The first question that springs to any random visitor’s mind as he logs on to www.iplt20.com is, “I came all the way across the info highway for this? Yes. It is the same website that stood in the storm of the media controversy before the tournament began. At first glance, there is nothing new that this “official” website is doing. The Redskins goddesses don’t leap off the screen and dance on your keyboard. Preity Zinta doesn’t flash you a dimpled smile. There are no specials or full coverages adopted by other media houses.
Just before the proposed launch of the website, there were many things that had were promised. But they are not on the site. Newsletters, polls, fantasy cricket and fan interactions were on the cards, but nothing is there. Not now at least.
When a match is on, you see it on streaming video on the site. Which is good. But when it’s not, an annoying “Cricket ka Mahayudh” ad pops up. Then there is a series of tabs, with unfilled or unlinked content. Take for example, the Mobile/Downloads tab, which promises a great deal through “Alerts” or “Wallpapers & Ringtones”, but, has nothing to show, unfortunately. Two ads with the “Get Connected” tag-line, unfortunately, curious visitors will pose the “How” question. All teams on the website are not updated. So, how the hell would the geek know if Lasith Malinga has been withdrawn by Mumbai and Dwayne Bravo has indeed replaced him?
There are spelling mistakes galore. Yogesh Takawale, the wicketkeeper batsman from the Mumbai franchise, has been listed as “Yogesh Takawade” in the team intro — which goes something like this — “Harbhajan Singh, Robin Uthappa, Sanath Jayasuriya, Shaun Pollock, Lasith Malinga, Dilhara Fernando, Loots Bosman alongside young talent from Mumbai Abhishek Nayar, Ajinkya Rahane, Pinal Shah and Yogesh Takawade make up the Mumbai squad balancing youth and experience. Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries Limited owns the team and one can surely look forward to some scintillating performances from the Mumbai Indians.” Loots Bosman, for the record has not even arrived in the country. Let alone played for Mumbai. And you will agree that the prose is not exactly stimulating.
What about the photographs, something that the IPL was laying claim to as “its product”? Click on the Delhi team page on the website and see for yourself pictures of Sehwag from the 2003 World Cup, of course with more hair than he possesses now. Probe a little further, with the video tab, and you see this: a logo of the IPL, and a click that takes you back to the top of the page. And perched amidst those, jeevansathi.com ads!
If originality is the barometer for judging websites, the IPL’s comes nowhere near the benchmark. It is indeed a matter of irony that the organisation that dished out a “no-accreditation-for-websites” policy, has taken up to plagiarism. The stats are literally a cut, copy and paste job and the layout and look bear resemblance to www.cricinfo.com.