Apr 13, 2009
Last year was the premiere season of Indian Premier League of cricket. IPL:Cricket::NHL:Hockey- it gathers the best players from Australia, NZ, England, South Africa, West Indies, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh and India (pretty much the sum total of the cricketing world) for a 2-month round robin and playoff of 8 teams from cities across India. I was very disappointed with the news from a few weeks ago that IPL Season 2 will be relocated to South Africa due to a supposed lack of security personnel in India. With the national elections set to take place at the same time as the scheduled April-May IPL season, and in light of the recent attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore, it was decided that there would not be enough bodies to ensure the security of the players and spectators. Thus, the entire season has been moved to South Africa.
I'm pretty bummed out because apparently the games are a total riot with in-game entertainment, cheerleaders, etc... (the Bangalore team hired the Washington Redskins girls for a the opener last season, and to mentor Indian cheerleaders- with the expected backlash) and mostly because I've been trying to replace the chasm left by lack of N. American sporting news with a somewhat-manufactured interest cricket. Cricket is more or less the only sport that gets any play in India, and the only one that Indians are any good at (with few exceptions). A country of over 1 billion managed only 3 medals in the Beijing olympics, but the Indian cricket team is currently looking like the most deadly side in the world. So without much else to follow in Indian sport, I've almost memorized the starting 11 of the Indian Twenty20, ODI and Test teams, while the papers give minor play to a what is an over-abundant time in the calendar year of sport (NHL playoff race, NBA playoff race, MLB season openers, Final Four, Masters, World Curling Championships).
The IPL format is Twenty20- which basically means it takes 2 hours to play a game instead of 5 days. So people with jobs and normal lives can actually attend the matches, which are held at night. Considering the enormous amount of money in the league ( Indian Cricket's governing body, the Board of Cricket Control of India is filthy rich), I'm not sure why they weren't able to sort it out and hire or train more security. Sometimes it's better not to try to understand the machinations of Indian sporting politics.
Posted by avs