Agreed that the Indian cricket fan is a fanatic, and although there is but a fine line between fanaticism and foolishness, I would like to believe that the Indian cricket fan errs on the side of the lesser evil.
One of the most significant statements of year 2009 would be the one made by our home minister Mr. P Chidambaram. “IPL is a shrewd combination of sports and business. No need to add politics to it.” I am a cricket fan. And if I were to be a fanatic, I’d rephrase it and say, “Mr Lalit Modi is a shrewd combination of sports, business and politics. There’s a need to exterminate pests like him who are harming the spirit of the game.” I am sure there is another set of fanatical cricket fans, who might say, “Oh wait! I love to watch cricket and IPL is a treat. Let it go on.” I don’t know who is right.
Fortunately for Mr Modi, I am not a fanatic and that probably puts me on the side of the fools. Fools, who are too blind to notice the blatant financial and political aspirations of many hinged around their unconditional love for the game. A cricket fan wants to watch cricket. But even the most dedicated of them would realize the unnecessary jingoism Mr. Lalit Modi is attaching to conducting IPL this year. Given the quantum of cricket already happening, one needs an insensitive brattish brain like Mr. Modi’s in order to subject the cricketer’s to harsher schedules. I am sure Dhoni’s men would welcome the break if IPL was to be cancelled this year.
Even more appalling than the ‘small’ headedness of Lalit Modi (Trivia – Lalit means ‘small’), is the sly anti-national sentiments of some of our political leaders. How dumb does one need to be to question the security during the commonwealth games, given that the entire security apparatus will be free of the general elections load at that point of time? And to think of it, there was a time when one thought BJP was a party of the intellectuals, like our well versed and educated Mr. Jaitely. These political stalwarts forget that their statements will be picked upon by media and will contribute to tarnishing India’s image internationally. A small domestic private tournament, which is primarily a money circus, being shifted out of India is not a national shame. I don’t need to say further when Mr. Chidambaram has already given a befitting reply. It’s probably a sensible move. Even more sensible a would gave probably been scrapping it altogether. The team does need rest.
I wish there was some single voice that represented the Indian Cricket Fans. Let us assume that there was one. So what might this voice say at this point of time?
1. I think the IPL is over-rated. But just because everyone in the media is saying it’s a huge success, maybe it is. I don't know. I am still waiting for the T-20 world cup, the Champions League and the 2011 world cup with much more eagerness.
2. I love to watch cricket, but not so much of it that it loses its charm. Rare ODI's used to be so much fun. And these days, we are also getting more results in Test matches. Tactics and strategies are more aggressive. It fun to watch a test match slowly unveil itself like a gripping novel.
3. OK fine, IPL may be fun, but then wasn't there an ICL that started before it? What happened to that? I am sure if the BCCI had not stopped the mainstream players from playing in ICL, by banning ICL, it would have been a success. Who is BCCI to ban them anyway? Is it a registered entity? I don’t know? What the heck, how do I care? Hey wait, but how come BCCI is also banning cricketers associated with ICL from doing commentary in international matches! Whoa, something sure is wrong there.
4. The terrorists are all around us. General elections are deciding the future of the country. If some messy thing ereto happen during this time, it isn’t good for anyone. Why doesn't BCCI simply postpone the tournament? What will they lose? A chance to earn more money?
The only reason why the BCCI is so cash rich, and Lalit Modi so impudent, is due to the huge base of Indian Cricket Fans. I wonder if we have a voice! And I wonder if we want to put forward a point and make sure that our love for the game is not misused for political and financial ends.