The Indian Premier League is Rocking! But Where is the Contest?

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17th edition
  • The 17th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) T20 tournament has kick-started with more than a bang with the ten franchisees vying to lift the much-coveted trophy alongside a huge amount of winner’s purse. Yes, cricket fans are entertained by some of the most renowned and revered international cricketers with tremendous performances worldwide. Please make no mistake, for over a decade and a half, the IPL has proved to be the most important league for every cricketer, worth his salt. As such, none of the quality performers would wish to miss the action in front of adorable, raucous, and extremely passionate crowds thronging the stadiums in large numbers. The entertainment is at its best. No one is complaining, though. Or is it?

Indian Premier League

PC: Wikipedia

  • Cricket connoisseurs and purists would be squirming uncomfortably looking at the way their beloved game is heading. Yes, we know that before the advent of T20 cricket, the classical format of five-day Test used to be played where a tame draw was the result most often witnessed rather than a pulsating outcome. Cricket teams of yore were never in a rush but prodding along without even showing urgency or attacking instincts to usher in some semblance of intrigue. Of course, some of the most formidable Test teams of West Indies, Australia, and England did dominate the arena courtesy of great cricketers who could be match-winners in all conditions. Most welcomingly, the introduction of T20 cricket completely altered the equation for good.
  • Hitherto risk-averse cricket teams gradually started displaying attacking tendencies since the shortest version of the game expects to go for the kill right from the word go. The resultant outcome is that the Tests too have started showing results most often without even lasting the whole five days. However, the moot point to ponder over here is whether the true contest between the bat and the ball is being compromised in the name of providing unbridled entertainment where the former tends to dominate the latter all the time in the shortest version. The answer must be affirmative since the rules governing the shortest format are simply too heavily loaded in favor of the batter even as the bowler assumes mostly a restrictive role.

17th edition

PC: BJ Sports

  • The recent edition of the IPL has already witnessed some of the most amazing power-hitting where the bat has completely dominated the ball resulting in unheard-of runs being scored in the stipulated 20 overs. The Sixers are raining in every league match so far with alarming regularity and the unidimensional nature of the slam-bang variety is hardly providing a true sense of cricketing entertainment where the level playing field between the teams offers great contests. Is it tantamount to overkill since nothing is palpable vis-à-vis keen contest? Going by the look of things, apparently so. Cricket administrators worldwide should ensure the contest stays relevant in T20s, otherwise, the novelty factor will soon erode. Bring in some contests, please!