Monday, March 23, 2009

The Non Resident Indian Premier League

Been a while since my last post here. Well work life has become a bit more busy. Although if I really wanted to I could have still written down a few posts in the interim. And its been a longer time since I wrote about my favourite topic, Cricket. So here goes.
Our biggest festival, the General elections are here. Now, unlike other parts of the world where national elections take place on one day with the results available by the next day, ours is a spread out process. this time the elections are in 5 phases spread over a period of over a month. Nothing wrong with that, specially with the security issues and the logistics involved in conducting this mammoth exercise. But unfortunately for cricket buffs like me, the general elections coincided pretty much with the second season of the IPL. This is how the drama unfolded.
  • IPL announces the fixtures for the second season.
  • The Election Commission announce the dates for the general elections.
  • Sri Lankan team bus is attacked in Pakistan by terrorists injuring many players (which is one of the most disgusting things to have happened).
  • The Home minister P.Chidamabaram says providing security to IPL would be difficult during the elections.
  • Many of the state governments state thier inability to provide security.
  • IPL modifies schedule which is again rejected by some states
  • The schedule is modified again and again but always met with unwillingness from some state governments (Seemed like becoming a OR problem with each state providing their time constraints)
  • End result. BCCI announces that the IPL will be held outside India.

So the Indian Premier League becomes the Non Resident Indian Premeir League with South Africa & England becoming the front runners to host it. But it does seem ironical that our dometic tournament is being hosted outside India. With the current security situation following the Mumbai attacks on 26/11 and Lahore attacks on the Sri lankan team, there can be no guarantees for anybody's safety. And with the elections going on (which is much more imprtant than cricket) providing extra security would not have been possible.

But as usual we have the political gamesmanship on. Some allege that the Congress governments were the ones refusing to procide security. Others allege that Congress was trying to arm twist NCP's Sharad Pawar (who happens to be ex-BCCI president) for a better alliance deal. Then the political mud slinging has also begun. But it all has become a farce.

Now if the touranment is held in South Africa, who would the people in the stadium (assuming some go to watch) support. TV viewership in India would likely remain same. But will the matches have the seem feel as last year. After all how many people would come to pay and watch the Non Resident Indian Premier League.

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