Saturday, May 25, 2013

~ IPL: A premier reality show ~

IPL is the new reality show. Where thousands pay to catch live action & while millions watch the entertainment at homes or restaurants via the pay-to-view channel. The initial entertainment cast included Players, Owners & honorary members of the owners, Umpires, Commentators. The after-party cast includes - Models, Bollywood Actors, Celebrities.  The script got bigger when the spot light was on Betting Mafia & Bookies for SpotFixing. The extended cast now include  - Boards Members, Politicians, Media Organization, Govt Organizations - Police forces from various states, ED, AAI, etc.

Could anyone have scripted a better reality show than IPL? I don't think so. 

The IPL was created after a careful study of other established Sporting Leagues in the world - NBA, MLB, NFL, EPL, Champions League - by Lalit Modi, the founder and architect of the Indian Premier League and Champions League T20. He was the Confidence Man {by The Caravan}, who was ousted from his IPL throne by BCCI & the Politicians in 2010. He fled the country before the Enforcement Directorate request to cancel his passport. 

Currently living in London, he seems to be baying for N Srinivasan, BCCI President's head. Wonder how Mr Modi, who is enjoying his air-time since the IPL SpotFixing broke out last week, has never been questioned by the Media about his own financial irregularities and the International detention request for Modi in the year 2010. 

Post Modi-era, the IPL hasn't been trouble free either. Teams exiting the league. Change of ownership in case of Deccan Chargers to Sunrisers Hyderabad. You can read the latest post 'The sad, sorry mess that is the IPL' by Aakar Patel.
Rajasthan was fined Rs.100 crore in February. Such behaviour in IPL teams appears to be the norm. Espncricinfo reported that the enforcement directorate “has issued almost 24 show cause notices, amounting to Rs.2,000 crore, under FEMA (Foreign Exchange Management Act) against various IPL franchises and the BCCI.”
Have you noticed one thing after the IPL spot fixing broke out. We haven't seen any debate or utterance of the word #SpotFixing during the pre/post match extravaganza hosted by the official broadcaster nor the commentators during the matches. Many of the esteemed players like Sachin or Dhoni haven't come out and spoken to the media. One of the simplest analogy offered is that, since their teams haven't been involved why or what is the necessity for them to talk about it. As always, Mr Dependable the captain of Rajasthan Royals, the Wall of Indian cricket had to face the media because players from his club have been accused & arrested in SpotFixing

Saibal Bose has a brilliant piece - The loneliness of Rahul Dravid
There is something tragic about Rahul Dravid. He makes a brilliant Test debut, but is upstaged by Sourav Ganguly. He plays brilliantly in the World Cup at Taunton, but once again Ganguly hogs the limelight. He is one half of a remarkable partnership at the Eden Gardens against Australia, but it is VVS Laxman who is the 'better' half. He is on the verge of completing a satisfying season as Rajasthan Royals captain, when a spot-fixing scandal blows up in his face.
After the SpotFixing and the arrests of Players, Bookies, Actors & the latest scalp - Former Team Principal of Chennai Super Kings. The noose is tightening for Srini Mama to step down as BCCI President. It's more than just 3 rotten eggs Mr BCCI President, now that your Son-in-law has also been arrested in the SpotFixing sagaMr Rajeev Shukla also needs to be held accountable for the mess that has occurred.

As Mike Marqusee, from The Guardian, writes in his 2010 post titled 'IPL's dark side of neoliberal dream'. One might say the post is biased by an Englishman. I feel it offers a realistic picture as to whom the IPL was invented for in the first place - existing Businessmen who are looking to maximising profits in new domain. Sporting leagues around the world is not just about promoting sports, it is a new medium of business to invest & make money.
The IPL was never, in fact, a pure effusion of free-market competition. The franchises are and will remain dependent on cricket's vast non-profit sector – for grounds and facilities, players and umpires. For foreign stars, they're dependent on international cricket. What's more, each franchise was given an exclusive right to exploit a designated market, which does not happen in the English Premier League. With its team salary cap, local quotas and annual player auction, the IPL provides a heavily protected environment for the franchises, in some ways more like Major League Baseball than Premier League football. The IPL is a cartel: a group of supposedly independent private interests colluding to control and carve up a market. 
Whatever the undoubted virtues of the cricket played in the IPL, the culture of the IPL was soulless and contrived. The TV commentary was gushing and sometimes risibly hyperbolic, more concerned with promoting the tournament than explaining the action. Commentators displayed amazing chutzpah in reinventing cricket's venerable nomenclature: sorry, it's not a "DLF maximum" it's a six.
As with all the Scams & Scandals that are occur in India. Once the finals are played tomorrow, a winner will be announced and everyone shall go silent on the whole mega-saga. At the most, couple of heads might roll - IPL Chairman & BCCI President. The IPL6 controversies shall be buried deep in Indian Cricketing history. We the people will move one with our daily chores & return to normalcy. Even the TRP hungry media will look for a new story in the election year ahead. 

We might never get to hear the truth or see the actual guilty {apart from the chicken feed bookies & 3 players} punished. Another season shall come in 2014 under a new IPL Chairman & BCCI President with a different script. Till then enjoy the circus of reality shows.


Ashish Magotra raises some valid points in his latest post 'IPL spot-fixing: The ‘sourced’ truth may not be real' - on how the media covers the fixing & how well our police force carry out investigation which ultimately lets the big fishes go scot free.

Additional reading: Ed Hawkins Fixing? It's people like us doing itIPL: A dark hole of scandals IPL commissioner Lalit Modi's charity under microscopeKochi ouster vindicates me: Lalit Modi | Lalit Modi's passport revoked; tweets govt is corrupt | IPL 6 spot-fixing: What's cooking between IPL Chief Rajeev Shukla & Delhi Police Commisioner? | Firstpost IPL Srinivasan, for cricket’s sake, go! And take CSK with you | Clear conflict of interest, pressure mounts on BCCI chiefSupreme Court yet to decide on ‘conflict of interest’ case | Gurunath’s men hell-bent on proving he was not team principal, fence-sitter Lalit Modi enjoys proceedings | Harsha Bhogle Hope sanity emerges in cricket | Shekar Gupta in the Indian Express The giant fix 

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