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HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, March 08, 2013
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.