A whole new world awaits
The close encounter in the finals was yet another indication of the roaring success of the Indian Premier League. Kudos to the BCCI/IPL-IMG combination, which stood up to challenges and put up a great product. IPL's accomplishment confirms a true graduation in the cricketing world. That leads us to the next question as to what the factors were that made this big success.
It was not that the ICC and the ACC bodies didn't try teams comprising players from various countries. By the end of the Afro-Asian and World XI games in the recent past, the organizers realized that the intensity or the 'connect' to the game was missing from the players'. But then it was justifiable at the backdrop of the patriotic cricket they have been playing all their life. Any games other than the test and ODI format ran the risk of being stamped as tamasha games, which lacked commitment from the players as well as the traditional followers of the game.
The primary and the real mantra for IPL's success were the players' high intensity and sustained involvement throughout the tournament. No matter how philosophical one is, the unprecedented flow of money is the strongest reasons for players' unflinching commitment. At the same time a player's intrinsic loyalty to his followers and the franchisee owners cannot be discounted. To endorse the latter, the high emotions expressed by the euphoric winning teams were equally matched with the despondent faces of the losing sides.
Team owners have danced to the rhythmic percussions and in the same breadth have echoed their sentiments during the ignominy of defeat.
Owners further went on to sack managers and didn't even hesitate to give their piece of mind to the icon players, demanding results.
When fans become owners of the team, such reactions would be quite common. The players must come to terms with owners’ reactions, which may not be very pleasant at times. Unlike in the corporate world, where the gestation period is mentioned and understood, in T20 it's all about winning and nothing else.
As for the foreign players, IPL could be another venue or even an extension of their fading careers. But the gains for the Indians players are plenty. The lesser mortals with abundant talent found a great platform to exhibit their flair.
The sense of self worth has hit the roof-top in some of the players like Asnodkar, Yusuf Pathan, Goni, Goswami and many others. How could anyone have envisaged incidents like Asnodkar, an opening batsman from Goa, hugging and jiving with the legendary Shane Warne and arch rival Sohail Tanvir's name being chanted in unison by the enthusiastic Mumbai crowd?
The game of cricket has taken fresh guard. The new face of the game, where the Indian business houses have entered cricketing space, needs delicate understanding. No doubt the core of IPL is the participation of Indian corporates.