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Eleven things I hate about the IPL

Ganeshbabu Venkat | 11:26pm gmt 31 Mar 2010
Eleven things I hate about the IPLWith the IPL circus in town and having been watching the games and reading about it a lot, Rahul Fernandes inspired me to write an article about the things I hate in the IPL after stumbling across his blog. I owe him thanks for waking up the IPL hating cells in my brain. Here is the list of eleven things I hate about the IPL which are in no particular order.

The Commentary
It's heart-wrenching to watch one of the best commentary teams you can assemble and make them not do their best, L.Sivaramakrishnan, Danny Morrison,Ravi Shastri, Mike Haysman, Ian Bishop, Harsha Bhogle and co. scream and yell every possible adjective in the English language to describe an ordinary shot, a wicket or heck even a single. To say that the commentary is dull, drab and horrible would be an understatement. If the English commentary was bad the Hindi commentary is even worse and will make you cringe and your ears will start bleeding. What would I give to listen to a serene Richie Benaud say "If it was me, I probably wouldn't say anything" with such aplomb. Sigh!

Environment awareness campaign
The IPL organizers, in an effort to show the world that they are doing their wee bit to save mother earth have a message for you before the toss. I happened to watch Harsha Bhogle instructing us to turn off our lights from 8.30PM to 9.30PM for "Earth Hour", but lo and behold the lights did not come off at Mohali and Chris Gayle was biffing the KingsX1 to all parts of the ground under the lights. Do these smart alecks realize that they could save a ton of energy and light up a town if they play all the games during the day and not use those things called flood lights? Oh well, wait there is something called prime time and it does not have sunlight and not to mention those magnificent fireworks after the game which are indeed such energy savers. If they wanted to be ambassadors for the "Go Green Campaign" and "UNEP", please give one of those teams green jerseys to begin with. Get real guys! The earth will heal itself.

DLF Maximums and Karbonn Kamaal catch
Every shot that sails over the boundary is a "DLF maximum". For Danny Morrison it's a DLFer. Going by the same definition every single scored should be a "DLF minimum" and what would they come up for a boundary, "DLF medium"? And if every catch is a Karbonn Kamaal catch, I don't even want to guess what they would want to call a dropped catch? I know the IPL does not care about the game and it's aesthetics as such, but the least they could do is not to tweak and alter the vocabulary of this beautiful game. Thank you very much we are happy with its raining sixes than its raining "DLF maximums".

Citi moment of success
Gone are the days when we say a bowler has dismissed a batsman, Instead it is now Zaheer Khan or Bhajji has a "Citi moment of success", again applying my flawless logic and pristine analogy shouldn't every ball that does not take a wicket be called a "Citi moment of failure" and a ball that beats the bat or a near miss be called a "Citi moment of partial success". You know what I would like to call these silly tricks, "stupid moments of success".

IPL owners and administrators
Yes, we know you forked out billions of dollars to own these teams, but that does not give these franchise owners to be part of the team in the dug-out and jump up and down during a "citi moment of success" or a "DLF maximum". Not to forget Lalit Modi who is omnipresent, maybe they should give Lalit Modi face masks to every spectator to give that feel in the stands as well. We always hear Lalit Modi saying we want the IPL to be like the NBA, NFL and MLB. If the IPL wants a cue from them for professionalism they should remember that George Steinbrenner never jumped up with the Yankees in their dug out. Not that I mind a jumping Preity Zinta or a Shilpa Shetty, it adds to the entertainment you see.

IPL after parties
I wondered how players fell like nine pins injuring themselves day after day. Some even without playing a game, But after seeing those glossy after-party pictures, I felt they probably had one too many a dance move to make with those attractive and beautiful girls. Not that they would complain for they are already on their way smiling to the bank without having to sweat it out anymore on the field. Now if you want to get in to one of those parties you need to be smiling all the way to the bank to take out Rs.35000 for a night of fun.

Over-enthusiasm from players
IPL has broken national barriers,country boundaries etc.,everyone kisses and hugs everyone. However what Mahela Jayawardena did to Murali was shocking. After having swung him for a wild six during the super over, he pumped his fists in such vein so close to Murali and forgot that Murali was after all his team mate who won him almost 40 Tests. Let's keep it to ourselves Mahela, not to mention these young Indian turks letting out a stare on the little master who rarely gets flustered by these macho man tricks. Thank god, we did not have Bhajji slapping Sreesanth this time around yet.

Max Mobile strategic time out
I want to know what a "strategic time out" is and how it applies to cricket. Do these folks even realize that a time out is only needed for a game that has a clock running? You cannot take a time out if there is no clock, but hell yeah IPL would like to take one to beam out messages on the giant screen that shows how good a black-berry is or why Shewag and Gambhir don't want to pick up their phone. However I'm curious as to what they talk about during the time out, dinner plans or after parties.

YouTube Fun Feeds
I thought it was a great idea to get a peek behind the scenes when I initially saw the adverts and what a big letdown it was, Michelle Mclean is all good for the eyes and pleasing, But in all honesty if she does not know Sachin Tendulkar is called the "Little Master" and if she is going to say a team won by 34 points I'm sorry to say she has no business in a cricket field wielding the microphone. Not to forget the girls hired by the IPL to interview the owners, commentators all and sundry. They just gloat over the same thing again and again and sound incredibly lame. You can't even watch the video for the full length of time even if it is for just three minutes.

Treatment of the media and live coverage
This is my personal grouse. A part-time budding journalist, yours truly was not given an opportunity to cover the games because the BCCI and IPL are in the stone age and do not recognize websites. I know there are dime a dozen websites but they could have recognized a big one like Cricket Web, on the flip side they had the courtesy to let me know about it so I'm cool. What did us poor souls in the US of A do to not get free live coverage on YouTube and why did I have to fork out 60 dollars? I tweeted Modi about it only to be ignored.

Cheer Leaders
Why can't they have a couple of bharatanatyam or kuchupudi exponents on those stages instead of those NFL girls with their pom poms.Do I need to say more? It's boring people.

What started out as ten things I hate about IPL, in keeping with the trend of cricket evolved to 11 items and a 12th one as well, In the latest aggressive advertising horror IPL semis and finals will be shown in 3D movie theaters, what is the point of showing the games on 3D? How lame can we get? HD would have made sense but 3D? Do they think people are that dumb to buy this latest gimmick?

None of these is going to stop me from watching it nor do I want the IPL to go in to oblivion, in fact I'm already excited at the prospect of Brian Lara taking the field next year. However I wanted to vent out and I did, and hoping against hope that they can make it better and not do these things when it is around the next time. But I'm not holding my breath, for nothing is going to change.

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Thought I'd counter the above article with some of the positive things about the IPL which I enjoy on a regular basis. Could have been its own thread but...

[B]1. Get one last chance at seeing all-time greats play[/B] - Seeing Warne, Hayden, Kumble, McGrath, Symonds et al play one final time is something not many others in years gone by had the pleasure of seeing. If the IPL was around in the 90s I reckon many of us would have gotten a chance to see Viv destroy all comers. Yes I was a bit critical of these guys “tarnishing” their image when the competition was first announced, but damn, it’s great seeing these guys one final time.

[B]2. Players spurned for no reason by their country get a chance[/B] - Why Nannes didn’t get selected for Australia in the previous Twenty20 Championship is beyond me. But Delhi realised his potential and they haven’t looked back since. Some may argue that Symonds banishment from Australian cricket was fair, not me and Hyderbad not giving a crap about all that side rubbish gets a huge plus from me. On the flip side players that get too many chances from their country for no reason are overlooked by the IPL much to their dismay.

[B]3. Grows awareness for the game overseas[/B] - Wall Street Journal, CNN; the IPL has put cricket on the map because of it’s sheer size.

[B]4. It’s free[/B] - Aussies and Poms get to watch it on TV for free. Great thing to fall asleep to and really brightens up the late night TV wilderness. I have to pay or trek out to the pub if I want to watch Australia play away, it’s refreshing being able to watch any form of cricket on free to air in the winter.

[B]5. It learns from its mistakes[/B] - Timeouts were ridiculous so they got rid of them. Initially many franchises went for style over substance, they quickly rectified that. They’re not afraid to quickly change, adapt and improve. There isn’t a stubbornness and pigheadedness that you see in some other places and there seems to be a genuine willingness to learn.

[B]6. It’s revolutionary[/B] - The Youtube feature is brilliant and had never been done before. From a marketing point of view it has presented many ideas and whilst it is certainly overdone, many of the ideas are excellent and in moderation could be very effective.

[B]7. It’s in touch with the fans[/B] - Say what you want about Lalit Modi, but I’ve never ever seen a sport’s CEO (or the CEO of any organisation for that matter) so in tuned with the fans. He’s constantly on twitter and you certainly can’t say he lives in an ivory tower. He’s the exact opposite of what you’d expect from the BCCI.

[B]8. The even and unpredictable nature of the competition[/B] - I honestly thought there was no chance Chennai or Delhi wouldn’t make the finals this year, but then a funny thing happened and they started losing matches, lots of them. Bangalore were supposed to be the worst Twenty20 side ever, Rajasthan were never supposed to win the first IPL and certainly no matches this year. The teams are quite even and really there are no certainties in the league which makes it quite exciting.

[B]9. Umpires get more rewards[/B] - It’s good to see guys like Simon Taufel getting a payday. It’s a tough job getting tougher and am pretty happy they’re able to get one back.

[B]10. Promotes better relationships between players of different countries[/B] - Players are given the opportunity to bond with cricketers from other countries, lowering the general animosity between them when they take on eachother in international cricket. Hopefully this will lead to less embarrassing controversy which the game doesn’t need. Who ever expected to see Warne and Smith such good friends or Brett Lee and Kumar Sangakkara playing guitar together?

[B]11. It’s fun[/B] - but most of all in its most basic level it’s a lot of fun with a lot of flashy strokeplay, innovative batting, electric fielding and nailbiting finishes. Can’t ask for much more really. This is not to say it doesn’t have its flaws, it has many, but at the end of the day it's good fun and that's all that really matters.

You do know that you don\'t have to watch it right?

Gotta love Ravi Shastri's voice. 2nd only to Michael Holding IMO.


people generally hate change.

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