What I think the IPL about Our intern Manil Dodani has some thoughts (and second thoughts) on what he calls “the world’s richest cricket tournament”
It was a moonlit night. The streets were deserted. There were roars in the neighbourhood – frightening ones – coupled with wild hooting and effeminate laughter. Then it all stopped for a fleeting second. The next thing I knew, the neighbourhood exploded with unrelenting applause and whistling. Finally it dawned on me; it was the night of the world’s richest cricket tournament, the Indian Premier League.
CHEERLEADERS OR DISTRACTION MASCOTS?
Seven years in and the IPL still has cheerleaders. The organisers clearly put a lot of thought into these foreign beauties and their minimalistic dressing. Seriously, why are they so hot? Maybe they’re just a clever strategy by rival team owners to get players back to the pavilion. Every time they dance, I don’t really know about the ball, but the players’ performance goes clearly off-spin.
THE REAL JOB
Playing cricket is no big deal. Just swing the bat and pray it makes contact with the ball. You know what’s actually difficult? Doing advertisements. This is where IPL players exhibit peak performance, from expressions to footwork and pep talks to gestures. A shout-out to our aggressive, strapping young lad Mr Kohli for his superior control over his vicious tongue in that cola ad, way better than anything we’ve seen on field. Ironic, isn’t it? The cricket he plays and the endorsements he makes are both on national television, and I’m really confused about which of the two I should applaud.
Appointments, marriages and plumbing are fixed, so is the IPL. Bollywood films make crores of rupees with coordinated dance numbers and rehearsed dialogues. And the IPL is inspired. Teams now play choreographed innings (orchestrated hits and misses) and use powerful gestures like tipping the cap or strategically positioning a towel as their lines. Don’t forget those rocker shades. And the chairman who loved his chair too much. Ultimately, Bollywood and IPL are bhaibehen. They both entertain millions and make billions. Melodrama, paparazzi and controversies follow but that’s all in a day’s work for India’s twin religions.
Volume 3 Issue 11