27/05/2013 by Siddiqui Fayesal
I’ve always hated the Indian Premier League. Hated it for many reasons. I can give reasons with my eyes shut while walking and solving trigonometry problems in my head.
Just recently I wrote that the IPL has copied the concept from the English Premier League, successfully, but not the spirit. I’m not saying that betting and fixing don’t take place in football, but Cricket being a game that my country so shamelessly worships, I’m bound to be more critical of it than the behaviour of the English Football fans. Even before the spot fixing scandal hit the game there was Lalit Modi who bore the brunt of my hatred. I just did’t like the fellow. I’m being honest. He was a businessman not a sports lover. I know I’ll get flak from the Realists and Rationalists about being an ass and not understanding that everyone out here is to earn and do business. Blah Blah bloody Blah. Big deal. Hate me all you can. I sometimes enjoy seeing the world in black and grey without a darn drop of the weakest white. I’ve never been to see a game live in the stadium. I was getting an opportunity for an IPL match. After a lot of thinking I decided not to go.
Some might hark and throw fingers and say that it didn’t make a crocodile’s fart worth of difference to the IPL fraternity by my not giving them around 700 bucks or so. I would so agree with them. I really don’t care whether it makes a difference to them. It should make a difference to me, and it did.
Some might say that I’m being an opportunist and that I’m giving up only things that I can afford to give up and not looking at core issues. Like, as an example of my Anti-Zionist tendencies, Intel has it’s manufacturing facility at Israel and I still buy their stuff. Yeah, I do. I’m sorry for that. Give me something that I can substitute it with and I’ll jump before one can say Modi. I’ve never preached about anything. I’m anti-Zionist, and that’s it. But if you tell me, “Mate, that PC you buy is made in Israel and supports the Foreign Policies of the Zionists and you say you’re an Anti-Zionist?” I’ll say, “Hmm. I think you’re right, Mate. Here’s what I’ll do. I’ll pay you just as much cash as I’d pay them and you only have to assemble one just like that one for me. Or, at least tell me where I can buy the PC from someone that doesn’t finance them.”
I’m not delusional. I know I’m not doing all I can, but I’m sure it’s a worthy start!
Oh hell! This was about the IPL, right? Gawd Dammit.
Yeah, so I was talking about the stadium invite. I decided that if I ever have to see a stupid IPL match it’ll only be after I’ve seen a local football match; a hockey match; tennis and a badminton match in a stadium before seeing women in thongs jump in a vulgar fashion to “celebrate” a four or a six. Does that help players? I’m sorry for being so uptight about this, guys. I really am. I’m not judging you all. Trust me I’m not.
But I can’t help and notice that even after the spot fixing scandal recently my peers are still just as excited about it. Does it not bother anyone that the “game” is a fucking “ACT”? Does following a game passionately mean something completely alien nowadays?
I cried during the 1999 Cricket World cup when India Lost the first two matches in the Group stages. First, to a brilliant team like South Africa and then to minnows like Zimbabwe. I used all my vocabulary to abuse Venkatesh Prasad who couldn’t help score 4 runs, I think! I wept like a baby when I saw India lose 2 matches out of 2.
But it was nothing like the disappointment, the back stabbing act of certain players when they fixed matches. I was broken. That day and till now I’ve never been able to see cricket the same way. It’s just not the same. It stopped being a game for me. The image of Kapil Dev crying on screen still gives me goose bumps. I really don’t know how relevant the final verdict of finding him not guilty is to a legend like him. Of course, he might have fixed matches. But for some reason I believe that he didn’t. Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe it’s because he was one of my first idols!
I wanted to be Kapil Dev. I wanted to be an awesome captain like Mohammed Azharuddin. I wanted to be loved like Sachin. I wanted to be the aloof and brilliant Ajay Jadeja who was the backbone of the team before the awesome and simply scintillating Dravid took over and became The Wall!
I recovered a little after the Kapil Dev and Manoj Prabhakar episode to like cricket once more. But it was ruined for ever by the IPL. Money in figures whose zeroes I had to mentally count was being splurged on a game! Whatever happened to “playing” and not “prostituting” oneself? Even a few of the respected players fell for it. I think, money does have that affect. I’ve never been given an option where I had to choose between a truck load of money and an obscene amount of money so I don’t know how I’d react. But I swear to God I hope I don’t become a sucker for it that I have to lie to myself.
There was the 2011 World Cup, though. It was played in India itself. I’m guilty of getting excited when we played Pakistan and then the Finals. The excitement in the air was contagious, and I was weak. I saw those two matches on a large screen at a cafe where I was a regular. I tried to ignore the dirty squalor around and saw those two matches, successfully I might add, through monocles of pig-headedness. But, you know how shit is. You can’t ignore it for too long. Why the hell can’t a game just be a game? Why the hell does one need 200,000 pound weekly salary is beyond comprehension. And I hear Roo is cribbing about his paycheck. Again!
Why do I need to see skimpy girls twitching their butts to encourage players and to celebrate?
What does it have to do with cricket? But, then I’m at fault here. Since IPL has nothing to do with Cricket, maybe, just maybe, them females have nothing to do with the game.
Then, amigo, what the *%&* are they doing there???
I think this is the very reason that I don’t support a particular team even when it comes to football. Yes, I am a little partial towards Machester United. Nistelrooy was one crazy bugger, I tell you! It’s a pity what these people have taken away from me… Sigh.
- Three arrested for cricket betting in Kolkata during IPL final (indiavision.com)
- IPL scam queers fans’ pitch (thehindu.com)