Bizarre Happenings in the IPL Beyond the Boundary

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Tim’s IPL3 Shorts – Your guide to events beyond the boundary of the IPL – Forbes’ fourth biggest sporting property in the world.

What does eyeballs, celebrities, zimmer frames, insurance and dancing on the ceiling have to do with the biggest stories in the IPL this week?

Apparently, a great deal. 

The Cult of Celebrity…

Many observers plus those in the Western media have criticised the various shots of filmstars and business people during IPL coverage, bemoaning the Indian obsession with celebrity. Meanwhile in the UK a crisp manufacturer has just launched an advertising campaign featuring a selection of famous chefs, footballers, pop stars and even a former Baywatch actress. The bevvy of celebs visit a sleepy English town to “make it a little bit more exciting”. And in the southern hemisphere the press are occupied by Michael Clarke and the break up of his engagement with former model Lara Bingle. Not just an Indian obsession.

IPL’s Quest for Eyeballs…

Lalit Modi recently spoke of his ambitious plans for the IPL saying, “our objective is to be the single largest sporting league in the world”. He went on to mention his aim to reach “150 million eyeballs” during IPL3.  880,615 people viewed the opening game via Youtube, however the site crashed leaving many with a grey screen and without a feed of the opening game.  When the feed eventually commenced through the dedicated Youtube channel, Kolkata Knightriders were four wickets down.  Disappointing for those who tuned in via their computer screens, but more publicity for the IPL and an impressive boast for Modi; his league is so popular it downed the mighty video site. It has emerged that 7.1 million had viewed the opening weekend via the site. Should that be 14.2 million eye balls?

Pakistan Shuns the IPL…

As the opening game reached a 20% share of the Indian televison market on Friday night, not a single television screen saw a peep in Pakistan. Geo Super, Pakistan’s only local sports channel is not showing any action after the Cable Association of Pakistan threatened to boycott any channel broadcasting the event.  Perhaps it was the Pakistani IPL fans flooding the Youtube in search of IPL entertainment?

Are Your IPL Stars Insured?…

Keiron Pollard continues to be IPL3’s hottest property, as it is revealed that he has the maximum insurance policy to a value of 15 Crore rupees ($3M), twice the value of Sachin Tendulkar.  As revealed by Oriental Insurance Company, every aspect of the IPL has been insured, including the umpires and the IPL cup. Plus most of the teams are insured in case of terror attack, rain, fire, flood or storm.  It is unknown if the policy covers against the moths spotted at the Sardar Patel Stadium last Monday.

Zimmer Frame or Cricket Bat?…

Former Aussie batsmen and ICL mercenary Damien Martyn looked completely out of place in his first for the Royals against Bangalore.  There’s no denying that Martyn was a fantastic bat, averaging 46 in Tests, but the Rajasthan Royals must feel short changed, even at the base price of $100,000.  He appears to be part of the Shane Warne ‘old boys club’ and also taking advantage of the ‘retired Aussie pension fund’.

Sanga Cries Overkill…

Kumar Sangakkara has spoken out over the ‘overkill’ of cricket on television criticising the amount broadcast, He proposes not telecasting games in cities where the games are played in order to boost crowd numbers. The recent India vs South Africa test match at Eden Gardens saw a healthy crowd of up to 35k on many days. Should the local population be denied televised cricket at the cost of a few thousand in the ground?  There are 5 million in Kolkata and up to 10 million more in the suburbs after all. The Sri Lankan keeper also put forward that “test cricket should be given its premium position by paying a premium amount for players who play only Test cricket sometimes”. Valid point by Kumar; captain, wicketkeeper, and opening batsman for the Kings XI Punjab, within the most lucrative cricket competition played before packed crowds.

Do we need to witness every ball to comprehend and make sense of a test match?  When listening to a CD do we need to listen to every note, every lyric and understand every key change?  The T20 is a festival, with atmosphere, excitement and our favourite artists playing our favourite tunes.  Test cricket is like the radio as we listen in every now and then.  The Bangladesh vs England test is like elevator music, tinkling away in the background, no one really noticing and utterly meaningless.

Dancing on the Ceiling…

And on a musical theme, it pains me to continue to hear and read that Lionel Richie had no place at the opening ceremony.  These are very rich words from advocates of the longer form of the game, in describing the Motown legend as a relic from a bygone era.  The same could be said of Test matches.

Meanwhile, Back in South Africa…

Away from this year IPL (but on the Royal Challenger’s books), young Saffer Rilee Roussow spanked 319 runs in South Africa’s Supersport domestic competition.   The feat found his name written into the record books for the fastest triple century in SA cricket. An incredible acheivement at the age 20. We have come across him before, on Boeta Dippenar’s recommendation back in October at the Champions League. (read the Rilee Roussow story)

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  1. says

    Excellent round-up Tim and a little bit different from all the other IPL summaries. I am old so I prefer tests, but the IPL is undeniably exciting.

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