Mumbai Memoir 90- Cricket fever striking Mumbai!
The IPL season is back! Since 2008, April & May of every year generates an enthusiastic wave among the cricket loving fans of India. Mumbai being the centre of cricketing activities of India, the wave is much stronger felt here. IPL stands for Indian Premiere League which is the official brand name of India’s 20-20 cricket tournaments. The league was founded by Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). It’s IPL’s 10th year & Mumbai Indians are the current defending champions of the tournament. The Chinese technology company Vivo has sponsored the IPL this year.
Cricket besides Bollywood films, has huge popularity quotient among Indians. Both fields have contributed to the growing Indian economy in the past decade. The British introduced Cricket during their colonial rule over India. The 5-day Test match form was the first edition of the game. Players who played Test match form, mostly played the game to display technique and style of batting and bowling and the spectators too kept coming for all the days to watch and appreciate the style and technique of their favourite players. As times changed in liberated India, the format of the game too got transformed in to its 1- day format of 50-50 overs tournament. Now the ‘nano’ format is in vouge, that is of 20-20 format. The 20-20 format exhibits power play by making maximum runs in less time that too in limited 120 balls. More about the IPL here: https://www.iplt20.com/
I have always been a die-hard cricket fan. My favourite team obviously is Mumbai Indians, but I love to watch all the teams compete with each other, and enjoy the fun and drama associated to the IPL games. My association with cricket goes long back during my teens when I was selected by Mumbai Women’s Cricket Association for their under-16 team. Though I had to leave cricket for my studies, I pursued it in another form later, by conducting a State level research in Sports Psychology as a part of my Masters level education in Psychology. My research objectives were to find out factors influencing the psyche of National & International Cricket and Tennis players. I was interested to know if internal factors like ‘sense of achievement, passion, love of the game etc’ influenced their performance or external factors of ‘facilities, quality training, payment etc’ were instrumental in influencing their results. Through my research, it was nice to re-connect to Sports, particularly Cricket through my academic pursuits. Even though If I formally left Cricket long back, even today I seek all opportunities to play the game wherever I can. Like any cricket loving layman, these days I love to watch the IPL cricket teams entertain the masses every evening.
The colours, the glitter and the glamour of IPL attracts people of all ages and class. In 2017, Duff & Phelps Corporation, which is a global valuation and corporate finance advisory firm, has evaluated the brand value of the IPL matches to be 5.3 billion dollars. Because the IPL matches have commercial and entertainment flavour in their presentation, many serious cricket fans doubt the integrity of the tournaments. As per my understanding, just like there are art films and commercial films, these days we can classify sporting events too in fine art form and commercial art form. I believe, IPL is the ‘commercial art’ form of cricket!
There are tremendous ‘conspiracy theories’ revolving around the hosting of the IPL games- Betting, match-fixing, money laundering and the tournament being referred as a vehicle for commercial gains to top brass of society etc, to name a few. The truth only the people involved, and the Almighty knows! It is practically not in the reach of common man to figure out the facts. Cricket loving common man like me, just know to get positively distracted from IPL matches and move on with life in our own meaningful way!
Photo Courtesy: Shraddha . C. Sankulkar