IPL 2012 May 21, 2012

For the love of the game

By M R Sharan, India
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By M R Sharan, India

Even before Mukul Kesavan wrote his piece damning the IPL in the Times of India, I knew of everything that was wrong with it: the conflict of interest issues, the chaotic rule changing, the inclination to turn a blind eye to some teams’ excesses, auctions gone awry and the shameless pandering to an entertainment-crazy country, often at the cost of cricket.

"This is not cricket", I would tell myself and tune in to watch hours of uninterrupted ‘not-cricket’. Later, I would simulate results and future points tables in my head and tease out possible scenarios, mentally salivating over clashes I couldn’t care less about. Still later, I would sit on ESPNcricinfo, go over the match report, the scorecard, click arbitrarily on players’ names and scrutinise their profile pages. My eyes would run down the ‘Recent Matches’ column and I would calculate batting and bowling averages in my head. The next morning, over breakfast, someone would mention the thrilling last-over finish of the previous night. I would shrug my shoulders nonchalantly and say: “Whatever”, and then add in the same don’t-give-a-damn tone, “The winning team’s net run rate has moved into the positive for the first time in five matches.” I couldn’t care less.

But last evening something happened. Yet another match-fixing/corruption accusation was made and vehemently denied by players who were soon summarily banned. It irritated me no end that while the players were black-listed and dismissed immediately, hardly anyone dared question the franchises who apparently paid excess money (above the 30 lakh limit) to get players on board. Any bribe requires the tacit compliance of two parties: clearly, the Governing Council’s justice system believed that punishing the weaker party (the player) would somehow absolve the stronger one of its crimes.

The unfairness of it all made me rant to my parents about the IPL’s other ills and, suddenly, it was obvious to me: I did care. Why did I care? Why, despite everything I knew about the IPL, did I still faithfully keep a tab on the tournament?

A decade ago, when the local cable guy was the only TV service provider, a series of local channels had mushroomed in the University town I grew up in. One of these telecast a tennis-ball cricket tournament: there were only a couple of cameras; the field was brown - not a blade of grass grew anywhere (diving was out of the question); teams that had travelled anywhere between a hundred metres and a couple of hundred kilometres participated with great gusto; fast bowlers bent their arms up to sixty-four degrees; agricultural swipes over deep mid-wicket and deep square-leg were favoured methods of scoring; and a Tony Greig imitator did commentary in patchy but hilarious English.

One would assume it would be a one-time-watch, just for the absurdity of it all. I watched the whole tournament. I didn’t root for any team, didn’t particularly care for the players, but I watched nonetheless, faithfully tuning in every day. There was something about the sport, about the drama, about the magic of viewing cricket on TV, about the sheer beauty of watching ball strike bat, ball beat bat, ball hit wicket, hands pouch catches, hands spill catches, hands slap hands in celebration; something about current runs-per-over, required runs-per-over, runs-per-hundred balls, batting orders, bowling figures, fielding placements, something about all of this that made me watch the sport, irrespective of context or technique or morality; something primal, something addictive, something beautiful.

This is why I watched the IPL, despite its tainted character, its stinking secrets. I will not miss it when it’s not there, but when it’s on TV and the world is watching and all it requires of me is a click of the remote, it simply is too mouth-watering a prospect to ignore. Because the IPL, beyond all the glitz and the glamour and the corruption and the madness, is still about bats and balls and wickets and boundaries.

Devashish Fuloria is a sub-editor with ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Cool Monk on May 28, 2012, 2:16 GMT

    I watch IPL because it is India's Premier League. IPL has matured over five years. Imagine how big IPL would be in 10 - 20 years - bigger than EPL, NFL and NBA.....

  • Lokesh Sharma on May 28, 2012, 1:25 GMT

    Having read comments from people, love, hatred. igony for the very own IPL. Its ture that u can hate it, u can love it but can't ignore it. Coming back to cricket in IPL, we have seen heroics of great player clearly overshadowing the underrated players, yes it is cricket, only good players who can adjust themselves will shine where ever they go. Saw some wonderful fielding, great fast, spin bowling. The power hitting and inventive batting... Saw people flowing with cricketting buzz... What do u expect more from IPL... Its just about cricket, the blitz and glam are for those people who wants to enjoy cricket as it is difficult for them to understand the bits and pieces of cricket. Saw the teams panicking in crunch situation and some helding their nerves to pull out a win... ues its cricket as we see at international level. Why people are so upset by the money these cricketers draw.... Its their hardwork what is paying them, its not just their glam look or some ramp walking paying them.

  • sunanda on May 27, 2012, 13:29 GMT

    Nice article. reaction to IPL is like kids or lovers. Kiss and make up

  • Ram on May 27, 2012, 8:12 GMT

    Whenever kids play on the neighbouring streets I find the games quite interesting - lots of artificial rules like can't hit on the off side ( because there is a house with a glass window and an angry mistress there!) , short boundaries ( hit above the bowler and it is a DLF maximum!), scuffles etc etc. I see IPL as a glorified/extravagant version of this street cricket, cricket in any form is interesting.

  • narsimha on May 26, 2012, 4:36 GMT

    The temptation is there but emotional involment is missing after 10 i feel sleepy but it was not the case if INDIA were playing can watch whole night , even yesterday inclined to watch WI-ENG test rather than DD-CS.

  • Rajesh on May 25, 2012, 13:14 GMT

    I fully agree to your views.

  • Arif Rahman on May 25, 2012, 8:50 GMT

    Truly said. This is human nature to criticize what they see. When T20 is on, they say this is not real cricket. when Test cricket is on, they say it's boring. As matter of fact, as the writer said, a true cricket fan loves to watch the battle in each format, like to dicuss it before and after game is over (or day's play in Test match), and gives his opinion/view on what will happen next". No one can stop this madness. To a level up the 'fans', the cricket 'fanatics' go into argument of wrong bowling change, field placing, a different field placing, or who should bowl next. This is deep involvement of cricket lovers. To me some watch TV screen only so make criticism, others watch the game on the ground thru the screen, they enjoy MOMENTS - be it T20 of Test cricket.

  • Anonymous on May 24, 2012, 20:15 GMT

    I too love cricket and watch IPL( mostly highlight reels ). But it is a guilty pleasure at best. We celebrate mostly mediocre players being bashed all over the place by the world class ones. The crowds appear clueless as to what constitutes good cricket, not sure how many are there just for the "tamasha ". The way the cameras linger over the cheerleaders and focus on the owners is sickening( raise your hand if you are sick of SRK being shown almost non stop ). Surley, no good can come from this in the long term. The IPL is killing cricket as we know it, but it is a runaway train, unstoppable and inevitable !!

  • Doug on May 24, 2012, 14:51 GMT

    Good work, Sharan! Some "professional" cricket journalists could well do to emulate your form.

  • Tushar on May 24, 2012, 13:21 GMT

    We are all cricket jukie. We live, eat, drink, sleep, watch, talk but not play cricket. We are cricket addict. We watch cricket to see India lose against England but we love backing India. Like now there are games we like talking about it. Cricket keeps us high.

  • Cool Monk on May 28, 2012, 2:16 GMT

    I watch IPL because it is India's Premier League. IPL has matured over five years. Imagine how big IPL would be in 10 - 20 years - bigger than EPL, NFL and NBA.....

  • Lokesh Sharma on May 28, 2012, 1:25 GMT

    Having read comments from people, love, hatred. igony for the very own IPL. Its ture that u can hate it, u can love it but can't ignore it. Coming back to cricket in IPL, we have seen heroics of great player clearly overshadowing the underrated players, yes it is cricket, only good players who can adjust themselves will shine where ever they go. Saw some wonderful fielding, great fast, spin bowling. The power hitting and inventive batting... Saw people flowing with cricketting buzz... What do u expect more from IPL... Its just about cricket, the blitz and glam are for those people who wants to enjoy cricket as it is difficult for them to understand the bits and pieces of cricket. Saw the teams panicking in crunch situation and some helding their nerves to pull out a win... ues its cricket as we see at international level. Why people are so upset by the money these cricketers draw.... Its their hardwork what is paying them, its not just their glam look or some ramp walking paying them.

  • sunanda on May 27, 2012, 13:29 GMT

    Nice article. reaction to IPL is like kids or lovers. Kiss and make up

  • Ram on May 27, 2012, 8:12 GMT

    Whenever kids play on the neighbouring streets I find the games quite interesting - lots of artificial rules like can't hit on the off side ( because there is a house with a glass window and an angry mistress there!) , short boundaries ( hit above the bowler and it is a DLF maximum!), scuffles etc etc. I see IPL as a glorified/extravagant version of this street cricket, cricket in any form is interesting.

  • narsimha on May 26, 2012, 4:36 GMT

    The temptation is there but emotional involment is missing after 10 i feel sleepy but it was not the case if INDIA were playing can watch whole night , even yesterday inclined to watch WI-ENG test rather than DD-CS.

  • Rajesh on May 25, 2012, 13:14 GMT

    I fully agree to your views.

  • Arif Rahman on May 25, 2012, 8:50 GMT

    Truly said. This is human nature to criticize what they see. When T20 is on, they say this is not real cricket. when Test cricket is on, they say it's boring. As matter of fact, as the writer said, a true cricket fan loves to watch the battle in each format, like to dicuss it before and after game is over (or day's play in Test match), and gives his opinion/view on what will happen next". No one can stop this madness. To a level up the 'fans', the cricket 'fanatics' go into argument of wrong bowling change, field placing, a different field placing, or who should bowl next. This is deep involvement of cricket lovers. To me some watch TV screen only so make criticism, others watch the game on the ground thru the screen, they enjoy MOMENTS - be it T20 of Test cricket.

  • Anonymous on May 24, 2012, 20:15 GMT

    I too love cricket and watch IPL( mostly highlight reels ). But it is a guilty pleasure at best. We celebrate mostly mediocre players being bashed all over the place by the world class ones. The crowds appear clueless as to what constitutes good cricket, not sure how many are there just for the "tamasha ". The way the cameras linger over the cheerleaders and focus on the owners is sickening( raise your hand if you are sick of SRK being shown almost non stop ). Surley, no good can come from this in the long term. The IPL is killing cricket as we know it, but it is a runaway train, unstoppable and inevitable !!

  • Doug on May 24, 2012, 14:51 GMT

    Good work, Sharan! Some "professional" cricket journalists could well do to emulate your form.

  • Tushar on May 24, 2012, 13:21 GMT

    We are all cricket jukie. We live, eat, drink, sleep, watch, talk but not play cricket. We are cricket addict. We watch cricket to see India lose against England but we love backing India. Like now there are games we like talking about it. Cricket keeps us high.

  • Tushar on May 24, 2012, 13:16 GMT

    We are all cricket jukie. We live, eat, drink, sleep, watch, talk but not play cricket. We are cricket addict. We watch cricket to see India lose against England but we love backing India. Like now there are games we like talking about it. Cricket keeps us high.

  • Tush on May 24, 2012, 13:10 GMT

    Only one conclusion i can draw from all the comments, we are all cricket junkies. We live, eat, drink but not play cricket. We are cricket addict. I am in the middle of my exams but cant keep away from cricinfo when there is no IPL, like now.

  • Suds on May 24, 2012, 11:04 GMT

    Fabulously written!! Would love to read some more from you...

    Similar Cricket Fan

  • Manu on May 24, 2012, 2:40 GMT

    Well written Sharan...excellent article. I loved it. These are exactly the reason why I love IPL. Cricket is cricket, and IPL provides exciting cricket. I don't know why some people are trying too hard to tarnish the IPL...IPL is one of the best things to have happened to cricket...and it's definitely the way forward.

  • Raj on May 23, 2012, 21:49 GMT

    I can't agree with you more. I too just love watching IPL just for the sheer quality of cricket played and competitiveness. After the advent of IPL, I feel test cricket very boring and lengthy. Why can't we have IPL all year. I am already feeling bad that IPL 5 is coming to an end :(.

  • ram on May 23, 2012, 21:32 GMT

    Hi Sharan.......this is what I do all the time.nice article on the greatest religion of India.

  • sk on May 23, 2012, 19:23 GMT

    I had a similar story, tried hard not to watch this season and was successful till half of the season, but cudn't resist the heat gave it up at end .

  • Vignesh on May 23, 2012, 19:16 GMT

    CSK done it again... Nothing to say abt MSD's fireworks, made his mark when the team needs it. Waiting for the next one against DD.. Well, all the best DD, if you can just make it into the final

  • Amit Rathi on May 23, 2012, 18:57 GMT

    hah!! There could never be such a ridiculous explanation of watching something so very destructive. That this kind of article can appear even on cricinfo is quite a sad thing in itself. A person who cares even an iota about cricket will never feel elated seeing IPL as this writer does. Save Cricket Please, I beg You!

  • Hari on May 23, 2012, 18:34 GMT

    Very well written. Simple and yet eye-catching. An unfiltered flow of thought into words. I can't say that I agree. But I definitely understand.

  • Nikhil on May 23, 2012, 18:29 GMT

    Very true article! I don't support any specific team either... I just watch IPL to watch some good cricket and the comradery between Indian and foreign players. Just like when I watch other matches, it is exciting when I watch close games... and it's boring to watch those one-sided games. Despite everything that goes on outside the field.. it's the cricket that matters.

  • Shiv on May 23, 2012, 18:23 GMT

    Very interesting read and very true. I cant believe i was tense watching DD and KKR in the first qualifier and eventually turning off the TV disspointed that DD was loosing only to tune back in, a few seconds later. I wondered what has DD or KKR to do with me. Im from Hyd (yes Deccan supporter), never been to either Delhi or Kolkota and could care less about them. Oh now i know why, Sehwag captains Delhi and when he cuts there is blood (you know what i mean).

  • Ponmuhil on May 23, 2012, 16:46 GMT

    Looking at this article and looking at the comments above, I would like to say just one word .. hopeless. I ve stopped watching ipl since the 2nd season and urged many ppl to do so, but to very little effect .. and this article provides the reason why! IPL is simply 'Trash'. Nowadays, I ve lost interest in Indian cricket as well .. it all comes down to just 'money' and nothing else. The days when I took the game and our team as a national pride are all gone.

  • Ashay on May 23, 2012, 16:30 GMT

    Well written mate ! I could feel my younger days coming back while reading this.. Kudos to u !!!

  • Vilander on May 23, 2012, 14:41 GMT

    @ Haroon Butt , IPL is an Indian Domestic tournament, pakistani players are very good players they can play in their domestic tournaments.

  • gaurav chopra on May 23, 2012, 12:50 GMT

    chennai super kings go in final and win the ipl cup.

  • Raghav on May 23, 2012, 12:31 GMT

    Amazing piece. Well written. Cricket is absolutely enticing. Very true.

  • sampat on May 23, 2012, 2:16 GMT

    Very well put. The Volkswagen TV advertisement where a group of villagers waylay a car and dance with glee when they know the score sums up the emotions of millions of us. IPL% has increased the intensity of the contests. As Sourav Ganguly pointed out what matters to the viewer and spectator is what happens on the ground.

  • vasu on May 22, 2012, 10:15 GMT

    Well Said Kapil..I completely agree with your 2 points. If i say that i wont then am lying..

    For those 2 reasons only, i am also watching IPL..

  • Abhijeet on May 22, 2012, 8:47 GMT

    @Sharan: great article. Enjoyed reading it. But next time Try supporting one team and you will find this tournament is the best thing happened in the Indian cricket. also you can choose your 2nd and 3rd favorites teams as well that will add to the spice....

  • Mormon on May 22, 2012, 8:02 GMT

    Kapil, what makes you think he doesn't watch the Ranji Trophy? He doesn't say that anywhere.

  • Kapil on May 22, 2012, 7:29 GMT

    While I admire the passion, I don't get that if you watch cricket just for "bats and balls and wickets and boundaries", then why don't you watch the Ranji Trophy or even the English county season or even the Big Bash. Even those are now on TV and have cricket in them.

    I think its more about the fact that (1) You don't wanna be out of the loop when other people discuss it and (2) You don't really have much else to do if you wanna rest at home and don't wanna go out. I mean its not like Indian "General Entertainment" channels have any "Entertainment" on them for you to enjoy...

  • Dnyanesh on May 22, 2012, 7:24 GMT

    Nice article. Mukul etc miss a point that this exposes Indian young players to outstanding talent like Steyn, Kallis, Clarke, Morkel etc. Like to see Shikhar Dhawan run upto Dale Steyn when there is a wicket and the carmaderie there. IPL is still in its teething stage and at some time a mature but aggressive person will step up and give it a better shape. Agree that Team owners should be fined too in cases like Ravindra Jadeja and Manish Pnadey's case but that can be easily fixed by having an auction with limited funds for Indian uncapped players. Heard recently that Sid Mallya and some other owners were around for the Ranji final to pick up some outstanding talent they saw there. This can be only good for Indian cricket. And BTW if we didnt poach WI players then some other T20 league will. In this age of capitalism, its for WI cricket to fix itself. See how Gayle recently walked out of a Somerset contract to play for WI. But if WICB doesnt resolve disp then its not IPL Fault...

  • Anonymous on May 22, 2012, 6:37 GMT

    Spot on dude. I am exactly like you. I pretend that I don't care about IPL but I keep thinking about the same things which go through your mind. Its entertainment and who does not like to get entertained. I might not miss it much when its not on, but when its on I watch each and every match and debate about them. Maybe its the love for the game more than anything else. Long live cricket.

  • Azhar on May 22, 2012, 6:23 GMT

    Dear Sharan, the above article is a master piece from the heart of a cricket fan. Thanks for bringing out feeling of cricket lovers on a piece of paper.

  • T S Sarangarajan on May 22, 2012, 6:19 GMT

    Very well written article depicting the love for cricket of millions like me.One cannot compare IPL with test cricket or any other form of Cricket. For a true cricket lover,t20 , especially IPL, give immense thrill/suspense , glee/sorrow,histrionics et all.

  • Kanishk on May 22, 2012, 6:18 GMT

    I had promised to myself that no matter what, I wont watch even a single match of IPL. Series whitewash by both England and Australia still gave me jitters. I had ever written a piece about how IPL is the cause of all the ills plaguing Indian cricket at the moment. But here I am, back to it again. The love for cricket is just too much. It tends to overlook all the ills that surrounds it. I know BCCI is keen on exploiting this weakness of every Indian, and are doing it successfully.

  • Tushar Bharati on May 22, 2012, 6:15 GMT

    If you have ever picked up a bat or gripped a ball, you will know what he is talking about.

  • Muthu on May 22, 2012, 6:13 GMT

    Excellent article. I am also going through the same and it is nice to see someone putting it in words.

  • PD Priyadarshan on May 22, 2012, 5:55 GMT

    I watched IPL for the first time in 5 years, because Rahul Dravid was playing and he has retired from all other forms of cricket.

  • Shubham on May 22, 2012, 5:31 GMT

    Well done! Couldn't agree more.Well! IPL is also cricket after all.

  • saurabha on May 22, 2012, 5:31 GMT

    well written piece.......can't agree more. even a guy like me who is out of watching cricket for years had to get back to see those last ball finishes.

  • Chandni on May 22, 2012, 5:28 GMT

    Great article!! Like most people have said - you echo my thoughts!!

  • Arun on May 22, 2012, 4:34 GMT

    Do you know why people watch IPL???Juhi chawla got the answer.. "If today Shah Rukh Khan were to get upset and quit the IPL I wonder if there'd be any people watching the matches .. in Wankhede or any stadium."

  • Salman Ali on May 22, 2012, 4:22 GMT

    Very well written. After Pakistani players were kicked out, vowed not to follow it. But can not resist it and has been like an addiction. Now living in Indonesia and thankful to IndiaTimes for allowing access via YouTube.

  • LittleM on May 22, 2012, 4:13 GMT

    As if you 'wrote' my mind!

  • Srinivas on May 22, 2012, 3:59 GMT

    Good job, M R Sharan! Conveys what many of us feel about the IPL. We hate all that is wrong with it, but still cannot get ourselves to ignore it. That's how much we love our cricket.

  • Rajesh on May 22, 2012, 3:44 GMT

    Very well done piece. YES... IPL on television is like a magnet that pulls you.

  • S. Ramakrishnan on May 22, 2012, 3:31 GMT

    An amazing piece on the charm of cricket. One that captured my thoughts as well to a T. When some people question the madness over cricket, I ask them have you ever felt the magic when ball meets bat - this sport's myriad possibilities and infinite charm bowls me over every time I watch it.

  • landl47 on May 22, 2012, 3:18 GMT

    I guess my reaction was exactly the opposite. When I have attempted to watch T20 cricket, IPL or any other game, all that has struck me is that everything I value about cricket- technique, determination, concentration, strategy, the constant battle to establish a position from which to attack- is missing. It's a game of reckless risk-taking on the batsmen's side and total defence from the bowlers and fielders. A bowling analysis of 0-20 from 4 overs is considered great bowling. Scoring a quick 30 draws praise. There are no close fielders, so batsmen love getting edges through where the slips would be. Bowlers try to put the ball where it can't be hit, not where it will get a batsman out. The new ball is not an issue, because the ball never gets old. The wilder the slog, the wilder the applause. It's cricket for those who don't understand or love cricket. I've tried, but I can't watch it. If that's the future, then I'm staying in the past!

  • RedMage on May 22, 2012, 2:45 GMT

    Just pure Love to the game :)

  • Sanjiv on May 22, 2012, 2:13 GMT

    It is wonderful to see the passion, agony, joy and anger on players', owners' and fans' faces. It is real. It is not fake. It is not soap-opera.

    So despite the mismanagement and corruption, which is almost endemic in every institution in India, it is a pleasure to watch the IPL.

  • Subbu on May 22, 2012, 0:35 GMT

    Strange piece! The justification for watching IPL seems to be watching bat hit ball...? I think Sharan, like millions of intellectually lazy TV watchers, have been snared by hype and slick advertising, not very different from EPL marketing...if you are so fascinated by bat hitting ball, go out and play the game- your body will thank you for it!!

  • Eggonlegs on May 22, 2012, 0:00 GMT

    Fantastic piece of work, sign this guy up somebody...

  • Haroon Butt on May 21, 2012, 22:23 GMT

    It's definitely NOT cricket when one nation is so blatantly sidelined from a competition. The continued turning away from the subject doesn't change this fact. There is an elephant in your living room, and it's green. If Pakistani umpires can officiate in this tournament, why can't their players play? This is isolation based on politics and intolerant agendas, nothing else, and certainly not cricket. The ICC lost the faith of most discerning fans after this prejudice was flaunted so flagrantly on it's watch.

  • Anil Kumar B on May 21, 2012, 22:22 GMT

    This is the best version of IPL so far and I feel IPL is taking shape and gaining maturity. Those lapses in governance, silly rules will soon be fixed. No matter of all the nonsense, IPL has successfully pulled both the cricket fan and ordinary man to the screens/read it. Lets leave it to its management to fine tune it. In meantime lets enjoy its improved quality and thrills it gives.

  • Bhuvesh on May 21, 2012, 22:15 GMT

    That is it .. Enigma of our love towards Cricket, Cant bear anyone blaming IPL Cricket , Blame the fact that IPL as a product pros and cons.. but not cricket it is our chalice of pure love and affection

  • vic on May 21, 2012, 21:46 GMT

    ipl is one more reason why i dont have to sit with my wife and wstch star plus.. thank you ipl love from USA

  • Ramski on May 21, 2012, 21:35 GMT

    So basically you just like any cricket, regardless of standard, quality, meaning etc.

    The point Mukul Kesavan and others who criticise the IPL, is down to the impact it is having on the wider game.

    The game is poorer with a weak West Indies side, the IPL falls directly during the WI cricket season. Financially they cannot compete and forever more they will nolonger field their best side.

    Sri Lanka played a 2 test series against England which is clearly not good for the game, reason.. so as to allow the Sri Lankan players to play IPL.

    India were awful last year when they toured England, why....the players were tired after World Cup then IPL then WI tour. Poor preparation for what should have been a real contest.

    Sachin Tendulkar rested for the WI tour but played IPL ?priorities.

    We are 5 years into the IPL and from what i can see, West Indies are done, Sri Lanka are likely to go much the same way and with Indians prioritising short form cricket the world game will be poorer.

  • Rohith on May 21, 2012, 21:34 GMT

    fantastic piece.. love for the game is unparalledled in this country and if you ignore few people who watch on tv/come to ground for IPL's glitz ang glamour, I am sure 90% of the spectators are just cricket lovers and want to enjoy a good game.. that is exactly why I cringed when I heard about Juhi Chawla's gems about IPL audience after SRK fiasco.. BCCI would do better to get rid of these people

  • skywalker on May 21, 2012, 21:09 GMT

    The story of quintessential cricket lovers. Tests, ODIs, T20s... Bring them all!!! Proud to be One!!

  • Vineet on May 21, 2012, 20:54 GMT

    Damn, this is exactly how I feel about the IPL! :D

  • Ashish on May 21, 2012, 20:31 GMT

    Well written! I don't completely blame Indian team's post WC debacle on IPL. But it certainly did play some part e.g. Indian team not playing enough practice games before the England tour(not that it would have changed much but still efforts and approach are more imp than defeat). And becuause of the same love I share for the Game, it hurts when the Indian team loses. If Team India does well, I can tolerate IPL.

  • Anurag on May 21, 2012, 20:15 GMT

    Couldn't have said it better myself, really. Very beautifully and truthfully written. I so completely agree; its exactly the same experience I have, though I'd extend it to sports in general and not just cricket.

  • Bharathwaj on May 21, 2012, 20:14 GMT

    You put my thoughts in paper, a well written blog.

  • hardepinder on May 21, 2012, 19:46 GMT

    just awesome to read it. loved it. couldn agree more.

  • Shyam on May 21, 2012, 19:37 GMT

    Awesome article. Just spells out what goes on in my mind (probably most of cricket lovers too) about Cricket. For all its gory side, the game of Cricket still sound very enticing. I am sure the game will survive all of these worst nightmares.

  • Peter on May 21, 2012, 19:19 GMT

    Happily, you have the same disease millions of others have. Cricket madness! Thank you for a well written, humourous, and savvy article.

  • Pankaj on May 21, 2012, 18:25 GMT

    Good one.. Its the same with many of us.. We discuss, criticize and then watch it again...Its cricket ultimately....

  • sammydude on May 21, 2012, 18:16 GMT

    Very nice article! Where else do we get to see Indian players do hi-fives with foreign players? It's a casting coup man!! No IPL match today and I'm having withdrawal symptoms already! :)

  • Raja on May 21, 2012, 17:56 GMT

    Well said Sharan.. Thank you so much for exactly replicating "my feelings"(I won't say "my thoughts" it is a feel of ever cricket lover)..

  • Cricrazy on May 21, 2012, 17:54 GMT

    I watched cricket, because I just can't stop watching cricket, Period!

  • ROHAN BHALERAO on May 21, 2012, 17:51 GMT

    I just felt I was reading my own thoughts. So darn true! I couldn't care less but still it's something I can't ignore. Beauty of sports..!!!

  • Sri on May 21, 2012, 17:44 GMT

    Millions of people like you guys make the IPL a success. Looks like Abraham Lincoln was correct - you can fool some people all the time...

  • Hemnath on May 21, 2012, 17:35 GMT

    Agree 100%. I can't ignore a IPL match when it's on, even it's between DC vs PWI. When I am not watching, I at least check my phone for current scores wherever I am. My reasons: 1. CSK - Last ball finishes 2. DD - Fantastic fast bowling & Destructive batting 3. RCB - Ariel Fireworks 4. MI - Munaf's antics 5. RR - Collective performance 6. DC - Dropping catches, Misfield & snatching defeat from jaws of victory 7. KKR - Magic of Sunil Narine & SRK's face when they loose 8. KXIP - Refreshing talent , the under dogs (don't like seeing PZ in every match) 9. PWI - Dada's celebratory run when he takes a wicket (especially of KP)

  • Ramesh Natarajan on May 21, 2012, 17:20 GMT

    We all watch sport for the narrative isn't it? It's a story unfolding in front of our eyes, who will qualify?, who will not? all these questions linger in our mind.

  • Aamod on May 21, 2012, 16:22 GMT

    Such a wonderful piece! Well written, so true and yet hits the nail on its head :)

  • Dinu on May 21, 2012, 11:20 GMT

    Dont worry mate, you are not the only one of this kind. Their might me millions like us (Did i say 'us'...YES).

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  • Dinu on May 21, 2012, 11:20 GMT

    Dont worry mate, you are not the only one of this kind. Their might me millions like us (Did i say 'us'...YES).

  • Aamod on May 21, 2012, 16:22 GMT

    Such a wonderful piece! Well written, so true and yet hits the nail on its head :)

  • Ramesh Natarajan on May 21, 2012, 17:20 GMT

    We all watch sport for the narrative isn't it? It's a story unfolding in front of our eyes, who will qualify?, who will not? all these questions linger in our mind.

  • Hemnath on May 21, 2012, 17:35 GMT

    Agree 100%. I can't ignore a IPL match when it's on, even it's between DC vs PWI. When I am not watching, I at least check my phone for current scores wherever I am. My reasons: 1. CSK - Last ball finishes 2. DD - Fantastic fast bowling & Destructive batting 3. RCB - Ariel Fireworks 4. MI - Munaf's antics 5. RR - Collective performance 6. DC - Dropping catches, Misfield & snatching defeat from jaws of victory 7. KKR - Magic of Sunil Narine & SRK's face when they loose 8. KXIP - Refreshing talent , the under dogs (don't like seeing PZ in every match) 9. PWI - Dada's celebratory run when he takes a wicket (especially of KP)

  • Sri on May 21, 2012, 17:44 GMT

    Millions of people like you guys make the IPL a success. Looks like Abraham Lincoln was correct - you can fool some people all the time...

  • ROHAN BHALERAO on May 21, 2012, 17:51 GMT

    I just felt I was reading my own thoughts. So darn true! I couldn't care less but still it's something I can't ignore. Beauty of sports..!!!

  • Cricrazy on May 21, 2012, 17:54 GMT

    I watched cricket, because I just can't stop watching cricket, Period!

  • Raja on May 21, 2012, 17:56 GMT

    Well said Sharan.. Thank you so much for exactly replicating "my feelings"(I won't say "my thoughts" it is a feel of ever cricket lover)..

  • sammydude on May 21, 2012, 18:16 GMT

    Very nice article! Where else do we get to see Indian players do hi-fives with foreign players? It's a casting coup man!! No IPL match today and I'm having withdrawal symptoms already! :)

  • Pankaj on May 21, 2012, 18:25 GMT

    Good one.. Its the same with many of us.. We discuss, criticize and then watch it again...Its cricket ultimately....