The IPL has gone stale

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RCB_IPL Gallo Images AB de Villiers in action for the Royal Challengers Bangalore.

I tried, I really did. But I couldn’t make it through an entire 40 overs of an IPL match. It may have been when Dermott Reeve battled to say “Karbonn Kamaal catch” – it came out as “Klaborn kakamaal snatch” or something or other.

There weren’t any “Citi moments of success” so Reeve and his co-manipulators of the microphone had to instead focus on a couple of kiddies being given free tickets to the game between the Deccan Chargers and the Pune Warriors.

Apparently it was enough that Citi sponsored the kids to the game for it to be the moment of success. There were also a few “DLF Maximums” – which Reeve shortened to “DLF Max” (How dare he? I thought) and also a “strategic time out” but I can’t remember if it had a sponsor (I suspect it did but by then I had tuned out).

The overwhelming commercialism is something I grew to despise when the tournament was held here in 2009. It turns a game of cricket into a three-hour commercial, and I got bored very quickly.

It certainly subtracted from the game when Kumar Sangakkara (one of my favourite players) struggled horribly initially. Apparently he’d chosen to “drop himself” from the Chargers’ previous encounter and for much of the first half of his innings against the Warriors he could barely hit the ball off the square.

He stuck around and gradually got into rhythm making 82, which provided the platform for the Chargers’ second win in the competition – their first, ironically, also being against the Warriors.

By the time the Chargers had finished batting, I’d had my fill. The ‘commentary’ with all the commercials thrown in is dreadful. The camera panning to the wives and girlfriends got boring and when they showed the rich investors who back the teams, it took me back to the awful coverage of the event we had in this country three years ago.

Unfortunately the IPL’s novelty has worn off – in just five years it looks stale. As I said here last week, the matches look the same and there are way too many games.

I shall try tuning in for the semi-finals and finals, where the pressure of a couple of knockout matches and championship games should make for interesting viewing.

I’ll do so with the volume down too, no more maximums, success and camel catches. And no more of Danny Morrison going: “Don’t mess with MS!” – The Star


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