Indian Premier League April 24, 2009

A case of cricketing apathy

I quite like Twenty20, and this year's IPL is an incredible event.But I just can’t quite bring myself to care who wins
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The clash between Kevin Pietersen and Andrew Flintoff wasn't quite the 21st century version of Hector v Achilles © Getty Images
 

Global cricket continues to pound its own never-ending treadmill with the urgent ferocity of a marathon runner who has remembered mid-race that he was supposed to be at his own wedding, but is on course for a personal best which he is unwilling to sacrifice. The IPL has added further congestion, while proving that, contrary to scientific expectation, the best way to solve the problem of players complaining about an overloaded calendar was not to reduce the amount of cricket, but add to more and cover it with solid gold.

With so much of the world’s cricketing focus on the IPL, it has been easy to forget that the first Test of the English summer is just two weeks away – which is an entirely ridiculous sentence to be able to commit to cyberpaper on the 23rd of April. As the great cricket scribe EW Swanton once wrote: “An Englishman should never start a Test match when he can still catch frostbite by sneaking into Lord’s at the dead of night and playing nude cricket on the square. This Gubby and I learned by bitter experience on a moonlit evening early last May.”

The English domestic season is already in full swing – if ‘swing’ is the correct terminology for something that lurches spasmodically from one form of cricket to the next, like a drunk polygamist trying to cuddle the right wife.

I realise that the expanded programme of international cricket is necessary to fund the expanded programme of international cricket, but the current structure of the England team’s summer is designed to minimise spectator anticipation – Tests begin before the season, its characters and its form lines have properly started to take shape, without the curtain-raising, rivalry-establishing pre-fight sparring of a one-day series. The matches are then squeezed together into frantic back-to-back bowler-punishing wodges, with an ODI series tagged on as an elongated afterthought, dragging along through September to end the summer on a probably damp and quickly-forgotten squib. (By comparison, when Jimi Hendrix played the Woodstock festival, he was on after Herbert The Singing Labrador, not before. Otherwise, Herbert would have struggled, however good his barked rendition of Blue Moon.)

Nevertheless, the fact that this is an Ashes summer creates regular twitches of excitement, especially following the tumultuous winter England have endured, and the fact that it will be an almost entirely new Australian team for the first time in 20 years.

It is more than possible in these days of global media coverage to become overwhelmed with the sheer volume of cricket. I admit that, as an English neutral, I have had serious motivation problems psyching myself up for the IPL. (It hasn’t helped that Lalit Modi’s jamboree has also coincided with some distractingly intrusive building work in my house – what was once my kitchen currently looks as if Devon Malcolm has spent two hours bowling to himself in it. Debris and destruction everywhere.)

In an effort to engage myself emotionally with the IPL, I have tried to artificially create a personal link to some of the teams. I jumped a motorcycle over eight London buses in an effort to make myself feel like a Daredevil. I held a mobile phone and put my fingers into an electrical socket to convince myself I was a Charger. I jumped on Sir Ian Botham’s back and made him give me a piggy back, but still I felt little like a Knight Rider. I paraglided into Buckingham Palace and invited the Queen to wrestle me, but had I become a true Royal Challenger? Alas, no.

Next, I tried hypnosis, to convince my subconscious self that my father had been a Chennai Super Kings fan when he was a boy, and his father before him, and his father before him, because a schoolfriend of his once had trials for their youth team, but still I could not forcibly affiliate myself to the team.

I even tried auctioning my support, but none of the franchises sent so much as a financial director to the auction in my living room. Unwanted and unbought − I felt like a cross between a canoe made of salt and Samit Patel.

Even the much-hyped (in the British press at least) ‘head-to-head’ duel between Pietersen and Flintoff failed to spark my interest. In the end it amounted to the Lancastrian Leviathan scoring six runs off four balls by the Hampshire Hulk – not quite Hector versus Achilles for the 21st century.



So I consulted a sports-watching psychologist. “What’s wrong with me?” I asked. “I love cricket. The IPL is the spangliest cricket tournament in the world. But I don’t really care about it.” The shrink gave me a thorough physical and mental examination (although his methods – a mixture of prodding and growling – I considered to be somewhat Victorian). He bowled me across his surgery a couple of times, put some bails on the bridge of my nose, then noted my reaction to an ink blot which looked like Yuvraj Singh hoicking one over midwicket.

He put on his diagnosis hat, tucked his chin into his chest, and put on his most serious available face. “Mr Zaltzman. It’s bad news I’m afraid. You’ve come down with an uncharacteristic case of cricketing apathy.” “Oh no,” I screamed. “It’s like the 2007 World Cup all over again. Be straight with me, doc − how long have I got?”

He grasped my shoulders. “Calm down, big horse,” he soothed. “Yours is an increasingly common problem. Watching cricket on television has become a never-ending grind. If you don’t look after yourself and manage your schedule properly, your enthusiasm for cricket in general could wane. You will find yourself drifting off at key moments of matches, and soon you will want to spend more time with your family. It’s a slippery slope.”

I gulped a gulp of fear and realisation. “I can’t risk that – not with the Ashes so soon. You’re right, doc. I’m going to have to give the IPL a miss. Sure, I’ll check the scores, but I already cram far too much sport into my life. I cannot risk adding what is essentially a new sport without jeopardising my marriage or having my children try to put me up for adoption.”

The psychologist squeezed my cheeks. “Good boy,” he said. “Now go home, put the kettle on, take a passing interest in the IPL, and save yourself for the Tests.”

I suppose the problem is that, fundamentally, I quite like Twenty20. I find it sometimes entertaining if largely unengaging. Test cricket grabbed my six-year-old soul in 1981 and has never let go. Twenty20 has been a seismic phenomenon in cricket, and this year’s tournament – an Indian league featuring players from all corners of the world playing with and against each other in South Africa – is an incredible event that joyously must have old apartheid honcho Hendrik Verwoerd spitting fifty different kinds of feathers in his well-deserved grave. But I just can’t quite bring myself to care who wins. Does that make me a bad cricket fan?

Andy Zaltzman is a stand-up comedian, a regular on the BBC Radio 4, and a writer

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Asmaa on April 3, 2012, 17:24 GMT

    The Cricket Oval will be ready for use in 2012. It will be maintained and bekood through the Greenwich District Development Group. This is voluntary organisation that co-ordinates many aspects of junior and club cricket in Greenwich Borough. It has links with Kent Cricket Board & ECB. It is a not for profit organisation. The aim is that with the DDG involved the pitch will be well maintained and be regularly used by local cricket clubs. For more details .. email

  • Faizaan on June 5, 2009, 11:04 GMT

    Why would you like a format that takes all the soul and strategy out of the game? This lacks credibility as a sporting event due to this reason. It is like a comic-book version of a Kafka novel- appealing only to idiots who can't understand the real thing. Instead of championing Indians and their culture the tournament shows Indians as tacky, shallow and unoriginal which is obviously not the case. Also, the team names need a lot of work!

  • harsh on June 5, 2009, 9:19 GMT

    Ever wonder how Chelsea, Manu, Arsenal, Liverpool are followed by million fans all over the world? Why dont you advise Gerrard, Lampard, Rooney to stop playign EPL and instead play only England games? All guys who cannot watch IPL- switch off the TV. IPL is a domestic Indian tournament and no one is forcing you to watch them. Although i think that in another 5 years, you will support Hyderabad or Chennai just like how i support Chelsea sitting in Bangalore.

  • Eon Whiz on May 4, 2009, 3:24 GMT

    Andy.. the point is whether you are enjoying the IPL or not? Whether you get tensed or execited with close finished matches... If your answer is NO then yes you are a bad cricketing fan unless you don't like T-20 format, than its a fundamentally different thing.

    Its quite understandable(btw nothing wrong) for general public where patriotism & local heroes has bigger effect as such I don't care about county cricket for instance. But I love to watch Aus VS SA, but I don't care who wins.. all I wan't to see a good cricket. And IPL is providing that.

  • S L on May 3, 2009, 0:35 GMT

    'k, Indians, enough of 'Teh Flounce'. IPL sux, and that's all there is to it. I'm Indian myself, and the very concept of IPL makes me feel sick, leave alone watching that ... Oh well, never mind.

  • Dunga on May 2, 2009, 2:23 GMT

    Well, down in australia, everyone here is talking about the IPL. Everyone has a favourite team. True, I'm in high school, where there are a lot less important things that need to be worried about. But It's, in canberra at least, in contrast to what's being said about the rest of the world. It seems like everyone wishes the IPL was here instead.

  • AJ on May 1, 2009, 16:52 GMT

    To summarize, IPL is in year 2. Its still finding its identity as well individuality. Maybe like other great franchise-based sports (NFL, MLB, EPL-Football), we will start seeing global scouts looking for talent in remote corners, or an actual draft instead of an auction. May be a pipe dream or may eventually be a reality. However, If I were you, I'd not care so much about your apathy towards the current version of the IPL right now, but rather focus on what catches my fancy in this still young league. your support or hatred for a franchise may surface down the line (or never) depending upon how many hours you want to spend away from your family in the name of Sports entertainment.

    p.S - would have said just my $.02, but looking at the size of this post, it doesnt seem fair to give it away this cheap. ergo, just my $.2

    AJ, USA

  • AJ on May 1, 2009, 16:51 GMT

    The flop that is KP & the Freddie injury storyline? Royal Challengers are a lot like the Washington Redskins (Go Eagles!), in that lots of Star power w/o much to show for it. Given time, you will, hopefully, learn to hate the obnoxious owners or the self-entittled star players in the franchises or cheer for the fairy-tale like stories of Kamran Khan, Rajasthan Royals, Yusuf Pathan, etc etc. If not, there is a huge audience in India that will dwarf the non-enthusiasts and push them to the fringes.

    Give it time; Maybe IPL will grow on you. The fact is that its where the most money & entertainment is. Like all of you non-indians, I couldnt give a rats culo about how Middlesex or lancastshire or the SA domestic teams, or the Aussie/NZ domestic teams perform if they played in a similar tournament. I would possibly care somewhat if any Indians were signed by those teams & even more if they competed against any Indian teams, a la Champions trophy. (Contd)

  • AJ on May 1, 2009, 16:49 GMT

    Andy,

    I empathize with your apathy towards the IPL as well. I am an Indian from Bombay and unlike you have an interest as a fan in the daily travails of my city franchise in the IPL. If my team is not playing, I have nothing but a fleeting curioisty in any of the other Indian city-franchises standings, unless, they stand between the Mumbai Indian and the IPL gold.

    However, i would like to draw your attention to the Stanford series and the planned EPL. The rest of the world should not care either what happens(when it does) in the EPL unless there is a local flair to any of the teams. Having said that, I am engrossed in the behind the scene storylines that are enveloping the IPL currently: The soap-opera like saga in the KKR, the FakeIPLPlayer blogs, former foes & greats playing against and with each other in the format. Who wouldnt love to see Symmonds and Bhajji play together in the same team? Or even the co-existence of Graeme Smith & Warne....(CONTD)

  • GertJr on May 1, 2009, 7:42 GMT

    Hi Andy, I agree with you. Even as a South African I don't care that IPL is in SA. I don't have time to care who wins. I will admit as a spin fan that I look at highlights to see Warne, Kumble, Mendis, Murali and co. zxpin it, bat I don't care about the rest. I remember in the 90's when 6's where something special (Cronje smacking Warne and Kuiper taking McDermott) but now its a normal cricket shot (drive, sweep, pull, DLF maximum, cut, etc). I'm waiting for the Ashes and then England in SA. Those are good test series, not this Mickey Mouse T20 trash that lacks patience and endurance like it was meant to be.

    Good artikel, really enjoyed it.

  • Asmaa on April 3, 2012, 17:24 GMT

    The Cricket Oval will be ready for use in 2012. It will be maintained and bekood through the Greenwich District Development Group. This is voluntary organisation that co-ordinates many aspects of junior and club cricket in Greenwich Borough. It has links with Kent Cricket Board & ECB. It is a not for profit organisation. The aim is that with the DDG involved the pitch will be well maintained and be regularly used by local cricket clubs. For more details .. email

  • Faizaan on June 5, 2009, 11:04 GMT

    Why would you like a format that takes all the soul and strategy out of the game? This lacks credibility as a sporting event due to this reason. It is like a comic-book version of a Kafka novel- appealing only to idiots who can't understand the real thing. Instead of championing Indians and their culture the tournament shows Indians as tacky, shallow and unoriginal which is obviously not the case. Also, the team names need a lot of work!

  • harsh on June 5, 2009, 9:19 GMT

    Ever wonder how Chelsea, Manu, Arsenal, Liverpool are followed by million fans all over the world? Why dont you advise Gerrard, Lampard, Rooney to stop playign EPL and instead play only England games? All guys who cannot watch IPL- switch off the TV. IPL is a domestic Indian tournament and no one is forcing you to watch them. Although i think that in another 5 years, you will support Hyderabad or Chennai just like how i support Chelsea sitting in Bangalore.

  • Eon Whiz on May 4, 2009, 3:24 GMT

    Andy.. the point is whether you are enjoying the IPL or not? Whether you get tensed or execited with close finished matches... If your answer is NO then yes you are a bad cricketing fan unless you don't like T-20 format, than its a fundamentally different thing.

    Its quite understandable(btw nothing wrong) for general public where patriotism & local heroes has bigger effect as such I don't care about county cricket for instance. But I love to watch Aus VS SA, but I don't care who wins.. all I wan't to see a good cricket. And IPL is providing that.

  • S L on May 3, 2009, 0:35 GMT

    'k, Indians, enough of 'Teh Flounce'. IPL sux, and that's all there is to it. I'm Indian myself, and the very concept of IPL makes me feel sick, leave alone watching that ... Oh well, never mind.

  • Dunga on May 2, 2009, 2:23 GMT

    Well, down in australia, everyone here is talking about the IPL. Everyone has a favourite team. True, I'm in high school, where there are a lot less important things that need to be worried about. But It's, in canberra at least, in contrast to what's being said about the rest of the world. It seems like everyone wishes the IPL was here instead.

  • AJ on May 1, 2009, 16:52 GMT

    To summarize, IPL is in year 2. Its still finding its identity as well individuality. Maybe like other great franchise-based sports (NFL, MLB, EPL-Football), we will start seeing global scouts looking for talent in remote corners, or an actual draft instead of an auction. May be a pipe dream or may eventually be a reality. However, If I were you, I'd not care so much about your apathy towards the current version of the IPL right now, but rather focus on what catches my fancy in this still young league. your support or hatred for a franchise may surface down the line (or never) depending upon how many hours you want to spend away from your family in the name of Sports entertainment.

    p.S - would have said just my $.02, but looking at the size of this post, it doesnt seem fair to give it away this cheap. ergo, just my $.2

    AJ, USA

  • AJ on May 1, 2009, 16:51 GMT

    The flop that is KP & the Freddie injury storyline? Royal Challengers are a lot like the Washington Redskins (Go Eagles!), in that lots of Star power w/o much to show for it. Given time, you will, hopefully, learn to hate the obnoxious owners or the self-entittled star players in the franchises or cheer for the fairy-tale like stories of Kamran Khan, Rajasthan Royals, Yusuf Pathan, etc etc. If not, there is a huge audience in India that will dwarf the non-enthusiasts and push them to the fringes.

    Give it time; Maybe IPL will grow on you. The fact is that its where the most money & entertainment is. Like all of you non-indians, I couldnt give a rats culo about how Middlesex or lancastshire or the SA domestic teams, or the Aussie/NZ domestic teams perform if they played in a similar tournament. I would possibly care somewhat if any Indians were signed by those teams & even more if they competed against any Indian teams, a la Champions trophy. (Contd)

  • AJ on May 1, 2009, 16:49 GMT

    Andy,

    I empathize with your apathy towards the IPL as well. I am an Indian from Bombay and unlike you have an interest as a fan in the daily travails of my city franchise in the IPL. If my team is not playing, I have nothing but a fleeting curioisty in any of the other Indian city-franchises standings, unless, they stand between the Mumbai Indian and the IPL gold.

    However, i would like to draw your attention to the Stanford series and the planned EPL. The rest of the world should not care either what happens(when it does) in the EPL unless there is a local flair to any of the teams. Having said that, I am engrossed in the behind the scene storylines that are enveloping the IPL currently: The soap-opera like saga in the KKR, the FakeIPLPlayer blogs, former foes & greats playing against and with each other in the format. Who wouldnt love to see Symmonds and Bhajji play together in the same team? Or even the co-existence of Graeme Smith & Warne....(CONTD)

  • GertJr on May 1, 2009, 7:42 GMT

    Hi Andy, I agree with you. Even as a South African I don't care that IPL is in SA. I don't have time to care who wins. I will admit as a spin fan that I look at highlights to see Warne, Kumble, Mendis, Murali and co. zxpin it, bat I don't care about the rest. I remember in the 90's when 6's where something special (Cronje smacking Warne and Kuiper taking McDermott) but now its a normal cricket shot (drive, sweep, pull, DLF maximum, cut, etc). I'm waiting for the Ashes and then England in SA. Those are good test series, not this Mickey Mouse T20 trash that lacks patience and endurance like it was meant to be.

    Good artikel, really enjoyed it.

  • Rana on April 30, 2009, 14:49 GMT

    The IPL gets stick for being crass commercialised corrupted cricket. And it's true that the short boundaries, the incessant sponsorship and the over-excitable commentators do their best to ruin the game. But as a format 20:20 has great attributes. Every ball really matters, and the most successful bowlers have been the canny spinners and the superfast expresses - these are the ones who the doom-mongers said were only good for test matches and unsuitable for the one day game. They were partially right, "traditional" fifty-over one-day games encouraged medium pace trundlers and bits-and-pieces trundlers - but 20:20 seems to encourage specialism and special talent, and long may it continue. To supplement not replace test cricket of course.

  • mahesh on April 30, 2009, 11:02 GMT

    hey andy !!! i understand this .... inspite of me being an avid fan, for the first time in my life, i am managing to go to sleep without actually completely watching a match .... which i was not able to undestand as a phenomenon until after reading this article :)

    i'm not sure about the print media in the UK, but the BBC Sports page on the website steadfastly refuses to even mention the IPL ... did you realise this ?

  • Adway on April 29, 2009, 10:06 GMT

    Give us a break, Andy... It's fun to watch, if you are an Indian. Otherwise, it means as much to you, as WI-England series meant to anyone on globe (That's not much, I am afraid)

  • Eon on April 29, 2009, 3:17 GMT

    Marcu.. you said "And I also agree that there's just too much cricket around, full stop. I'm not following Australia's series against Pakistan" followed by But I am looking forward to the Ashes a great deal. ?? Thats interesting you are bored of cricket but waiting for Ashes. Reason why you are not following Aus VS Pak is that none of these teams are good enough at this moment to create any excitement.

  • Jay on April 29, 2009, 3:11 GMT

    Andy.. are u on meds ?

    Who cares if you care about the IPL or not ? You know what ? I don't care about the Ashes ! or the English county season for that matter. A bunch of lousy guys playing the most boring form of cricket in lousy English weather. Are you English all the same ? the IPL was predominantly aimed at Indian audiences worldwide. Sure some non-Indians hop into the caravan once in a while but that's just about it.

    It is the equivalent of people in India or the UK following MLB (Major League Baseball) or NFL or NHL. Nobody elsewhere in the world cares about American sporting franchises. I guess Lalit Modi is the only one who truly does and he has done something wonderful to cricket. Look at it that way Andy. Besides as a Canadian I can't stand 5 long lousy days of white n white !

  • Santy on April 28, 2009, 23:35 GMT

    I dont know if I would be bothered if you care or not. IPL is there for you to watch if you want - if you want to miss out, hard luck!

  • Tim on April 28, 2009, 11:39 GMT

    I don't support a team in the IPL I just like to watch it and see which team grabs my attention most. Last season it was Shane Warne and his bargain basement champions, this year so far it's been Deccan, but I wouldn't say I support either, I just enjoy watching them.

    It's also a pretty good chance to have a look at some Indian players I wouldn't otherwise have seen, maybe some future stars of the Indian ODI/T20 team.

    It's just a chance to watch some good fast-paced cricket. Thank god that the ECB decided to axe their idea for the EPL, we all know that would have died a horrible embarassing death.

  • Sanjay on April 28, 2009, 9:57 GMT

    Andy, watch the Tendulkar and Jayasuriya fireworks on YouTube against KKRs. If that doesn't get you going, I'm afraid you have contracted the whine flu.

  • Tom on April 28, 2009, 7:28 GMT

    You are an actual cricket fan. 20/20 is not really cricket.More like a lowest common denominator version with any nuance removed, appealling only to the ADD generation. The more exposure it gets the less appealling it will become.

  • IPHELL on April 28, 2009, 4:25 GMT

    Lets face it Andy this IPL is a crude and vulgar version of our wonderful sport, speaking of crude and vulgar, did you catch some of those cheer leaders...or maybe its just me! IPL is a vehicle for the BCCI to expose its youth to professionals, and to buy experience and extend their grip on Cricketing power. The BCCI are the worst thing that has happened to cricket in all the years, including bodyline, the underarm incident and the way Hanssie was hung out to dry for confessing to something that we all know has been rife in the shady world of subcontinent cricket! Will I make friends with this...no will I be on the receiving end of some vicious rhetoric extolling the saintliness of Indian cricket, probably do I care..no will this make a difference? Hmmm …. Perhaps I will have a little lie down and have a cup of tea till the ashes.... (no I am not a Pom…or Aussie...)

  • realist on April 27, 2009, 16:11 GMT

    Why do all these Indians think that Andy wrote this out of jealousy??? Truth hurts, maybe? I am the biggest cricket fan on earth, and it's obvious to me - as it should be to any genuine cricket lover - that T20 does not exist for the cricket fan, but for people like Mr. Modi to make loads of money. And anyone who thinks otherwise is either also making money out of it, or does not realize that he is being used.

  • Anand Vanchi on April 27, 2009, 10:04 GMT

    one more case of sour grapes from English Media. With so many of them crying i would suggest you andy to get together and drown ur sorrows in booze. Also did u ever think nobody even bothers to write anything positive or negative about Middlesex Vs Yorkshire or anything like that. You are all just being ignored. Learn to live with it..

  • jogesh99 on April 27, 2009, 7:47 GMT

    The IPL is just like Bollywood. Its main fare is predictible, unimaginative and unintelligent, but the masaala surrounding it is great.

  • Mukul on April 27, 2009, 7:28 GMT

    I'm Indian, and huge fan of Test and T20 cricket. But I too can't get myself to care too much for the IPL. Maybe it's the excessive rah-rahing about it, or sheer disgust with Lalit Modi and his band of thugs. I dunno.

  • vissu295 on April 27, 2009, 6:44 GMT

    Andy, you are not a bad cricket fan. Since IPL is a doemstic league, it's natural that non Indians can't associate with any of these teams.

    bala, I completely agree with you!

  • Marcus on April 27, 2009, 5:47 GMT

    Very witty, and very true!

    The only interest I had last year was seeing how Shaun Marsh went because he played against my brother a few times in grade cricket. Other than that, I didn't really care about the IPL whatsoever, and because Marsh isn't there this year I care even less!

    And I also agree that there's just too much cricket around, full stop. I'm not following Australia's series against Pakistan- I'm much more interested in the fortunes of the Western Force in the Super XIV Rugby at the moment. Haven't the ICC ever heard of "less is more?"

    But I am looking forward to the Ashes a great deal.

    P.S.: You know you've scored a point or two when irrational nitwits accuse you of jealousy, hypocrisy, colonialist mentality, the R-word and the rest of it. Keep it up!

  • Raj Gupta on April 26, 2009, 23:02 GMT

    As an Indian, I 100% agree with Mr. Zaltzman here. IPL is nothing but BCCI's tactic to gain more influence in the world of cricket. Just rewind to the time when BCCI all of a sudden became the leading force in ICC and from there on you can see how unprofessional the world of cricket has become. We can't help establish teams like Canada, Bangladesh and UAE so they can actually become competitive and yet we have unlimited amounts of money to promote India and schoolboy teams like Afghanistan.

    Seriously, all of us Indians know that IPL is just a tactic to promote India through sports. Such is our Government and unfortunately such is our mentality. If you don't believe me, just look at the way we have successfully and mercilessly isolated Pakistan for no apparent reason.

  • Cuen on April 26, 2009, 20:45 GMT

    Personally, I couldn't care less about the IPL either, someone made mention of a "circus sideshow", and I couldn't agree more, it's a sideshow trying to act like it's the main event. For me it's completely irrelevant, and lacks any meaningful connection outside of India.

  • Chat on April 26, 2009, 20:41 GMT

    This looks like a site for disgruntled, ignored English fans. The days that England mattered much in cricket are gone. Get over it. If you don't care about IPL, so what?

  • Zoot on April 26, 2009, 18:11 GMT

    Would you be apathetic if it was called the EPL (English Premier League)?I doubt it.I think you're just being parochial AZ.

  • Aditya Mookerjee on April 26, 2009, 16:30 GMT

    You rival Sir Winston Churchill in brevity, and force of rhetoric. But where 'History of World War 2'(?) was not interesting, where it should be, you surpass all the British writers. I would have conferred you the Booker Prize, when you were born. And the Nobel Prize, posthumously. But that is a long wait. Let me offer you my serious congratulation on your great(?) writings. You must live beyond my life, so that I may have the pleasure of reading your masterpieces(?), till my end is near. Are you on Facebook? Are your friends(?) happy with you, or with your many blossomed expressions about others?

  • Ajit on April 26, 2009, 11:44 GMT

    Your A to Z of IPL, has two A's in it now! Auction and Attention span. Guess the latter is lacking? :)

  • VIKAS on April 26, 2009, 11:31 GMT

    Please for God's sake give IPL a break. I agree we Indians are inferior to British, our english is bad, our cricket is bad and we Indians are no good at all. Happy!!! Now please lay off and stick to watching Ashes and your county cricket.

  • Suresh Das on April 26, 2009, 10:03 GMT

    Great article! Sad to see others trying to portray this as an English-Indian thing. You don't have to be anti-Indian to dislike Twenty20 or not support one club that was invented last year rather than another!

  • IndianGuy on April 26, 2009, 8:21 GMT

    That is hilarious. Lighten up IPL fans and indian patriots. Learn to appreciate humour.

  • AJL on April 26, 2009, 7:20 GMT

    I personally don't give a stuff about IPL either. One thing Andy mentioned, and I agree with, is that it's absolutely impossible for me, sitting here in Canberra, Australia, to care who wins or loses. Whereas the Ashes-it's massive to any cricket fan in this country (especially me, when my mother happens to be a Pom) and every Australian wants to see us win. Same for the Test series against India and SA. The IPL? Why should I worry about two teams representing parts of India I've never been to and probably never will. I just don't care. Roll on the Ashes, and hopefully a 5-0 Aussie whitewash!

    PS love the blog, Andy-says what many think in a very funny way.

  • Hemant on April 26, 2009, 2:05 GMT

    I can understand what Andy feels. I have long tried to watch English Football league and I just do not feel engaged. They just seem a bunch of overpaid guys running around kicking and some drunk day-laborers jumping on the fringes nothing more.

  • Hemant on April 26, 2009, 2:05 GMT

    I can understand what Andy feels. I have long tried to watch English Football league and I just do not feel engaged. They just seem a bunch of overpaid guys running around kicking and some drunk day-laborers jumping on the fringes nothing more.

  • hattrick_thug on April 25, 2009, 23:20 GMT

    I'm looking forward to a what-if article about when BCCI takes over Wall Street.

  • Anil Rao on April 25, 2009, 22:19 GMT

    I can understand why you couldn’t enjoy IPL,But Please don't get fooled by a few negative opinion here about IPL,belive me when i say this, we Indian cricket fans love IPL and never be interested in Ashes or for that matter any form of cricket which doesn’t involve Indians or South Asians. We have our own rivalries and romances within south asia..

    English and assize guys are not popular with neutral fans all around the world, especially epicenter called south Asia . You may take it or leave it but cricket world cannot afford to ignore Indian cricket and BCCI’s adventures and ventures like IPL.I am loving IPL.And don’t be surprised if IPL goes to Americas next after capturing south Africa.

  • Anil on April 25, 2009, 22:16 GMT

    Write about stuff that interests you Andy, not about things that just don't do it for you. I mean do you catch me writing a blog about a lancs v/s blancs match? Now that is apathy. What you've gone to great pains to display in your article is anything but. Unwittingly, or otherwise, you've exposed something that looks green and smells rancid. We have our IPL and you have your Stanford tourney. Live with it. Or not :-D

  • Paul on April 25, 2009, 19:03 GMT

    I'm not surprised by the apathy towards the IPL by non-Indians as there is no natural connection to a team for the would-be fan to make. Very few cricket followers that I know would follow a particular team just to support "their favourite player" and there is no local link.

    However, don't take that as criticism of the existence of the IPL - I like T20 as a format. I live and work in London and an evening match at the Oval is usually good fun. However, I don't support Surrey (Warwickshire fan here) - I simply turn up on the day and watch a fun match in a good ground.

    I am sure the IPL's glitz and glamour is equally fun to go and watch live and I am not surprised that SA fans are turning up to watch the matches. I am sure it is a good tournament and the matches are of a good quality. However, there's not much point in following it online or on TV when the results of the matches mean nothing to you.

  • Nilesh on April 25, 2009, 16:54 GMT

    Yeah Yeah so you don't care about the IPL...thats why you took the time to key a mini thesis on it when there were umpteen other issues that could have been written on!!!..I believe you...I SERIOUSLY do..!!!

  • bala on April 25, 2009, 15:29 GMT

    To me the thrill of IPL is exactly the apathy.If my home team chennai loses, I get pissed off for about 2 minutes,that is all and then it is back to normal.I watch it purely for the cricketing talents on display and nothing else.Believe me, I have watched the english T20 and the Aussie T20 leagues ,nothing comes close to the IPL in terms of quality, the farcical 7 minute break notwithstanding.Besides we never get to see a bhajji vs dravid or Fidel edwards vs Bravo even if you are the one of the few who watch domestic cricket in your country.

  • bhargav ram on April 25, 2009, 15:17 GMT

    but guys what about the previous ashes series, it was quite one sided. apart from 2005 ashes the rest of them (after 2000) have been quite one sided i dont see this ashes living up to the standards of sa vs aus series

  • Anil Rao on April 25, 2009, 9:33 GMT

    I am a deccan charges fan and I am loving it,IP-2 is really rocking for me. What is there not to like in IPL? Even after shifting to South Africa, its doing so well,I am surprised to see so many south Africa people turning up to stadiums, I have never expected this level of high interest in south Africa for a Indian domestic tournament, I read in some south African news papers that infact IPL is giving a tough fight to English premier football league in south Africa in terms of television TRP ratings etc. Just imagine IPL-3 in India!

    If some English guys dosen’t like it, we all know the reasons. Its not that ECB dislike this form of cricket, its just that they tried to replicate via Stanford and failed miserably. I feel all major cricketing playing courtiers should have an IPL type of tournment and ICC should make a separate window for IPL and other similar tournaments.

  • Zeeshan on April 25, 2009, 8:21 GMT

    To survive, ICC should come out of BCCI jinxxx

  • Szczepan on April 25, 2009, 8:17 GMT

    Twenty20 is boring. As such, the IPL will follow. Great article again, keep it up.

  • Aar on April 25, 2009, 6:41 GMT

    You are a cricket, if you can write so much about Circus Cricket.

    Regarding supporting IPL team, I support Shahrukh Khan, Preity Zinta & Shilpa Shetty's team. Chose you star and support, if you really want to support someone - even circus ringmaster doesn't care who you support

  • Adeel on April 25, 2009, 6:37 GMT

    Hi Andy,

    Your are a great cricket fan! I can't neither can connect the the IPL. I must confess it does cater to my vulgar need for action wihout sentiment nor emotion. The game has been commercialized to its extremes. It is all so artificial. Why can't there be a cricket version of football's champions league. Domestic twenty/20 competitions from which you qualify for that event. Football is also all about making money and it is making a few bucks more than cricket, but it doesn't throw that fact in your face. IPL is only about making money, catering to the need of people for a quick fix. The coverage is poor i.e. many a time one misses a wicket or a boundary just because the commercials have to be shown religously. On the other side the fantastic strategic time-out, what a farce.

  • Harvey on April 25, 2009, 6:29 GMT

    I notice that some Indian fans appear to be under the impression that English fans are somehow "jealous" of the IPL. This idea is very much mistaken. Twenty20 was invented in England, and although it attracted sell-out crowds for a couple of years, the truth of the matter is that it has limited appeal here, and most people don't take it seriously. When Twenty20 was expanded last year to try and cash in on its popularity, attendances fell significantly. In a poll conducted last year by the ECB (at the height of the Stanford hype) among its "Twelfth Man" members, 98% voted Test cricket as their favourite form of the game. It wasn't revealed how many of the remainder voted for Twenty20. The novelty has pretty much worn off here, and I suspect a lot of Indian fans will soon be fed up with it too, if they're not already.

  • Preshant Sekar on April 25, 2009, 6:25 GMT

    If you Were looking for an achilles and Hector showdown,you should have seen Ganguly v/s Warne mate.KP and Fredalo can't even make a Tom and Jerry.How com Manchester United(United or not is not the question) have supporters more than thrice the poulation of Britain?It took time.Even IPL will take its own time.A true cricket fan shouldn't care who won.I watched the last day of the Edgbaston test in the 2005 ashes without rooting for anyone.I couldn't relate to neither teams.I really didn't care who won.All I could see there was Cricket and warriors in the form of Lee Warne Freddie and Jones.Cricket is above trivialities such as winning or losing or finding someone to support.

  • Sandy_bangalore on April 25, 2009, 6:17 GMT

    Some of the Indians commenting here about "sour grapes", "english ego" etc is way funnier than Andy's blog.Who cares if my city Bangalore comes first or last other than Mr Mallya, who's a billionaire anyway? Same goes with other teams. Lot of 'fans' in India are trying hard to create fan-clubs, city rivalries with little or no success. :D We are nowhere in world sports but when it comes to insecurity and sensitivity, Indians are the undisputed world champs.

  • PSK on April 25, 2009, 6:17 GMT

    I am also amazed at the number of statements in the English media (mind you, nowhere else) about apathy towards the IPL.

    Why bother to comment at all ?

  • PSK on April 25, 2009, 6:11 GMT

    Test cricket may just be superior, but certainly not when England plays it.

    What many Englishmen are scared to admit - that Indian domestic cricket is far more exciting than English Test or international cricket.

  • donthaveaclue on April 25, 2009, 5:37 GMT

    finally, it took a sports writer specializing in satire to say it. noone really cares about the ipl. irrespective of what modi and his cronies (read ravi shastri et al) say, the tournament is a long-drawn out of bunch of commercials interspersed with some cricket. on outsideedge.wordpress.com i've blogged about the flavour of the times holding the game at ransom

  • snorri on April 25, 2009, 4:21 GMT

    To all those getting personal in their comments, I think you could do no worse than take a leaf out of Andy's book. What was newsworthy about his article was the irony that the IPL has personally created in him - loving and not caring about cricket in the same headspace. He attacked nor ridiculed anyone except cricket's schedule. It was a brilliantly written opinionated piece.

    He did not disrespect your opinion, the least we can do is not disrespect his.

  • Swami on April 25, 2009, 3:48 GMT

    IPL is made for an Indian audience, so its not surprising that outside of India people struggle to identify with it. Just as much as I couldnt give a damn about Arsenal or Chelsea or Manchester United because they are all the same from far away, or if Yorkshire or Lancashire wins Pro40 English league. Its not a substitute for test cricket or ODI cricket as everyone associated with IPL have tired of saying, and its a fun league with certainly more thrills than ODI cricket now. The sustainability of IPL will be decided in India.

  • P.Satish on April 25, 2009, 3:45 GMT

    Yeah, Lawrence Booth, Suresh Menon, you, and countless other journos don't give a damn about the IPL. So why you all need to keep writing an article-a-day about is the sort of uncomfortable question we will not ask since "hypocrisy" might be the only answer.

    Again, I will not puncture your summer because you are excited about the newest Australian team in 20 years. A couple of months ago you were excited about England actually trying to compete. Reality does seem to have sunk in albeit a little late. Hammering the IPL doesn't make up for the impending doom this Ashes for England. Anyway, unlike the IPL getting thumped in the Ashes has more historical value as its already been happening for 20 years.

  • Asim Zaidi on April 25, 2009, 3:26 GMT

    I tried watching the Ipl last year. My way of determining which team I would support was by tallying up the number of Pakistanis in each team and supporting the one with most Pakistani's, or if I could find one that had both Shahid Afridi your "captain of unpredictability" and Umar Gul in it. I was disappointed because the Pakistanis with the exception of Sohail Tanvir never performed well enough and I never found a team with Gul and Afridi. I decided I would instead watch the ICL the bastardized tournament which found a way of attracting fans other than people in Indian cities affiliated with the league alone. My view is a little biased, I do like cricketers from all nations and I hope they all perform well, but I can't find a permutation of players in one team that I can passionately support. Until this happens I'm watching Inzamam lead the Badshahs with his nearly 40 year old bat to the ICL championship game.Maybe it will help you out if they created a team based off of England also

  • Moin on April 25, 2009, 2:49 GMT

    Funny one. Especially the knight riders one :).IPL may not be great but its gud. Better than the Eng Vs WI (Yawn, how many times do these teams play together) and any other one sided or matches between two low lying teams. Only better cricket is AUS Vs SA Vs IND. (the other day is slept watching Pak Vs AUS due to pak batting). atleast the cricket is entertaining in IPL (u cant expect every match to be a last ball finish). I still dont understand what u enjoy in ENG Vs Wi test match.

    I thought u were a different author but seems u r the same like other english authors with full of ego...go on..it wont make any difference to indians..

    so many people saying they dont even know the places/people...may be u should crack a joke on it. u will come to know once u watch them (or do english people know their cricket/football players from birth)

    ps: The attitude of english authors/people changed drastically within one IPL season (Last year they said its a big failure). lets wait 1 more season

  • CB on April 24, 2009, 23:45 GMT

    LOL I see,i remember when i was young, I used to follow english county cricket, and it wasnt just me but plenty of my friends, for one pure simple reason, it was good cricket. If you see any of the matches on offer on IPL you would the same. Best cricketers of the world, playing good hard fought cricket,for money whats wrong with that. I wonder if any of you guys would not take up jobs which would pay you lot more for less work but had to shift to another country. May be that would put things in perspective. I guess only thing that is wrong is egos which cant digest anything that is Indian.

  • Nick on April 24, 2009, 22:16 GMT

    Exactly right~ Why do I want to follow a team halfway around the world when I can just go see some other guys with bats and a ball plunk around for three hours, get interrupted for TV commercials, and all that? The best part is statements are either agreement or jealousy- as if the only thing stopping us from enjoying the IPL is some unnatural hatred of success.

  • Ross on April 24, 2009, 20:07 GMT

    Great piece Andy - I think you speak for many. I too was smitten by test cricket at the age of six (which for me was sometime before 1981!), and try as mightily as I might, I can find no spark of interest for IPL, or for any form of Twenty20 really. It just isn't cricket. Hey, perhaps that's it - we need a new word of what happens between two IPL teams. It may be cricket-like, it may have players that play cricket in their spare time, it may have slips and silly points and square legs - but ultimately it's not cricket.

  • Ross on April 24, 2009, 20:02 GMT

    Great piece Andy - I think you speak for many. I too was smitten by test cricket at the age of six (which for me was sometime before 1981!), and try as mightily as I might, I can find no spark of interest for IPL, or for any form of Twenty20 really. It just isn't cricket. Hey, perhaps that's it - we need a new word of what happens between two IPL teams. It may be cricket-like, it may have players that play cricket in their spare time, it may have slips and silly points and square legs - but ultimately it's not cricket.

  • Itachi on April 24, 2009, 18:44 GMT

    serious stuff in in the funniest possible way.. U really rock

  • Faraz Khan on April 24, 2009, 18:39 GMT

    No you are not bad cricket fan but your English ego is not allowing you to digest that an Indian league is getting successful at such a big level. Anyways who cares whether an englishman/Aussie/....blah-blah likes it or not, the whole thing is that it is an Indian league and people here like it. That's it, matter finish here.

  • Andrew on April 24, 2009, 18:08 GMT

    Mr. Zaltzman, another well written article on your part...LOL @ the cane made of salt and Samit Patel. The trouble with the IPL is that no one has any specific interest in any of the teams...other than I'm sure, the Indian populace, which would consider their "home teams." As a West Indian, however, and a huge cricket fan as well, I only follow the IPL in passing...gayle making runs, fidel bowling like how he doesn't bowl for the Windies, what brilliant display bravo made to light up the park for a fleeting moment. Once again, like many others...players, fans and officials alike, the pinnacle for me is a Test match: no fancy names, no regularly scheduled breaks for money making purposes...it provides what it is...a TEST...an epic battle that consumes time, effort and brilliance on a long term basis. People have forgotten the quaint idiosyncrasies that have allowed cricket to endure the passage of time. The IPL takes all that and throws it in the dustbin faster than Johan Botha.

  • Phil on April 24, 2009, 16:21 GMT

    Does anyone care who wins though? I mean, I don't even know where any of these places are in India so I can't say "Well I quite like the north so I'm a big such-and-such fan". Perhaps in the same way that British football clubs have fans all around the world, the franchises need to have a bit of history behind them before non-Indians will actually support certain teams. I just want my fellow New Zealanders to do well but maybe if some team with not a lot of big guns pulled off a fantastic upset to drag themselves into the semi-finals then I might think "I like the cut of their jib" and look out for them in future. But maybe not. I ended up not watching the finals last year cause I was so fed up with the horrible commentary and fake gold encrusted glmaour and rubbish all over the place. I still haven't bothered to find out who won.

  • ElementaryJeeves on April 24, 2009, 16:17 GMT

    Hilarious post again Andy. Well done. Made me laugh out a little too loud and drew the strangest of looks from mother in law who shook her head in distress and sighed pitifully at my wife.

    If she files for a divorce, I shall land up at your doorstep. Be warned.

  • Paul Prechner - Toronto on April 24, 2009, 15:26 GMT

    Worrieth not Andy you are not alone. Starved as I am for cricket here in Toronto, Canada I am not sure I would make a large effort to see an IPL game if it were played here. It all seems quite pointless. Perhaps it's 25th Anniversary Season (???) when some affinities may have been created might make it worthwhile but I suspect that outside of the sub-continent there will continue to be a ZZZZZZho-hum. Mind you the money would be nice, if I were getting it.

  • akshay, delhi on April 24, 2009, 15:03 GMT

    I cdnt agree more, Twenty20 is just an insult to cricket n the way Modi n his elk have paraded this IPL is makes a true cricket lover cringe..Agreed it has brought many new fans to the game, but whose idea of cricket is masala based entertainment with the superhero(batsman) wreaking havoc onto the villain(poor bowlers)..n messrs SRK,Mallyans of $ are there not to miss their pound of flesh..20-20 is just out n out bingo cup jousting..no character involved in this at all as cricket needs the enduring tension to develop..not to go up at once n then fizz..Moreover in an effort to maximize the revenues, a strategy break has been introduced..maybe for Mr Buchanan to decide who wd be the next captain..What next Mr Modi? Maybe an award to the bowler who bowls the widest wide so that more ads can be squeezed in, or to the batsman who hits a six while showin the full face of the sponsors logo and a 3s ad can be shown while the ball is still in the air.hopefully ppl realize d worth of real..tests

  • Sriram Dayanand on April 24, 2009, 14:42 GMT

    Aaaah Andy!

    I don't think you are suffering from some unique disease here. As much as I enjoy watching the IPL for shits and giggles, I too am not even remotely arsed about who should/could/can/will win it.

    p.s: Did you switch your kettle off ?

  • Sagar on April 24, 2009, 14:20 GMT

    Take a break Andy! You deserved it...We'll need you at your best when Steve Harmison bowls the first ball at Cardiff...(For your Geriant at Edgbaston moment)

  • Sushanth on April 24, 2009, 13:55 GMT

    Actually Andy, it does not make you a bad cricket fan but a jealous English cricket fan who may have been in some sort of denial of the fact that IPL is better than English county. The reason is that even if IPL was removed from the schedule, cricket is played so often these days, by your logic of cricket apathy, you should have lost interest in cricket long ago. But with the IPL, your suddenly realizing of cricket apathy is nothing but a classic case of ridiculous jealousy. But thats ok. ECB also has that disease. Give it time and it will go away.

  • Arvind on April 24, 2009, 13:40 GMT

    You missed out on the two most disgusting and uncreative names in the IPL. Of course, I don't find any fault with that - I cannot imagine any way you could feel like a "Mumbai Indian" or a "Kings XI Punjab".

    By the way, what is the big deal about the so-called Test match between a second grade team and a third grade team (You decide which is which).

  • Kiran on April 24, 2009, 13:36 GMT

    Its not a question of cricket apathy , rather a case of sour grapes.

  • Suraj on April 24, 2009, 13:28 GMT

    Having been used to international cricket, it would be unfair to expect non-Indian cricket fans to care much about another country’s domestic league in only its second year. However, look at the popularity of some English football clubs across the world. Twenty years ago, who would think that in the little town of Banding in Indonesia there is a bar dedicated solely to screening Manchester Utd games? What makes these teams so popular and loved? Both the EPL and IPL teams are chock-full of the greatest international stars, but where the IPL differs is that the EPL have been around for much longer and the teams have history and character. Also sometimes people just want to ally themselves to a team that wins consistently. The IPL teams have not had enough time to build up character – one exception is possibly Rajasthan, who with their fairy-tale win last year won over many non-Indian previously apathetic cricket fans. So give it a little more time Andy – it may just grow on you!

  • Lohit on April 24, 2009, 12:47 GMT

    This is a good one, Andy. I am an Indian and I don't like IPL. It's too much entertainment less cricket. Twenty20 was invented so that cricket could get over in 3 hours or so but an IPL match takes forever to finish. Like you Andy, I keep track of scores but really don't care who wins or loses. I am actually looking forward to ENG-WI Test series so that I can watch some sane cricket.

  • Jason on April 24, 2009, 12:25 GMT

    It doesn't make you a bad cricket fan - i feel exactly the same. Test cricket is still superior. IPL is just in-your-face tacky overload. Passing interest indeed

  • hari on April 24, 2009, 12:00 GMT

    Dude, I agree with you,instant cricket is like instant noodles, tastes good when served hot, but can never be compared to classic cricket (er .. noodles). The 90 / 5 game rules, down with 20/20

  • Heplaysthatshotverywell81 on April 24, 2009, 11:45 GMT

    Andy Love your stuff. At the risk of sounding like Peter Coyote in ET, Test cricket "came to me too" in 1981. Test cricket boasts a sense of wonder that T20 will never, ever have. So in answer to your closing question, I would offer an emphatic NO. You are the opposite of a bad cricket fan. It seems obvious that you should love the form of cricket that offers a variety of course and outcome unmatched by any other sport. It is obvious that you know there was but one six in Botham's 149 not out (and of course you know where it went). It also seems obvious that any Test cricket fan should recognise in the IPL the characteristics of sensationalism and cynicism (and too many sixes) that make it so unappealing. Let's face it, the IPL is the ultimate triumph of The Man over any sense of wonder, beauty or art. Therefore, apathy (at best) is the duty of the good, true cricket fan. (PS, to me, a SuperKing is just a cheap cigarette!)

  • DJ on April 24, 2009, 11:22 GMT

    Mate I couldn't agree with you more. I just can't bring myself to care about the IPL, even though I love cricket and will watch Test matches from start to finish (even pulling a sicky if it looks like a good Day 4 or 5). 20 Twenty is great in the way it attracts interest from people who normally wouldn't be interested in Cricket, but to a real fan it seems like a dumbing-down of the game in some way (I think). Love your writing, very funny and accurate.

  • Dim Rat on April 24, 2009, 11:20 GMT

    nah. it doesnt make you a bad cricket fan, just a boring old git :-P as i have no geographical 'home team', i'm trying to find 'my team' as well. altho i havn't really gone to the extremes of hypnosis, piggybacking KBEs or indeed challenging 'One' to one-on-one wrestling or Sudoku, i chose the team that excites me the most. The same way i chose to support Arsenal in the EPL, since moving to England only a couple of years ago, i follow the Mumbai Indians at the IPL. it's an absolute privilege to see Sanath and Sachin bat together! But maybe you're too old and stubborn to start fresh. Also, i dont have to worry about refurbing a kitchen either, so I have a bit more spare time :-D

  • Growltiger on April 24, 2009, 11:09 GMT

    Just lie down in a darkened room until about the third week in July. Watch a little tennis and F1. You will feel better with time.

  • Growltiger on April 24, 2009, 11:08 GMT

    Just lie down in a darkened room until about the third week in July. Watch a little tennis and F1. You will feel better with time.

  • Karthikeyan G on April 24, 2009, 11:07 GMT

    Mr. Andy, Try to follow FAKE IPL PLAYER's blog, U will get addicted to IPL. :)

  • stumpythestumper on April 24, 2009, 10:54 GMT

    I share your sentiments completely. A circus of global cricketing talent would be lovely if luck did not play such a huge part and it actually meant something. Yesterday produced the first two close matches after a load of one-sided rubbish. Channel 9's commentators are among the best or luckiest players, while the world's most expensive player has proved himself just that. Look at Freddie's bowling figures! The Aussies must be laughing their socks off, not that this has anything to do with the Ashes beyond being an injury risk not worth taking. Jimmy Anderson's championship match for Lancashire is rather more worthwhile preparation. Cricket lovers of the world deserve better than to have this garbage rammed down our throats by people whose primary interest is neither the future of the game or the players who should, but can't, resist the grotesque rewards on offer.

  • Ravi on April 24, 2009, 10:35 GMT

    Kevin Pietersen and Andrew Flintoff show will never be a modern version of Hector v Achilles, as neither are truly world class in this format of game. They are cream of England national team, but not the best in the world.

  • robheinen on April 24, 2009, 10:21 GMT

    Why not write about this ugly pay off that Michael Vaughan is doing to get his ass back into the england side, Andy? Or did they pay you too, but then to shut up about it? To me it blantantly obvious that there is nothing alse but a huge amount of money involved in Vaughan's campaign. Because, let's be honest about it, he's crap with the bat, crap in the field and honestly he should look for an office job now. He's bored the international cricketing community enough now. Right?

  • Deepak on April 24, 2009, 9:41 GMT

    Andy, I am from Delhi but supporting Mumbai Indians, just because Sachin is playing there. I guess my loyalties are with individual players. I want certain players to do well, dont care much if a particular team(except Mumbai) wins or loses.

  • LoveCric on April 24, 2009, 9:39 GMT

    Hmm, nobody in the entire world forced you or me to watch cricket. Its the stupid obsession with ashes that had become the undoing of English cricket. Come on dude you can write much better than this.

  • afzaal Khan on April 24, 2009, 9:30 GMT

    "I jumped on Sir Ian Botham’s back and made him give me a piggy back, but still I felt little like a Knight Rider."

    Hilarious I have mental image of that lolz.. Andy u not alone I too am suffering from this. But in my case am more interested in Pak v Aus :)

  • Cameroon on April 24, 2009, 9:25 GMT

    No, it just makes you a stuck-up Englishman, afraid of change.

  • Naveen on April 24, 2009, 9:20 GMT

    Especially loved this part " I jumped on Sir Ian Botham’s back and made him give me a piggy back, but still I felt little like a Knight Rider. I paraglided into Buckingham Palace and invited the Queen to wrestle me, but had I become a true Royal Challenger" !! Well, mebbe u should follow the example of us Indians- we too sit up late at night & shout ourselves hoarse over the win of some team from places we care two hoots about- I mean places like Arsenal, Manchester, Chelsea ;-)) ! And so do people from Singapore to Japan. So, mebbe u just need to get used to those idiotic IPL team names and the format. And as for legacy, it doesnt always need to be a 100 years old ;-) ! Btw have added u on to my blogroll site for cricketblogs - www.cricket.superblogroll.com. Do check it out :-).

  • monish on April 24, 2009, 9:06 GMT

    With the test attendances we get in India, the expanded programme of international cricket is necessary to fund the existing programme of international cricket.

    And I appreciate your effort to like the Chennai Super Kings

  • Niv on April 24, 2009, 9:02 GMT

    Answer to your question is “YES my friend that makes you bad cricket fan”. Agreed that IPL franchise doesn’t have much history you to relate with. But they have just born last year give them couple of year and you will relate to one. You may find one close to your personality or may be your favourite player playing in one.

    I guess your lack of interest or should I call it frustration is due to lacklustre English cricketer, politics in ECB, ever changing coach and captain. I look at IPL and it’s fascinating $30,000 troubling $1.5mn KP, $100K Abhishekh Nair sending $1.5mn Flintoff out of the stand. So called oldies (Hayden, Gilchrist, Warney, Sachin, Rahul, Ganguly, Anil, Murali) showing today’s super star cricket what it meant to be legend.

    Teenager prodigies Kamran Khan, P Sangwan making bold statements. ACB took notice of Shane and Shaun due to IPL. There are so many amazing things about this tournament. Cricket and cricketer around the world is so much benefited in just few weeks

  • Joshua on April 24, 2009, 8:54 GMT

    Yes.

  • Martin on April 24, 2009, 8:36 GMT

    I must admit that I find Twenty20 and One Day cricket generally a bit boring. Essex playing helps, but if it doesn't go on for at least 2 or 3 days, I find it pretty boring. Ironically, because I find the boring stuff interesting

  • Vipul on April 24, 2009, 8:25 GMT

    "Does that make me a bad cricket fan?" No, it doesn't; it just makes you a typical Briton.

  • aneeb on April 24, 2009, 8:23 GMT

    On the contrary, feeling apathic towards the IPL is quite normal. It's just not cricket. Sure, I love the 6s (even if they are called DLF maximums, ugh) and love passing my time oogling the cheerleaders, the greatest excitement was reserved for seeing legends like Warnie, Gilly, Hayden and Ashraful on the field one more time. But with the Pakistani players out of the IPL, the fun just seems to have disappeared. And here's hoping, Pakistan give the Aussies another spanking today!

    cheers

  • Xenophobic Englishman on April 24, 2009, 7:14 GMT

    Andy,

    Thats exactly how i feel about IPL. Cricket is an English sport and must be played only by Englishman. But that could be more boring than trying to count your hair. So we'll play with an English colony. And thats about it. Why should the stupid Indians play the sport. Why should the stupid Indian be crazy about the game when we Englishmen only feel that way once every 20 years( Ashes Victories). I'd rather feign apathy than accept the fact we Englishmen are hypocrites and xenophobic.

    Thanks for the great article Andy

  • james on April 24, 2009, 6:58 GMT

    Yes it does make you a bad fan. NO one cares if you care or not.

  • Rex on April 24, 2009, 6:56 GMT

    You do echo some of my thoughts Andy. The first time it happened in 2008 I don't remember watching more than 18 matches. The rest I merely looked up the scores. I didn't even watch either of the semi-finals- both were dreary affairs anyway.

    The problem with the IPL is that it's just too long- no cricket lover, fanatic supporter of any player would be able sustain interest for so long.

    Most of the IPL supporters merely watch matches featuring their favorite team (most probably their "home" team) and give the other matches a miss with a passing glance at the scoreboard or a skimmed read of the match report.

    I feel the best T20 event ever conducted was the 2007 World Cup which went on for the exact length of time, had some exciting finishes, some upsets and all that one can expect in T20 and what's more it was as closely connected to cricket as the MCC, which the IPL is not- it's got more to do with stardom and advertising.

    You aren't alone Andy. There are many. We're all sane

  • Balaji on April 24, 2009, 6:55 GMT

    Its great how you put across the most serious of opinions with such light hearted banter. Perhaps you should write a piece on the BCCI thugs!!

  • viki on April 24, 2009, 6:39 GMT

    I am having the same problem. I have been living in Arizona, which is in a time zone furthest from any cricket time zone. Yet I have seen games played in every in NZ, WI, India< SA, Aus over the last 2 years. Just cant bring myself to watching city franchises from India, even though I am from Delhi. It is a stupid ploy to make 'middle-class' Indians feel like Americans or Europeans (white) who watch similar leagues in other sports.

  • Nathan on April 24, 2009, 6:34 GMT

    No Andy, your lack of interest doesn't make you a bad cricket fan. It makes you normal in my book (which may or may not be a good thing...) There are so many completely meaningless games now, highlighted by, but not restricted to, the IPL, that it has reached the stage where there is no more cricket as far as I'm concerned until the Ashes begin. By the way, the standard of 'The Confectionary Stall' is so consistently high that you make the rest of the cricinfo writers look like amateurs. These columns aren't mildly amusing, they're outright hilarious. Sure, some of the writers from the subcontinent write some amusing and deliciously ridiculous columns as well, problem is that I don't think it's intentional with those guys ...

  • Andrew on April 24, 2009, 6:33 GMT

    alas Andy you are not alone. I have always said that outside of india no-one really will get into the IPL. They will watch it like they do when they pass a car crash. The voyeur inside of them will read a couple of articles and chuckle at it like it is a circus sideshow. At the end of the day it is a pretty souless, joyless comp that will never match up to the emotionally charged test version of the game where endless swings of momentum and storylines can keep a person engaged for 5 days straight.

  • Chinmay on April 24, 2009, 6:32 GMT

    Pretend that Mumbai Indians are called Mumbai British Indians and support them.

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  • Chinmay on April 24, 2009, 6:32 GMT

    Pretend that Mumbai Indians are called Mumbai British Indians and support them.

  • Andrew on April 24, 2009, 6:33 GMT

    alas Andy you are not alone. I have always said that outside of india no-one really will get into the IPL. They will watch it like they do when they pass a car crash. The voyeur inside of them will read a couple of articles and chuckle at it like it is a circus sideshow. At the end of the day it is a pretty souless, joyless comp that will never match up to the emotionally charged test version of the game where endless swings of momentum and storylines can keep a person engaged for 5 days straight.

  • Nathan on April 24, 2009, 6:34 GMT

    No Andy, your lack of interest doesn't make you a bad cricket fan. It makes you normal in my book (which may or may not be a good thing...) There are so many completely meaningless games now, highlighted by, but not restricted to, the IPL, that it has reached the stage where there is no more cricket as far as I'm concerned until the Ashes begin. By the way, the standard of 'The Confectionary Stall' is so consistently high that you make the rest of the cricinfo writers look like amateurs. These columns aren't mildly amusing, they're outright hilarious. Sure, some of the writers from the subcontinent write some amusing and deliciously ridiculous columns as well, problem is that I don't think it's intentional with those guys ...

  • viki on April 24, 2009, 6:39 GMT

    I am having the same problem. I have been living in Arizona, which is in a time zone furthest from any cricket time zone. Yet I have seen games played in every in NZ, WI, India< SA, Aus over the last 2 years. Just cant bring myself to watching city franchises from India, even though I am from Delhi. It is a stupid ploy to make 'middle-class' Indians feel like Americans or Europeans (white) who watch similar leagues in other sports.

  • Balaji on April 24, 2009, 6:55 GMT

    Its great how you put across the most serious of opinions with such light hearted banter. Perhaps you should write a piece on the BCCI thugs!!

  • Rex on April 24, 2009, 6:56 GMT

    You do echo some of my thoughts Andy. The first time it happened in 2008 I don't remember watching more than 18 matches. The rest I merely looked up the scores. I didn't even watch either of the semi-finals- both were dreary affairs anyway.

    The problem with the IPL is that it's just too long- no cricket lover, fanatic supporter of any player would be able sustain interest for so long.

    Most of the IPL supporters merely watch matches featuring their favorite team (most probably their "home" team) and give the other matches a miss with a passing glance at the scoreboard or a skimmed read of the match report.

    I feel the best T20 event ever conducted was the 2007 World Cup which went on for the exact length of time, had some exciting finishes, some upsets and all that one can expect in T20 and what's more it was as closely connected to cricket as the MCC, which the IPL is not- it's got more to do with stardom and advertising.

    You aren't alone Andy. There are many. We're all sane

  • james on April 24, 2009, 6:58 GMT

    Yes it does make you a bad fan. NO one cares if you care or not.

  • Xenophobic Englishman on April 24, 2009, 7:14 GMT

    Andy,

    Thats exactly how i feel about IPL. Cricket is an English sport and must be played only by Englishman. But that could be more boring than trying to count your hair. So we'll play with an English colony. And thats about it. Why should the stupid Indians play the sport. Why should the stupid Indian be crazy about the game when we Englishmen only feel that way once every 20 years( Ashes Victories). I'd rather feign apathy than accept the fact we Englishmen are hypocrites and xenophobic.

    Thanks for the great article Andy

  • aneeb on April 24, 2009, 8:23 GMT

    On the contrary, feeling apathic towards the IPL is quite normal. It's just not cricket. Sure, I love the 6s (even if they are called DLF maximums, ugh) and love passing my time oogling the cheerleaders, the greatest excitement was reserved for seeing legends like Warnie, Gilly, Hayden and Ashraful on the field one more time. But with the Pakistani players out of the IPL, the fun just seems to have disappeared. And here's hoping, Pakistan give the Aussies another spanking today!

    cheers

  • Vipul on April 24, 2009, 8:25 GMT

    "Does that make me a bad cricket fan?" No, it doesn't; it just makes you a typical Briton.