Last year I attended the Indian Premier League semi-final match between the Chennai Super Kings and Kings XI Punjab. It was happening in Mumbai and I went to watch it for Mahi [Mahendra Singh Dhoni]. As a Mumbaikar, obviously I support the Mumbai Indians, and as a friend I’m with Mahi.
This year, I am wondering what to do. I don’t think I’ll have the time and energy to go to South Africa. I know all the sceptics are already shaking their heads and wondering whether this season will be as successful as the last one.
I, too, wonder how successful an Indian Premiere League would be abroad, but I know it would definitely be a success for television. The essence of the IPL, however, will be lost — after all, how do you address a Mumbai Indians and Kolkata Knight Riders match in Durban?
What happens to the concept of home and away matches — aren’t they all now away matches?
But the more important thing is that the IPL is happening at all. Given that the other IPL, the Indian Political League, is on at the same time, we must be wary as none of us would want a visitor on our soil to get hurt. It is better to be safe than sorry. It sounds brave to say that we can manage both but, frankly, that’s too much to ask for.
This whole matter brings to the forefront the issue of India as a sporting nation. I’m just wondering aloud here, but are we equipped to deal with the Commonwealth Games? Can we seriously be a Formula 1 nation? Where’s the infrastructure for the million-dollar cars coming into our country?
If the IPL is the tip of the iceberg, are we really ready to put on the hat of a great sporting nation when the truth is that we are ill-equipped, indisciplined and our authorities have a completely lackadaisical approach towards everything?
I’m sure every Indian has an opinion on this matter, and I’d love to hear some of your views. All those of you who wrote in with suggestions about which bike I should buy, I wanted to let you know that the response was overwhelmingly in favour of the Hayabusa GSX 1300 RR and as of Friday, I am the proud owner of one.
Unfortunately, I won’t get to ride it until April as I’m shooting in Hyderabad, but the minute I’m back and have my first ride, I’ll write in to you.
Write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org