes.
As for cricket is concerned, the game has been evolving over the years. From only leisurely 5-day test matches to 60 overs one days to 50 overs day night matches to Twenty20. All forms of game survived and prospering without any threat from one form of game to another. And the composition of international cricketers into different teams in IPL too is not new. It has happened 3 decades back thanks to Kerry Packer. Frustrated by the refusal of the establishment to allow his TV stations to have a slice of the cricket pie, media magnate Kerry Packer surreptitiously signed dozens of the world's leading players. The ICC and national boards spluttered and tried to ban players, but in the end were forced to cave in to Packer, whose deep pockets and slick marketing methods left them looking like past age dinosaurs. The legacy of World Series Cricket is felt to this day and as a result of the two-season venture, cricket was changed irreversibly.
Lalit Modi’s brain child, the IPL too is making the national cricket boards of different countries splutter. Lured by the big money, players are putting enormous pressure on their respective boards to influence ICC to draw up international cricket schedule keeping in view the dates of IPL. That is the power of money.
What has the common cricket fan has in all this. For an average Indian who wants to enjoy his evening with as much low cost as possible, the IPL has come as a boon. It is double edged with live entertainment of cheer leaders, cameras zooming on to the glitterati combined with cricket. Cricket in fact is a side-kick here. If IPL is glitzy why not add more glitter and glamour to it?
Three Cheers to IPL.


Anonymous said...

Hi Ramana,

I was intrigued by the lead para so had to read it immediately on BBerry.

In the end its all about money and I am proud that we are beating the world at their game of capitalism.

But on the otherside bad comes with the good. I wonder though if we have an advantage of a heritage that teaches us to bring balance in life.....

Anonymous said...

Good one. However looks like the drink was over! U didn't say what glamour glitz cd b added Cheers


Anonymous said...

I fully agree; even the cab drivers in the UK are talking about the sizzling IPL!! And ask us questions on the capabilities of each of the IPL teams!

Great branding for India!