First of all, I would like to apologize to the (few) readers of my blog for not having posted anything for about a month now. After I left Mumbai I did not have access to the internet for about two weeks. Then I moved to Calcutta and got so caught up in setting up my house, I couldn’t find the time to blog. But I’m back in action now, and hopefully, this hobby of mine wouldn’t fall prey to the infamous work pressures at my new workplace.
Don’t really know what I want to write about specifically so here are some random thoughts…
Like all fans of Sourav Ganguly, I too am very disappointed the KKR (actually I prefer calling them the Kolkata Knight Riders as KKR sounds a bit like KKK – the Ku Klux Klan) didn’t make it to the semi-finals of the IPL. Going by the opening games, I thought the Knight Riders would be THE team to beat. But after Breandan McCullum & Ricky Ponting departed, the journey has only been downhill for SRK’s “warriors”. I still support them but as a fellow blogger mentioned once, I wish Ganguly made it easier for his fans to support him and his team. He bailed his team out of a couple of difficult games, made it clear he wanted the Indian team selectors to keep including him into the national team, and failed to give an equally compelling performance subsequently – until last night when it didn’t matter anymore! I do not like to see Ganguly in the place he’s at as I’m a big fan of his – both as a player and as a captain - but there are times when the captain needs to lead from the front. Like people such as MSD, Pollock, Shane Warne & Adam Gilchrist do.
The Twenty20 format has come under criticism from various current and ex cricketers. I don’t understand why people are so inherently resistant to change, and why they don’t accept facts? Fact is that everything in the world goes through evolution. If something must survive, it must evolve with the times and changing needs. Truth is, times have changed and so have the needs of spectators. Today we do not have the time to drop everything at work and sit at a stadium for 4-5 days at a stretch to watch a test match. It’s even become difficult for working people to attend one-day games if they happen on a weekday. T20 is convenient – people can go for a game after a full day of work, and if the game takes place on a weekend, they can still manage to run their weekend errands before heading for the game. T20 is a format that meets our changing needs so what’s wrong with that?
I can understand ex-cricketers not being too happy with the T20 format. Until a decade or so ago, there wasn’t too much money in cricket. Players played for love of the game and not for money. So they could be nostalgic about the game. But the present cricketers who are criticizing the T20 format are those who aren’t deemed fit for this version of the game, either due to their style of playing or because they aren’t agile enough to meet the physical demands of this game. I think they need to just accept that it’s not necessary for every sportsman to possess the same set of skills, and move on. Just as some sportsmen are good at cricket while others are good at soccer, some cricketers are more suited to test cricket while others are tailor-made for T20.
The IPL has also come under heavy criticism for being more business than cricket. I don’t deny it’s business at the end of the day for the stakeholders (team owners & sponsors) and even players to some extent. But why are we over-looking the good that it’s doing to Indian cricket? There are so many mind-blowingly talented players that have emerged from the ongoing tournament. Players who have not been able to make it to the national team for whatever reason (though it beats me why because the Indian team at any given point of time consists of at least one player that doesn’t deserve to be part of the squad). Players such as Gony, Shikhar Dhawan, Wriddhiman Saha, Debabrata Saha, Ashok Dinda, Abhishek Nayar to name a few, might not have come to the notice of selectors at all had the IPL not taken place. Given that the Indian selectors are known for their favouritism, I’m not sure these players will make it to the Indian national team but at least their talent has become visible to the entire country.