If cricket is a religion then the Indian Premier League was no less than a jihad. And as with 'holy' wars, there were the obvious casualties.
And so, the one and a half month of non-stop commercial action, inter-spaced with cricket, saw the likes of Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir and Yuvraj Singh become victims of excess, what with the World Cup itself preceding the T20 tournament.
Wasim Akram called the BCCI inhuman for it's schedule for it's national players. Though the former pace bowler is entitled to his opinion like most in the sub-continent, the players (it just seems) themselves have not been entirely gagged to scream out in agony when the going gets tough and the tough refuses to get going.
While numerous images surfaced of this player grabbing his shoulder in pain to that player going down to a muscle-strain, it was surprising to see not one muscle-relaxant company coming forward to take a share in the commercial pie that the IPL has now so firmly become.
The odd-niggle is part of a sportsman's career or so it is heard in sporting circles. To aggravate it by playing though is foolhardy, however small the earning graph of a players life may be. With the latest technology at hand and the best of medical expertise available, sudden exits and the ensuing controversy seem (and sound) tad cocky.
Of course Indians were not the only players crowding the long line to the medics. There was Dirk Nannes who left Bangalore mid-way and Daniel Vettori's ageing knee. Andrew Flintoff had already deemed himself unavailable. And after all of this, the Indian Board wakes up to apparently suggest new injury management policies which threaten to rub the 10 franchises the wrong way and create another furor.
One (I) just wonders then that are all the involved agencies including the players so blinded for all their media-savvy qualities, to not move from one conflict right into another. Especially when the matter deals with the medical condition of the sports persons. What happened to the time of - have an injury; get proper treatment; pronto? Let's just get back to the basics so the game of cricket can have it's stars for long, flamboyant spells rather than have them in short bursts only to possibly fade out of action.