Fans miss Team India spirit in IPL blitzkrieg

April 17th, 2008 - 10:50 pm ICT by admin  

Mumbai, April 17 (IANS) Amid media blitzkrieg and brouhaha over the multi-million-dollar Indian Premier League (IPL), some cricket enthusiasts feel the tournament with players drawn from various countries might lack the Team India lustre. Ajay Jadeja, former India batsman and vice-captain, felt that on field cricket has to be real not a reality show. “Since there is no national pride involved in this game, it seems uncertain which team the audiences will root for,” he said.

Jadeja said Indians do not watch cricket for the love of the sport but out of national pride. “There is no Team India to which the audiences can relate. After all, it is national pride that has made cricket and its heroes,” he said.

Jadeja explained that an India-Bangladesh tie would have more viewers than an Australia-South Africa game, even though the latter might be more interesting.

The IPL tournament of Twenty20 matches begins Friday.

Devpriya Banerjee, a media planner with a leading ad agency, said IPL will be able to create as much interest as the T20 World cup because the feeling of supporting ones own team does not exist.

“The support will get divided as your emotions. No Indian will cherish the sight of Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly playing against each other,” he added.

Hemal Oza, a class 10 student, said IPL would not have the same effect as an India one-day match. “When there is an India match, the entire nation watches.”

“When there is a Chandigarh versus Kolkata match, one would expect the whole of Punjab to root for Chandigarh and the whole of West Bengal to cheer Kolkata. And that’s a small fraction of the country,” he said.

Kinnari Trivedi, an HR executive with a multinational firm, felt loyalty and nationalism questions might create a few roadblocks for the IPL’s popularity.

“This is totally a new concept. It will depend how ‘club culture’ will sync into cricket. How much passion a club team will ignite in the audience remains to be seen,” she said.

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