Call it sheer craving for entertainment or love for the game, but most Pakistanis sure can’t sleep without their daily dose of IPL on TV.
Like Indians, Pakistanis are hooked to the IPL phenomenon — though they are not new to the T-20 concept. They have their domestic tournaments, but the size and star value of the IPL are simply irresistible. It doesn’t matter where they are in the evening — their drawing rooms or in a hotel lobby — the matches are a must-watch.
Watching SRK doing a jig in the stands or Preity Zinta cheering her team is an obvious bonus, but the cricket is what actually interests her, insists Amra, a student of the prestigious National College of Art.
It’s not just about watching Shoaib Akhtar play for Kolkata or Shoaib Malik for Delhi. Many in this country, in fact, are not impressed with the performance of the Pakistani players, an exception being the Rawalpindi Express. “All my friends have just gone crazy. They are watching every minute of the games,” says Rahat, a student of the Lahore University of Management Sciences.
Geo Super, which is airing the matches live, has seen a surge in popularity. Some Lahoris have a complaint though. “Lahore should be included as an IPL venue next season,” suggests Babar, a business executive. Who knows, the IPL managers might just oblige.