Monday, June 2, 2008


The IPL is over, long live cricket! Rajasthan Royals, led by the crafty Shane Warne, defeated Chennai Super Kings, captained by the cool Dhoni, by the proverbial last-ball –whisker. There were spills (Parthiv Patel’s last-over fumbling comes to mind) and thrills galore …an appropriately well-contested final, inappropriately over-dressed cheerleaders (does anyone even glance at the male jack-in-the-boxes?).

The cricketers played to the gallery (some sixes went beyond), the gallery (with its eyeball-grabbing assortment of stars) played to the media (Aamir Khan displaying his toothy debutante nephew Imran) and everybody either paid or made money.

Gautam Singhania, Aamir Khan and Sachin Tendulkar standing side-by-side in the VIP stands made a telling visual synopsis of the IPL: Corporate + Bollywood + Cricket = IPL.

But this media-created, money-backed hype does not translate into passion. And sports, genuine sports, is all about passion. It is about cheering from the heart at a win, it is about heart-wrenching grief at a loss. It is also about taking sides passionately.

You can support an individual (a Becker, an Agassi, a Venus) or a nation (your own or Brazil – in football, that is) or a team (Man-U, Mohunbagan). This support of the fan is won by a history of togetherness – player and fan triumphing or agonizing together to form that special bond that is sport’s gift to the ordinary person.

Hype is shallow, lasting till the match ends and the stars go home; support runs much, much deeper. The most natural support is for teams or players belonging to one’s own country; created from a sense of identity and creating a new sense of pride.

Money can buy cheerleaders who jump up-and-down with practiced perfection, it cannot buy the sea-wave-like roar of noise when countries clash in the World Cups. It cannot buy the fans dancing impromptu on the streets long after the match is over.

IPL was fun and forgettable. True sports leaves behind memories.


Mystic Margarita said...

So true! My feelings exactly! Playing for one's country is something else altogether!

Tagged you, btw! :)

Sucharita Sarkar said...

Hi margarita

You are so right!

Thanks for tagging me, I'll reply right's my first ever tag.

Satyeki said...


sukku said...

Ohh I missed the finals like the world cup 20-20 as I went home to Kuala Lumpur during the crucial part of the game. I only wished for CSK's to win the game but I guess it was an achievement for them being in the finals.

Regarding the cheerleaders, I guess they add glamour to the game but a lot of hoohaa from certain states or individuals for free publicity.

I guess my viewing days for cricket has just come to an end by the end of this month as I leave for home where cricket is as alien as "Sepak Takraw" in India.