In this season of Test cricket, the mere mention of the Indian Premier League elicits admonishments from the purists. It doesn't help your argument a bit when you see actor-choreographer Farah Khan plugging for the league in a series of TV advertisements that attempt to blur the difference between sport and entertainment, gentlemen and "mental-men".
It may be considered fast-food fare compared to the full-course meal that is the five-day game, but for those who've sampled both, the taste of victory remains the same, and like the slogan of a particularly sinful chocolate, you have to earn it. Thus feels the man who has whetted his seemingly insatiable appetite for Test runs , while also enjoying the fruits of IPL labour - Gautam Gambhir.
As captain of the defending IPL champions Kolkata Knight Riders, Gambhir rebuilt a habitually underperforming franchise and made a price-tag of $2.4 million (Rs 12cr) seem like a bargain. Who better, then, to shatter the myth of the IPL being a Mickey Mouse league in sport more accustomed to the super-hero feats in the longer format.
"Beyond the glitz and the glamour, lies a distinct cricket challenge. When you consider in all factors - the number of matches, the exhaustive traveling, the very little recovery period - you realise that it's not as eased out as some make it out to seem," said the 31-year-old southpaw, who visited HT House on International Women's Day to take part in a panel discussion on women achievers and the challenges they face.