IPL 4 Match Report: Mumbai Indians Coast To Win Against Royal Challengers Bangalore

When India won the cricket worldcup in 1983 under the leadership of Kapil dev Nikhanj, I was barely fifteen years old. Cricket was a passion during those times and the Indians who were the underdogs for the tournament turned out to be the dark horses of the hour at Lords. These heady days of cricket were the times when the West Indians ruled the roost. The famed pace battery of the Windies were held with respect and fear even by the best of the batsmen. today ipl match toss Even test cricket was played with pride and passion. It is debatable if test cricket is needed at all, at this time of twenty twenty era of hit out or get out attitude. It must be said that 20-20 matches have opened up a plethora of opportunities for youngsters. Money and politics have started polluting the true spirit of cricket. The image of Kapil dev asking for water, choked by emotion after a ball hit by him killed a bird in Australia lingers in mind and brings back memories of the good old days. True, gone are those times when only a few stalwarts stood tall in cricket. Now we have a number of players in the fray which is a good sign.

It can be said that the times when cricket was viewed as a gentleman’s game are gone with the exception of the likes of Sachin Tendulkar. Test cricket in its original self has burned itself out. Exceptions were the all rounders of the 80’s like Ian Botham, Richard Hadlee, Imran Khan and India’s very own Kapil dev. With the advent of one-dayers, focus shifted to hard hitting and defensive bowling. Kapil, no doubt infused patriotism by his heroics in the field and inspirational leadership. The sad fact is that nobody has emerged as replacement for this legendary cricketer. India’s world cup victory in 1983 still remains India’s greatest sporting achievement. This victory was soaked in the sweat and blood of a bunch of inspired cricketers from the subcontinent. The fact that even the Pakistani players joined the celebrations in the Indian dressing room speaks in volumes of what cricket could do in terms of camaraderie, to the subcontinent. Lot of water has flowed under the bridge since then but the true spirit of cricket seems to be buried under the sands of time.

IPL has raked up lot of controversy since its introduction in 2008. It has reached a stage where its chairman has been sacked and a Union minister lost his job. Cricket has been glamorised and its very fabric has underwent drastic changes. Now money and power plays a prominent role in cricket. Along with this political involvement has changed the very face of cricket in India. The public viewing of cricket has undergone major changes with even cinemas giving the viewers a chance to watch it in the theatres. The change, be it for the good or the bad is irreversible. Probably in future cricket could even be played indoors! The Indian passion for sports was fueled by hockey in the 70’s and cricket in 80’s. Now shorter versions of cricket and new age hockey turfs have changed it all.

The main criticism was that cricket is a time consuming game and it reduced productivity. But 20-20 cricket has to some extent managed to dispel these apprehensions. Even though the fact that cricket is national game is undisputable, it remains to be seen how far the IPL will help in national integration. Money is major factor that plays a role in cricket and BCCI is the richest board in the cricketing world. Money, politics and glamour is a potent mixture and cricket is now in the cluches of this lethal combination. How far this formula mixed with cricket will survive remains to be seen. The common man sees fun and excitement in this fantasy flight but quietly and surely many businesses and businessmen are reaping huge profits. So how far this will benefit economy of the state remains to be seen. This doesn’t mean that IPL is an entirely a wasteful exercise benefiting only the rich and powerful with glamorous overtones but could be used to tap resources in the game effectively.