Change of opinion on the IPL?

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RPG
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Ok I admit – I succumbed and watched an Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket game this evening….

The Deccan Chargers (AKA Andrew Symonds’) team took at the Rajashthan Royals (Shane Warne and Graeme Smiths) team. Without a doubt its smash and dash cricket but hell what quality cricket. Scores of 220 plus in 20 over cricket – unbelievable!

I feel sorry for the bowlers who go in to get slaughtered but the value of taking wickets is being emphasised by some of their performances. What is interesting though is the emphasis on slow bowlers in the shortened version of the game. In a match play where the average spinner should get launched out the park, the ability for slow bowlers to fill the attacking role is great to see.

Maybe this whole IPL concept IS going to revolutionise world cricket and bring a string of fresh young faces into the game. If it is sustainable this money fuelled cricketing franchise is likely to place increased demands on world cricketers in terms of where their loyalties lie. Do the players follow the money or do they follow their national teams. I do worry though that playing this high pressure, smash and dash cricket is going to place huge demands on the players themselves and this is likely to hurt their performance on the international playing field.

My attitude toward the IPL has softened a bit and I hope that the IPL does change the way cricket is played. I do continue to worry that international structures themselves are not keeping pace with the changes of the game and instead of embracing the franchise system will continue to play players into the ground. Hopefully international sports administrators are looking at their own innovative ideas here.

First published on 24/04/2008
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