The Indian Premier League kicks off on Friday in Bangalore with a face-off between movie mogul Shahrukh Khan’s “Kolkata Knight Riders” and liquor baron Vijay Mallya’s “Bangalore Royal Challengers”. The next match is scheduled at India’s cricket Mecca -- the Eden Gardens in Kolkata.
Cricket is going commercial in India and the name of the game is the Indian Premier League (IPL). It promises to change the course of cricket history and is aspiring to be a bigger entertainment industry than Bollywood.
Whether history changes or not, cricket will certainly no longer be just a game. It will be an extravaganza with scantily-dressed cheer girls, acrobats, and dazzling laser shows. The team owners, who have spent millions to buy their players, mean business.
The broadcast rights have been sold off at a sky-high price. No wonder that half of the media earlier decided to boycott the IPL because of restricted access. But the IPL organisers couldn’t care less. They have the people on their side. Thousands have been queuing up to get their tickets. The cash registers are ringing happily. And that’s the only thing that matters.
Boost to Indian cricket
Even serious cricket fans seem to be upbeat about IPL. They think it will help evaluate Indian cricketers internationally and think it will help Indian cricket itself in the long run.
The development of Indian cricket might not be everybody’s concern! Some are only attracted because of the glitterati. You go to a match and get to see the film stars, the imported cheer girls and the game is over before you get over the hang of the laser show. You can come back home happily singing the theme song of your favourite team. Yes, there is a song and music video for every team in the IPL.
After the debut match in Bangalore, the IPL is coming to Kolkata The Eden Gardens is all decked up to rise to the occasion. And the Kolkatans are very upbeat about it. Because one thing is for sure. It’s going to be Sourav Ganguli, Shah Rukh Khan and fun, even if it’s not all about cricket.