Former India cricketer Navjot Singh Sidhu on Tuesday, waxed eloquence on the Indian Premier League, using superlatives like "solid entertainment" and "shining sun of world cricket" to describe the cash-rich tournament.
"Indian Premier League is the best thing to have ever happened to cricket. Twenty20 cricket is like cricket in a Ferrari lane...it's fast and furious. People first started listening to classical music, then to pop music and then moved on to rock...IPL is like rock music. It's rocking the nation," said Sidhu.
"IPL is a different product, it's a changing time. IPL is like the shining sun of world cricket. IPL is like buying a burger from the market when no one is willing to cook at home. It's a refreshing change brought to the cricket and solid entertainment," said Sidhu, who was at his wittiest best during the launch of SET Max's IPL show 'Extraaa Innings T20' in the capital.
Cricketer turned politician, BJP MP from Amritsar Sidhu, said the IPL is sustaining because of its ever-increasing popularity.
"To make a good name is easy but to sustain it's different. IPL is sustaining as it has moved the world and brought pride back to India. It has changed cricket governance and administration," he said.
He also said that India has become the Mecca of world cricket. "India is like central force of world cricket. If you look 15 years back, cricketers used to visit England for greener pastures and earn money. Now the scenario has changed and the players are heading to India. India has become mecca of world cricket."
Asked whether IPL has resulted in overkill of cricket and prompt came the reply, "IPL is not an overdose. In the third season, there were more teams and more matches. Too many inconsequential matches were there. But this season promises to be a more interesting one as the fine-tuning has been done."
And about the IPL founder Lalit Modi, who lost a libel case to former New Zealand cricketer Chris Cairns and asked to pay 90,000 pounds (app Rs 73 lakh) in damages for accusing the all-rounder of being involved in match-fixing during the rebel Indian Cricket League in 2008, Sidhu said, "bhagwan ki maya, kahi dhoop kahi chhaya (its the game of god, somewhere shadow and somewhere shine)."
Sidhu said the 2012 edition of extraaa innings T20 will be bigger and better than earlier seasons. "It's the best cricket show in the world in terms of cricket and entertainment. It beats actress Vidya Balan in entertainment quotient. She said its three times in her movie, IPL show is going to be its five times in terms of entertainment," he said.