Music, Money, Dance, Drama, Celebrities, Colored clothing, Tears and Squabbles. These are the words that we generally associate with The Big Fat Indian Wedding. But I for once is definitely not talking about the great Indian soap opera that hits Indian families during the cooler months of Indian calendar. Strangely, these words have also got deeply intertwined with a sport which once used to be popular as “The Gentlemen’s game” aka Cricket. The summer slug fest called the IPL which now enters tenth year of its existence has become more than being a mere sports league. It has evolved into something bigger of which we Indians are proud of a game that British once invented has been redefined by Indians.
Purists and naysayers say that IPL has ruined cricket. IPL has had its own share of controversies but let us for once keep those altercations aside and look glass as half full rather than being half empty. IPL has benefited us in more ways than we could have ever imagined.
So here are the 11 reasons to celebrate 10 successful years of IPL,
1. “Yatra Pratibiha Avsara Prapnotihi” are the words inscribed on the IPL trophy. It literally means “where talent meets opportunity”. IPL truly has been a blessing for the talented cricketers who earlier lacked that stage to showcase their potential. Who would have ever thought that a cricketer from Saurashtra playing for Rajasthan Royals would one day rule ICC test charts? Ravindra Jadeja is now No 1 in Test Blowers ranking and No 2 in Test All Rounder ranking. Ain’t any better example than him?
2. IPL has added more words to cricket vocabulary thus making cricket a more refreshing sport to watch. We now have a “Dil-Scoop”, a “Helicopter”, a pedal sweep, a Sling ball, a knuckle ball which keeps us hooked in front of our TV sets.
3. IPL has made Indian cricket competitive and strong. Is it a co incidence that India’s grand success on international stage (Read: ICC World Cup, ICC Champions trophy and No. 1 Test ranking) have only come after the kick start of the league.
4. IPL has inspired governing bodies of other sports like Badminton, Hockey, Wrestling, Kabbadi and Football to launch their own respective leagues. The sports have started benefiting from these leagues and it is only improving India’s claim as a multi-sport nation.
5. IPL has given smaller cricketing nations like Afghanistan a reason to believe that they can stand tall amongst big boys of cricket. Rise of Afghanistan as a cricketing nation has truly been a phenomenal one and demands altogether a narrative of its own.
6. The money has made dreams of many poor aspiring cricketers come true. It has given new leash of life to their families whose member toiled hard to fulfil the dreams of their sons. The sons in return are now filling the coffers. Likes of Mohammed Siraj would forever remain grateful towards IPL.
7. IPL or T-20 cricket has made test cricket more meaningful. More test matches these days are not ending in a draw. Something that purist should make a note of.
8. It had happened occasionally before this, Lagaan is the only previous that I can think of, but IPL brought Cricket and Bollywood together like never before. All of a sudden we had girls, boys, uncles and aunties, grandpa and granny pouring into the stadiums.
9. IPL has become a platform of cultural exchange. Foreign players like never before are learning Indian languages, wearing kurtas and Pajymas and eating tandoori chicken and dal makhni. It is happening other way as well, as Indian players are adopting to foreign ways of life.
10. IPL made India the land of opportunity. Corporate world hugged India tightly. Foreigners saw India in a new light and quotes like “It has been a dream playing in India”, “Playing in India has been a surreal experience” started emerging out of press rooms.
11. And to top it all had it not been for IPL we would never had witnessed a Sachin-Ponting partnership, a Kohli-ABD cameo, Symo-Bhaji duet, a Gayle storm, Yuvraj doing a Jonty and many such epic moments. IPL was and still is entertainment ka baap.
Here is wishing the upcoming season of IPL season a grand success!!!