April 25, 2008

Why the IPL should fail

There is a real possibility the league will work, but the cricket played so far has been low-grade rubbish, and the whole thing deserves to fall on its face
148



Innings like McCullum's 158 demonstrate the haplessness of the bowlers rather than the superiority of the batsman © Aneesh Bhatnagar

The cricket stadium at Feroz Shah Kotla in Delhi used to be uncomfortable and squalid, now it's comfortable and vulgar. The concrete terraces have been replaced by plastic seats, there's a giant video screen for replays, the lavatories are better, but the improvements seem beside the point because they don't play cricket there any more.

I went to watch the Indian Premier League fixture between a team called the Delhi Daredevils and another called the Rajasthan Royals. It didn't feel like a cricket match; it was either a neighbourhood game played by very rich kids with extremely cool gear or a charity game played by celebrities for a good cause (themselves). Delhi won. That much was clear. Not much else was. Disoriented by the strobe lights that dazzled my stand at the end of every over, I thought for a while that the Sri Lankans were playing because the Rajasthan team were turned out in a Sri Lankan dark blue. Then I saw Farveez Maharoof bowling for the other side and came to my senses.

But it didn't matter who was playing because the only player who mattered, the asli khilari (the real champion), had done his turn on the field before the game began. Akshay Kumar, the film star, had been hired as the mascot (if that's the right word) for Delhi. So before the match began, he did a few wire-assisted stunts mid-pitch and then retreated to the new pavilion's balcony. He took the crowd's attention with him.

For most of the three hours that the "match" took to complete, the people in my bay had their backs to the game, the better to adore Akshay Kumar who showed he was a good workman worthy of his hire by standing on a chair, making as if to step off the balcony railing, cheering for the Delhi team and even throwing the t-shirt he was wearing to his fans. That last action summed up the event: after a sporting contest, it's the winning player who throws a wristband or a shirt to the screaming hordes; after an IPL tamasha, it's much more likely to be the featured film star.

As a cricket match, it was awful and not only, or even mainly, because it was one-sided. It was a non-contest because it was incoherent. Nobody in my bay knew the names of the Indian players who hadn't played for the country. That wasn't their fault, but in the course of a real cricket match you get to know the players, specially if you're at the stadium because you watch them move about when nothing is happening; cricket has lots of "dead" time in between individual deliveries and overs, which helps the spectator into a state of relaxed alertness.

In an IPL match, the organisers do their best to kill this idle time because their souls are so in sync with that sacred cash cow, the commercial, that they can't imagine what regular people in a stadium would do with themselves in the 90 or so unedited seconds between overs. That's where the strobe lights, the snatches of Hindi film songs, the fireworks, the cheerleaders in their little skirts, and the animated logos boosting the home side, come into play.

The IPL formula seems to go like this: take an abbreviated game, buy multi-star teams, chuck into pot with a ladleful of film-star flash, bus in a non-paying public with tiny attention spans, distract them with fireworks and other diversions, and sell the lot to an ambitious television channel. Only, somewhere along the way, Lalit Modi and his Money Men mislaid the cricket.

The cricket played thus far has been low-grade rubbish. The innings played by Brendon McCullum or Michael Hussey or Virender Sehwag tell us more about the bowler's predicament in the Twenty20 format than the batsman's gifts. In this ultra-compact version of cricket, the game's natural bias in favour of the batsman is exaggerated to the point of caricature. Each individual batsman can bat as long as he's not out, and the batting side has the insurance of ten wickets over a measly 20 overs. The poor bowler can't bowl more than four overs, no-balls are penalised by free hits, and the slightest deviation down the leg side constitutes a wide. Every bowler is the fall guy, the mug who helps the batsman make the paying public cheer.

Did I say paying public? My mistake. In the build-up to the Delhi match, I was pleased to hear that a system for buying tickets online had been put into place. When I asked a friend, who now works for one of the franchises, what percentage of the spectators in the stadium had paid for their tickets, he grinned and said that I shouldn't ask the question because he couldn't give me an honest answer.

Perhaps it doesn't matter that IPL matches are watched by freeloading spectators. It may be that cricket doesn't need a paying public, given the fact that it's underwritten by its television audience. It's the millions of couch potatoes and the eyeballs they add up to that make big money possible in cricket. So why shouldn't cricket as televised tamasha pay its way? Nobody, after all, has ever lost any money betting on the Indian fan's appetite for coarse cricket.

There is a real possibility that the IPL will work. The players like the money, the franchisees adore the publicity, the television channels gloat over their sold "inventory", and Mr Modi loves playing Midas. If the IPL succeeds, Test cricket, if it survives at all, will survive as a sporting curiosity, rather like billiards or real tennis. Once the IPL shows that it's financially sound, the implications for the first-class game will be catastrophic. Already first-class cricket exists only as a nursery for Test cricket. Given the money that the IPL has to offer, why should any ambitious cricketer waste his energies on the four-innings game? A player stands to make more money in the six-week season of the IPL than in years of Test cricket.



Style over substance: somewhere along the way Modi and Co. mislaid the cricket © Aneesh Bhatnagar

Nor can you argue that stardom within Twenty20 cricket depends on a player's international exposure because all successful club leagues eventually create their own star system. Already rookies like Robin Uthappa and Ishant Sharma stand to make as much or more money than veteran internationals like Ricky Ponting or Rahul Dravid.

Allen Stanford, the American billionaire, has proposed a winner-take-all five-match Twenty20 face-off between a team of Caribbean all-stars fielded by him and an English XI. The purse? $100 million. Should the IPL find a reliable television audience for the Twenty20 game, we can expect longer league seasons, more tournaments and more extravaganzas of the sort Stanford wants to stage. Along the way, the ICC and its chairman will become obsolete in the same way as the Soviet Union and Mikhail Gorbachev did when the Russian Federation took over. No prizes for guessing who'll play Boris Yeltsin.

But I'm hopeful that the IPL venture will fail. There are crucial differences between football's English Premier League and the IPL. The EPL's audience has been built over a century of league football; it'll be very hard for the IPL to instantly produce the traditional partisanship, the long-brewed loyalty, that sustains league football.

Secondly, as Mike Marqusee pointed out in an essay in the Hindu, English and European club football is played in the traditional 90-minute format that has always defined the game, whereas the IPL has invested massive sums of money in an abbreviated, untried version of the game with no history, no under-girding loyalties, and a very narrow geographical base.

Thirdly, where the EPL sells football, the IPL has made the fatal mistake of selling razzmatazz. Over time this will trivialise the league because the glitz will make it hard for its potential fan base to take the matches seriously. Loyalty, in the end, is a serious business.

Finally, the IPL will fail (pray god) because any form of cricketing theatre in which bowlers are cast as extras, can't possibly create the tension essential for great drama.

Mukul Kesavan is a novelist, essayist and historian in New Delhi. This article was first published in the Kolkata Telegraph

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Saim93 on April 27, 2008, 21:29 GMT

    I think it is correct to denounce 20-20.Because as the article states it only shows the haplessness of the bowlers i also think that the players do not even enjoy playing it.There is no feeling of superiority for the batsmen as they only play hardcore for the sake of the team.They are not allowed to use tactics either. I severely think that having 4 to 6 wickets is not going to work practically

  • zainys_Rippers on April 27, 2008, 19:30 GMT

    I Don't agree to him on most of the cases. 20 20 is good format of cricket. People always used to criticize new things. But one thing i didn't like in these matches, and that is inclusion of cheer leaders. They are spoiling the interest of the game. People cannot watch cricket with families now. This is totally a bullshit idea. I hope they will realize soon that people like to watch cricket not babes. There are other places where they can watch them dancing.

    Regards

  • Amit.H on April 27, 2008, 19:06 GMT

    No matter what so called experts like you say, it will be decided by people (spectators/viewers)whether it will be there or not.

    You can have your say for sake of sense of satisfaction but who cares to listen to it? And does it matter really?

    If business is fetching customers and customers are happy about product then it really doesn't matter,count what other think.

    No matter what you people keep commenting about it, sport is strong enough to evolve and sustain itself if its accepted by fan following.

    Response for IPL so far has been great(TV and seats in stadiums)and people can just leave the scene if they can't enjoy.

    No need to have opinions though GUEST (!) column after enough of blogging and ceremonious(!)exit here.

    Already had plenty and now enough.

  • sashank on April 27, 2008, 14:42 GMT

    Mr. Kesavan, you yourself termed the time between overs 'dead'. There is no harm when some life is infused into that time. Also, I'm more aware of the names of India's upcoming players now after IPL started. I could barely name 5 Ranji players before. Maybe I'm ignorant, but I'm sure there are others who are more conscious of the local talent now than before IPL started. Calling the cricket 'low-grade rubbish' was a cheap shot. So, a similar innings in a test where a bowler is smashed around is better than when it happens in a T20 game? Agreed, the game is biased towards batsman, but to be honest all forms of cricket have always shown this bias. And yet, we have some sensational spells of bowling from great bowlers. IPL is no exception. Warne, McGratth, Ishant had some great spells and I was able to spot some talent in Gony (Chennai). This can't be bad for cricket. Don't wish IPL fails. Wish it becomes so successful that all the 'razzmatazz' becomes unnecessary and cricket prevails.

  • fakhy on April 26, 2008, 20:43 GMT

    it is unfair to totally criticize the IPL. The IPL has its share of benefits too. It is not a batsman's game only. bowlers can change a T0 game, eg Brett lee against Mumbai. when a batsman makes a big score, it is to do with skill and not all due to the bowler's lack in talent. Sangakkara's innings just showed that class can work in IPL too. at the start Mukul says that he thought Sri Lanka was playing. That doesn't make sense - why come to the ground without knowing who's playing? this is just a new format - it will take time for the audience to know who's playing for their teams. and 'unknown' Indian players only get picked if they've done well in domestic cricket, which means that 4-day cricket will not be taken for granted. spectators are indeed interested in the game; why would they come in large crowds if they didn't? based on the Delhi vs Rajasthan game, he says the IPL is rubbish- there have been other tight games in the tournament already that have made T20 look interesting.

  • hellsam180 on April 26, 2008, 19:10 GMT

    Is he blind not to know which teams r playing although he brought the tickets for the match??? He talks about the stars, is he dumb not to get the concept that the IPL is targeted at a new fan base and that in a country like India there can be no other catalyst as effective as a Bollywood star?? Is he unaware of the fact that relatively unknown Indian players are getting a chance to show their talents?? Hasn't the IPL allowed the never before seen combination of foreign players, players who used to sledge each other are playing in the same team isn't this a change although it is for a while?? As for the bowlers,they have always been unfairly put to the sword in ODIs(flat wickets),in Tests(placid tracks)...so should we pray that they fail too?? Have they failed-there have been hundreds of matches in both formats-have they failed?? He should stop writing these silly things and watch the tickets next time around......

  • GooglyPUNKMayil on April 26, 2008, 18:54 GMT

    Some of Mukul's comments are really valid....Even though we have to accept the change or Evolution as you can say, If you really love cricket it should be competitive both ways( The Batsmen and Bowlers should have the right balance)...This T20 will eventually become a Demon for test cricket and a nightmare for the bowlers....You can look at T20 and it will be entertaining plenty of color and a lot of superstars....But the whole point is Will any True Cricket Fan like T20 to take the place of ODI's or Test cricket...This is purely Unacceptable in any means....Only in Longer formats of the game a player's true skill will be tested...If there were no ODI's There would be no Tendulkar...If there's no Test matches there would have been no LARA/Dravid....Nowadays whoever slogs well can score...No need for a technique..My whole point is IPL/T20 will have a drastic effect on cricket's future which by no means would benefit the game...

  • raganurag on April 26, 2008, 17:22 GMT

    Hi Mukul

    We are country of fanatics who neither understand the nuances of the game nor have any aesthetic sense. . That's precisely what this IPL tamasha is all about. I am sure we will get more of this crass stuff called cricket as understood by BCCI and as appreciated by the mediocrity. All the players, stakeholders, advertisers and other cheap people are laughing their way to the banks. Hell with Kapil Dev, ICL and true lovers of the game as we knew it. Mera Bharat Mahaan!

    Prasad

  • burzil on April 26, 2008, 17:14 GMT

    I'm with Mukul. Change is one thing, but a bastardization of the game is sad. 20-20 has been played here on the streets of pakistan for many many years with a taped tennis ball. it is not known for breeding any sort of technique except swishing and swatting. 20-20 is purely for the couch potatoes. its not meant for people who actually love the game or have long term interest in it. i for one pray for the failure of this format as i feel it will threaten the continuity of real cricket (test/ first class).

  • Bala-V on April 26, 2008, 16:56 GMT

    Why is IPL good for cricket? (4) (8) Unfair compensation for players: Dravid and Ricky are very good players nearing the end of their careers. Uthappa and Ishant have demonstrated capability that is available for the long haul. As a businessman it makes perfect sense to invest in the younger players more than the older ones (don't throw exceptions at me, I am talking about a generic framework to think). As for compensation that these folks made early in their careers - tough luck. You are probably earning a lot more than folks in your father's generation. It is just the way it works. (9)Allen Stanford: He is doing the right thing for cricket. It will help West Indian cricket into an era of revival. Cricket is not all about India.

    Other points: (10) The cricket played thus far has been low-grade rubbish: I suppose you can drop in there to the middle and whack a few fours and sixes.

  • Saim93 on April 27, 2008, 21:29 GMT

    I think it is correct to denounce 20-20.Because as the article states it only shows the haplessness of the bowlers i also think that the players do not even enjoy playing it.There is no feeling of superiority for the batsmen as they only play hardcore for the sake of the team.They are not allowed to use tactics either. I severely think that having 4 to 6 wickets is not going to work practically

  • zainys_Rippers on April 27, 2008, 19:30 GMT

    I Don't agree to him on most of the cases. 20 20 is good format of cricket. People always used to criticize new things. But one thing i didn't like in these matches, and that is inclusion of cheer leaders. They are spoiling the interest of the game. People cannot watch cricket with families now. This is totally a bullshit idea. I hope they will realize soon that people like to watch cricket not babes. There are other places where they can watch them dancing.

    Regards

  • Amit.H on April 27, 2008, 19:06 GMT

    No matter what so called experts like you say, it will be decided by people (spectators/viewers)whether it will be there or not.

    You can have your say for sake of sense of satisfaction but who cares to listen to it? And does it matter really?

    If business is fetching customers and customers are happy about product then it really doesn't matter,count what other think.

    No matter what you people keep commenting about it, sport is strong enough to evolve and sustain itself if its accepted by fan following.

    Response for IPL so far has been great(TV and seats in stadiums)and people can just leave the scene if they can't enjoy.

    No need to have opinions though GUEST (!) column after enough of blogging and ceremonious(!)exit here.

    Already had plenty and now enough.

  • sashank on April 27, 2008, 14:42 GMT

    Mr. Kesavan, you yourself termed the time between overs 'dead'. There is no harm when some life is infused into that time. Also, I'm more aware of the names of India's upcoming players now after IPL started. I could barely name 5 Ranji players before. Maybe I'm ignorant, but I'm sure there are others who are more conscious of the local talent now than before IPL started. Calling the cricket 'low-grade rubbish' was a cheap shot. So, a similar innings in a test where a bowler is smashed around is better than when it happens in a T20 game? Agreed, the game is biased towards batsman, but to be honest all forms of cricket have always shown this bias. And yet, we have some sensational spells of bowling from great bowlers. IPL is no exception. Warne, McGratth, Ishant had some great spells and I was able to spot some talent in Gony (Chennai). This can't be bad for cricket. Don't wish IPL fails. Wish it becomes so successful that all the 'razzmatazz' becomes unnecessary and cricket prevails.

  • fakhy on April 26, 2008, 20:43 GMT

    it is unfair to totally criticize the IPL. The IPL has its share of benefits too. It is not a batsman's game only. bowlers can change a T0 game, eg Brett lee against Mumbai. when a batsman makes a big score, it is to do with skill and not all due to the bowler's lack in talent. Sangakkara's innings just showed that class can work in IPL too. at the start Mukul says that he thought Sri Lanka was playing. That doesn't make sense - why come to the ground without knowing who's playing? this is just a new format - it will take time for the audience to know who's playing for their teams. and 'unknown' Indian players only get picked if they've done well in domestic cricket, which means that 4-day cricket will not be taken for granted. spectators are indeed interested in the game; why would they come in large crowds if they didn't? based on the Delhi vs Rajasthan game, he says the IPL is rubbish- there have been other tight games in the tournament already that have made T20 look interesting.

  • hellsam180 on April 26, 2008, 19:10 GMT

    Is he blind not to know which teams r playing although he brought the tickets for the match??? He talks about the stars, is he dumb not to get the concept that the IPL is targeted at a new fan base and that in a country like India there can be no other catalyst as effective as a Bollywood star?? Is he unaware of the fact that relatively unknown Indian players are getting a chance to show their talents?? Hasn't the IPL allowed the never before seen combination of foreign players, players who used to sledge each other are playing in the same team isn't this a change although it is for a while?? As for the bowlers,they have always been unfairly put to the sword in ODIs(flat wickets),in Tests(placid tracks)...so should we pray that they fail too?? Have they failed-there have been hundreds of matches in both formats-have they failed?? He should stop writing these silly things and watch the tickets next time around......

  • GooglyPUNKMayil on April 26, 2008, 18:54 GMT

    Some of Mukul's comments are really valid....Even though we have to accept the change or Evolution as you can say, If you really love cricket it should be competitive both ways( The Batsmen and Bowlers should have the right balance)...This T20 will eventually become a Demon for test cricket and a nightmare for the bowlers....You can look at T20 and it will be entertaining plenty of color and a lot of superstars....But the whole point is Will any True Cricket Fan like T20 to take the place of ODI's or Test cricket...This is purely Unacceptable in any means....Only in Longer formats of the game a player's true skill will be tested...If there were no ODI's There would be no Tendulkar...If there's no Test matches there would have been no LARA/Dravid....Nowadays whoever slogs well can score...No need for a technique..My whole point is IPL/T20 will have a drastic effect on cricket's future which by no means would benefit the game...

  • raganurag on April 26, 2008, 17:22 GMT

    Hi Mukul

    We are country of fanatics who neither understand the nuances of the game nor have any aesthetic sense. . That's precisely what this IPL tamasha is all about. I am sure we will get more of this crass stuff called cricket as understood by BCCI and as appreciated by the mediocrity. All the players, stakeholders, advertisers and other cheap people are laughing their way to the banks. Hell with Kapil Dev, ICL and true lovers of the game as we knew it. Mera Bharat Mahaan!

    Prasad

  • burzil on April 26, 2008, 17:14 GMT

    I'm with Mukul. Change is one thing, but a bastardization of the game is sad. 20-20 has been played here on the streets of pakistan for many many years with a taped tennis ball. it is not known for breeding any sort of technique except swishing and swatting. 20-20 is purely for the couch potatoes. its not meant for people who actually love the game or have long term interest in it. i for one pray for the failure of this format as i feel it will threaten the continuity of real cricket (test/ first class).

  • Bala-V on April 26, 2008, 16:56 GMT

    Why is IPL good for cricket? (4) (8) Unfair compensation for players: Dravid and Ricky are very good players nearing the end of their careers. Uthappa and Ishant have demonstrated capability that is available for the long haul. As a businessman it makes perfect sense to invest in the younger players more than the older ones (don't throw exceptions at me, I am talking about a generic framework to think). As for compensation that these folks made early in their careers - tough luck. You are probably earning a lot more than folks in your father's generation. It is just the way it works. (9)Allen Stanford: He is doing the right thing for cricket. It will help West Indian cricket into an era of revival. Cricket is not all about India.

    Other points: (10) The cricket played thus far has been low-grade rubbish: I suppose you can drop in there to the middle and whack a few fours and sixes.

  • Bala-V on April 26, 2008, 16:56 GMT

    Why is IPL good for cricket? (3)

    (6) Name recognition of tier players: They have been given the opportunity to perform in front of the crowds. It is for them to step and perform to gain that recognition. I am not going to be mad and memorize every name in the league. Let the player differentiate himself and thus demand that fans of the game get to know him. (7) Ticket sales / revenue: If you do understand business, there is such thing called upfront investment and period to recover your investment and finally to make profit. I do not see a problem in giving away the tickets right now to generate some excitement. They will need to figure the right model for them. Finally, I am not sure if the ground ticket sale is the major revenue source. To that extent, it may make sense to give it away for free and create a buzz on TV.

  • Bala-V on April 26, 2008, 16:55 GMT

    Why is IPL good for cricket? (2)

    <3> It is a batsman's game: Maybe it does appear that way now. It is just a matter of time before bowlers figure out how to bowl in these circumstances and thus move it into balance again. <4> Dancers and shows: The organizers are here to make money. If these antics generate money, then good for them. Not all of us will be thrilled to see it but as long as we are in the minority, I don't see why they have to respond to a higher calling of purity of sport or whatever. <5> Evolution: I hope you believe in it. Every thing evolves to adapt to the current environment around it. In the process certain missteps may occur but that does not mean you should stop trying. Cricket will get it right, maybe it will take a little longer. They are just testing out various different options. Do not cling to history because you feel comfortable with it. One day games would not happened if that attitude had been taken earlier. < to follow...>

  • Bala-V on April 26, 2008, 16:55 GMT

    Why is IPL good for cricket? For starters, you need to think of it as a profession and business that is here to make money. With that in mind - (1) Viewership: Watching a 5 day game or a one day is too long and even ardent followers of the game do not find the time to do that. Many other folks who like the game or find the game interesting are taken aback by the time it takes for a single game. 20/20 solves that problem and brings stronger viewership amongst fans and brings in newer followers of the sport. (2) Opportunity: With 8 different teams offering an opportunity to make a career, it opens avenues for good cricketers who are unable to make it to the Indian team. Further, it also allows many more kids to think of cricket as a real career option. It also gives our second tier cricketers an opportunity to play alongside international / Indian cricketers. This will make the sport more competitive and will allow it to develop better. < to follow...>

  • SeenuSubbu on April 26, 2008, 15:33 GMT

    Did you say all these nasty things when one day cricket started too? And did you have these unkind remarks for the T20 world cup, or is it that you are jealous of all the money BCCI is raking in, and providing opportunities for dozens of good cricketers, who otherwise would have either faded away or played for petty clubs and petty money, have the opportunity now to have a fling at big stakes?

  • Gautamkamath on April 26, 2008, 15:21 GMT

    "Low grade rubbish"? "Indian fan's appetite for coarse cricket"? The article smacks of an arrogance and a shrill bitterness that might've been understandable coming from an ex-test cricketer like Boycott perhaps. If you don't like Twenty20, Mukul, you have the option of not watching it. You can indulge your connoiseur's senses and watch 5 days of test cricket and the Ranji Trophy while the more "coarse" among us who work 12 hours a day to earn a living will lap up our cheap thrills from T-20. Forgive us for not wanting to watch No.3 batsmen plod juicy full tosses gently back to the bowler in the name of test cricket. What next? An article criticising highlights shows? For those cater to the coarser tastes of the Indian cricket fans too, by crunching down a full day's play into half-hour packages.

  • SeenuSubbu on April 26, 2008, 15:18 GMT

    Extremely negative article. Pray to fail, hope it fails. Gosh. Dude, I expected a little more sense from you. I am not a fan of the way these cricketers were traded like cows, and I am not a fan of the cheer leading crap. But when you claim the format is tilted in favor of the batsman, can you imagine the likes of Brett Lee and McGrath tying down batsmen and giving away 9 or 10 runs in 4 overs, can you imagine the pressure cooker situation they bowl in and hone their line and length? True, test cricket and first class cricket may suffer in the long run, and I am not saying it's a good thing. But then who had predicted dinosaurs would be made extinct by a meteor strike.

  • muralinux on April 26, 2008, 14:19 GMT

    Hats off to Mukul for his forthright comments on this great tamasha called IPL under a truncated form of cricket. It is argued by many that changes have to be brought to games and some purists will always oppose this and so on & so forth.But the crux of the matter is the basic nature of the game cannot change to some thing else.In fact T20 can be played for fun during off-season for a few days in a year not 48 days like a World Cup. The EPL football league is no comparison as Mukul said it clearly where the format of the game of football has not undergone any change. If BCCI really desires to encourage talent and pay them well let them organise Ranji and Duleep trophy matches on a professional basis and do service to the great game of cricket.Let sane voices prevail.

    Murali

  • nerorulz on April 26, 2008, 13:54 GMT

    dear mr mukul,

    Please understand that when ODIs were first introduced people said the same thing... tests would disappear and nobody would watch them.....has that happened...yet you see tests being played in India or any other country attracting good crowds to stadium etc....same with 20-20 all three forms of the game would be needed to entertain a person and that will remain...of course you enjoy seeing results generated in a test match and that has only started happening regularly after the advent of ODIs .....never stop change....change always occurs...

  • mayuri78 on April 26, 2008, 10:50 GMT

    I totally agree with the Author. I'm amazed to see some comments which called it generation gap and blah,blah. Its about cricket the game. IPL, Stanford, ICL are not cricket. If at all this is cricket then believe me, we don't need SRK and Miss Preity at stands. Cricket itself has a power to bring people on ground. Further, don't forget that 20-20 is a batsman's game. It doesn't have a place for technique and cricketing sense. Dravid being one of the finest player around, is bound to fail in 20-20 but a very less talented player will make it famous(I don't want to name any 1) just because he may hit the ball 20,30 meters in to crowd. Please think about Cricket not Entertainment.

  • hermithead on April 26, 2008, 10:04 GMT

    This bloke fails to realize that unlike him not everybody has the luxury to spare 4-5 days "for great drama" to unfold. Cricket can not sustain or expand with either the OD or Test formats - thats a fact - Allen Stanford has realized this so to Lalit Modi even Cricket South Africa realized this back in 2003 when its regional, provincial teams and created a T20 tournament. T20 is an example in itself of the need for a concise, results-driven, money spinning format that sits nicely with Spectators, Investors and Broadcasters yet there is still resistance from the Administrators! My two cents for T20 rules: Specialist batting teams; no limit on the amount of overs for bowlers; no overs (why do we have them anyway?).

  • Supersun on April 26, 2008, 9:49 GMT

    I think the writer is a frustrated guy. If he doesn't like the IPL, why go for a game and watch it. Bowlers, too win matches in T20. Probably the writer has a lot of bias in his mind to not notice some brilliant bowling performances as well in T20 games. I agree that loyalties cant be established overnight and that the IPL has a long, long way to go to even become 1/10th of what EPL is, but with the writer praying for IPL to fail, I think it is immature to say the least.

  • doomoo on April 26, 2008, 7:38 GMT

    Seriously Mukul, this article doesn't have a clear thread of reason running through it. Why does the IPL have to fail? Do you really think that the IPL sucks or don't you just like the T20 format? Is the razzmatazz distracting you?

    When I come back from work, I just like the fact that I can watch some entertaining cricket; the cheerleaders and Akshay Kumar are not my main areas of interest. And I love watching Test Cricket too. It looks like the hype of IPL and the things surrounding them have gotten to you. Most of the people I know have gotten into either the 'I hate IPL' or 'I love IPL' group, and you seem to have swayed to the former.

    Test Cricket will survive, it has survived 30 years of one day cricket, not merely as a 'curiosity', but as a genuine sport in its own right. Were naysayers like you saying the same thing back then? I think so.

    You're free to ignore the IPL and watch Test cricket, so why aren't you doing that?

  • vaithal on April 26, 2008, 6:40 GMT

    Mr Kesavan do some retrospecitve on your prejudice

    1. So if IPL improves the stadium isn't it good ? 2. If IPL is generating revenue for lesser cricketers isn't it good? 3. Your Quote "it'll be very hard for the IPL .....loyalty, that sustains league football." I can only laugh at this comment , Rome was not built in a day Mr Kesavan.Everything needs a beginning. 4. freeloading spectators ,,,:) Mr Kesavan I hope you paid for the ticket to watch IPL , so did I for 2 matches. 5. Your Quote"Thirdly, where the EPL sells football, the IPL has made the fatal mistake of selling razzmatazz." Mr Kesavan, where have you been , do we live in the same planet? Football players consider playing for their clubs more seriously then for their country.How many matches has Becks,Zizu,henry,Christiano Ronaldo or Rooney have played for their country when compared to the clubs.Man Utd club did not want Rooney to play in World cup for England,IPL gives importance to Country duties.

  • God_Sachin on April 26, 2008, 6:19 GMT

    I am a purist who loves test cricket, but I can totally appreciate t20 for it is ... Mukul you should learn to appreciate something for what it is , than for what you want it to be... you went to the stadium already hating it,and thats what you got ...

  • The_Orebon on April 26, 2008, 6:15 GMT

    I have watched enough meaningless & boring Test matches where the bowlers (and spectators) have been made to suffer for 5 days (Chennai anyone?). Equally, I have watched enough Twenty20 games (since 2003) where bowlers have won games (Lee & Chawla yesterday) so I don't understand where Mukul is coming from by criticizing Twenty20?

    Fact is, be it Twenty20 or Tests, once a game ceases to be a contest between bat & ball, it gets boring. So it's not the fault of the format but the pitches that are to blame (Tests, ODIs Twenty20).

    Agreed the IPL has gone over the top with the razmatazz and the pitches could be a bit more sporting, but apart from that, the cricket has been very exciting.

    Also, what's this holier than thou 'we purists' attitude? I am a Test cricket fanatic but enjoy Twenty20 as well. Why does it come down to a choice between the two formats?

    The strategies involved in both the games are different and hence they should be viewed as different sports.

  • Leggie on April 26, 2008, 6:05 GMT

    The whole idea of modifying a sport so as to fit in the interest of people who don't like the original sounds ridiculous. To pull in a cliché here, why try compare apples & oranges, and try creating a "app-range" that caters to both an apple or an orange liker! Oh well.., welcome to the world of GM crops. This game of 20-20 is just not cricket.

    True Cricket is the only sport of "un-equals". In which other sport can you see a contest of the likes of say between a puny Piyush Chawla vs. a gigantic Mathew Hayden.. or a Sachin Tendulkar vs. Merv Hughes? There is something in cricket for guile, patience, endurance, stamina etc. etc. Cricket has its unique qualities that no other sports have. If someone is saying that they're "promoting" cricket by promoting T20, it is nothing but a plain/simple lie.

    The sooner this comedy ends, better it is for cricket.

  • knightflyer on April 26, 2008, 6:02 GMT

    A game evolves based on what its viewers want and not what elitist thinkers think they want out of it. And I don't understand why people have problems if players play for money. After all, they are professionals which means you make a living out of that profession. The author complains that bowlers get a raw deal in T20, so do they in ODIs. Besides, if the spectator want to watch 4's and 6's hit left, right and center, thats how a game should evolve. I don't think I ever saw a great delivery swing and seam and opening up a batsman square, sitting like 20 rows back in the gallery. The audience who like to watch T20 are looking for entertainment as well as some close finishes (last 2 games ended in the penultimate over). People can at least go home and/or work and do something useful after the 'razzmatazz' instead of lazing around doing nothing for 5 days watching a drawn test match.

  • fawzan on April 26, 2008, 5:27 GMT

    Mukul you do have valid points but this is what the public wants to see as they enjoy watching T20 cricket and your point being that the cheerleaders are vulgar then what would you say about the recent bollywood movies??? T20 is here to stay and the probability of it fading away is slim because once people get hooked onto to something then it's hard to get less of it.

  • suneel.biotech on April 26, 2008, 5:09 GMT

    its an interesting article.it seems that you have developed a sort of cynical approach towards IPL and 20-20.in my opinion the game is important and not the format.so if a game is good enough that would be the saving grace.IPL can be a hit and still 20-20 , odi and test cricket can coexist. if you are a real admirer of the game, practically you will love it irrespective of the format(just like a mother loving her three children).Another valid point is IPL provide a livelihood for many foreign players and it dramatically improves the financial standards of players from West Indies , New Zealand.as one of our readers mentioned"your TV remote controller is with you.

  • crikbuff on April 26, 2008, 4:27 GMT

    The IPL stinks of commercialization of a beautiful sport. The BCCI has tarnished the game of cricket beyond repair. If the BCCI was truly interested in developing cricket in India, it should focus on building a stronger domestic structure. Cricket infrastructure at all levels, from the grounds to international stadium, are appalling. I hope the financial model breaks down, which is a delightful possibility with the high stakes involved, and the franchises should be left to lick their wounds. BCCI and LAlit Modi will laugh their way to the bank. But this is a case of the goose that laid golden eggs. The game of cricket will soon lose its charm.... for the semi nude cheerleaders to take over!

  • NatMGun on April 26, 2008, 4:23 GMT

    .. and one more reason why it may fail, and a very good reason too - the EPL and other league football around the world are THE ONLY WAY a footballer is judged by, it is his bread and butter, it gives him fame and fortune, defines his career and playing international games. But IPL is only an extra income for the cricketers - it is not going to make or break them, or get them international berths. THIS IS A FUNDAMENTAL DIFFERENCE, and players will never have the same intensity for IPL as footballers do for their league games. And league football is the ULTIMATE in a calender year. Not so the IPL.

  • andya0619 on April 26, 2008, 4:08 GMT

    i could have bet that somebody like mukul kesavan would write such an article. all he needs to do is to look at this game by changing his frame of reference and he will realize that the game has its own subtleties. True that the bowlers get hit a lot..but its also a form where bowlers get a lot of cheap wickets and a spell of 2 good overs can change a game. Its worth considering that the bowlers who did well are McGrath, Warne, Asif, Pollock, Ishant Sharma, R P Singh, Lee..people who have been doing exceptionally well in test matches too. Twenty-twenty does not only breed mediocrity as has been claimed. similarly there is place for innings of class like the one Sangakkara or Rohit Sharma played. Personally i would like to see a bit more balance in the game..maybe by limiting the number of wickets to 8 or 9. But this can never be achieved by narrow minded approach like the one mukul adopts..the game has its own merits..let them flourish..by no means is this the refined form of the game

  • nirvana_1959 on April 26, 2008, 3:19 GMT

    Most of the criticism in the article is anti-T20 and not anti-IPL per-se. 20-20 is the right format for this time and age. may be not in its current form. It will probably take some time like ODI to evolve into a well balanced team duel. I, for one, would like to see wickets cut down to 4-6. Not all the players have to bat (just like not all the players have to bowl). Instead of 4 overs max for all bowlers teams should be allowed to choose one bowler in form to bowl a max of 5 overs. These are just examples of changes that can be brought about to make this format a real joy to watch. Without this the glamour of this game due to run-fest will wane.

  • Prats6 on April 26, 2008, 3:05 GMT

    Mukul has some valid points , but the whole idea is to bring a new kind of a viewer to the cricket grounds and IPL has been successful in doing so, about the dancing girls, I'll tell you what, I watched the game between Kolkata and Hyderabad and with such atrocious facilities, these girls were the only saving grace ! Make no mistake I love Tests , so much so that whenever a match happens in my city or in a city where I happen to be I have always been there. But people like Mukul have to realize that this is a "new" kind of cricket. There was a time when 200 was a days score in tests , now its 300-350 and it has become more exciting, in the same manner Bowlers are expected to be hit in this format, an economy of 7 is considered very good hence. So you just cannot compare the different formats. Add to it the players earning money so as to afford a descent lifestyle when they are finished. I think this will make the game more exciting..

  • Saloo on April 26, 2008, 2:45 GMT

    I totally agree. I never really liked the idea of IPL and my enthusiasm towards 20/20 isn't too great anyway. It's good fun, but that's it. It shouldn't be taken seriously. For all everyone says about India winning the world cup because of their bowling, the fact remains that 20/20 is simply a slogfest and not true cricket. Also, the cheerleaders imported from USA are a disgrace to the name of cricket. Why does it seem that the organisers of this think that cricket can't be enjoyed unless there are girls dancing in skimpy clothes? Those who gain an interest in cricket only after watching 20/20 aren't true cricket fans. True cricket fans are those who enjoy test cricket and any form of cricket. IPL isn't about cricket at all. It's just about the money and I'm really ashamed of the money-mindedness of the BCCI. I don't mind if IPL stays around...just as long as it stays in the background and isn't really taken seriously.

  • atulpai on April 26, 2008, 1:15 GMT

    The advent of Cable TV in India in the early 90s was also critized initially, fearing that the MTV culture would kill the Indian culture but what actually happened is, with time, the Cable TV brought along channels like the Discovery, National Geographic, History and ESPN which benefited a lot of people. So let us give it some time to balance out the positives and negatives. On the lighter side: my wife, sister and mother who were never watched a full ODI or Test match are hooked on big time to IPL Twenty20! I am sure it's the same story in many a households! Isn't that a big plus?

  • sasimyname on April 26, 2008, 0:04 GMT

    Any format would be good as long as a balance strikes between the ball and the bat. A bludgeoning innings played by people like Brendon, Hussey, Sehwag, Symonds can cause boredom too. One such innings once in a while is fine but if it happens in every game, boredom will surely creep. If the cherry is all over the place all the time, we will have less inspired bowlers too. If 20-20 had been introduced 10 or 15 years ago, we would have had more Dhonis Sehwags Afridis. If a perfect length ball can be smacked all over into the crowd and if the bowler has to bowl only yorkers we will never again have a McGrath and never again a Warne. So rather than having a perfectly batsman friendly pitch, it'd be better to have bowler friendly surfaces too. Remember the semifinal at the T20 world-cup between Ind n SA. Though it was low scoring, it remained a classic because of the way the bowlers bowled. Once there is balance between ball n bat, the game would be more and more interesting.

  • KevinKukreja on April 25, 2008, 23:36 GMT

    Kesavan buddy buddy, hold on, just enjoy the IPL party. We all know what it is. The purist inside all of us know its the premier form of cricket. What it is, is a premier party. Its for entertainment. This has been said over and over again. It seems you expected it to be something more academic. Thats why u got a shock. What can we do if you don't know whats going on. Clear your head and understand whats going on around you. Can I pass you a beer? Maybe you should have brought your own had you known this was a party.

  • saurgun on April 25, 2008, 23:18 GMT

    TO my concern IPL is bringing the audiences back to grounds which every other format is failing to do so,not because it has glamor and everything that he hates.

    But for the fact that a guy could come from work and could go to watch a match at 8 in the evening and comeback by 12 sleep and attend office next day!!!!! He says it all about television audiences now this is a format that is bring people back to stadiums.In every sense that augurs well for CRICKET.

  • PradeepRV on April 25, 2008, 22:11 GMT

    This article is probably the worst that I have read from Mr. Mukul. Reading this article felt like watching a Michael Moore movie: twisting the facts to present his likes/dislikes. If cricketers get paid some money, what is wrong with it. For "purists" (I don't know what that means anymore) like you, cricketers can't just keep playing test matches without feeding their families. I love cricket, test matches to ODIs to 20-20s. Each one has its charm. Furthermore, it really seems stupid to have "dead minutes" (just for the heck of it), when you can fill it with other kinds of entertainment. Wouldn't you say the Rajasthan Royals vs Deccan Chargers game as fun? I just felt really bad to see someone of your skill write such a bad article. The least you could have done was present both sides of the coin instead of reiterating the same old story of "purists".

  • sid09 on April 25, 2008, 21:34 GMT

    I strongly believe that 20/20 will render the 50 over game obsolete. However, I think Test cricket will continue to retain it place in the hearts and minds of cricket lovers for a long time. I also disagree with Mukul's point with respect to bowlers. You cannot compare the bowling averages of 20/20 with that of 50 over cricket or Test cricket. When 50 over cricket was introduced, it was the same story. Similarly over time, we will have benchmark for whats is a good bowling average in the 20/20 format and this will separate the good ones from the rest. i am also sick of all these old hags in Australia and UK who continue to disparage the IPL because they are not making any money on it. I think it is fabulous and I think it will go a long way in taking the game global, and eventually become an Olympic sport like baseball. This will give India one realistic chance at GOLD!!! Cheers everyone......

  • Alexk400 on April 25, 2008, 21:24 GMT

    I am all for 20/20 to succeed. 20/20 is a match for baseball game in USA. Also it will be instant hit in non playing cricket countries. This is the only way to spread cricket.

    I am all for more people to play cricket. Selecting 11 people out of 1 billion is unfair to rest of the people. Indian national team is democratic , quota based and somewhat racist selection by individual cricket board.

    I like club cricket resembling NFL. I hope IPL (major league) and ICL (minor league) succeed. Again do Indians has enough money to go watch cricket every two days?. i don't know.

    It is a start!. It has to start somewhere. Change is always detested by old guards. More country's play cricket the more interesting it gets. I detest country wide matches. Simply because it doesn't show different match ups, talent and skill. Pressure is not uniform. Playing for india (1 billion breathing around your neck) is difficult than playing for sri lanka or other smaller countries.

  • NarayanShankar on April 25, 2008, 21:21 GMT

    There is no doubt there is a cricketing format called Twenty/20 and it has a time and place. But if India, England, Pakistan and all the other cricketing countries have their own Twenty/20 tournaments, and the BCCI is already talking of 2 such tournaments every year, and there is also a Champions Trophy for Twenty/20 every year, all this will have to be added on to the ODIs and the Tests along with the ODI World Cup and ODI ICC Championship. Where will all this fit in? Something will have to give. Or the whole concept of cricket, particularly in India, will implode through greed and excess. There could also be a devaluation of Test cricket as that is harder work, requiring grit, character and long-term and deeper skills, with far less compensation.

  • Yashy on April 25, 2008, 20:55 GMT

    I think we need to put things in perspective. The purpose of sports(for the majority/masses) is to have quick fun, to have the taste of success and joy through their heroes. And it T20 or IPL is providing that, whats the harm in encouraging that.

    I appreciate the efforts made by this article to put forward some of the shortcomings of the format like lack of respect for bowlers and technique and mental skill, but we have to give it some time to evolve and come up with a much more amicable solution but praying for it to fail is just amateurish and unreasonable.

    One this is for sure if you like it or not T20 is here and its BIG and IPL will be its face for many years to come.

  • anyo on April 25, 2008, 20:48 GMT

    Good old cliche about change - "people resist change" and truth about life is that "change is inevitable". So my advise for Mukul Kesavan is to accept it. And if he doesn't like exciting 20-20 cricket which entertains, brings money into the game, gives younger players a platform and attract new fan base he should really chnge the channel to to watch some drama on Zee TV or star TV. There are plenty of us to enjoy T20. Thanks :-)

  • Anand_S on April 25, 2008, 20:38 GMT

    For all those who are against T20, come on guys, it is also another format of the game and a new challenge to the players. Just like we had test & ODI speacialists we will have T20 specialists too. Just like we had bowlers (McGrath Akram, Pollock, Murali) and batsmen (Ponting, Sachin, Kallis, Hayden) who were successful in tests & ODIs, we will have a buch of talented cricketers who will succeed in T20 too. If someone argues that playing well in T20 does not really indicate talent, think again, it is like saying people who do well in competitive exams which are objective are not as good as those doing well in exams that are descriptive. If u think it is biased in favor of batsmen, then each bowler now has to bowl only 4 good overs instead of 10. A bowler who bowls at an economy of 6 or 7 may still be considered a good bowler. Just like how more ODIs resulted in more result oriented test matches, we may have T20 teach bowlers how to bowl better at the death or some other improvement.

  • MandeepGhuman on April 25, 2008, 20:37 GMT

    There is nothing concrete in your dislike of IPL except the typical generational gap problem. Stars have been thrown into IPL to lure the viewers to a new concept, just as catalysts. They dont drive the IPL. They will eventually move out of limelight. As far as bowlers being mere spectators, why dont you realize that bowlers have a new challenge and circumstance to adapt to. Only something nicer will come out of it. And in the end, dont forget that the biggest achievement of IPL is a more even spread of money among the players and taking the control out of BCCI's hand for development of cricket in India. Thanks.

  • ghaski on April 25, 2008, 20:16 GMT

    This sounds very much like a rant from someone who went in with his mind made up to hate something, and came out, wonder of wonders, hating it. Every format of the game can be exciting - even galli cricket - haven't you ever played? You complain about Indian players who you did know. But for IPL the youngsters would have played only Ranji cricket in front of empty stadia. They are getting money, exposure, and a chance to rub shoulders with the greats. How else do you encourage talent? The hopes for failure have no logic - just because the football league is around for 100 years does not mean they did not have their first year. And I wonder if that year they got attention of a billion people. As per razzmatazz - think of this as opening gala ceremony - as the years go by the important will stay and trivial will go out. You are free to have your opinions, but common, no need to be such prune.

  • bbrian on April 25, 2008, 20:04 GMT

    Does Mukul really believe that only the bowlers are hard done? Then if he had followed the games he would realise that there were a few MAIDENS bowled already in the tournamnet. And that too by great bowlers? And also there were some failures by good batsmen too? If i had known what the next delivery holds i wont be watching these games, but at present I am on the edge of my seat. Can Mukul please let me know who will hit the most sixes in the next match?

  • crcketblaster on April 25, 2008, 19:53 GMT

    Mukul kesavan appears to be an orthodox cricket fan who would like to spend all 5 days in the hot sun watching a match that ends in a tame draw..C'mon mukul,this is 2008 and people want everything to happen in a jiffy..we can see from the crowds..(compare the crowds with that of the recently concluded test series)...If people like it,that should be fine..After all cricket is for people and players are like performers in a stage for audiences like us...:)

  • mustufa on April 25, 2008, 19:51 GMT

    There is a slight problem with the article, its an instant reaction, when a new thing is thrown it gets a lot of attention, too much sometimes, and then it balances itself out. Stop reacting like a mother of a first born, take it as it is, and watch it if you have to, no one is asking you to watch it if you don't like it. You sound more like a person out of place in the article, may be T20 is not for you.

    Test cricket in my opinion will enhance further because of this, it will get extra audience just because of the curiosity factor of the ones that want to see what is real cricket all about.

  • Bazinga1981 on April 25, 2008, 19:48 GMT

    I dont entirely agree with this article. Everyone knows T20 is loaded in favour of batsmen...but didnt we know this before the IPL started? Also did the writer watch the matches between Mumbai and Banglore,Mumbai and Chennai and Hyderabad and Rajasthan? These are the kind of matches cricket lovers long to watch. So to call the IPL a failure is a very extreme reaction. Also why is the writer hoping that the IPL will fail? Why grouse someone else their success?

  • Renard on April 25, 2008, 19:41 GMT

    Sounds to me like sour grapes. Cricket as a whole must embrace new concepts or roll over and give up. The same comments were around when one-day competitions were first introduced and now we couldn't survive without the money that the 50-over game brings in. The same is true of 20-20 cricket. We must use the income to further the cause.

  • gopirajan on April 25, 2008, 19:36 GMT

    A well written article.Already New Zealand is feeling the pinch with 3 of its leading cricketers incl their capt playing in the IPL while its team has reached England to play a test series.The concerned 3 players are slated to join the team later possibly to go straight into the test series without any practice & any serious tactical/technical discussions about the important series.Similarly the case with Australian cricketers.It is a pity that the senior officials of the ICC were present at the inauguration probably hosted and paid for by ICL eulogizing the IPL w/o bothering to realize that the IPL may sound the death knell for cricket as we know and appreciate.

  • Daaniyal on April 25, 2008, 19:36 GMT

    ah..Mr.Kesavan...

    you took the words right out of my mouth..this abomination that is T20 cricket is going to be the death of test cricket and first class cricket much faster than we think...

    and the IPL is just selling the glitz and the jingle jangle...not the substance and the hard yards that I have grown up watching..ie...Test cricket...that shows what class and skills exactly a player has...and frankly im offended that we have these cheesy and scantily clad cheer leaders to cheer on a team...we have never needed them at Gaddafi staduim at Lahore and neither have the crowds at Eden gardens needed them before as well...and the way the movie stars have hijacked the cricket is appalling...its not about the players...it seems as if its about them...its about shah rukhs next film and not about cricket...

    the sooner this IPL and T20 as a whole fail the better off we the true cricket fans will be...

    excellent article..

  • MasterClass on April 25, 2008, 19:19 GMT

    Well I just read Kumar Sangakkara's article which is in complete opposition to this. So the question is who do you believe? A through professional cricketer, arguably one of the best ever, or a commentator? You make your decision. My vote is with Sangakarra.

  • PVSS on April 25, 2008, 19:17 GMT

    Why the hell people are comparing about IPL with other forms of game. Am a great follower of the game and i love it so much that wherever I am i would follow the scores and stats perfectly. Also i would love to watch every single ball bowled in a test match. But i simply dont understand why there is a big fuss about this IPL. 20 20 is really a good thing and good to see some entertainment. This can be like cricket's version to enter olympics and am sure some of the countries from europe and america might get attracted to this.Cricket can go global easily. When ODI's were started ppl started curbing about that and they said it would take the beauty of test match. Now they complain about 2020. As far am concerned ODI's changed the way test matches are played and 20 20 would change the way ODI's are played.

  • gauravjn on April 25, 2008, 19:15 GMT

    Hi Mukul, Totally Disagree with you. Everything has a starting point. That the EPL has history of club football also at some point of time started new. People are getting entertained, players are enjoying, seeing international players hugging each other rather than swearing each other is way forward to the phenomena of globalization rather than country divide. Agreed that certain things are over done but i think thats because they didnt want to leave any stone unturned as their marketing strategy. With time it will become a great way to see cricket and the quality of bowling and fielding will get better. Pls stop being a pessimist and have a positve outlook n get some life.

  • Anniee on April 25, 2008, 18:51 GMT

    I totally agree with you. By reading this article, I don't feel like a loner anymore because everybody seems to love IPL and I hate it. I can't stand IPL, the reason...Cricket is nowhere to be seen, It's all about the bollywood stars, and money. I like T20 cricket but it seems that its taking over oneday and test cricket.How can cricket fans let this happen.. this thing is killing me. I just read a article that 37% English players are ready to retire for IPL or ICL, and few International series' have been cut back for IPL. Everybody has different opinion but I am sure there are few people in this world who share my opinion and by reading this article and some comments here I feel REAL CRICKET (TEST) and ONE DAY will not be taken over because as fans we care.

  • -Hilal- on April 25, 2008, 18:50 GMT

    Fair enough, Its clear this view of Mukul's is similiar to a conflict between The Old Generation Vs The Current Generation. My Mum would say music these days can never be compared to Willie Nelson..

  • antu007 on April 25, 2008, 18:49 GMT

    Well, Mukul seemed to have made up his mind (what to write) long before he actually wrote this piece. I agree that there is lot of glamour to this IPL matches (which he is upset about mostly) but then the good cricketing skills were not appreciated. I did not get, what is Mukul trying to prove or point? A lot of rubbish one-day and test cricket are also played these days, in terms of quality, I don't see him writing so critically about those then (?)

  • cricrazy05 on April 25, 2008, 18:38 GMT

    I totally disagree with Mukul. I think T20 is the most entertaining cricket, and I am not diminishing value of One day or Test. I am a die hard fan of cricket. But for many who aren't, T20 can serve as a great platform for the interest in cricket. I think over the years, it will generate more interest and fanbase for cricket. One thing which I should also mention is the absolute delight of watching all the greats from different teams playing together at a team. I think Ricky pointing playing with Ganguly, Kallis with Dravid, Dhoni with Hayden and many many more are just treat to watch. Its all out entertainment for the whole family.

  • yenjvoy1 on April 25, 2008, 18:37 GMT

    Kesavan you are an ignorant man. What game have you been watching? Anyone who loves and understands Cricket would have loved the last 2-3 matches in the IPL. The thriller in Chennai, when Mumbai's stand-in captain Harbhajan once again proved he is a man apart by bringing his team within touching distance of an improbable victory, and then Rajasthan vs Hyderabad, where Shane Warne showed his quality to win the match for his young team. In none of the games so far can anyone be accused of taking it easy. The players are playing for their professional pride and are giving their best. The Aussies are awesome and our local boys, the famous as well as the future stars, are giving a good account of themselves. Yusuf Pathan, Gony, Abhishek Nayar, Rohit Sharma are all shining. You're too dazzled by the razzmatazz it seems. Ignore the cheerleaders and fireworks and the mascost and try watching the game for a change.

  • JontyFan on April 25, 2008, 18:17 GMT

    Amen! Gen-X/Y/Z(whatever it is they are called) can take a hike. They are better off sticking to football/basketball and cricket is better off without them. Cricket doesn't need such crass T-20 loving fans.

  • saandhy on April 25, 2008, 17:50 GMT

    As for the cheerleaders its sad that a game has to take the help of skimpily dressed people to attract viewers. i am sure that at some point of time even the players get frustrated on hearing the same songs blaring in the stadiums and people looking at dancing girls rather than appreciating a great boundary, a great wicket or even a diving save in the outfield.Even if these cheerleaders are so necessary for bringing in crowds, they should be kept far away from the cricket field. At least the boundaries and the field are meant just for cricket purposes. Keep these cheerleaders in the stands or better have an area reserved for these cheerleaders and for people who want to have a look at them. No one will mind it if they perform during the break but not when a game of cricket is on. i would also add that I like T20 cricket but i don't think there's need of this much razzmatazz. Great players and great battles between bat and ball is the ultimate entertainment for everyone!

  • saandhy on April 25, 2008, 17:32 GMT

    i agree that some of the rules in t20 like free hit have tilted favors towards the batsmen. the major difference between t20 and 1 day cricket basically is that in t20, batsmen don't put a huge price on their wickets and so its bang bang from the start. So while bowlers have great chance of getting wickets they have a greater chance of being taken for runs due to the short boundaries. these short boundaries are ridiculous. i agree with Mr. Mukul Kesavan that the ICC has been wrong in introducing new rules in favor of batsmen which take the basic venom out of the game. its slowly becoming a batsman vs batsman game rather than a batsman vs bowler game. my opinion is that T20 should have new rules which should favor bowlers as the format itself makes life easier for batsmen. if the ICC goes on bringing out further new free hit type rules then there should be no bowler in a T20 game. A bowling machine could serve the purpose. right?

  • doctorwho on April 25, 2008, 17:14 GMT

    i am a big fan of cricinfo and tell all my friends how cool this website is but this was surely the first time anything i found on this amazing website waste and full of narrow mindedness. take a chill pill , we all know IPL is not going away. sit back and relax and enjoy this amazing game. cheers!

  • putrevus on April 25, 2008, 17:04 GMT

    Mukul, where were you when 20-20 started I didnt see any articles against 20-20 started , now IPl is the devil for playing 20-20 , you need to grow up.

  • Vishu13681 on April 25, 2008, 16:38 GMT

    The basic problem with Kesavan si that he's a dinosaur. Not unlike the stuffed shirts who used to run the game he's afraid to accept change. Got news for you pal...whether you like it or not T20 is here to stay.

  • Gundus11 on April 25, 2008, 16:37 GMT

    This was a long and boring column. I wouldn't say that IPL would replace test/ODI cricket, but, I don't understand why people don't like few changes here and there.Why not look at IPL this way?A entertainment for 3 hours, you don't need a die-hard fan to watch the match.Other sports like soccer, basketball etc. bring in more TV audience because they get over within 3 hours.This means more money in to the game, that would mean better facilities and better infrastructure. This format allows young Indian players share the dressing room with the legends- Mcgrath imagine!!!They might not talk too much, but the very fact that u r sitting next to a legend would be such a confidence.Who wouldn't wanna hear "Well bowled boy" from Mcgrath? Lets watch test cricket to taste the real cricket but, a month of IPL is nothing to be worried abt

  • Polikepahad on April 25, 2008, 16:28 GMT

    This is a very biased and extremely narrow minded way of analyzing a format of the game. McGrath and his squad has bowled some of the best spells in IPL. So, dont say its not "for" the bowlers. Ofcourse, depending on the pitch some games are definitely high scoring than others. But its unfair to say that bowlers are nothing but "extras" in this format. IPL has many advantages to the traditional formats of cricket. Its fast and more entertaining. WHo has time to sit at home to watch a game for the whole day or over 3 days now-a-days.

  • Lateralis on April 25, 2008, 16:22 GMT

    I don't wholly agree with the article, but I too want to see the IPL die a death. In principle it could be great for (global) cricket, great financially and all that jazz. However, I have a real fear that Test cricket will suffer, permanently and catastrophically as a result.

    For me, test cricket is real cricket. This Twenty20 game is good as a quick wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am affair, but it is in Test matches where the skill - both mental and physical - of a player is truly tested over prolonged periods of time. And only the best from each country should perform in Test matches - letting in any old second rate riff raff would diminish the contest. It would therefore be a great shame if the IPL - or any other glitzy yet shallow and crass tournament - took quality players away from their national sides.

    So whilst the IPL can be fun with all the razzmatazz, can we keep our feet on the ground and heads on our shoulders, please?

  • ProudCharger on April 25, 2008, 16:16 GMT

    Mukul,this article is a low grade rubbish with high doses of pessimism. I believe this will be good to expand cricket and by expanding it will bring in more people and eventually lift the standard of cricket. Test cricket will stay here because that is the purest form of cricket and the elite will test and measure themselves in this format. The only effect will be on oneday's(fewer) and rightly it should take that, because it was created so that people can get involved in it. With the busy schedules which every body has, I think T20 is the right way to introduce cricket to people. Glamour and razmatazz can be used woo girls kids and others who have less concentration stamina for cricket. I think the right amount of T20 will help nations like WI,NZ, ZM where trend of cricket as a main sport is shifting to other games. It will stop the errosion at grass root levels and make more kids pick cricket as their main sport, so thus become future test players. I love Cricket in any form.

  • grameshk on April 25, 2008, 16:01 GMT

    There is nothing sacred about Test cricket. It was also invented by men and the aim was entertainment and not some kind of cricketing salvation as some venerable pundits would have us think. The skills, the artistry and nuances of the classical game have developed over the years within the constraints of its format. In a similar way, T20 cricket will also create its own skills, artistry and nuances. And given the intensity of the game, this might happen much quicker - and quite soon, we might see the equivalents of Tendulkar and Lara in this format too - and a new set of pundits may wax eloquent about the subtleties of this format. The last two close games in the IPL has shown this format's potential to generate a whole range of emotions and passions just like the older formats. There is no doubt that this is genuine cricket and what is good, the enjoyment is condensed to suit the exigencies of modern life.

  • cricketmama on April 25, 2008, 15:25 GMT

    Interesting point about 11 batsmen having 20 overs to make merry. I wonder what would happen if only 6 batsmen were allowed to bat per innings?

  • theopener on April 25, 2008, 15:19 GMT

    This article is probably coming from someone who has never played cricket in his life.I am a cricketer and love playing the sport so no matter what the format is I will always come out and play the game.T20 may not be your traditional cricket game but it is the way of the future.The game is more compressed with higher intensity and full of drama fit into 4 hours of match.Test cricket is way too long and ODIs have the 20-35 overs phase where everything seems dull and out of focus. Watching ODIs is like wasting a whole day for excitement of 2 hours.All T20 has done is provide casual cricket fan to get accustom to the game in a smaller phase and all it's going to do is attract more people to the sport.There is going to be more opportunity for younger people and provided the excitement it's going to bring tourism to India.IPL is just going to flourish in future because of the fan base is going to grow and rivalries are going to be formed between clubs. Writer lacks knowledge about cricket.

  • Dragon129 on April 25, 2008, 15:16 GMT

    Me again - the razzmataz will disappear in time. When the English Premier League started Sky tried to jazz up proceedings by trouping out the "Sky Dancers" before the match, letting off a battery of fireworks before every game and wheeling out low-rent pop stars out to caterwaul at crowds of uninterested fans. It was derided as crass and showy, but it was part of dragging the sport from its parochial and hooligan-sullied past to what is widely regarded as the best (in terms of entertainment and player's wages) in the world. The unnecessary glitz and glamor were part of the initial re branding, but soon disappeared due to lack of interest on behalf of fans who, they realised, had stumped up to watch football, not pom-poms. These are early days, and birth-pangs are painful: time will wash away the unnecessary dirt and leave what is worth having.

  • GrahamLloyd on April 25, 2008, 15:08 GMT

    Nice article Mukul Kesavan. I thought I was the only cricket lover to detest 20/20 garbage. 50 over is bad enough. We true cricket lovers do not want fireworks, dancing girls, music, air headed celebrities etc but a proper contest between bat and ball and the traditional values that cricket once stood for. You only have to look at the type of people that 20/20 attracts to see what rubbish it is and what detriment it is doing to the game. Lets all hope that 20/20 is soon consigned to the scrapheap where it belongs.

  • Cricketfan73 on April 25, 2008, 15:04 GMT

    Excellent article.. Twenty 20 cricket will destroy the real form of cricket (Test cricket). Real cricket fans prefer test cricket because it showcases the true talent of both batsmen and bowlers. It can be compared to a game of chess even.. Don't get me wrong..Twenty 20 cricket is exciting..but it takes a lot away from the real game. The IPL is all about money..

  • ManWithWings on April 25, 2008, 14:52 GMT

    All I can say is change is the only thing that will remain constant. I think the author is really afraid to change! T20 is here to stay as the cricket is exciting and it is fun to watch the cream of International players fighting hard. And the inspiration is money for them to perform...If you don't perform, your price drops and your market vanishes... so hardcore competition will be a sure thing...

  • digitaleye on April 25, 2008, 14:37 GMT

    I just checked the bowling stats of the concluded matches on cricinfo. Glen McGrath has been the best bowler of the tournament so far. Following his lead are bowlers like Ishant Sharma, Bret Lee, Mohd Asif, Irfan Pathan, and Scott Styris. The bowlers who got tanked are the mediocre breed like Shreesanth, Maharoof, and Munaf Patel. There is absolutely nothing surprising about either of this list. The batsmen who have made the runs are those big-hitters who have been routinely doing well in ODI cricket. So there is absolutely no ground to dismiss T20 as some kind of a cheap version of the much hallowed regular cricket. Change happens, get used to it.

  • Prash on April 25, 2008, 14:31 GMT

    Here is a question. Why do you WANT it to fail? What is the reasoning? It is obivious that the IPL has added money, increased the game profile and provided opportunity to people (not just the players).

    FYI- 20/20 is much closer to the game I play and have played as a kid, and I am sure, what most commoners do play when they have the time. I am sure you will find that degrading to the game as well.

  • Prash on April 25, 2008, 14:27 GMT

    Not a news article but rather seems to be a self indulgent rant. Glitz and glamour aside, the cricket has been fun and interesting and the skills required in this format, though different, has been demanding. No one who watched yesterday's match can say otherwise- unless of course, you have an agenda.

    What is the alternative? The ICC back stabbing politicos and the crap fest of a world tour with meaningless ODIs? No thanks. Interestingly, 20/20 is one of the longest form of professional sport when compared to soccer, football, baseball etc.

    Lastly, what's wrong with players making money? Seriously. So many "pundits" act as if making money diminishes the love for the game? It seems more bitter than anything else. Things change- get used to it. In fact, I have always been thought that if you love what you do, you will be successful. I am glad to see professionals who are being rewarded for doing what they love.

  • Shantan on April 25, 2008, 14:27 GMT

    I agree almost entirely with the article. IPL will kill Test Cricket and make millionaires out of teenagers for achieving nothing. I don't grudge them earning their money, but they really haven't achieved much to make that much money.

    I am a traditional cricket lover and love Test Cricket more than any other form of cricket. I hate cricket where the bowler is a 2nd class citizen and that's why I sincerely hope genuine cricket lovers (I hope there are lot's of such people!) don't encourage the death of the bowlers by watching Twenty20.

    In the EPL, Baseball, American Football & Basketball, the rules of the game are never compromised. In Twenty20, it's very rare to see the skills of Shane Warne or Glenn McGrath or Murali. All we see are big heavy bats swinging across the line and making a mockery of bowlers.

    Please put an end to this nonsense called Sport & Entertainment! Indian cricket public deserve better than Mr. Modi and his troupe!!!

  • WPDDESILVA on April 25, 2008, 14:16 GMT

    Hi Mukul, 100% agree. To be honest I think cricket will completely vanish in the next 10 yrs. This game will be called something else, not cricket. Cricket has it's own supporters and it doesn't need this sort of boost, besides if you're not brought up in a cricket playing country or a background you will never understand the value of the game. I don't think there will be a place for another Lara or a Tendulkar for this game, anyone who can slof the ball is the next Brian Lara!! It's a shame. Most of the players say it's good for the game but hey......they don't care as long as their bank account is credited by the Franchise!

  • Rahul_Y on April 25, 2008, 14:15 GMT

    Mr.Mukul, I am totally disappointed with your comments on IPL. Would cricket have been this popular in INDIA had the one day internationals not been started in the early 70's and INDIA winning the 1983 world cup? A lot of Indian public hooked up to cricket by watching one day games and they slowly started enjoying the test cricket. I love test cricket also, but in the past 6 years I had not watched a full 5 day test on TV as I do not find time. I just follow the scores or watch highlights. Except in England, Australia and India I don't see any stadium getting filled for a test match. If this continues the game of cricket will be a thing of the past. If cricket has to compete with games like football and tennis it needs to evolve. But I think 20-20 is a nice platform for the expansion of cricket and to bring in new fans to the game.

  • ConstableVee on April 25, 2008, 14:08 GMT

    This guy has some valid points. The only thing is, all his criticism is completely negative, and rather forced. He's obviously trying to be "different" and wants to give it a bad name. Although what he says does not matter one bit, because the quality of cricket and team spirit showed in the IPL matches the international level. Ricky Ponting cheering Ishant Sharma every ball, Shahid Afridi sledging Warne in the middle of the pitch, fielders giving it their all. This isn't low-grade rubbish...........this is cricket.

  • Hyd_Fan_1 on April 25, 2008, 14:04 GMT

    I don't agree with this column. This is truly first time in entire cricket history that all teams in a tournament are equally balanced. Every game is interesting as you don't who is going to win. The balance of the game changes with every over and it is really thrilling. Except for 2 games in the tournament every game has been thrilling.

    Even tournaments like the ICC world cup were boring as the games were almost never competitive. Give are take 2 or 3 games in the entire 2 month tournament, you could always predict the winner.

    I think Mr Kesevan fails to understand the competitive angle of the game. Who would like to watch a couple of beautiful out swingers and a couple of copy book cover drives in a dead game that last for 8 hours?

    Mr. Kesevan needs to enjoy 20-20 cricket and IPL. Evolution is an ongoing process people always adopt it. Time will tell if IPL is a success or not.

  • atuljain_1981 on April 25, 2008, 13:52 GMT

    Mr. Mukul ,

    what sort of cricket u find interesting n engaging enough? this is the best possible learning experience for unknowns as mentioned in your article to get a feel of top class cricket with some of the greats. also, never ever presume that cricket is a bowler friendly game. it never was n can never be. its only the brilliance of an individual or a 22 yard pitch which can make it otherwise. its not to say that low scoring games aren't worthy but a nice balance always depends on the players involved. most important of all it is giving good value for money for all the people involved.

  • Biso on April 25, 2008, 13:51 GMT

    Mukul, I am so sorry to say that I have found your article loaded with misplaced bias and utter rubbish.Hitting sixes and fours with regularity needs lots of skill and talent. Big shots do need the elementary aspects of batsmanship. A good hand eye co-ordination , balance , use of the body for giving power behind a shot,synchronous body movement and timing are things which do not come merely with training.It needs talent. T-20 is all about display of talent. A Rahul Dravid may be a great modern day batsman. But,I consider him an incomplete athelete as he lacks the ability to play the big shots with regularity. A Vivian Richards is a more complete batsman who combined technique,concentartion,tremendous hand eye co-ordination, terrific reflexes,fast trunk rotation,footwork, bat speed, teperament, power , skill and courage. Sachin has lot of all that in him too.Of all these atributes, only technique can be drilled into a player.Mukul!, you have exposed yourself.

  • Biso on April 25, 2008, 13:50 GMT

    Mukul, I am so sorry to say that I have found your article loaded with misplaced bias and utter rubbish.Hitting sixes and fours with regularity needs lots of skill and talent. Big shots do need the elementary aspects of batsmanship. A good hand eye co-ordination , balance , use of the body for giving power behind a shot,synchronous body movement and timing are things which do not come merely with training.It needs talent. T-20 is all about display of talent. A Rahul Dravid may be a great modern day batsman. But,I consider him an incomplete athelete as he lacks the ability to play the big shots with regularity. A Vivian Richards is a more complete batsman who combined technique,concentartion,tremendous hand eye co-ordination, terrific reflexes,fast trunk rotation,footwork, bat speed, teperament, power , skill and courage. Sachin has lot of all that in him too.Of all these atributes, only technique can be drilled into a player.

  • vivektrivedi on April 25, 2008, 13:49 GMT

    i am glad that somebody came up by saying that this league is doing no good to cricket. i am a hardcore supporter of cricket i enjoy watching and playing cricket. i watched few matches on tele and realised that its not my cup of tea. League matches in IPLT20 just don't feel like proper cricket, honestly speaking every match looks like i am watching repeat telecast of last days match because everytime it starts in the same way and ends in the same way, i missed that excitment even if it was a very close game. EPL and IPL have no comparison EPL has a huge fan base and every team knows what their fans want and it took them ages to form that fan base, IPL has tried to invert the basics and provided with unnecessory media mixed potpourri and trying to force cricket fans mind it "cricket fans" to eat this...and trust me it has no taste whatsoever.... I hope it will DIE and we will be back to basics and enjoy proper cricket once again....

  • Lait on April 25, 2008, 13:44 GMT

    This is the most rubbish article I have read in a long long time.

    While cricket is all about spirit, players and mutual respect... we see every bit of it and then it doesn't matter if it is Twenty20 or 50 over one-day match. Its high on entertainment, its not being played on the street, the whole world's cricketers are in India and all playing against each other... It brings in kind of mutual respect for players.

    You don't make sense Mukul. Go get a nap.

  • Doosra01 on April 25, 2008, 13:41 GMT

    Hi Mukul, You must be watching some other games to the ones I watched. The batting has been as good as it gets in some of the games! Yes, there have been a few edges that have flown to the boundary but the clean hitting I have seen from Rohit Sharma and Kaif shows great talent. Also the current test players are supposed to be good so I won't bore you with their efforts. The bowling of guys like Gony and Zaheer shows that there is talent there that can help India win games. Gony in particular I enjoyed because for the first time I saw an Indian bowler build like Watson or Lee and bowling at a decent pace. I also saw RP Singh and Pathan realise that they can't bowl 130 KPH and get away with it. Both were touching 143+ in the matches I saw. So why can't they do this in test matches? Time to get fitter?

    Finally, Warnie has shown that a team that works together is always better than a team that thinks it should win because it has the bigger stars. I hope to see in the final Mate

  • austin123 on April 25, 2008, 13:37 GMT

    Mr. Kesavan,

    What do you think of packed stadiums? People enjoy IPL...Journalists are so used to criticising BCCI that they CANNOT ACCEPT the success of IPL (read as BCCI) on this occasion...pl. be objective.

  • r1m2 on April 25, 2008, 13:31 GMT

    I think this article is not the best work by Mukul. I think IPL has done an amazing job in commercializing cricket. Only thing that needs to change is the closed mentality of the old-fashioned cricket conservatives. It would be a sin to not capitalize on T20 popularity and let go of the purses to be earned by the players. Actually T20 should kill off the ODI format of the game. That is the most boring and baseless format of the game. Test cricket offers purification for the soul and some classical entertainment whereas T20 ought to be the most popular format. It's pop-music equivalent for cricket i.e. pop-cricket. There are still many people who'd sit around for hours to listen to one musical piece (but not a majority), whereas there are more people who wants to get their music fix from several 2-3 mins pop stuff from Britney Spears, Fiddy Cents etc. The point is both Test cricket and T20 will remain popular, just the crowd will be different and I think that should happen.

  • veina on April 25, 2008, 13:25 GMT

    The article deserves the trash can. Waste of time. Even all test matches or ODIs are not interesting. Likewise some matches will be dull or too one sided. But to bash the concept I think is too much. Give it time. Mukul's first article too was a wash out. Only with experience has he improved. He has regressed in this article but that doesn't mean he is not a good writer. Get the drift?

  • Bangcric on April 25, 2008, 13:17 GMT

    What a time-appropriate write-up! It seems there are still some people who know and love the finer points of cricket. Everyone has the right to his/her opinion, but please think hard how adversely not only IPL, but also, T20 in general is hurting the game. IPL is bringing fun to people, and of course most people like it. Therein, lies the problem. We need instant gratification in any way, shape or form. Someone was saying good bowlers still do well. That is not true in general, where the format is so much loaded against the bowlers. Why don't we let robots bowl. That would be so much fun. Cricket was always popular in India. Did they need something like this to make the game more popular? This is making the players richer in a very disproportionate manner. Finally, if local players need to brush their skills with top world players, why can't someone bring them in for longer format of the game? See how unimportant New Zealand's tour of England have become. All news is on IPL.

  • chazzy on April 25, 2008, 13:15 GMT

    The article is pathetic, and so are some of the views, Mukul. IPL excites us and irritates you not because the cricket that's played is low class, but becoz there is so much for everyone to gain from it. There is nothing wrong in minting money out of a game. No one criticizes the game of Golf that awards its players in millions over a mediocre game of hitting a ball, at one's convenience. to some hole. Ishant and Uthappa are paid for totally different reasons, some of them which you cannot comprehend. They are young, exciting and promise to deliver the goods in the shorter format of the game, unlike the Old warhorses who are much more suited to the longer and classier versions of the game. IPL has always been, and will continue be cricket for me. Glamour hardly deviates the attention for cricket, because the level of competition is too much. Young Indian players stand to gain a lot from this format. Though I agree with some of your points that go against IPL as a successful model.

  • drvachan on April 25, 2008, 13:07 GMT

    Dear Mukul, You address the IPL from your "cricket conservative's" point of view. Sadly the attention span of the indian cricket fan is very short(dont you remember Sachin being booed at Wankhede!). So credit to the Modi's and Sanford's of the world for trying to cash in. It is business remember, and only this time cricket is the medium. I hope Moses/ Midas whatever we call him and his colleagues have thought of the downstream effects of this format. I also hope somehow the success of the this format is going to improve the facilities/ resources available to first class cricketers.

  • vip76 on April 25, 2008, 13:05 GMT

    Sorry to say....I dont see any sense in this article. It seems someone paid Mr Mukul a lot of money to write an article just to keep the debate hot. If he is saying IPL matches were low grade cricket may I please ask his opinion on the recent series between Pakistan and Bangladesh which was not a T20. So far, I have enjoyed every moment of all the IPL matches. besides in such busy schedule - personal and work - how often do you find time to sit and watch a complete one day and appreciate a batsman or bowler's skill, leave aside Test matches. For me T20 is a quick way to enjoy myself and have that rush of Adrenalin. It is honestly a good way for me to relax with my busy daily life.

  • Optimistix on April 25, 2008, 12:54 GMT

    I love test cricket too but only the most hopelessly partisan person could call the cricket played in the IPL so far "low grade rubbish" - a serious lack of objectivity there, Mukul.

    There has been a lot of high quality stuff, but jaundiced eyes can not see clearly, I guess. If you could, you'd realize that many of the Indian players who aren't in the national team, are actually getting recognition via the IPL.

    Lastly, your article reeks of elitism - regardless of whether cricket would be better off with T20 and the IPL, the world be better off without elitism. Of any sort.

  • Sach.S on April 25, 2008, 12:43 GMT

    Can't agree with you more, Mukul.

    Call me old fashioned if you must, but I love to see five days of hardly faught Test cricket than this 'masala' version of cricket - well, it can hardly be called cricket anymore...

    To be honest, I did enjoy seeing rivalries that you wouldn't in normal cricket. To see Sanga facing Murali or Gilchrist against Warne is something you don't always see. But that's only for a while... Then the thrill wears, and you realize that it's a forced rivalry that exists as long as money exists. Come the next season, those who faught against each other will be in same team and the current teammates will be fighting against each other, again for a short while... No real contest and no real substance. It's not cricket...

    But Mukul, I'm afraid that your hopes that it won't be a success won't be hapenning. I'm afraid that this will be a so called 'hit' just like in Bollywood. I don't see this failing, because you and me are in a rare breed...

  • mrpopodopolous on April 25, 2008, 12:40 GMT

    Posted by ashok16 on April 25 2008, 06:55 AM GMT,

    Well are you talking about India or Test cricket at large, as people pack out the stadia in England (except at Durham).

  • switchgrind68 on April 25, 2008, 12:23 GMT

    Well .. I feel this article is too harsh and loaded with a bit of baseless stuff. I really don't think Mr.Mukul is a true blue cricket fan . There have been some brilliant spell by bowlers as well . Like Mcgrath, Zaheer, Asif, Warne and Ishant . The innings played by Mcullum, Hussey and Sehwag have been real quality innings and in Symonds' case his innings was more about brute power . T20 cricket is certainly loaded in favour of batsmen but the batsmen have to be quality players to be able to take advantage of the batsmen friendly conditions. So Mukul you really need to start enjoying Twenty20 cricket and the IPL in particular.

  • CrazyLunatics on April 25, 2008, 12:19 GMT

    What a prejudiced article by Mukul!!Such myopic vision assures that it is coming from a man who himself have never played cricket.I myself am no big fan of IPL but just to cite the example of probably the worst match in the tournament(or maybe the second worst match) and branding the overall play as poor is just pure tosh and nonsense.Cricinfo should not resort to these tactics which can at best be termed as sensationalist journalism at its best.Mr Kesavan I am also a cricket purist and I also firmly believe that the real test of quality happens in the rigors of the 5 day test matches but the way you took away the credit of those wonderful innings from Brendan and Hussey leaves you in very poor light as a person who just can't come to terms with the changing times.

  • varunvatsy on April 25, 2008, 12:00 GMT

    Mukul,i am with you.these organisers are casting a spell on cricket so much that cricket has become only for pure entertainment rather than for the cricket itself.what they are doing is that they are showering crores of rupees on players and they themselves are getting tonnes of crores. Usually grounds in india are so small,they bring up the boundary so nearer that even mis-hits are huge sixes.That only pours money does no good to cricket.The sight of legspinner piyush chawla being belted for sixes when he flights the ball worries me as a hardcore cricket fan.how can a youngster learn tricks of bowling when he is not allowed to experiment. I want the organizers to at least not to bring the boundary line inside.Damn who would want to be a bowler after seein these young men belted for sixes.The name T20 may itself bring money to the organisers so why shorten boundaries!!only a layman who doesn't know cricket can enjoy this.

  • thestunner316_15 on April 25, 2008, 11:58 GMT

    Yeah agree with you on this one Mukul, OK cricket is exciting to an extent and we are moving forward. But this is just not cricket. I hope this does not go on for more than 3 weeks a year. Rest of the time should be allocated for real cricket. i.e. Test and ODI cricket. To me this looks like a contest between 2 teams - Who hits the ball longest?? Not a contest between bat and ball. Even if it is T20 it should be a contest between bat and ball. That goes the same for 50 Ov cricket and test cricket. We saw the 3 test matches bet India and South Africa. 1st test was pathetic since there was no contest. It was just a question of who can hit more runs. I liked the 3rd test more because it tested the skills of the batsmen. They didnt get anything on a platter... And what happens? People said its a terrible wicket... infact it produced a very good match.

  • arun.ks on April 25, 2008, 11:49 GMT

    I beg to defer to the views and the perspective the author has seen this new epoch of cricket. In one part of the snippet it was mentioned that the people in his bay didn't even know the Indian players name who were playing the game. I guess that is the exact reason why this IPL window was introduced. There are 2 things, one the local indian players get to share the lime light with the foreign players, two they get to think out of indian strategies. The fun part i am not much concerned though but i guess there is nothing wrong in doing in these extras. The bowlers gets to be clobbered all over the park by the batsmen, Yes I completely agree to it but i guess this is the only chance for the young budding indians to play alongside the greats of the game and thereby rising their bar to international level. This also gives an opportunity to prove if some young talents can handle the international pressure and to the Selectors to pick them for the national side.

  • din7 on April 25, 2008, 11:39 GMT

    I think IPL is a total failure of money and cricket. It will make cricket popular only in countries where it is already popular.It will soon destroy cricket as it is just a TAMASHA. Think to my point,it is going to happen! I am 100% confident.

  • MAVAW76 on April 25, 2008, 11:38 GMT

    The 3 players you singled out (McCullum, Viru and Hussey) so happen to have very credible test records. The fact that they have done well to date in the Twenty20 format has everything to do with their gift and should be lauded.

    Hitting boundaries which include launching sixes on a regular basis requires a hell of a lot of skill, courage and belief in one's own ability. Unfortunately, among certain circles (especially by those who never really play the game at a decent level), being able to do so is synonymous with slogging or not playing "proper cricket shots"(whatever that means).

    I do not agree that "the cricket played thus far has been low-grade rubbish" or that the exploits of McCullum, Viru and Hussey "tell us more about the bowler's predicament in the Twenty20 format than the batsman's gifts".

    Do not be so set in your ways Mukul! Appreciate the different kind of skills and gifts on offer.

  • TestFanatic on April 25, 2008, 11:29 GMT

    One wonders how easily the definition of a good spell of bowling has changed. Agreed that Mcgrath, Warne etc bowled tight containing spells. One would expect that from the champion bowlers. But where is the joy of watching warnie weaving his magic over the batsmen? Even he disappointed in the match aginst the Chargers, bowling much flatter than normal.

    If 50 over one day cricket could reduce Harbhajan into the bowler he is, bowling 100 k shooters when he did so well flighting and teasing the aussies a few years back, one is scared t0 think what 20-20 can do to a bowler's psyche. After all bowling is about buying your wickets, not getting them cheaply as is likely to happen when everyone's just flailing their arms and bats around.

    And batsmen? If hitting a six every few balls is going to be termed success get all the baseball champs here. They'll do better and Modi wouldn mind teams paying a few million extra to get Barry Bonds down to showcase his home run prowess out here.

  • jack_richards on April 25, 2008, 11:19 GMT

    IPL would,ve been much better if it was in the ODI format. I have no idea why twenty20 was chosen. Bakayaro

  • Magarmuch on April 25, 2008, 11:12 GMT

    This whole article is low-grade rubbish. At one point this dude is saying that there is no help for the bowlers, and then he goes to say that the Delhi vs Rajasthan match was a street match. What exactly does he really want. I love all three forms of the game. They are all different and have their own charm.

  • Shripal_69 on April 25, 2008, 10:58 GMT

    What cannot Mukesh kesavan seem to comprehend? The BCCI, with the introduction of the IPL has seem to broken the way cricket is played, ruled and even more governed. The BCCI didn't invite film stars to purchase the franchises. India has a huge potential and certain film stars decided they should buy in. Unfortunately, they are a few people who think they invented cricket and hence should have the sole right to control it (and rake in the money albeit they are always late or a bunch of bureaucratic executives) and are either jealous of cricketers and other Cricket boards earning a lot of money. I think its high time that professional journalists stop criticizing the IPL or the BCCI because of the fact that if the IPL hadn't been introduced by the BCCI, there was a high chance that none of the other boards would have done it. With all the glamour, glitz, music and stunts, and specially the bollywood stars, i think its much better that the dull summer season of most cricketing nations!

  • masterblaster666 on April 25, 2008, 10:56 GMT

    Some more food for thought for the cynics: every batsman who has scored a century in either international T20 or the IPL has at least one Test century to his name. T20 will suit crass wild hitters I heard!!! Now who will explain Mr.Cricket's phenomenal Test average to me?

  • iceman87 on April 25, 2008, 10:55 GMT

    come on mukul....dont be too traditional...if the ipl's gonna be an event for about 44 days, its not going to harm test cricket at any level.it would be blasphemous to think it can affect great batsmen like sachin, rahul et al.And the razzmatazz that we are made to see is due to a highly lame and incompetent broadcaster.I,can vouch for the fact that a broadcaster like channel9 or espn here would have made this IPL more into a cricketing event than the fancy stuff it is now. Bowling can be fun in this format too...look at warney's bowling.The quality bowlers will remain what they are.Just that due to the format the economy rates you see will be a bit exaggerated. The only thing you made of note was the paying public.Due to the free tickets being doled out the real cricket appreciating people aren't there.Hope it'll change for better in some time. Till then I hope you get your pessimistic hat off and enjoy some exciting game of ipl rather than an epl one!!!

  • CricketPissek on April 25, 2008, 10:40 GMT

    Here's my view as a Non-Indian, Non-Englishman... I think a Premier League system potentially can be superb, but limiting it to T20 will make it the world's most expensive implosion. I say, Scrap meaningless 6-7 match ODI tournaments and Afro-Asia Cups (the same way the Sharjah Tourney was stopped) and use this league system to play the majority of One day (full 50 over and a few T20) matches. Then use the skills developed this way to play meaningful World Cup / Asia Cup / Champion's Trophy / World Twenty20 tournaments.... Over time if 4-5 countries have a uniform premier league system this could be an incredible breeding ground for test cricketers and it could be the best first class system.

  • G111 on April 25, 2008, 10:16 GMT

    What an article Mr.Mukul!Honestly,I wonder,have you been watching the cricket?..It has been of top class,the cricket,the players and the entertainment.You should be the only one who thinks Test cricket provides the ultimate entertainment!Tell your players to play without any crowds,Every sport is a form of entertainment and people come to watch it only because it entertains not because its played!Test cricket might have been entertaining years ago,but thats not what the younger generation wants,Hope the writers like you change with time!You seem to be baseless in your blaming of T20 cricket!T20 is here and its here to stay!

  • sulsinslough on April 25, 2008, 10:06 GMT

    Good article that. I cant for the life of me get excited about this pro-am venture. I'm glad everyone is so happy to get a glimpse of their favourite movie stars (whats wrong with going to the cinema instead)... but will they be so smug when test cricket and all the disciplines it forces on a player becomes irrelevant. Which upcoming youngster will bother perfecting the forward defence when the cross bat hoik over cow corner will pay him so better.

  • chandras on April 25, 2008, 10:02 GMT

    Hi Mukul, I have a simple question to you. Is it written anywhere that only the players should throw their shirts.? I dont find any logic in this. A player/viewer who is deeply involved in the match will do it. So stop critising others and think positively.

    Rgds Bangaru

  • Kanicha13 on April 25, 2008, 10:02 GMT

    Mukul as an Indian you should be backing the IPL.We as indians are becoming market leaders in most fields nowadays and instead of embracing this status there is always a small minority who have a problem with everything. As far as the cricket goes I think it is better for the game to have shorter games that is suited to general working public.Who is going to watch a game of cricket during working hours. Sports are supposed to entertain the general public not just the pensioners and unemployed. So it is time to get real.

    The standard has been outstanding and the public has been entertained. Our youngsters can only benefit from learning from the greats of the game E.g. Shane Warne, Hayden etc.

  • Dragon129 on April 25, 2008, 9:45 GMT

    I am by nature a cricket purist, and find no greater pleasure than watching the full complexity of a five day test match - or even a four day county game. But, despite my initial scepticism and against my natural inclination, I am really enjoying the IPL. To see the best players in the world working together outside their normal country loyalties is fascinating, and the exchange of skills and development of batting styles will surely feed into other forms of cricket (and it is self-exlied English cricket that will be the poorer for it). The bowler is not extraneous in this form - McGrath continues to be effecitvely parsimonious,whilst Warne and Murali maintain their brilliance. It may be flashy and brash, but it is exciting. However I can't see it working in the UK-unlike India cricket (sadly) isn't the national game, and there is no weather-friendly point in the calendar left to squeeze it in.Test matches in the UK are still sold out - co-existance is possible. Floreat IPL.

  • Crick_Connoisseur on April 25, 2008, 9:42 GMT

    Like rattle of dry seeds in pods The warm crowd gently clapped. The boys who came to watch their gods, The tired old men who napped.

    The members sat in their strong deckchairs And sometimes glanced at the play, They smoked and talked of stocks and shares, And the bar stayed opened all day.

    - Last 2 stanzas from 'Cricket at Worcester' by John Arlott incapable of comprehension by T-20 fans

    These need to be modified thus:

    Like buzz of moths on well lit walls The electrified crowd wildly shaked. The boys who came to watch the gals The voyeuristic old men who gaped.

    The barons thronged in their air-con SUVs, And smiled at the sport's plight, They talked of TRPs, ROIs and NPVs And the strip show continued all night.

    May Lord save the sport!

  • doubledevil on April 25, 2008, 9:41 GMT

    The EPL as you like to draw comparison too also once had a start. Let me ask you this, if you had to ensure you're enjoyment AND the survival of cricket in one format(since you think a single timeframe is important) Which would you choose? I would think most cricket fans would choose T20s.

    Furthermore, your concept of bowlers being extras is completely false. Just because overs are more expensive does not mean there is no contest. The contest remains and is as evident as ever. There is always ebb and flow dictated by a brilliant innings or a brilliant spell!

  • six-sixes on April 25, 2008, 9:32 GMT

    Mukul,I do respect your feelings,but one must understand that times change.Yes it might all appear to be vulgar and too glitzy at times but there are some postive things which will come out of this.More youngsters will get a chance to play with the big guns and invariably talent will rub off-advantage India.Instead of going to a vulgar movie a family will head down to a sporting event,which is always a good thing.I am currently in Australia and the interest generated is quite fantastic.India is in the limelight now.It is no longer a poor,third world dirt bowl.IPL is also an opportunity to improve our infrastructure stadiums,toilets and coaching facilities.Success or not, only time will tell. Lets us make the best of a presumed bad thing.Three weeks into it -let us all give it some more time.Advantage India.

  • FulloToss on April 25, 2008, 9:31 GMT

    Mukul, contrary to your thoughts, I hope it works. I love the traditional game. I still go to see the county matches. But, I am quite enjoying the IPL matches. Its giving a lot of opportunity to people to know names of more than 11 players from their country. I follow ranji trophy too, but we know that 99% don't. Give it a chance to at least. Because, all this debate is about test cricket V t20, but we seem to forget that we are forced to watch meaningless ODIs as well. I hope we can find a balance between all the formats. By the way, do you remember that Pak just played an ODI series last week? Its giving financial security and an amazing learning opportunity to young players. How can you overlook that?

    Lastly, I have played some competitive cricket myself, and I can say with some certainity that every serious cricket player wants to play test cricket. I find your articles written in a rush and I find them hard to agree with. Quit it Mukul.

  • konkueror on April 25, 2008, 9:30 GMT

    I fear for the youngsters. What are they learning while watching this tamasha. The people who are praising T20 ignore the fact that the current generation of players (like Yauvrag, Dhoni, Afridi, Hussey) have developed their game watching and adoring Test cricket. I am afraid, after 10 years of IPL, the players will not be as good as current ones, even for T20. So T20 will kill cricket and itself.

  • jamrith on April 25, 2008, 9:26 GMT

    Mukul, I agree with you, the whole thing is contrived and a crashing bore; by all means, if that's what the market wants more power to them, but we can forget about cricket as we knew it. Time we all switched to football or baseball. And at the end of the day, India remaians at the bottom of the heap as a sporting nation, our hockey team didn't even make it to the Olympics nor do we have any medal hopes in any other sports, so just be satisfied with your chaat mix of T20 and Bollywood and wallow in decadence !! The real fun is going to start when self-serving politicians start spouting platitudes about Indian womanhood and take calculated digs (no pun intended) at the cheerleaders; of-course they will be bought off suitably no doubt !!

  • Sekhar_S on April 25, 2008, 9:11 GMT

    Untried version of the game with no history? Think again,this will create history.Noone expected EPL to create history at the time of its inception.Narrow geographical base?This is just the beginning.What's wrong in spectators catching a glimpse of their favourite stars for some time? After a few seconds,they are going to turn their focus on the game.

    If you thought T20 is a batsman's game,you are mistaken.Even Agarkar,who's known to give away too many runs,bowled well against Bangalore.You might say Bangalore is full of Test players and are unfit for T20.I ask,What was Virat Kohli doing? Or look at the way Joginder Sharma bowled in the T20 WC semifinal against Aussies,Mike Hussey in particular, and in the recent IPL match against Mumbai.You can either choose to look at the so-called razzmatazz and ignore the cricketing part or look at it from a point of view of Cricket.

  • Alhin on April 25, 2008, 9:11 GMT

    Mukul lost a point here, possibly an article form a conservative writer. Before 20 years it definitely would have taken him atleast 48 hours to made his article read by the public. But now the scenario is totally different and we are in an era modern technologies and other sophisticated things and why not in cricket. As long as it gives an entertainment to the cricket lovers it is OK.

    I suppose the same thing would have been told during the advent of ODIs.

  • IPLFan on April 25, 2008, 8:46 GMT

    Bowlers cast as extras? Is he watching the same tournament where McGrath, Asif, Zaheer, Ishant and Warne have played crucial roles in taking their teams to victories? In fact, what this format does is to magnify the difference between part-time bowlers and regular bowlers. Very soon teams will realize that they need to have 5 good bowlers and that can only boost the value of bowlers in cricket.

    As for the comments on glitz and glamour, yes, it is there, but what's wrong with it? If you look beyond that, cricket is of top class quality too.

    Just because you want Test cricket to survive, it doesn't mean you go around making baseless claims against T20. It only serves to reduce your credibility.

  • vswami on April 25, 2008, 8:35 GMT

    Mukul Your article lacks context and direction. *5 day test cricket is like fine wine .. very few people can afford it and the rest just dream of having it. Most people want to watch tests but do not have the time to do so. Maybe academicians and journalists like you have the time to do so, but most people who struggle to earn a living dont *20-20 is not here to replace test cricket, but to keep the interest in cricket alive. Your criticism of 20-20 is like a food connoisseur tasting fast food from McDonalds and advocating that it must fail and be banned. If what you are looking for is fine cricket, please do not watch and stay away. Its not meant for you *On money the one who caters to the least common denominator of society earns more. Every one knows the lack of acting ability of SRK, but he earns the big bucks, not Naseeruddin Shah. So are you going to regulate that ? If your argument is that test cricket will only survive if 20-20 is made to fail, test cricket will fail anyway.

  • sachin612 on April 25, 2008, 8:29 GMT

    Mukul, I have read several of yours articles. Every time I felt the same was that you are very orthodox, depressed and pessimistic guy, your glass is always half empty. You are one of those people who are stuck in the time. That is why you cannot see the new energy and entertainment IPL bring to cricket. In my opinion cricket was never been so lively and fascinating before.

  • masterblaster666 on April 25, 2008, 8:16 GMT

    Oh, and another thing, holding onto the idea that a cricket match of longer duration is necessarily always better than the shorter one is as pretentious as insisting that a great work of music must always be long enough to put you to sleep and that a short composition, even if instilled with all the genius in the world, is always mundane. I love a great Test match and every cricket lover ought to, I feel. But loving Test cricket does not entail blindly hating T20, it's still cricket and usually the cast of performers are not very different across the three forms of the game.

  • masterblaster666 on April 25, 2008, 8:10 GMT

    There's something to be said for preconceived notions when the writer summarily dismisses an idea and prays for its failure when it is but three matches in the making. It is ironic that you should say bowlers are mere extras in T20 when in precisely the match you watched, McGrath's miserly spell deflated the Royals. We have seen fine performances from Asif, Pigeon again, Pollock, Gony and best of all, Hollywood. If the crowd in Kotla was unresponsive, in Mumbai, they were intimidating, so says Boucher. Besides, since when was the subcontinent a happy hunting ground for bowlers anyway? And why weren't bowlers pitied when Australia couldn't defend 430-odd against SA in an ODI?? I understand that the media as a whole are pissed off at Modi and would love to see the IPL fail and I sympathize with that sentiment but don't try to play God because you then risk losing interest of your 'fanbase' - the readers, most of whom are possibly much younger than you and rather take after this idea.

  • thakela on April 25, 2008, 7:51 GMT

    I am a bowler myself and one thing I can point out definitely is that India won the T20 world cup not because of its batting, but because of a more allround performance (read controlled bowling).

    You talk about Delhi Daredevils match and you give a wrong example right there. Because Delhi is a team which has a very strong bowling lineup and they have shown how to bowl. The match with Rajasthan Royals was not about batting but bowling (and probably that is why the match looked the most boring of the tournament)

  • 1stSlip on April 25, 2008, 7:50 GMT

    Mukul. Thanks for your article which stimulates thought about the new IPL. For my part, I think that over time 20:20 time should and will adapt itself to satisfy many of the queries you have about this version of the game. Adapting one or two rules to even the balance between bowlers and batsmen would be easy to do. Overall, our starting pointof view with 20:20 must be a positive one because the 20:20 format is finally bringing big crowds back to cricket....something that the sport has largely missed at 1st class club level for years now. No one can say that yesterday's dramatic win by the Rajasthan Royals over the Deccan Chargers wasn't intriguing throughout with heroics from several players on both sides. So let's relax and realize that 20:20 is still in the very early stages of it's development. Let's hope that through forums such as this we can voice our opinion's to work towards assisting developing 20:20 into a form of cricket about which we can all be proud and enjoy.

  • CheckIfTheScreenNameAlreadyInUse on April 25, 2008, 7:43 GMT

    I thought I had enough of your rants before you mercifully decided to wind up your blog. How utterly wrong I was! IPL is a concept which is not going away. I've watched the matches as well and I think it is quality cricket. The skills required to succeed in T20 are different but who is to say that they are inferior? Go ask a certain Rahul Dravid or VVS if they find hitting out against top class bowling and a superb fielding unit easy.

    Nothing can stop an idea whose time has come. Evidently, as someone else pointed out, you are not receptive to change and there is a danger of you not being taken seriously, worse, being ridiculed.

  • DG91 on April 25, 2008, 7:40 GMT

    A very cheap, meaningless and misleading article by the author (has he ever played cricket in his life?). I guess he is jealous of IPL's success so far. It is for the first time that players are getting so much money, which they actually deserve. Also, who said that the T20 is an untried version of the game? I guess we just had the T20 World Cup too, which went off very successfully, even more than the World Cup held in the West Indies. It will take time for the crowds to understand their local teams and for the players to adjust in the new environment, but so far it is going great. I suggest the author and other people supporting his view to read Kumar Sangakarra's "The real Super Series" wherein he describes the IPL 'An exciting format, the best players, and interesting team combinations have resulted in a terrific experience for players and fans alike'. I think Sanga's words says it all. Best of luck IPL !!!

  • samaga on April 25, 2008, 7:37 GMT

    I am a great admirer of Mr Kesavan's writing but this time I am afraid he has got the plot wrong.I think he is in a minority if he says T20 is not cricket.I for one have foregone my almost daily slot of 10-11 pm which was reserved for watching Ekta Kapoor's soaps for over 5 years. From 8 pm till midnight I have now found a more exciting TV show on week days.Yes, several matches have gone to the wire and had me at the edge of my seat. One point I do agree with Mr Kesavan is on the free-loaders in the Pavilion seats. I paid Rs 5500 for a seat in the exotically named Royal Challenge Pavilion,bought on line for the inaugural show in Bangalore. The stand was full but I am afraid there were hardly 25% spectators who looked as if they had paid from their own pockets.However, that event helped me make up my mind for the future. Yes, the entertainment program was worth watching 'live' but the cricket looks more exciting on Television sitting on a Lazboy watching all the action replays on camera

  • vinitvishal on April 25, 2008, 7:20 GMT

    WHY THIS POST SHOULD FAIL...

    An absolute narrow minded approach toward IPL. Judging an entire tournament by one dull game depicts the Narrow-mindedness of the author. These were the people who condemned One Day matches when it was introduced. IPL has given more eyes to cricket.A friend of mine who rarely followed cricket has now become an avid fan. To excel in cricket you must be a good player and not a wham-bam hitter which Hussey, Hayden , Rohit Sharma etc showed.T20 is as authentic cricket as the TEST or ODI. Just few days back i was reading an article on cricinfo about how the county cricket is killing the sport by dull lackluster performance. We should be thankful to T20 as it promises to expand the cricket to other countries and reverse the trend current trend of loosing spectators to other sports.

    A broad minded approach from cricket fans and writers will certainly help T20 popularize cricket so that we can have more countries and spectator for all forms of cricket.

  • karthik_madhu on April 25, 2008, 7:15 GMT

    Hi Mukul, I do agree with you that there has been lot of glamour assosiated with the inaugral edition of IPL.But as this is the inaugral edition the organisers really didnt want to take a chance.So i guess they are using all possible oppurtunities to make it a hit.As far as the bowling is concerned i guess its upto the bowlers to come up with new tricks to contain the batsmen.Rather than just pacify themselves by saying 20-20 is a batsmens' game,they should try new stuffs and be brave enough to implement it.I say brave because you should give the batsmen credit for being brave enough to try shots such the scoop over fine leg etc which could very well make them lose their wicket and even their face.

  • MananWad on April 25, 2008, 7:09 GMT

    I think Mukul Kesavan has lost his mind. To me IPL is very interesting to both public as well as players.WHo is this mukul to decide the fate of IPL. how can you say its a Low grade cricket, ask any bowler dont they enjoy bowling in such a challenging condition and why do you say its not good for bowler, they are allowed to give 7-8 runs an over so if you give 7 runs an over and take 1 -2 wickets I think the bowler's job is done and to me bowler must be enjoying this format of the game. Really IPL is good for bot players and public and people like Mukul does not know what they actually want.

  • ashok16 on April 25, 2008, 6:55 GMT

    Mukul, you risk becoming a fossil. Hardly anybody watches test cricket now and ODIs are also slowly losing their purpose. All the youngsters in India watch European football. Maybe they will come back to cricket with T20. Yes, I agree BCCI has handled it in a very brash and vulgar manner but even the ICL is attracting a decent audience. Nobody but cricket reporters have time to watch and appreciate (remember the 70s and 80s when India and Pakistan would draw all 5 tests in a series) a game that is as long as a work week. And yes, Ranji Trophy is as good as dead. All the good cricketers who cant get IPL cash will now join ICL. And who really watched Ranji trophy anyway. dpashokk

  • pseudoKu on April 25, 2008, 6:54 GMT

    Mukul,

    While it is true that T20 is not quite the beautiful game, it is unfair to say that batting is easier! It is just that batsmen can take more risks because there is nothing to lose. That does not make it easier to hit 4's and 6's.

    Perhaps the same argument can be made while comparing a Sonu Nigam hit with a Bhimsen Joshi masterpiece! Each has its place in the scheme of things.

    And in my humble opinion crowds like to see sixers a tad bit more than inswinging yorkers, so bowlers as extras won't really bother them methinks!

    --PseudoKu

  • arun_balakrish on April 25, 2008, 6:47 GMT

    Mukul,

    I too pray/wish your comments would come true. But am afraid what people at large (the junta) want is razzmatazz. There is so much appetite for razzmatazz that hindi song and dance alone cannot fulfill. In fact T20 is a perfect addition in terms of variety.. As for us purists who like the game we will just have to nod our heads in disappointment.. It will be a long time before the junta ask for substance and by then cricket would have been crucified. I will leave you with one thought though, McGrath could bowl well in this tournament ?

    Arun

  • varunkarad on April 25, 2008, 6:33 GMT

    I think u are very pissed with the razzmatazz that is created by the promoters. Basically i think u should know that india has a big market for everything ( 1 billion people). IPL is doing nothing but adding value to the existing game and selling it. Nothing wrong in that. I believe the entire team is trying its best to promote create more and also make some money for themselves as well as the players. How much do u think the domestic cricket players make in India. they cant even make a decent living. the New Zealand cricket board is so poor that it sometimes has to cancel its scheduled matches because of lack of funds. Yes the player's get the name and fame, but what about making a living. Is it wrong if they are attracted towards big money?? Player's like ishant sharma and Robin Uthappa are lucky to be in indian side today. this extra money they are making at this stage in life will motivate others to take up a career in cricket.

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • varunkarad on April 25, 2008, 6:33 GMT

    I think u are very pissed with the razzmatazz that is created by the promoters. Basically i think u should know that india has a big market for everything ( 1 billion people). IPL is doing nothing but adding value to the existing game and selling it. Nothing wrong in that. I believe the entire team is trying its best to promote create more and also make some money for themselves as well as the players. How much do u think the domestic cricket players make in India. they cant even make a decent living. the New Zealand cricket board is so poor that it sometimes has to cancel its scheduled matches because of lack of funds. Yes the player's get the name and fame, but what about making a living. Is it wrong if they are attracted towards big money?? Player's like ishant sharma and Robin Uthappa are lucky to be in indian side today. this extra money they are making at this stage in life will motivate others to take up a career in cricket.

  • arun_balakrish on April 25, 2008, 6:47 GMT

    Mukul,

    I too pray/wish your comments would come true. But am afraid what people at large (the junta) want is razzmatazz. There is so much appetite for razzmatazz that hindi song and dance alone cannot fulfill. In fact T20 is a perfect addition in terms of variety.. As for us purists who like the game we will just have to nod our heads in disappointment.. It will be a long time before the junta ask for substance and by then cricket would have been crucified. I will leave you with one thought though, McGrath could bowl well in this tournament ?

    Arun

  • pseudoKu on April 25, 2008, 6:54 GMT

    Mukul,

    While it is true that T20 is not quite the beautiful game, it is unfair to say that batting is easier! It is just that batsmen can take more risks because there is nothing to lose. That does not make it easier to hit 4's and 6's.

    Perhaps the same argument can be made while comparing a Sonu Nigam hit with a Bhimsen Joshi masterpiece! Each has its place in the scheme of things.

    And in my humble opinion crowds like to see sixers a tad bit more than inswinging yorkers, so bowlers as extras won't really bother them methinks!

    --PseudoKu

  • ashok16 on April 25, 2008, 6:55 GMT

    Mukul, you risk becoming a fossil. Hardly anybody watches test cricket now and ODIs are also slowly losing their purpose. All the youngsters in India watch European football. Maybe they will come back to cricket with T20. Yes, I agree BCCI has handled it in a very brash and vulgar manner but even the ICL is attracting a decent audience. Nobody but cricket reporters have time to watch and appreciate (remember the 70s and 80s when India and Pakistan would draw all 5 tests in a series) a game that is as long as a work week. And yes, Ranji Trophy is as good as dead. All the good cricketers who cant get IPL cash will now join ICL. And who really watched Ranji trophy anyway. dpashokk

  • MananWad on April 25, 2008, 7:09 GMT

    I think Mukul Kesavan has lost his mind. To me IPL is very interesting to both public as well as players.WHo is this mukul to decide the fate of IPL. how can you say its a Low grade cricket, ask any bowler dont they enjoy bowling in such a challenging condition and why do you say its not good for bowler, they are allowed to give 7-8 runs an over so if you give 7 runs an over and take 1 -2 wickets I think the bowler's job is done and to me bowler must be enjoying this format of the game. Really IPL is good for bot players and public and people like Mukul does not know what they actually want.

  • karthik_madhu on April 25, 2008, 7:15 GMT

    Hi Mukul, I do agree with you that there has been lot of glamour assosiated with the inaugral edition of IPL.But as this is the inaugral edition the organisers really didnt want to take a chance.So i guess they are using all possible oppurtunities to make it a hit.As far as the bowling is concerned i guess its upto the bowlers to come up with new tricks to contain the batsmen.Rather than just pacify themselves by saying 20-20 is a batsmens' game,they should try new stuffs and be brave enough to implement it.I say brave because you should give the batsmen credit for being brave enough to try shots such the scoop over fine leg etc which could very well make them lose their wicket and even their face.

  • vinitvishal on April 25, 2008, 7:20 GMT

    WHY THIS POST SHOULD FAIL...

    An absolute narrow minded approach toward IPL. Judging an entire tournament by one dull game depicts the Narrow-mindedness of the author. These were the people who condemned One Day matches when it was introduced. IPL has given more eyes to cricket.A friend of mine who rarely followed cricket has now become an avid fan. To excel in cricket you must be a good player and not a wham-bam hitter which Hussey, Hayden , Rohit Sharma etc showed.T20 is as authentic cricket as the TEST or ODI. Just few days back i was reading an article on cricinfo about how the county cricket is killing the sport by dull lackluster performance. We should be thankful to T20 as it promises to expand the cricket to other countries and reverse the trend current trend of loosing spectators to other sports.

    A broad minded approach from cricket fans and writers will certainly help T20 popularize cricket so that we can have more countries and spectator for all forms of cricket.

  • samaga on April 25, 2008, 7:37 GMT

    I am a great admirer of Mr Kesavan's writing but this time I am afraid he has got the plot wrong.I think he is in a minority if he says T20 is not cricket.I for one have foregone my almost daily slot of 10-11 pm which was reserved for watching Ekta Kapoor's soaps for over 5 years. From 8 pm till midnight I have now found a more exciting TV show on week days.Yes, several matches have gone to the wire and had me at the edge of my seat. One point I do agree with Mr Kesavan is on the free-loaders in the Pavilion seats. I paid Rs 5500 for a seat in the exotically named Royal Challenge Pavilion,bought on line for the inaugural show in Bangalore. The stand was full but I am afraid there were hardly 25% spectators who looked as if they had paid from their own pockets.However, that event helped me make up my mind for the future. Yes, the entertainment program was worth watching 'live' but the cricket looks more exciting on Television sitting on a Lazboy watching all the action replays on camera

  • DG91 on April 25, 2008, 7:40 GMT

    A very cheap, meaningless and misleading article by the author (has he ever played cricket in his life?). I guess he is jealous of IPL's success so far. It is for the first time that players are getting so much money, which they actually deserve. Also, who said that the T20 is an untried version of the game? I guess we just had the T20 World Cup too, which went off very successfully, even more than the World Cup held in the West Indies. It will take time for the crowds to understand their local teams and for the players to adjust in the new environment, but so far it is going great. I suggest the author and other people supporting his view to read Kumar Sangakarra's "The real Super Series" wherein he describes the IPL 'An exciting format, the best players, and interesting team combinations have resulted in a terrific experience for players and fans alike'. I think Sanga's words says it all. Best of luck IPL !!!

  • CheckIfTheScreenNameAlreadyInUse on April 25, 2008, 7:43 GMT

    I thought I had enough of your rants before you mercifully decided to wind up your blog. How utterly wrong I was! IPL is a concept which is not going away. I've watched the matches as well and I think it is quality cricket. The skills required to succeed in T20 are different but who is to say that they are inferior? Go ask a certain Rahul Dravid or VVS if they find hitting out against top class bowling and a superb fielding unit easy.

    Nothing can stop an idea whose time has come. Evidently, as someone else pointed out, you are not receptive to change and there is a danger of you not being taken seriously, worse, being ridiculed.