New Delhi: Finally, the IPL 4 is in its last phase and I can't wait for it to get over. To be honest, the IPL 4 was a drag. Too many matches and way too long to even recollect good matches of the tournament.
After the glorious World Cup, IPL was the last thing on any Indian cricket fan's mind. Neither could we celebrate the World Cup nor enjoy the T20 league. The timing of the IPL was very incorrect since club cricket can never take over the fan following that a national team enjoys.
The pre and post-match shows only added to the woes. They forced you to put your TV sets on mute as it's kind of unbearable to see a certain 'Turbanator' recite lines from his own book of idioms and phrases which hardly make any sense. Here's one for instance - "IPL is like a white flower". Ahem..whatever that meant!
Barring a few cricketing moments, there was nothing that could keep the cricket fans loyal to the IPL this season. While most of you support your city-based teams, there are many like me who cannot do it for the very reason that they only support the Indian team. That some big players changed teams, did not help much. So, the little success that the IPL had this season came in spurts.
According to a recent report, the brand value of the IPL has fallen by 11%, while it had doubled last year. Currently, the IPL is valued at $3.67 billion, against last year's $4.13 billion (over Rs 18,000 crore).
Charges of corruption, fixing, pitch tampering, and dare I say, absence of Lalit Modi, have contributed to the slide. Bangalore franchise owner Siddharth Mallya compared the IPL without Modi to 'sugarfree candyfloss'.
Keeping Modi factor aside, can the IPL survive in the longer run? It is too early to even speculate, but the BCCI and the team owners need to find measures to maintain the interest alive in the years to come. They have to understand that too much of a good thing is bad.
But all this from next year. Right now, all I want is a little breather from this T20 madness. And then go back to where the cricket fan in me really belongs - rooting for Team India.
Yes, I am eagerly waiting for India's tour to the West Indies and then England. It seems like a nice idea to see your players shed the coloured jerseys for the whites. That's where I see the real contest that takes one back to the basics.