June 2, 2012

Don't blame the IPL for everything that's wrong

Sleaze in cricket? There was plenty of it before the IPL came along
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Like much of pop culture often does, the IPL too has renewed the age-old division between the classes and the masses. So while the masses endorsed the fifth edition of the tournament by filling stadiums match after match, the league was viciously attacked by some of most credible voices among the Indian intelligentsia, and they found vigorous support from voluble cricket fans on social media networks.

What I am about to say is not going earn me popularity among this section. I have learnt from recent experience that criticising the IPL can give you a certain halo. I am going to do the opposite: defend the IPL against some unfair criticism.

And I want to make it clear that while I worked as a freelance TV commentator on the IPL, I am not on the payroll of the BCCI or the IPL. These views are those of a neutral viewer of the game who genuinely likes the IPL and is a strong supporter of it.

Also, I adore Test cricket, have always done. I loved playing it and I now love watching it. I believe it is the highest and toughest form of the sport, and the yardstick with which to judge the greatness of players. Given a choice between watching a Test match featuring two evenly matched teams and an IPL game, I would chose the former any day. But having said that, I love the IPL too.

The first and most common kind of attack on the IPL is that this it (and T20 cricket at large) will destroy the traditional forms of the game. Good supporting arguments are put forth to back the claim - or perhaps fear.

I find this mindset to be no different from those of the traditionalists of the late '70s, who were up in arms when Kerry Packer barged into their world and switched on the lights so that his band of "big boys" could play at night. He even got them to wear tight, bright-coloured pants. Thirty-five years later, Kerry Packer is gone, and perhaps we did not thank him enough for the good turn he did the game.

The IPL and T20 are helping the sport in an area where Test cricket and now even 50-overs cricket have generally failed: to hold mass appeal. If the IPL is bringing new fans to the ground (and yes, some of them do not even like cricket that much) why do the traditionalists have a problem with that? They have the choice to switch channels and watch West Indies play England in Tests.

What caught my attention amid all the criticism was the suggestion that IPL 5 had taken sleaze in cricket to new heights. This is unfair and untrue. Let me refresh some memories.

I've never heard the media call the private parties that cricketers go to during, say, a World Cup, "World Cup parties"

Player misdemeanour has always been part of the game. Long before the IPL, an international player was accused of rape. There have been allegations of molestation levelled against cricketers a few times, and most times the matter has been hushed up. Players have been caught smoking marijuana while on national duty. Match-fixing slapped the administrators in the face and disillusioned them. There have been plenty of cases of administrators siphoning off funds meant for the betterment of the game. And finally, in a first-class match that I played in, I watched as a player ran after another with a stump to assault him.

All this was a part of the game before the IPL was even conceived of. And now comes the bizarre charge that IPL 5 has taken sleaze in cricket to new heights. The truth is that the IPL is a long way behind in catching up with the sleaze we have already seen in and around the more established forms of the game.

It was amusing to read about the "IPL parties" and the incidents around them. The fact is, the so-called IPL parties are now a thing of the past - they went out with the exit of Lalit Modi. The parties now are private ones that players attend on their own during the IPL season. I've never heard the media call the private parties that cricketers go to during, say, a World Cup, "World Cup parties".

The incident with Luke Pomersbach was also blamed on the IPL. Why wasn't international cricket and its culture blamed when an international player was accused of rape in the '90s? The focus then (as it should have been) was on the individual.

When India played badly in England and Australia, the IPL again became everyone's favourite target - not so much the players, it was the IPL that was held responsible for India's problems. I concede that the IPL could hamper your Test match preparation if you are not smart as a player or your cricket board isn't. But those who believe the IPL will destroy India's Test cricket strength in the future can take solace from this fact: in the five years of the IPL, South Africa have had their core players playing in the IPL, and in that time South Africa has only grown as a Test team, with most of their IPL players having enhanced their reputations in the long format.

Yes, there are valid long-term concerns about kids - specifically about whether they will have the desire to play Test cricket anymore when an easier pursuit is more lucrative. To this I will say: as long as cricket remains a popular sport in the country, for every *Saurabh Tiwary there will be an Ajinkya Rahane or a Cheteshwar Pujara who will emerge from the same generation. There may be fewer Test aspirants to choose from than during, say, my time, but can you blame kids when the purest form of cricket is struggling to draw audiences?

The greatest high for any performer, more than money, is performing in front of a massive audience. Let's hope something miraculous happens to Test cricket and it starts drawing big crowds to the grounds again. Like everything around us, the IPL is not perfect - but to hold it responsible for all the evils in and around the game is illogical and smacks of prejudice.

05:17:41 GMT, June 1, 2012: *Changed from Manoj Tiwary

Former India batsman Sanjay Manjrekar commentates on the IPL and other cricket. His Twitter feed is here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY rohanbala on | June 5, 2012, 12:41 GMT

    After the likes of Sunil Gavaskar, Ravi Shastri, Danny Morrison, the latest one to be afflicted by the IPL mania seems to be Sanjay Manjrekar. All along I considered Sanjay to be one whose views are balanced and up to the point without fear or favour. It is now clear that he is also caught up with the IPL sway and supports it. One other view expressed by him on Twitter says that the celebrations surrounding the Queen's Diamond Jubilee is fussy. Sanjay... don't you feel the dancing of cheer girls in IPL is not fussy?

  • POSTED BY aahahaa on | June 5, 2012, 6:55 GMT

    the problem with ipl is not the type of cricket that is on show but the amount of money that is involved, period

  • POSTED BY dalesteyn123 on | June 5, 2012, 5:16 GMT

    Except some of the matches...........in ipl most of the time foreign batsmen are hitting inexperienced and slow indian bowlers... for me after some time it just becomes boring to watch chris gayle hitting domestic bowlers for sixes...also I think India needs to improve a lot in test matches...and what does sanjay mean by " every *Saurabh Tiwary there will be an Ajinkya Rahane or a Cheteshwar Pujara who will emerge from the same generation".... I mean these guys have not even proved themselves in test matches... forget Rahane or PUjara.... even best of the indian batsmen were exposed against australia and england..... India should concetrate on doing that... i mean two consecutive 4-0 losses is too much....

  • POSTED BY Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on | June 5, 2012, 0:31 GMT

    @jonathonjosephs, mate so you find test matches interesting but the intervening meagre 10 overs in a t20 as boring and all of that? Are you sure what you are saying here? Please don't crack us up now! You watched each and every ball of Eng vs Ind Test Series but find the intervening meagre 10 overs in t20 boring? Seriously, you crack me up big-time and gave me a terrible side strain. Oucchh....

  • POSTED BY ProdigyA on | June 4, 2012, 19:29 GMT

    @kiwirocker - pak players most successful in recent times?? If "recent" means 90s, yes u r correct. No matter how much you wish, IPL is here to stay and entertain.

  • POSTED BY 30-30-150 on | June 4, 2012, 19:23 GMT

    @thestunner316_15 - You have an option to mute the channel and watch if you are so annoyed with their commentary. I do it when Ravi Shastri and Rameez Raja are on..

  • POSTED BY thestunner316_15 on | June 4, 2012, 14:53 GMT

    @ captain meanster - No disrespect to the old lady, but your ideology was lame... Ranatunga was right - IPL will only produce butchers...

  • POSTED BY thestunner316_15 on | June 4, 2012, 14:50 GMT

    @ sanjay manjrekar - Dude, i would like to watch the IPL, but i cant stand bad commentators like yourself and Shastri and Gavaskar and LSRK...

    People have choice to change channel, sure they do... But we dont have choice to switch commentators...

  • POSTED BY fineprint on | June 4, 2012, 11:41 GMT

    one week after the tournament is over there are 83 comments for this article (including this one). Single mention of the word "IPL" is enough, anywhere, to get a response only second to the word "Sachin Tendulkar". Any more evidence required ?

  • POSTED BY thedreamer on | June 4, 2012, 7:43 GMT

    Well, IPL does have its share of dark side as well. IPL has brought some little known players into the limelight, but as always there's a bad to every good. Who can forget the verbal spat between Ambati Rayudu and Harshal Patel afterthe end of the match between MI and RCB? And the dissent towards the umpire from Munaf Patel, Harbhajan Singh, and Dinesh Karthik? Appana's involvement in Pomersbach issue... Can these players even dare to do such an act if it was an international game? The other day I read a quote from Juhi Chawla that if not for the Bollywood "stars"(sic), no one would watch IPL. Give me a break! How much does she know about cricket? And some really sub-standard commentary - "Karbonn Kamaal catch" for a sitter on your lap, "Citi moment of success" for what? NOTHING! If only IPL could be disassociated from Bollywood... In the end, the game is losing the respect it deserves. IPL is a mirage in a desert, whereas Test cricket is an oasis. We all know what's more precious.

  • POSTED BY rohanbala on | June 5, 2012, 12:41 GMT

    After the likes of Sunil Gavaskar, Ravi Shastri, Danny Morrison, the latest one to be afflicted by the IPL mania seems to be Sanjay Manjrekar. All along I considered Sanjay to be one whose views are balanced and up to the point without fear or favour. It is now clear that he is also caught up with the IPL sway and supports it. One other view expressed by him on Twitter says that the celebrations surrounding the Queen's Diamond Jubilee is fussy. Sanjay... don't you feel the dancing of cheer girls in IPL is not fussy?

  • POSTED BY aahahaa on | June 5, 2012, 6:55 GMT

    the problem with ipl is not the type of cricket that is on show but the amount of money that is involved, period

  • POSTED BY dalesteyn123 on | June 5, 2012, 5:16 GMT

    Except some of the matches...........in ipl most of the time foreign batsmen are hitting inexperienced and slow indian bowlers... for me after some time it just becomes boring to watch chris gayle hitting domestic bowlers for sixes...also I think India needs to improve a lot in test matches...and what does sanjay mean by " every *Saurabh Tiwary there will be an Ajinkya Rahane or a Cheteshwar Pujara who will emerge from the same generation".... I mean these guys have not even proved themselves in test matches... forget Rahane or PUjara.... even best of the indian batsmen were exposed against australia and england..... India should concetrate on doing that... i mean two consecutive 4-0 losses is too much....

  • POSTED BY Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on | June 5, 2012, 0:31 GMT

    @jonathonjosephs, mate so you find test matches interesting but the intervening meagre 10 overs in a t20 as boring and all of that? Are you sure what you are saying here? Please don't crack us up now! You watched each and every ball of Eng vs Ind Test Series but find the intervening meagre 10 overs in t20 boring? Seriously, you crack me up big-time and gave me a terrible side strain. Oucchh....

  • POSTED BY ProdigyA on | June 4, 2012, 19:29 GMT

    @kiwirocker - pak players most successful in recent times?? If "recent" means 90s, yes u r correct. No matter how much you wish, IPL is here to stay and entertain.

  • POSTED BY 30-30-150 on | June 4, 2012, 19:23 GMT

    @thestunner316_15 - You have an option to mute the channel and watch if you are so annoyed with their commentary. I do it when Ravi Shastri and Rameez Raja are on..

  • POSTED BY thestunner316_15 on | June 4, 2012, 14:53 GMT

    @ captain meanster - No disrespect to the old lady, but your ideology was lame... Ranatunga was right - IPL will only produce butchers...

  • POSTED BY thestunner316_15 on | June 4, 2012, 14:50 GMT

    @ sanjay manjrekar - Dude, i would like to watch the IPL, but i cant stand bad commentators like yourself and Shastri and Gavaskar and LSRK...

    People have choice to change channel, sure they do... But we dont have choice to switch commentators...

  • POSTED BY fineprint on | June 4, 2012, 11:41 GMT

    one week after the tournament is over there are 83 comments for this article (including this one). Single mention of the word "IPL" is enough, anywhere, to get a response only second to the word "Sachin Tendulkar". Any more evidence required ?

  • POSTED BY thedreamer on | June 4, 2012, 7:43 GMT

    Well, IPL does have its share of dark side as well. IPL has brought some little known players into the limelight, but as always there's a bad to every good. Who can forget the verbal spat between Ambati Rayudu and Harshal Patel afterthe end of the match between MI and RCB? And the dissent towards the umpire from Munaf Patel, Harbhajan Singh, and Dinesh Karthik? Appana's involvement in Pomersbach issue... Can these players even dare to do such an act if it was an international game? The other day I read a quote from Juhi Chawla that if not for the Bollywood "stars"(sic), no one would watch IPL. Give me a break! How much does she know about cricket? And some really sub-standard commentary - "Karbonn Kamaal catch" for a sitter on your lap, "Citi moment of success" for what? NOTHING! If only IPL could be disassociated from Bollywood... In the end, the game is losing the respect it deserves. IPL is a mirage in a desert, whereas Test cricket is an oasis. We all know what's more precious.

  • POSTED BY johnathonjosephs on | June 4, 2012, 3:15 GMT

    I'm sorry for so many of my comments. But to see that people actually want Test Cricket to go and have T20 become the main sport? As a fan and a young man in his early 20s, I love cricket. I am crazy about cricket. When India toured England and Australia, I watched every ball of each Test Match and ODI Match. But I skimmed through the T20s... International T20 are nothing compared to the IPL. The IPL is great, but only the first 6 overs and last 4 overs. The middle 10 are boring. But if there is a Test Match going on between any two competitive sides, I will immediately switch it on and multitask. I can always do that with Test Cricket. I wont usually watch an ODI unless it is the first 10 overs or last 10 overs, but Test Cricket, I will switch on anytime of the day. To eliminate that is to eliminate the essence of cricket itself. You'd be better off watching baseball

  • POSTED BY johnathonjosephs on | June 4, 2012, 3:01 GMT

    I find it ironic that Sanjay Manjrekar was also the very man who said fans would forget the 8-0 thrashing after the IPL and here he is now, already forgotten about 8-0 thrashing

  • POSTED BY johnathonjosephs on | June 4, 2012, 0:50 GMT

    @Captain Meanster What you just said was very disturbing. If that is the mentality of most cricket fans today, we are really in a big puddle. Test Cricket is valued above all other forms of cricket. Even the players themselves will put Test Cricket before ODI/T20. If you had said that about ODI cricket, it would have been interesting to debate. But to say the old lady was Test Cricket...... Thats very disturbing in my opinion

  • POSTED BY m_ilind on | June 3, 2012, 21:53 GMT

    Given the disappointing tours of Eng & Aus, where the glorified Indian team went down without a fight, it's only fair for the masses to criticize (blame ) the IPL for it. It's after all, the players themselves and what they think their foremost responsibillites are (playing for the country), which is the most important reason for the debacle. Naturally, people will blame it on IPL.

  • POSTED BY Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on | June 3, 2012, 15:38 GMT

    The usual suspects are out of the woods to bash IPL. Shameless!

  • POSTED BY Bruisers on | June 3, 2012, 14:53 GMT

    @Cpt.Meanster - That's the best comment I've read in a long time. You must be a poet or something!

  • POSTED BY Bruisers on | June 3, 2012, 14:49 GMT

    @Leggie - I do remember most details of this year's Ranji season, Rajasthan beat TN in the finals. Robin Bist (Rajasthan) was the leading run getter and TP Sudhindra (Madhya Pradesh) was the leading wicket taker. I don't quite remember the semifinalists of this year though. Yeah and last year Rajasthan beat Baroda in the finals. The semifinalists were Karnataka and TN, I guess. And Baroda prepared a terrible pitch in their home SF match against Karnataka to create a lot of controversy. That's one of the reasons why this season's games will be played on neutral venues.. And yeah I didn't have to look up at the archives or any other source. Believe me, I'm one of those who follows domestic cricket quite closely. I can recall almost all such details of the 5 IPL seasons too.

  • POSTED BY nzcricket174 on | June 3, 2012, 11:43 GMT

    @Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (June 02 2012, 21:38 PM GMT), That was an amazing post mate.

  • POSTED BY Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on | June 3, 2012, 11:01 GMT

    @Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (June 02 2012, 21:38 PM GMT), Wow! Take a bow! Fantastic post!

  • POSTED BY natmastak_so-called on | June 3, 2012, 10:18 GMT

    @ all the debaters,whether you are pro IPL or anti IPL ,just face it ,it is here to stay .

  • POSTED BY on | June 3, 2012, 7:50 GMT

    I always thought the interesting parts of cricket were the things that made it different than other sports. Real cricket has two innings!

  • POSTED BY Leggie on | June 3, 2012, 7:14 GMT

    @ajaym55: I'm not against T20. Its certainly fun, but cannot stand overkill of this format - which ultimately will lead to the death of Test cricket.

  • POSTED BY Leggie on | June 3, 2012, 7:11 GMT

    @Bruisers: You'll have to read my earlier post on my views on IPL. I was responding to your specific comment that between IPL-1 & IPL-3 India scaled new heights!! This is ridiculous since that was because of existing talent and not due to IPL. At the same time, you'll have to understand that with IPL taking center-stage, there is absolutely no incentive for youngsters to take on to the longer formats anymore. Do you remember at least the Ranji semi-finalists for the last 2 years - or at least the finalists?? Do you know who was the top run scorer and the leading wicket taker? I bet you'll not. In my point of view, it's a case of one format cannibalizing the other format. Unfortunately, BCCI - the entity that is supposed to be a neutral body and provide the overall guidance rallies along with IPL. BCCI's only focus is money and at this rate, it can only accelerate the death of Test cricket-at least in India. When India loses again in Test cricket, fans should not be complaining anymore!

  • POSTED BY Viv-Viru on | June 3, 2012, 6:18 GMT

    Well said Sanjay. I would like to have transparancy in the contracts of retained players, want all domestic players in the auctions, stings done on franchises and not players, more pre game and post game shows on Youtube, and an extended IPL season like the baseball season in the US.

    I would like to see BCCI pay the groundsmen and other staff also these one time payments, and improve the infrastructure and access to stadiums.

    I would like to see IPL in more milder weather, say January and February if it is going to be confined to two months and more matches in the spectacular Dharmashala.

    In terms of other criticisms of IPL they are borne out of prejudice and ill will at worst and ignorance at best as Sanjay clearly pointed out.

    Most of the other criticisms fail

  • POSTED BY on | June 3, 2012, 6:14 GMT

    Spot on..................I am a big cricket follower but didn't bother to even check the result of England WI test series while I watched and kept eye on all the statistics in IPL 5........................The reason is that all the superstars were in IPL and none was in Test series.............................it is the superstars that make a particular format popular...............................and it is their breathtaking consistent strokeplay that make them the superstars

  • POSTED BY on | June 3, 2012, 6:02 GMT

    Great article...................Sanjay, since past 3 years, has become very objective and perhaps he himself will admit that.....................Earlier he was all about praising orthodox technique and players like Dravid but now he has become open minded.......................................It is the runs scored that matters no matter what technique you follow and Gayle & Sehwag has proved that there is an alternate technique (of not using feet) that is more effective than orthodox technique and sooner orthodox technique will become obsolete.......................so has the test cricket becoming obsolete because it only tests defense and temprament....................but other forms of cricket test strokeplay as well because there is pressure of run rate as well which is the biggest pressure

  • POSTED BY on | June 3, 2012, 3:51 GMT

    It is disappointing to read few of the comments, for such a nicely written article. Sanjay has tried to put forward few facts which are there for everyone to see, and by doing so he has wished that people will take them into account before writing anything about cricket (Test or T-20). I think likes of J Kallis, Steyn, the KP, Clarky, and many of the Sri-lankans have shown us the place of T-20 in world cricket. And the 1 and only 1 Sehwag has shown us that that all this debate is just a waste of time. Those against T-20 includes people (mainly) for whom even Test cricket has two categories one called "Ashes" and the 2nd "the rest". Now the same people have got to deal with a third category as well and they are now finding themselves wrong footed and ill-informed. Now the positive side of T-20 is, if we get 10 new cricket fans, and even if only 2-of them decided to check what is "Testing" about "Test-cricket" and the CRICKET could get one of them to like it, will serve the purpose.

  • POSTED BY caught_knott_bowled_old on | June 3, 2012, 3:25 GMT

    IPL and T20 bashers need to wake up to one reality. "Test Cricket" and "National Duty" are not going to be relevant to the next gen cricket lover. @kunderanengineer is absolutely correct - the T20 format expands the fan base and THEY have chosen the preferred format. The IPL will only expand to more than 9 teams and run for a 3-4 month window. NZ, ANZ and English cricketers will soon squabble with their boards, and more players will retire from Test Cricket. IPL too has to do its share to up the quality of cricket. They need to allow 5 overseas players in the team to improve the standards. Some uncapped players aren't skilled enough to face Steyn or bowl to AB DeVillers. Develop a 'minor' league from which players can be selected.

  • POSTED BY KiwiRocker- on | June 3, 2012, 3:15 GMT

    I quite like how Sanjay confirmed that he is not on BCCI payroll..Yes right! It makes so much sense. What exactly IPL has done to world of cricket or even Indian cricket? Indian team has lost 15-0 in Australia and England. India has zero spin bowlers apart from usual run of the mill ove hyped bowlers like R.Ashwin. Indian batting is full of aged and over rated players like Tendulya who have yet to win anything of note. Indian fast bowling is worse than Kenya. IPL has ruined Indian cricket. Why will anyone care about Ranji trophey when you can make some big bucks playing a 3 hour game? IPL is out of control and full of corruption that is tarnishing game of cricket. Evidence is well documented. As far as world of cricket, playing for country has become meaningless because of IPL. Do you see an irony that Pakistani players and English players who play least IPL are most successful in the recent times? IPL is not even an origin idea..It was a BCCI bulley tactic towards ICL that drove IPL!

  • POSTED BY on | June 3, 2012, 2:38 GMT

    @brittop - ok Brits for example didnt play IPL (barring KP who is not Brit of course) soon after they thrashed India in England 4-0, they lost miserably in UAE to Pak and then got thrashed in an ODI series 5-0 to India in India is England really doing well in other parts of the world and other formats of the game without participating in IPL? For the last 3 years i cant see any team that is consistent, be it India, England, Australia, SA, Lanka. Kerry Packers series didnt change test cricket, is IPL going to change it? And besides Australia is pushing hard on Bigbash league and England with its own T20 championship which is no different from IPL. Every board is selfish and every one wants to make money honey. People gotta accept reality get on with it.

  • POSTED BY brittop on | June 2, 2012, 21:53 GMT

    @Sanjay Manjrekar: You say "there are valid long-term concerns about kids", and then assert "for every Saurabh Tiwary there will be an Ajinkya Rahane or a Cheteshwar Pujara who will emerge". What makes you say that? Any evidence or just hope? It may have happened, after 5 IPLs, but what about after 15?

  • POSTED BY Cpt.Meanster on | June 2, 2012, 21:38 GMT

    The other day I met this really OLD lady. I asked her name. She told me her name was "TEST cricket". I sat beside her and asked her a few questions. I asked her how she feels about being around so long in a world that's quick, result oriented, high tech and money minded. She replied back with a soar smile: "I would love to disappear in the vivid memories of those who adore me YET I am not allowed the privilege of doing so because some people wish to see me suffer". What she meant was that she, I mean test cricket, wanted to move on and take retirement. She also told me how much she LOVES her youngest child - T20. Test cricket wanted to see her baby girl T20 rule the world in the future. She also wished more people would adore her baby. Before she left she told me "Please make sure you help my baby girl T20 achieve the heights I did when I was still young". God bless T20 and the IPL !!

  • POSTED BY ajaym55 on | June 2, 2012, 21:05 GMT

    @ Leggie " thanks to IPL we have no new talent". I find this assertion absolutely ridiculous. New talent will emerge with or without IPL. IPL has no capability to dry up cricketing talent. It has only given lots of viewers like me a glimpse of potential players, where before there was none. While I love a good and evenly fought test match, get real. No other sport in the world goes on for 30 hours and may still whimper in to a boring draw. At 56, I may set up an alarm at 0400 to watch an India-Oz test match played in Australia. But, I can't ignore the odd glances my 15 year old daughter throws at me. Test purists enjoy your game and take your diatribe with you. I love the way game is developing.

  • POSTED BY Bruisers on | June 2, 2012, 20:38 GMT

    @Leggie - I didn't get what you mean by "Thanks to IPL we have no new talent"... Do you mean to say the talent in the talented players got destroyed because of IPL?? LOL. If you mean to say IPL didn't produce any talent, so be it. We still have Ranji Trophy to 'produce' talent, don't we? Did IPL do any harm to Ranji Trophy too?

  • POSTED BY Bruisers on | June 2, 2012, 20:34 GMT

    @Leggie - The same set of players that you have mentioned did play in England and Australia, didn't they?? (apart from Kumble & Ganguly) What did they do? Is IPL the cause for their failure?? Unless and until you try out the new talent emerging from domestic cricket, you can't say that youngsters couldn't have done better than the greats. And yeah, how can you get youngsters from IPL to play Tests for India? IPL is T20 cricket. Anyhow we did get the likes of Mandeep, Awana, B.Kumar, Nadeem etc who are suited for Test cricket. And guys like Rayudu, Agarwal, Bisla who can play ODIs and T20Is for India..

  • POSTED BY ansram on | June 2, 2012, 19:56 GMT

    @grizzle - Spot on. Why will not there be last over/last ball finishes in a 20 over match. If last ball finishes are what makes IPL exciting, then 5 overs/side matches will be even more exciting. No contest ever develops in T20, by the time one develops, the match is over.

  • POSTED BY Leggie on | June 2, 2012, 18:59 GMT

    @Bruisers: the reason that Indian cricket kept scaling new heights was because they had the likes of Tendulkar, Dravid, Laxman, Ganguly, Dravid, Kumble, Harbhajan, Zaheer with emerging fast bowlers like Sreesanth, RP Singh and Munaf. Remember these players were not unearthed from IPL. IPL only used the available talent. And look whom we have now after IPL-5. No new exciting talent - except for may be Rahane. The Indian team is in its downward spiral because a) the stars have aged b) thanks to IPL we have no new talent. The likes of Manish Pandey, M Vijay, Ravindra Jadeja have flattered to deceive, the fast bowlers have consistently fallen apart in the middle of a series, and there is are no emerging spinners. IPL can & will not produce talent. It's purely a money making exercise, and this excess will soon become a case of killing the goose that laid the golden eggs

  • POSTED BY ladycricfan on | June 2, 2012, 18:31 GMT

    England started T20.All the other test playing nations have their own T20 domestic tournaments. Bilateral T20I matches occur regularly. T20 world cup happens once in two years. Why all this IPL bashing?

  • POSTED BY mukesh_LOVE.cricket on | June 2, 2012, 17:43 GMT

    Also well said by manjarekar , i have always liked his articles. he has the right perspective on Indian cricket.He appreciates the good in IPL and at the same time doesn't get carried away with all the its hype. well written.

  • POSTED BY mukesh_LOVE.cricket on | June 2, 2012, 17:37 GMT

    @grizzle-- i might copy and paste what you said , completely agree with it , comparison with Bollywood is spot on , well said man :-)

  • POSTED BY on | June 2, 2012, 17:15 GMT

    Excellent article Sanjay. I must admit that I blamed IPL for India's performance after the world cup. But it is clear that was an exception. This year IPL despite all the TV ratings and negative publicity was one of the best tournaments I have ever watched. To bring 10 teams and play 16 games each and not have playoff winners determined by 14th or 15th game is exceptional in any kind of sport.

  • POSTED BY u.moral on | June 2, 2012, 17:01 GMT

    Why dis fuss??? An Indian player plays 16-18 matches in the IPL...Is everyone saying playing 16-18 T20 matches will spoil their batting,,,what about playing in d long domestic season that starts next?? Its not dat players lyk Rohit,Rahane,Tiwary learnt playing cricket by playing in IPL..I m sure they have worked hard from their childhood and are now where they are

  • POSTED BY Soulberry on | June 2, 2012, 16:16 GMT

    Well said sir. Heartening to see you chose to step forward and place facts instead of opting for the easier in the circumstances.

  • POSTED BY grizzle on | June 2, 2012, 15:36 GMT

    IMO, the problem with the IPL is not the sleaze, but the fact that it is poor quality cricket. And here I mean T20 in general. It handicaps bowlers by limiting them to 4 overs per bowler, by placing fielding restrictions, and rendering real spin bowling and reverse swing impossible; furthermore, it helps batsmen with fielding restrictions and by giving them 10 wickets to lose in 20 overs of batting. Those who think it is exciting because of the close contests are wrong: the T20 format doesn't allow enough time for a contest to develop. Why not have a 5 over a side match? Virtually every contest will be decided off the last ball! Finally, the IPL in particular overhypes its product (can you blame them, actually?) with noise, cheerleaders. noise, bollywood "stars", noise, irritating hyperbolic commentary, and yet more noise. It is what Bollywood is to movies: you might find a little bit of good in it somewhere, but it's not worth going through the trouble of finding it. Shambolic.

  • POSTED BY premclement on | June 2, 2012, 15:35 GMT

    well, this is to people who say that 2/3 of the stadiums were empty in chennai is due to lack of clearance from the government for 3 stands. Hence, the 2/3rd empty stadium at chennai during the league matches.

  • POSTED BY Bruisers on | June 2, 2012, 15:32 GMT

    @1st_april - There is a HUGE HUGE difference between we 'could' have won and we 'did' win. Cricket is not a game of IFs and BUTs. Move on.

  • POSTED BY Bruisers on | June 2, 2012, 15:27 GMT

    All those who think IPL has affected India's Test performance must look at facts. At the end of 2007 (before start of IPL 1), India were 4th in the Test Rankings.. At the end of 2008 (after season 1 of IPL), India were No.2.. At the end of 2009 (after season 2), India were No.1. Even after 3rd season they maintained their top position. So why wasn't the IPL credited for India's good run in Tests during the first 3 seasons? Now that India has started to perform badly, people are looking for reasons and IPL has been made the scapegoat. Solution for better performance in Tests? Give the youngsters a opportunity. Drop the old horses like Laxman and let Rohit and Rahane in, give the young quick bowlers like Yadav and Awana a brief run, change the skipper if necessary.

  • POSTED BY StarHawk on | June 2, 2012, 14:23 GMT

    Well written Mr. Manjrekar. I'm an American who got caught up with IPL when I was in South Africa for some business. T20 cricket attracted me because it's very similar to baseball and it's really exciting. My friends have made me watch test cricket & odi cricket, but they're too boring for me. T20 is just perfect, because I can watch the whole game in 3 hours and it's a lot of fun. I still don't know any of the players except the likes of Gayle, Tendulkar etc. but I have fun watching IPL. We don't have cricket on TV here, but I watched IPL online and it was great fun. I don't know about any of the controversies surrounding IPL, but I just know that IPL can attract new audiences like me because it's very exciting & fun

  • POSTED BY YS_USA on | June 2, 2012, 13:40 GMT

    In the USA, these days, basketball finals and hockey finals are going on at the same time. And these are not just one games but best of 7 games. Baseball is also played every evening. So, if the USA we can have 2 to 3 top games almost every day, the world can also have all 3 types of top games all the time. Most countries have enough players to play all 3 types of cricket and more matches mean more chances to play for more youngsters. YS from USA

  • POSTED BY skepticaloptimist on | June 2, 2012, 13:23 GMT

    @mlkt - Well, what I don't like or do like is almost irrelevant. All players have the right to choose to play for whichever team they want. You can't force them do play for their national teams. Plus, it's written in the contracts. If the contract says that the player must prioritize national duties ahead of the leagues, and the player agrees to it, then he must honor it - that, again, is the player's choice. Stop being an idealist and look around you: everyone acts in self-interest; that is the very premise of our socio-economic construct. So, in short: if Sachin, Sehwag, et al. wish to play for their respective clubs ahead of the national team, I'd be a tad disappointed, but that's about it. I won't cry about it or call it unfair. @bobmartin - You are referring to Chennai's ground. They had this particular stand which was empty because the environment department didn't grant the permission to use it till the last stages. Ignorance, my friend, is a fool's jewel.

  • POSTED BY Riderstorm on | June 2, 2012, 13:08 GMT

    For every little thing that is wrong with the game blame IPL. It's just an easy target. Players have the choice of the job to choose similar to a guy with multiple job opportunities. As for the death of test and ODI cricket, it has been on the decline in terms of appeasing the mass followers. Lot to do with too much quantity within a year over quality of games that require fit players and sporting pitches. It is the job of the cricket boards to let go of their greed or atleast limit their greed to earning through T20 leagues and maintaining high standards in test cricket through limited matches and sporting pitches.

  • POSTED BY premclement on | June 2, 2012, 12:45 GMT

    Bang on target mate. I completely agree with your views on IPL and how many people outside cricket try to blame IPL for everything that goes wrong in cricket, which is a utter shame. IPL is here to stay whether people like it or not.

  • POSTED BY SeamingWicket on | June 2, 2012, 12:12 GMT

    Overall a good article by Sanjay. Balanced. But one error i need to correct. The stadiums were not always filled. I saw several games where 2/3 of the stadiums seemed empty. 2 matches in Chennai spring to mind

  • POSTED BY kunderanengineer on | June 2, 2012, 12:03 GMT

    I live in a country where the major cable sports channels will show live poker, spelling bee contests and dog shows before they show any form of cricket. So imagine my shock when one of them actually broadcast the final between KKR and CSK live! Now can someone convince me that this kind of exposure is actually bad for the sport? At my work place I have only one colleague (a South African by birth) with whom I can discuss cricket. A couple of weeks ago while we were discussing the current WI/England series, another colleague (a fanatic of rugby) was overhearing our conversation and interjected "Wow that Gayle guy is something else isn't he!" We both looked at each other in consternation and knew what the other was thinking. "hey we now have another person we can discuss cricket with" Can someone convince me that growing the fan base for a sport is a bad thing? However, I do believe that scheduling should be improved so that the best players are available to play for their countries.

  • POSTED BY Percy_Fender on | June 2, 2012, 11:51 GMT

    It is the glitz and extravanza of the IPL that has caused so much loathing to it. That is the legacy of a legend in his mind,Lalit Modi.Cricket lovers have over the years,come to realise that in reality it is a very good display of cricketing skills by everyone playing the game. For the Indian players it is a chance to match their abilities against some of the best in the world.The thing is that such talented players may never have got noticed but for the the IPL, in the normal run of domestic cricket like Ranji, Duleep tournaments etc.For a genuine cricket lover anticipating youngsters like Suriya Yadav and Vijay Zol or Shami Ahmed playing against the best is what made the crowds come in such a big way this year.The cheer leaders have become less relevant I think and that is what is heartening.That it is cricket that is finally the winner in a tournament so despised internationally.By the hard-nosed traditionalists as much as those that have been left out. But the IPL will win.

  • POSTED BY AMAZINGFAN on | June 2, 2012, 11:48 GMT

    IPL is fun,entertainment and thrill.but it has effect on india's test cricket.nowadays the youngsters are not interested in playing test matches.u saw in australia how our youngsters struggled and they don't show any temperament.they think every ball is to be hit in cricket.they can't even stay in the crease for 1hour.at the moment india's test future is bleak.

  • POSTED BY Cricket_Fan_007 on | June 2, 2012, 11:45 GMT

    @Sanjay. You missed a fundamental point of about human motivation. If you have a choice between a million dollars for 4 hours of cricket per day every 2nd day for 2 months vs maybe at best half a million for the rest of 10 months for playing 15 gruelling 5-day matches and 50 gruelling ODIs which one will you pick.

    And if you dont think thats correct - just look at the examples of Indian cricketers who are sick and injured before test series or are forced to go play in test series but they are magically fit for the full two months of IPL. Your example of SA or Australia is misplaced because they have reached the level of maturity and financial security that Indian team has not.

  • POSTED BY on | June 2, 2012, 11:30 GMT

    If Ipl get a window in May & April the tournament organizers should compensate ECB & WICB for their considerable losses incurred. West Indies Cricket especially is very negatively affected by all these domestic 20/20 cricket leagues. WICB cant compete with the big money on offer so each year we either lose players completely or players turn up for international cricket playing halfheartedly. The list includes Gayle, Bravo, Pollard, Russell Samuels Narine & will continue to grow if something isn't done. I am sure WICB has observed a drastic drop off in ticket sales for the early part of the season post Ipl cause most fans like myself are hesitant to pay a pretty hefty amount of money for tickets to see a team without it's most talented players get beaten no matter how much they fight ! worse if i can watch it on tv. Imagine how many less tickets BCCI would sell for a home series if Tendulkar alone much more several key players were away playing in a circus tournament elsewhere?

  • POSTED BY on | June 2, 2012, 11:29 GMT

    Very well written,Sanjay!

  • POSTED BY mrhamilton on | June 2, 2012, 11:12 GMT

    "sanjaycricfan were you actually around watching cricket in the 70s and 80s like me to say something as laughably ridiculous as test match cricket wasnt a mainstream sport in the indian subcontinent before on e day cricket! pathetic how IPL fanboys and revisionists rewrite the rich long history of this game the IPL has been around barely 5 yrs and test cricket over a hundred and it is test cricket that spread the game worldwide. IPL is vulgar, and a indian national sport not trul;y international. ZERO compare to soccer champions league. I doubt this pro indian IPL site will print this. it doesnt ahve the courage!!

  • POSTED BY TimelessTests on | June 2, 2012, 10:31 GMT

    I agree IPL hasn't 'taken sleaze to new heights' though its legacy of increased player greed is unlikely to help reduce it.

    What it has undoubtedly done is taken kitsch to new heights. The cheerleaders, fireworks, blaring music and obsession with 'DLF maximums' are a world away from traditional cricket values.

    My main gripe at the IPL is more that is takes talent from the top - well, near the top - of the talent pool whilst giving nothing back to the grassroots other than a sense of financial greed and entitlement. Fortunately castles like this that are built on sand do not last.

    Now back to my pork pie and warm beer...

  • POSTED BY bobmartin on | June 2, 2012, 10:28 GMT

    @Sanjay "So while the masses endorsed the fifth edition of the tournament by filling stadiums match after match," Were you watching the same IPL as me... .. Although the TV producers did their best to avoid it, at several of the games when the camera followed the ball.. all the seats in the stands in the background were devoid of any spectators.

  • POSTED BY Sanjeevakki on | June 2, 2012, 10:14 GMT

    You like it or Hate it. But one cannot ignore IPL...... And IPL will be better in the coming years....With Uncapped players going into AUCTION in 2013 and Huge AUCTION coming up in 2014.... And there is possiblity of one More team in 2014.... So it will be 10 teams and 94 games in total....... 2 Months of sooper doooper excitementand entertainment..... because the intensity in matches will be more......... For all the purists out here...... FYI I'm a big follower of good TEST match cricket like ENG vs AUS, IND vs AUS, IND vs ENG, SAF vs AUS, SAF VS ENG....... ICC should lower its ODI cricket and also unwanted test matches including lower ranked teams..........

  • POSTED BY RogerC on | June 2, 2012, 10:06 GMT

    If IPL-like tournament is organised in England by the English Cricket Board, what would the comments be? People who talk about sleaze should remember the deal between ECB and Alan Sanford. As KP said, there is so much jealousy in some circles on IPL's success.

  • POSTED BY on | June 2, 2012, 9:53 GMT

    IPL would be absoluetly fine for Indian Cricket only if the players get the window for rest that they had prior to IPLl.. Amount of International Cricket has not reduced since IPL started. With players playing all formats including IPL, I wonder are they humans or machines. The debacle in England&Australia is not just due to IPL but poor selections. RP Sing was called from holiday in US straight into Test match, though Zaheer was injured on the 1st day the management instead of asking for a cover right away pretended he is fit. I'm sure that likes of Awana who where waiting in the wings could have done a decent job than a player coming back from holiday.

  • POSTED BY 1st_april on | June 2, 2012, 9:47 GMT

    @prashnottz @natmastak_so-called we lost a close series last time...by 1 wicket remember.....Bollinger was out of action in the 2nd innings....plus we won 2-1, could have been 3-0 ,in 2004 in India....while India's most memorable effort in Australia is swapping Steve Bucknor with Asad Rauf...lol...:-)

  • POSTED BY Jayco on | June 2, 2012, 9:35 GMT

    I agree with everything you say. But when I read the title I thought you were going to mention the issue of alleged corruption and the 5 player suspensions!

  • POSTED BY sanjaycrickfan on | June 2, 2012, 9:20 GMT

    Test match cricket was never a mainstream sport, at least as far as India and the sub continent is concerned. Test matches and longer form of cricket in India was always played by the elite and the nawabs.

    With the advent of ODIs, cricket became way more popular among the middle class. T20 is just like ODIs with the middle overs removed. So it will always be more popular because people like watching all the excitement like catches, run outs, boundaries, wickets, close finishes within 3 hours. If you think test match cricket will ever have a huge appeal, you are terribly mistaken. Nobody who goes to school/college or holds a job or has a life is going to spend 5 days watching a match that may well end in a draw. It appeal is only for hard core fans(like me) and retired people - a small, niche audience. Cricket fans should be happy T20 is attracting more people(even women) to the game which many people thought will die very soon.

  • POSTED BY mlkt on | June 2, 2012, 9:08 GMT

    @skepticaloptimist....u mean there is no difference between a club and a national side...player will definitely like to go to the league where he can get the money....ya it is special to see gayle smashing sixes IN t20...BUT HE HAS NOT PLAYED FOR WI SINCE THE WC....so if u r an indian fan would u be ok if tendulkar, sehwag, dhoni or gambhir r only playing t20 leugues and not playing for the country??????......REGARDING CONTRACTS, dont u think any board/ selector will love to select these players if they can.....the thing is that these circumstances have been made so that players like gayle will be available to play in IPL....PROBABLY BCCI HAS A ROLE IN THIS TOO......our indian players like zaheer, sehwag etc play whole of IPL and get unfit on the first day of a test match....dhoni has played all the IPL and CL matches till now....but has skipped many ODI SERIES since last 4 years to take rest.....

  • POSTED BY on | June 2, 2012, 9:01 GMT

    Very well said. Sanjay Manjrekar, has been honest and dedicated to not only Indian Cricket(that's in his blood) but to the game of cricket as whole. I can' agree more.!

  • POSTED BY on | June 2, 2012, 8:17 GMT

    Does freelance mean unpaid? otherwise there will be an unavoidable perception of bias in what you say. I have no problems with the IPL but IPL Parties are still a party. I don't know how they can be given the cloak of "private parties" when the player diaries and interviews we read all suggest it is one and the same. Until these late night parties are stopped the IPL will never be a professional showpiece.

  • POSTED BY jyoseb on | June 2, 2012, 8:09 GMT

    I have been a cricket player and follower for 24 years and am disapppointed to see these comments from a former test player. Being somebody who started following cricket when WI were the uncrowned champions of the world, its unfortunate that they can't even field their best team on a tour due to IPL. With all due respect, most of the IPL fans are not cricket fans and the game is not going to benefit out of these supporters.

  • POSTED BY on | June 2, 2012, 8:01 GMT

    @RyanHarrisGreatCricketer, I dont understand.. do you really watch cricket? India's Tour of England started with 2 tour matches.. then how do you say that they went their without practice? I love cricket... which means that I love all the three forms of the game!!! each format needs different skills.. and if IPL can bring 10% new audience to cricket it is a wonderful thing. the equation is simple if you don't like something don't watch it.. or read about it..

  • POSTED BY on | June 2, 2012, 7:27 GMT

    To all the people who are irrationally bashing IPL for the death of Test cricket, understand that it was already done when ODI was introduced. Also, tell me when was the last time you watched FULL 5 day cricket??? To all the IPL bashers, what were you doing when Kerry Packer introduced ODI cricket? Truth is there are really not many teams in the world that can play Test cricket. You want proof, watch Thomson, Lillee and the Windies quicks bowl and compare it against today's quicks.

  • POSTED BY S.Jagernath on | June 2, 2012, 7:18 GMT

    T20 cricket cannot replace Test cricket.Test cricket will always be here,the English & Australians love it & here in South Africa,the grounds are always full.Test cricket feels superior & special,especially when its played in England.I watch the IPL just to see players like Mandeep Singh & Dhawal Kulkarni,guys I read about but whom India does not select.The IPL lacks quality but it cannot be blamed for a player's lack of batting or bowling technique.The other situation is the huge sums of money that are paid to certain undeserving cricketers,as in the case of Ravindra Jadeja.Jadeja bats poorly & bowls poorly in real cricket but is going to earn $6m,so why should he bother to work on his technique when he will be richer than so many great cricketers.That is the mindset that is dangerous but those that truly enjoy cricket as an art rather than a game will work to excel at the highest level & develop powerful concentration & patience rather than ADHD.

  • POSTED BY skepticaloptimist on | June 2, 2012, 6:35 GMT

    @LillianThompson - Rubbish. Your comment is so misleading. One, Gayle and Narine didn't even central contracts when they were playing in the IPL. Narine, especially, was contracted with KKR before he was given a contract with the WICB, and therefore, he chose to honor KKR's contract. Regarding Gayle, you might want to look into the issue more deeply. After Gayle was NOT picked for the West Indies' ODIs, he chose to make himself available for the IPL, in which he was picked as a replacement for Dirk Nannes. Two, it's a player's individual choice, for which ever team he wants to play. It's also a part of their respective contracts, in which they make things clear. It's their individual choice: it's your choice to eat apple opposed to the orange. Individuals have the rights to make their choice, and you should respect it too. Considering whether you accept or not, how many people do you think care. Zero. Like it or not, IPL will running successfully - the incentives it provides are huge.

  • POSTED BY kantipur on | June 2, 2012, 6:18 GMT

    What about West Indian cricket? If tomorrow West indies cricket completely dies the international cricket pool which is already so small will become smaller.

  • POSTED BY natmastak_so-called on | June 2, 2012, 6:11 GMT

    @1st_april : when was the last time auss beat Ind in Ind .? make peace with each other's home record and we'll have our peace with OUR IPL .

  • POSTED BY akshaysabnis on | June 2, 2012, 5:50 GMT

    @mjcoxx - RR, DC , CSK , CSK, KKR Runners Up - CSK, RCB , MI , RCB , CSK D Christian was not an international when he was selected in DC last year. Pollard was unknown when he was picked for MI season 3. Neither were many SAF players. @others just like sanjay said....switch the TV to another channel..... And stop crucifying the IPL.

  • POSTED BY LillianThomson on | June 2, 2012, 5:42 GMT

    I would accept all of Manjrekar's arguments if - and only if - the IPL applied the same contract clause as the ICL. ALL PLAYERS SELECTED FOR THEIR NATIONAL TEAM MUST PLAY FOR THEIR NATIONAL TEAM AHEAD OF IPL IF DATES COINCIDE. It is absolutely not OK for Samuels, Gayle and Narine to represent their IPL teams ahead of West Indies. And as long as IPL puts players in that position, it should be banned, and any player playing IPL should be banned from international cricket for 5 years.

  • POSTED BY Leggie on | June 2, 2012, 5:35 GMT

    Sanjay, you touched upon the very essence of IPL problem. You mention about how IPL has managed to bring in fans who are not even cricket fans to start with. SO.., IPL is all about entertainment - and not just cricket. If dilution of cricket is a problem for purists, are they not right? As a purist, I hate a) cricket being played in the heat of an Indian summer b) cricketers skipping their national interest & playing for insignificant matches c) meaningless 70+ matches over a period of 40 days. no one remembers who did what when/how. All they would remember is a hazy picture d) Seeing top BCCI officials owning cricket teams!. As Sanjay rightly mentioned, Test cricket is the finest form of sport and I still remember some of the finest knocks played by Sanjay against the best of WI in WI. This finesse is missing in IPL and there can be no doubt that IPL can only breed crass. A purist can see this writing on the wall, and its amazing that someone like Sanjay cannot see it..

  • POSTED BY on | June 2, 2012, 5:12 GMT

    Sanjay, I agreed with all that you have selected to be included in this article. You indeed is a "neutral viewer of the game". I also love test cricket as much as I could but do you think playing in a 5-day game and in white clothing alone will make it a "test-match cricket"... ENG Vs WI was a prime example where the game was like a examination hall in a school. ENG was the examiner and WI was the student, only WI had been tested, for ENG will you call it a test.. By this I just want to emphasize that "Test-cricket" can not be saved just by playing it... and on the same line by not playing T-20 either. I think supporting Test-cricket blindly will only delay the inevitable....cheers

  • POSTED BY landl47 on | June 2, 2012, 5:12 GMT

    I have a few problems with Sanjay's comments. First, the IPL is popular only in India. Yes, foreign players love the money it provides, but there are few fans outside India. Look at the threads on Cricinfo relating to every IPL game and you'll see only Indian comments. Second, there's no indication in Australia and England, the birthplaces of test cricket, that test matches are losing popularity. The grounds are full and interest is high. Third, India is not developing young test players as it used to. Bowlers are learning to bowl defensively (0-19 is better than 2-40 in IPL) instead of taking wickets and batsmen are losing the art of defence, unnecessary in IPL. Close fielders are also not required so that skill is being lost. It's fine for established players to play a few games of knockabout cricket, but young players need to learn the basics. The real problem is T20 isn't cricket, it's another game using the same equipment. It will be a sad day if it replaces cricket.

  • POSTED BY RyanHarrisGreatCricketer on | June 2, 2012, 5:09 GMT

    Yes the ipl is definitely an advantage for indian cricket: Sloggers like Raina and Yusuf Pathan are branded as stars. Six days after a world cup most players play ipl,miss west indies tours and go to england without match practice.Yes yes it is great,this ipl

  • POSTED BY skepticaloptimist on | June 2, 2012, 5:09 GMT

    @mjcoxx - Rajasthan (played final against csk, won chasing) in 2008; Deccan (vs RCB, defended) 2009; CSK (vs MI, defended) 2010; CSK (vs RCB, defended); and I don't have to say this years. I swear I didn't look at the archives, and would readily be able to recall at least 50 of match results from last three seasons (including this one, of course) of the IPL. EPL holds a huge mass appeal, can you recall all the champions from last 10 season. F1? NBA? Stop throwing rubbish about the IPL here. If you don't care about it, I don't care; but clearly you do care, taking you time to bash it here.

  • POSTED BY RyanHarrisGreatCricketer on | June 2, 2012, 5:07 GMT

    Mr Manjrekar do you mean to say manoj tiwary is a t20 slogger compared to pujara and rahane.? I want to get rid of this notion. Just because a player cannot hit sixes he does not become a 'classic' player. It means he is just not strong enough. And just because a player consistently hits sixes he doesnt become a slogger(not at least in all cases). Tiwary averages above 60 in FC and as far as i m concerned even though he is sometimes cocky he is better than Rahane(Front foot poor technique) and Pujara(dour)

  • POSTED BY prashnottz on | June 2, 2012, 4:56 GMT

    @1st_april - BTW what's Australia's record in India over the last 6 tests? 0-4

  • POSTED BY mjcoxx on | June 2, 2012, 4:53 GMT

    The IPL holds mass appeal? Is anyone outside India (with the the exception of international players looking to boost their incomes) actually interested in it? Without going back to the CricInfo archives can anyone name all five IPL champions from the past five years?

  • POSTED BY Nadeem1976 on | June 2, 2012, 4:37 GMT

    Sunjay i totally agree with you , i believe that crciket is evolving and moving towards faster game of T2020 like our lives are. We don't have time these days to watch 5 day cricket or even 1 day cricket. 3 Hours of cricket is perfect for entertainment. In T2020 players are using same ball, same bat, same equipments , same stadiums , every thing is same then why to make a big fuss. T2020 is not alien cricket at all. It's shorter version of Cricket and most entertaining and thrilling.

    People who have lots of time, they can watch test cricket with no fans in stadium but i will watch where masses are and IPL has masses and fans support.

    ICC should think positively and end ODI cricket after 2015 WC and move on with test cricket and T2020 cricket only. Ideal situation.

  • POSTED BY RakeshBaliga on | June 2, 2012, 4:16 GMT

    "for every Manoj Tiwary there will be an Ajinkya Rahane or a Cheteshwar Pujara who will emerge from the same generation"

    Sanjay, did you mean Manoj Tiwary or Saurabh Tiwary?... Manoj Tiwary is a proven long innings player at the Ranji level

  • POSTED BY 1st_april on | June 2, 2012, 3:33 GMT

    another article of the IPL entourage.....India can boost the energizing effects of the IPL as much as want....as long as Australia is shellacking India in tests...i have no problem :-)

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  • POSTED BY 1st_april on | June 2, 2012, 3:33 GMT

    another article of the IPL entourage.....India can boost the energizing effects of the IPL as much as want....as long as Australia is shellacking India in tests...i have no problem :-)

  • POSTED BY RakeshBaliga on | June 2, 2012, 4:16 GMT

    "for every Manoj Tiwary there will be an Ajinkya Rahane or a Cheteshwar Pujara who will emerge from the same generation"

    Sanjay, did you mean Manoj Tiwary or Saurabh Tiwary?... Manoj Tiwary is a proven long innings player at the Ranji level

  • POSTED BY Nadeem1976 on | June 2, 2012, 4:37 GMT

    Sunjay i totally agree with you , i believe that crciket is evolving and moving towards faster game of T2020 like our lives are. We don't have time these days to watch 5 day cricket or even 1 day cricket. 3 Hours of cricket is perfect for entertainment. In T2020 players are using same ball, same bat, same equipments , same stadiums , every thing is same then why to make a big fuss. T2020 is not alien cricket at all. It's shorter version of Cricket and most entertaining and thrilling.

    People who have lots of time, they can watch test cricket with no fans in stadium but i will watch where masses are and IPL has masses and fans support.

    ICC should think positively and end ODI cricket after 2015 WC and move on with test cricket and T2020 cricket only. Ideal situation.

  • POSTED BY mjcoxx on | June 2, 2012, 4:53 GMT

    The IPL holds mass appeal? Is anyone outside India (with the the exception of international players looking to boost their incomes) actually interested in it? Without going back to the CricInfo archives can anyone name all five IPL champions from the past five years?

  • POSTED BY prashnottz on | June 2, 2012, 4:56 GMT

    @1st_april - BTW what's Australia's record in India over the last 6 tests? 0-4

  • POSTED BY RyanHarrisGreatCricketer on | June 2, 2012, 5:07 GMT

    Mr Manjrekar do you mean to say manoj tiwary is a t20 slogger compared to pujara and rahane.? I want to get rid of this notion. Just because a player cannot hit sixes he does not become a 'classic' player. It means he is just not strong enough. And just because a player consistently hits sixes he doesnt become a slogger(not at least in all cases). Tiwary averages above 60 in FC and as far as i m concerned even though he is sometimes cocky he is better than Rahane(Front foot poor technique) and Pujara(dour)

  • POSTED BY skepticaloptimist on | June 2, 2012, 5:09 GMT

    @mjcoxx - Rajasthan (played final against csk, won chasing) in 2008; Deccan (vs RCB, defended) 2009; CSK (vs MI, defended) 2010; CSK (vs RCB, defended); and I don't have to say this years. I swear I didn't look at the archives, and would readily be able to recall at least 50 of match results from last three seasons (including this one, of course) of the IPL. EPL holds a huge mass appeal, can you recall all the champions from last 10 season. F1? NBA? Stop throwing rubbish about the IPL here. If you don't care about it, I don't care; but clearly you do care, taking you time to bash it here.

  • POSTED BY RyanHarrisGreatCricketer on | June 2, 2012, 5:09 GMT

    Yes the ipl is definitely an advantage for indian cricket: Sloggers like Raina and Yusuf Pathan are branded as stars. Six days after a world cup most players play ipl,miss west indies tours and go to england without match practice.Yes yes it is great,this ipl

  • POSTED BY landl47 on | June 2, 2012, 5:12 GMT

    I have a few problems with Sanjay's comments. First, the IPL is popular only in India. Yes, foreign players love the money it provides, but there are few fans outside India. Look at the threads on Cricinfo relating to every IPL game and you'll see only Indian comments. Second, there's no indication in Australia and England, the birthplaces of test cricket, that test matches are losing popularity. The grounds are full and interest is high. Third, India is not developing young test players as it used to. Bowlers are learning to bowl defensively (0-19 is better than 2-40 in IPL) instead of taking wickets and batsmen are losing the art of defence, unnecessary in IPL. Close fielders are also not required so that skill is being lost. It's fine for established players to play a few games of knockabout cricket, but young players need to learn the basics. The real problem is T20 isn't cricket, it's another game using the same equipment. It will be a sad day if it replaces cricket.

  • POSTED BY on | June 2, 2012, 5:12 GMT

    Sanjay, I agreed with all that you have selected to be included in this article. You indeed is a "neutral viewer of the game". I also love test cricket as much as I could but do you think playing in a 5-day game and in white clothing alone will make it a "test-match cricket"... ENG Vs WI was a prime example where the game was like a examination hall in a school. ENG was the examiner and WI was the student, only WI had been tested, for ENG will you call it a test.. By this I just want to emphasize that "Test-cricket" can not be saved just by playing it... and on the same line by not playing T-20 either. I think supporting Test-cricket blindly will only delay the inevitable....cheers