Cricket

IPL 7: Has the quality of cricket improved this season?

Robin Uthappa                                                                                                                         “Full many a Flower is born to blush unseen,
                                                                                                                        And waste their Fragrance in the desert air”.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             GRAY’S Elegy.

Undoubtedly, one of the most arguable topics since IPL came on the floors. Firstly, it was the One Day International (read chaddi cricket), then it is this T20 format and finally evolved out of sheer want of entertainment, the game of impropriety called the Indian Premier League. It was right from the time of delivery of the first ball of IPL that cricket pundits had started questioning the genuineness and authenticity of the game. Gallons of questions came galore. There were several scandals regarding the quality of the spirit of the sport being destroyed continuously, especially, keeping in mind the scams that triumphed over the newspapers the last year.
The Indian Premier League was injected into the Indian Cricket with the optimism of making the Indian Cricket robust and entertaining. The declining interests in the longer formats led to the evolution of T20 cricket, domestication of which churned out the notion of IPL. Cricket turned out to be more like a girl’s outfit, less the clothing, more the entertainment. But not to forget, the main idea behind the curtain-rise of IPL is to amplify the zeal of the cricket-lovers and to entice them to the world of cricket. Initially though, it pretty well succeeded in doing so. But unfortunately, IPL-4 didn’t match the footsteps of its predecessors. Soon enough, it lost its much coveted TRP, public interests seemed to thin away, even the DLF sponsorship rolled its sleeves. The then IPL Commissioner, Lalit Modi was found guilty of committing acts of misconduct and indiscipline and was therefore, banned from the next IPL seasons. In return, Modi denied all the allegations and blamed the BCCI Administration for calumny. It was all over when until a few months back, a few cricketers along with their owners were interrogated and were found guilty of match-fixing scandal. A handful of bookies were also arrested and questioned. Whether or not, ‘the Azharuddin era was recuperating’ was the common question of all cricket lovers. Even the BCCI President was brought under the watch-glass of suspicion. The role of Rajiv Shukla, the successor of Modi as the IPL chairman, was also scrutinised, following which, he resigned. Vindoo Dara Singh, Gurunath Meiyappan and a lot others involved in the heinous scam of IPL. The purpose with which IPL was launched simply took a U-turn and acted as a boomerang against the cricket-lovers. Message of corruption and even political influence started breezing in the fresh air of cricket. A fresh start was the need of the hour and to ensure that, legendary cricketer Sunil Gavaskar was assigned the duty as the IPL chairman.
IPL-7 stretched its wings on April 16th 2014. Due to the Election purpose and certain critical security issues, it was scheduled to be segmented into 2legs, each leg being hosted in different countries, the first in UAE and the second in India. As of now (till match no.-46), everything is looking poised. Talents are advancing from almost all corners of the world. What has been most discernible this IPL is the Indian players, particularly the uncapped ones like Karn Sharma and Lokesh Rahul of Sunrisers Hyderabad, Sandeep Sharma ,Aksar Patel,Manan Vohra and Rishi Dhawan of Kings XI Punjab, Yuzvendra Chahal of Royal Challengers Bangalore, Sanju Samson and Praveen Tambe  of Rajasthan Royals who, one may presume, have already made their names enrolled in the National Selector’s hit-list. Some of the Indian hotshots are also performing well and that too under pressure. Mohit Sharma, Robin Uthappa, Bhuvaneshwar Kumar and Wriddhiman Saha are few of them. Even some old goons have proved that ‘form is temporary, skill is permanent’. The likes of Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir and Yuvraj Singh well concur with it. Moreover, the foreign cricketers have also come hand-in-hand to deliver cricket to its zenith. With all these talents flourishing sky-high, the virtue and rectitude of IPL-7 can’t be questioned anymore.
With the new Government promising higher and clearer goals, it can only be hoped that the chastity of cricket be well maintained and usher in optimism about what we need the most at this hour, a pure IPL, better to say, Indian Purity League.

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