What a week has it been in the Indian Premier League – no, I’m not talking of the matches, per se – I’ve not been a keen follower or admirer of the IPL matches, but more so of the “Extra Innings” that happens before, after, and in between the matches / innings. It’s real fun to listen to greats like Sunny, Sherry, Kapil talk about “today’s” cricket, share memories of their playing days, snippets that they quote of other greats, etc. The sour sight is the drummer, DJ and the dancers. GK and SK were manageable.
Not worth a mention is the trio’s misadventure, landing them behind the bars. It’s a given that IPL itself is a big farce, this incident (and that in IPL-5, too, as it’s reported) didn’t surprise me. What surprised me is the inclusion of the brat like Sreesanth in IPL itself, RR is a distant proposition, altogether. In fact, I was surprised to read his argument with Dravid to have him included in the playing eleven – wonder if the Wall didn’t seem like Everest to him.
What is worth mentioning, besided Extra Innings, are the moments that will be cherished for long time to come. Specially, the one that will remain etched in memory for a long, long time, is that of Gilchrist bowling that last over (or, last ball, rather!) of that last league match of KXIP. It’s not the bowling, actually, that caught the imagination – but the moments just before that and a little longer after that. His gesture to Praveen Kumar who was keeping wicket (close up, at that!), and his celebration after capturing that wicket. I wondered if he wished to enact those acts every time he applauded his bowlers from behind the wicket when batsmen fell. What a sight that was. There was more to follow!
Appreciatively, rivals shaking his hands, acknowledging his feat, his contribution to the franchisee, to the team, to cricket – there were other stalwarts – Harbhajan, Pollard, Ponting (!) – all greats in their own rights, all applauding one man. Cricket is a great leveller, no doubt about that.
Talking about celebrating taking a wicket – Kapil on one such occasion quoted Bedi’s words: he was asked what he (Kapil) felt about the way fall of a wicket is celebrated by bowlers today. He quoted Bedi, who felt that the bowlers celebrated in such ways, wild, crazy ways, because they themselves couldn’t believe they captured a wicket!
Anyway, it’s coming to an end this week, and may it rest in peace, while the administrators will piece together all the strewn mess that IPL has left behind. Talking of administrators, wonder if any of them – the Chairman of IPL, the President of the BCCI, former, current and future such officials and officers – have ever played a game of cricket – at any level – school, college, university, clubs, etc. They don’t even deserve to become ball boys.
There was such a hue and cry when that boxer Singh was embroiled in a drug case, which has apparently fallen off now. Two of the PWI players, who were embroiled in a similar case last year, played for their team this year. Do we deserve to even discuss misadventures of Lances, Woods, etc., when our own stand on such incidents, in our own yards, is not fair?
The fact of the matter is that we have been eating what the media has been feeding us.