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IPL: An Offspring from BOLLYWOOD and CRICKET

Umang Shukla

Cricket is considered as a Religion in India and Gentleman’s game globally.  “Cricket is a gentleman’s game.” Really?  Is there a bigger illusion in the world of sport than this blatantly absurd postulation? We have literally grown up watching our paternal talking endlessly about this very sport and have never ever missed match on TV. Not much has changed since then. Indians are still hooked to their favorite game, which is both a passion and an addiction. The only thing that has changed is the game itself.

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Indian Premier League is the new trend and a new flavor of the Cricket in India. The IPL was first introduced in 2008 with much enthusiasm, accosting and hails among the cricket frat. IPL – the professional league for T-20 cricket championship in India, is supposed to expedite the game in order to flock the audience as a football match does. Since its natality in 2008, the Indian Premier League has remained a controversial product.

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IPL is in fact a very alluring combination of quick sixes and fours and other inveigle ,it definitely lacks and has left behind the bummer and the cloying stuff which actually made up the actual game. Apparently Indian Premier League has become India’s biggest reality show involving huge money where players from all over the world are sold and bought. Every year we used to have reality shows like   SA RE GA MA PA, INDIAN IDOL, DID, BIG BOSS ,etc, but now we have IPL too.

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As usual this year too IPL season started with the same celebrations and fanfare. But this year again apart from the game, IPL gave us the story of spot fixing and betting. Unfortunately, the glorious and shining IPL trophy is continuously losing its prestige.

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The Indian Premier League (IPL) is the offspring from the marriage between Bollywood and Cricket in India. In the beginning IPL didn’t face any hang ups as Indians lapped it up, advertisers supported it and the party was on. Then came the big money, powerful people and the murkiness. It is believed that money is the root cause of all evils. So when the amount of money involved is abnormally high, evil surely can’t be kept away. The simple party would have continued if they followed the first rule of running a mega corp- keeping the profile low. As a result, what came next was the IPL controversy, which, honestly speaking is much more interesting than the quick matches of the IPL. IPL had already mixed Cricket with the Bollywood and now comes the worst part when it has politics too. Bollywood was chipped in not only for glamour but also to raise the bar of the game by generating more sponsorship.

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No doubt, this is an interesting drama; there is a strict need to clean up the system. For, even though the game is a national passion, it doesn’t have to be operated like a drug cartel. So, before the lime light shifts to another drama ( as public has a attention span of a goldfish.), the media and the lawmakers have a chance to go after this completely feudal and archaic way of managing something as pure as a Sport.

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Arrests of India’s international Cricketer Sreesanth along with two others (Ankeet Chawan and Ajit Chandila) for spot-fixing by the Delhi police uncovered many aspects of Cricket corruption. It started with nexus of Cricketers with Bookies, but later Bollywood artist and IPL team franchise’ owners were also found guilty of corrupting the game. Arrest of Vindoo Dara Singh, a Bollywood artist, revealed an untold story, but many suspected it – the connection between IPL team owners and bookies. Even the son in law of the BCCI chief N.Srinivasan, Gurunath Meiyappan was arrested in the case. The Supreme Court is now hearing the matter as in April 2014 it asked Srinivasan to step down from the post and allow a fair probe into the matter.

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Although, we don’t have to turn Indian Cricket into a non commercial NGO, for that is doomed to fail. It is fine to harness the game but not to harm it. Actually, we people need to know the difference between a hawk and a handshaw. Does IPL brand lives up to the expectations of the people of the country? Does it continue to provide a good sport for which it was meant to be? What has been the come out in IPL scandal is, indeed, a tip of the iceberg and a lot still remains hidden. But one thing is certain – the latest incident has dented the trust of spectators on the game.

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According to me, the real canvas shows that the IPL is now rotten to the core but this rot did not set in yesterday alone. It’s been a long process and an ongoing phenomenon since the birth of this quick format of the game. The betting and the spot fixing scandals have put the Indian Cricket establishment in to the dock and has left people wondering whether the sport will ever regain its lost image as a gentleman’s game.

Umang Shukla