Sunday, April 24, 2011

IPL is the new Irani Trophy

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The IPL was supposed to bring in new fans. Younger ones. For a while, everything was trending upwards like on Twitter. It is fair to say that when it comes to Twitter, IPL seems to be doing fine. I have seen updates on domestic cricket in South Africa and England being tweeted with the hashtag "#IPL". IPL is surely a way to get noticed in the world of tweets and tweet decks.

Initially people were confused about how to invest their loyalty then came Lalit Modi, Shashi Tharoor and his fiance and questions of loyalty took a back seat. The IPL struggled to hold on to people's trust. Actually no...because the BCCI in classic BCCI style completely changed the conversation. While Lalit Modi spoke about deals and money, the BCCI responds to questions with questions questioning the questions.

Recently someone from the BCCI was quoted in the media in response to the question of India's next coach. I don't know the exact question but the response was some thing like ... "What's the hurry in naming a coach"... I don't care what the question was but this type of a response pretty much kills any potential of further conversation.

The IPL has benefited from this type of media engagement. No one bothers the BCCI or the IPL governing council with any kind a request for conversations and as a result the task of regaining the fan's trust has taken a back seat and the conversation in fan circles is again about on franchise loyalty. The BCCI has figured out that people and sponsors will come anyways; so why bother with the trust thing.

As a result, things are less transparent and consequently less noisy.

Clearly Sachin Tendulkar makes it impossible for people to root against Mumbai. I find it strange though. If tomorrow Sachin gets picked up by Chennai, I don't think I will root against Mumbai. However through the years people have figured out which teams they want to support and its largely based on where you were born and/or brought up. Yes there are certain icon players like Sachin Tendulkar and Mahendra Singh Dhoni that can test this theory but lets just say they are the exceptions that prove the rule.

While the loyalties are falling in place and the IPL has shown its resilience to corruption scandals, ownership fights with franchises, security issues, exhaustion from India's world cup win; in a few respects its going a bit backwards.

For example, last year I was able to watch all IPL games on US Television. This year, no such luck. I have to settle for 35 out of the 74 games on display. Also I looked at the IPL points table today, and

it has a distinct Bombay v the Rest of India feel.

Are we sure that we spent all this money, invited cheer leaders, Shah Rukh Khan, the Shetty sisters, Estee Lauder models, DLF maximums, couples, Karbon Akmal catches....

...just to recreate the magic of Irani Trophy?


Mahek said...

I don't know if Sachin playing for Mumbai makes it impossible to hate them. If anything, this sweeping generalisation makes me hate them even more. Mumbai, Ambanis, Harbhajan, Tendulkar. Enough reasons to root for Delhi and anyone who plays Mumbai.

Golandaaz said...


Root for Delhi.....? My best wishes. Keep them you will need it this year for sure....

Mahek said...

Did you not root for India when they were shit? Ditto for me and Delhi. I'd be surprised if we didn't finish last but hey, it's still my team.

Golandaaz said...

I think that's what I said, people do root for the team based on where they were born. People who live in places where there is no team end up rooting for MSD / SRT and not the closest team

raj said...

SRT makes me support a team funded by Ambani, peopling, among others, the Teri Maa Ki and the Teri Maa Ki who called Teri Maa Ki, Teri Maa Ki.

It helps that SRT chose to nurture a talent that has been unfortunately hard done by politics and circumstances - Ambati Rayudu. Rayudu wont probably make it as an India player now but when he hit that match winning 177 chasing 303 against England U-19, in a team that had, among others, Suresh Raina, Irfan Pathan and M Bisla, things looked so different.

However, it annoys when they choke like South Africa in the knock out. And remember they have Davy Jacobs this year too so I guess you know what will happen in the play-offs. Should make Mahek happy :)

Vidooshak said...

It's irrestitible isn't it? Watching Maa ki and Monkey come together with the Monkey-to-Maa-ki translator as captain...But regardless with Rohit Sharma truly discovering himself, it's a treat...Rayudu should be dumped next year...he's full of himself..