He’s mad that trusts in the tameness of a wolf, a horse’s health, a boy's love, or a whore’s oath — William Shakespeare
Welcome to the new dawn. Welcome to the land of high intensity entertainment, where the players hit sixes and fours and sometimes get out too. And, yes, not to forget, the bowlers take wickets too.
Welcome to an arena where profusely sweating faces, numbering in thousands, follow the arc of the bat, the trajectory of the ball, the elastic athleticism of the players and watch, in almost neurotic tension, the ball disappearing into the stands. They scream and shout and by the end of three-and-a-half hours, lose their voices though their eyes are still yearning to catch a glimpse of their favourite film stars and starlets.
You can't miss this piece of action, and if you have, then you have not lived your life!
Let us applaud this piece of creation called the IPL and let us salute the man who created it all. You can't miss Lailt Modi as he appears on our television screens almost every day. In the beginning it was to tickle our appetite by his grandiose plans to match and overtake all the K serials. And these days he appears on the screen to first tell us who hit whom, who spoke ill of whom and then pronounces all the fines and the bans which, to the delight of the media, fill their spaces and make banner headlines.
Ladies and gentlemen, if you think this is cricket, just forget it. That was a game played by flannelled fools, who would say sorry to the opponents each time they hit a six or took a wicket. That was in the ancient times.
This game is in desperate search of a new grammar, where the emotions are on a raw edge and everyone is so passionately involved that he needs to hit his opponent to prove his commitment.
When Harbhajan hits Sreesanth, we all regret why did it not happen when the match was actually being played and why on the sidelines? This is cheating and depriving thousands of us of real live action.
The IPL has taken this business of discipline to the next level and now, alongside the players, even umpires are banned as a matter of routine. Only sane men quote scriptures for their purpose and that is the reason why the ICC Code of Conduct is quoted to its last detail to justify all these bans and fines.
Among the many `landmark' decisions the IPL has taken, the best is to set the umpires right. India's most competent umpire, or so we had presumed -- Amish Sahiba --- finds himself out of action for two matches. It serves him right! What business did he have to warn Sreesanth twice for his ill temper and then not report it to Match Referee Farookh Engineer but spill the beans to a newspaper reporter! I think Mr Modi, who we are told is now thinking of penalising even Engineer for wearing a team jersey and being publicly seen supporting one of the teams, should now expand his team and form a proper disciplinary committee. My suggestion is that the hearings should be live so that that it gives a boost to the already soaring TRP ratings.
By banning another umpire -- Pratap Kumar -- for not knowing the rules, India has vindicated ICC which has not included any Indian umpire in their Elite Panel. This is another proof of IPL's `fairness', where National Loyalties have no place.
PS: What IPL needs is, in typical American baseball style, a bench-clearing brawl. Let us, again like baseball, have something like a bean ball (akin to a beamer in cricket) where the pitcher, sorry, the bowler, tries to hit the batter, sorry again, the batsman, and what follows is the teams from both sides charging at each other. It will make for a great television spectacle and if there was ever any doubt that IPL won't finish traditional cricket, it will be laid to rest forever.