Bring back Sachin’s curls or call it IPPL
The results are in and you can’t argue with mathematics. In political terms, the IPL is doing worse than the UPA. The TRPs for the first week of IPL5 have shown its worst first-week performance in its five editions, with a viewership drop of 20 per cent compared from last year.
This is bad news for Sony and her advertisers (that’s Sony and her relatives) but the good news for connoisseurs of cricket, who want to control the… spread of T20 cricket that threatens to swallow the more traditional forms.
Now, if this trend continues, mathematically speaking, at the rate of 20 per cent per week to which we add inflation the rate of compound interest, VAT and service tax, there is a chance that by the fourth week IPL5 will not have a single viewer. Unbelievable! That is like saying the UPA won’t get a single vote in the next election.
Okay, let’s go back to unbelievables. Not a single viewer by the fourth week. How did we get there? What are the possible reasons for the IPL’s poor opening? Can we blame the government for this one? Should Anna Hazare get involved? Won’t he, Kejriwal and Kiran Bedi look out of place amongst the dancing girls?
Can we blame Navjot Singh Sidhu? There is a school of thought that may not necessarily be the same school Sherry Pajee went to, which blames the whole fiasco on Navjot Singh Sidhu. Apparently he has been slipping. He kept silent for 90 whole seconds. Frankly, I can’t attach much importance to this line of reasoning. Sidhu is the IPL. He represents the two components that make up 20/20 cricket: colour and sound. So let’s absolve him and move on.
Could it be the female factor, also known as the “Mandirial effect”. This is a scientific law developed by geneticist and motion physiologist Robert M. Greene. He says that female anchors who are fed information through earpieces because they have no knowledge about the game, forget passion, eventually turn off both genders from the aforementioned game. Again, I personally find this too small and petty a reason for the possible collapse of a great product.
The name IPL nomenclaturists (this refers to the group of people who like renaming things for no apparent reasons; their headquarters are in Bombay… er Mumbai), are very clear that the fault lies in the very name itself. There should be a double P, i.e. IPPL, “This will bring in the good luck” says thrice divorced nomenclaturist… S.K. Sharmaaa. Once again I fail to find any relevant or sustainable logic in this argument, which can only be described as puerile.
There are some even more fascinating reasons put forth for the IPL’s decline. Sachin’s straight hair. The Naxalite movement, the Chinese hand and Shah Rukh Khan’s cigarette are the only ones that bear repeating. Albeit just about. So what is the reason? What are we to do? While connoisseurs like myself, Harsha Bhogle and that man over there can happily watch Test cricket in the West Indies, between Australia and the West Indies what can the poor common man do?
The poor common cricket lover who can’t tell his Hobbs from his Sutcilffe, his Amar Singh from his Muhammad Nissar or his Learie Constantine from his George Headley? The answer is he can pray.
And what is his prayer?
“Lalit Modi please come back home.”