I’ve been following cricket now for almost four decades, and seen plenty of changes in that time. Some changes have lasted (the World Cup, helmets, the third umpire), some haven’t (limited-over cricketers wearing shorts, day-night Sheffield Shield matches, Super Max Eights). I’m not sure which category the Indian Premier League will fall into.
In a way, I’m very excited about the IPL concept. A high-level club competition, devoid of nationalist overtones, based in the blossoming economy of India and attracting the best players from around the world. Such an idea is long overdue.
In another way, I’m still excited about IPL… in the same way that I’d be excited about getting free grandstand tickets to witness the Apocalypse. It could represent the ultimate dumbing-down of the sport if it triggers the demise of all forms of cricket longer than 20 overs per side. It could represent the final entrapment of the game into the maelstrom of Market Forces. It could be the murder of the goose that laid the golden egg.
Here beginneth my bloggage of what, one way or another, is going to be an utterly enthralling two and a half months in the history of the game of cricket. Let the world’s most humungous fantasy league begin!