May 9, 2012

Dirk Nannes

Different cultures, familiar characters

Dirk Nannes

Over the first few years of the IPL, it had an image of ‘wild’ cheerleaders, players at late night parties drinking vodka through yard-glasses, models parading nude through hotels at 5 am in the morning, cash being burnt as fuel in fire-places, and the ‘hit-and-giggle’ cricket being an afterthought to every sin imaginable.

At least that’s what IPL detractors would have you think. However the truth is very different.

Contrary to any negative sentiments outsiders may hold, the players treat the IPL as a serious tournament, played with terrific intent and passion by many of the best cricketers in the world. It’s a high value, high pressure and cutthroat event where good form is rewarded, and poor form is condemned.

But the IPL has done much more than simply create a new event on the cricketing calendar or even ‘bolster player bank accounts’. It has become a melting pot of cricketing ideas and backgrounds. It’s a place where cricket tactics are shared among players from all corners of the cricketing world.

I believe one of the IPL’s biggest contributions to the game has been the breaking down of the social and personal barriers between rival teams from around the world. No other tournament in world cricket has ever brought together so many differing cricketing backgrounds and personalities into one team dressing room.

Who could possibly think of putting Paul Collingwood and Daniel Vettori in the same Delhi Daredevils dressing room months after the run out incident at The Oval in 2008, or putting Andrew Symonds and Harbhajan Singh together in Mumbai after ‘monkey-gate’. It’s not just these guys but many others who have been vicious adversaries on field, to become teammates in the IPL. And not only have these players shared dressing rooms, but often they’ve become friends.

The IPL has taught me that no matter what political, religious or social differences there are between countries or teams, each dressing room is filled with the same characters. Every team in the world has the practical joker, the serious guy, the musician, or the dancer. They all have the guy that can’t swim, the one that hates the gym, the ladies man, and the family man. They also have the guy who wants to win at all costs, the guy who sledges, and the calm guy who’s cool in a crisis. But most importantly of all, they all have great people.

It doesn’t seem to matter how hard they play on a pitch, how aggressively they sledge, how quiet they are, or how good or bad their ability, each team has people who are caring, people who are great to go out with, people who are terrific to chat to, and people who make you laugh.

Every IPL team brings together good people. We’re different in our own way, but we share a common passion for the game. We each share the love of good, hard and tough cricket, but also love the camaraderie, teamwork and fun that team sport brings. We love sharing our time with good people.

Cricket seems to do that. It’s another reason why I’m so very fortunate to be a cricketer.

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Posted by Ash on (May 20, 2012, 3:41 GMT)

Dirk, I really enjoy your writing style and the experience you share as an ‘insider’. great read, best of luck!

Posted by Mark on (May 17, 2012, 14:40 GMT)

You forgot to name corruption which IPL is slow and steadily exporting to international cricket. Players are getting immune to all this.

Posted by Srivatsa on (May 17, 2012, 6:01 GMT)

Great work Dirk, and a belated happy birthday! :-) Keep the good work going! I really look forward to reading your blogs! :-) Cheers mate!

Posted by Charles on (May 16, 2012, 19:57 GMT)

I wish there was a facebook like button with this blog ... i loved it and i would like to share it with my friends who are born passionate about CRICKET like me !!!!

Posted by Subramanya on (May 15, 2012, 13:00 GMT)

Liked what you have shared... Good job Dirk..

Posted by CRICSWITCH on (May 12, 2012, 13:56 GMT)

I thnk U nt know that pak players are away frm ipl only due to politics

Posted by truth on (May 12, 2012, 9:03 GMT)

The ipl is not what this article says because only those players play which bbci wants.so its not worth saying that ipl is world wide league.pakistani players are the best in that format there record suggest that

Posted by lugu jaga on (May 12, 2012, 4:12 GMT)

this ipl is too long and it gets boring sometimes;but most of what you are saying makes sense.good article dirk

Posted by bharat on (May 11, 2012, 20:37 GMT)

@ michael grow up dude ..forget about the times when u ppl used to dominate the less privileged nations ... time changes and hence ppl need to change as well... and sumtime watch the full-house of IPL games and compare it with EPL u will c the common enthusiasm..

Posted by CRICSWITCH on (May 11, 2012, 14:52 GMT)

What u r talking abt that no matter what political, religious etc. background u have. Pakistani players are out only due to politics. Shame on u & dont show urself rather foolish.

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