There has been no shortage of excitement (if you want to call that so) in the 12th edition of the Indian Premier League.
It all began with Ravichandran Ashwin ‘Mankading’ Jos Buttler in one of earlier games of the season. Since IPL 12 has turned into controversy season. Ashwin’s Kings XI Punjab were involved in a second controversy when Andre Russell was clean bowled by Mohammed Shami but the delivery was declared a no ball as there were only three fielders inside the 30-yard circle. This also led to a huge hullabaloo.
Cut to the RCB-MI match where the latter got home after the umpires failed to spot Lasith Malinga overstepping. A huge furore erupted with Virat Kohli stating this isn’t club cricket and Rohit Sharma backing it. But wait, the worst was yet to follow! MS Dhoni, the captain cool, of all people barged onto the field during Chennai Super Kings match against Rajasthan Royals after the controversy over a waist high no-ball erupted.
Chill, the World Cup has not yet started. The exaggerated manner in which some of Indian cricket’s superstars have been behaving in this edition makes one wonder if they will have enough energy left in the tank when the actual big tournament comes around. The whole dramatisation of events also begs the question if this is cricket’s version of the K-series.
Remember, in the very first edition of IPL, one spotted Sreesanth crying like a baby after being slapped by Harbhajan. We really felt back for Sree back then only to be told a few years later that Bhajji never slapped him. Sreesanth claimed the incident was planned and that Harbhajan only tried to hit the fast bowler with the back of his hand, while also referring to the latter as back-stabber.
Yes, there is a lot of money at stake in the IPL. Still, the over the top celebrations at a wicket, extreme reactions and cricketers coming to blows is something that was witnessed mostly only in high-profile international clashes. Bringing out such a wide gamut of emotions in each and every game, that too when every franchise has 14 games to try and make the cut for the play-offs, might make the true-blue cricket fan cringe.
The concept of IPL, which brings together the best, most talented as well as upcoming players from India and around the world, is indeed doing wonders for Indian cricket and the game as a whole. But, has the tournament become so giant that players of excellent repute need to soil their image is something that needs to be seriously pondered upon. Take the example of MS Dhoni, who has maintained his cool under situations at the international level that have been much graver, and when a lot more has been at stake. Did he really need to charge onto the ground to interfere in a situation that could have been handled in ‘Captain Cool’ style?
Those fans seeking pleasure from churlish excitement can definitely carry on debating on the IPL controversies. As for the purists, wait for the World Cup to get your adrenaline pumping.
(DISCLAIMER: The views expressed by the writer are personal and not endorsed by the company)