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IPL: Soaked in Entertainment
|by Najam Gilani|
Through and through, the Indian Premier League is a spectacular story of entertainment. It was a very different class of entertainment when the birth of IPL took place from the pregnant mind of IPL Commisioner Lalit Modi which led us all indians to see live, for the first time on public platforms, the hip gyrating- thigh shaking moves of the babes in hip hugging shortpants outsourced from the land of white people (we still have the attraction intact) for hefty amounts - all the for the sake of (business from) entertainment.
The dance of the dolls immediately after a hard hit lofty six or well played shot straight to the fence added extra flavour to the excitement of entertainment. No wonder, after all this extra excitement, everyone among us - the ordinary, important and very important started saying "All Glory Belongs to Lalit Modi!". Modi Sahab must have got his desired kick. To stay in a state of stupor all through the season (of IPL) and to see others in awe of him, it certainly couldn't get more intoxicating then this. Wow Modi Wow !
To build up a succesful wealth minting business model (for all the stakeholders involved) in a short span of three years is certainly no mean achievement. It is bound to make a person involved in this sort of gigantic commercial success narcissistic and arrogant. Modi already had those qualities and the super success of IPL like the super sixer shots, added to his flamboyance and arrogance. Though his official designation has been of IPL Commisioner, he believed that he was the Maharaja of new form of Indian cricket.
To convince the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for extending support to the 20/20 format of cricket, the broadcasters to buy the rights for live telecast, enthuse the wild type excitement of football into cricket, extend the gentleman's game to high adrenaline and cut throat competition, make the people not only like it but crave for it season after season, make the industrialists believe that to own an IPL team is not only commercially successful but prestigious as well ... to pull all this and successfully so, one needs to be wildly ambitious and not have 20/20 but 100/100 of self belief and confidence.
But then to stay intoxicated in over-confidence can lead to disastrous results. Lalit Modi started believing that he was the undisputed Lord of IPL. His three ringed security cover and well connected super star status must have made him feel so.
As the saying goes, 'what goes up must come down', and so, like a lofty ball high in the sky (inside the fence) which comfortably lands into the hand of a fielder waiting for it has been the case of Modi. His detractors have begun shouting to claim his wicket, the decision of which is pending in the court of the third umpire (the governing council, which is now full of his friend turned foes.)
In the true spirit of the game, the audience is now anxiously waiting and fully excited to see how ugly this controversy can become. Uglier the controversy, better the entertainment would be.
To see the high profile Modi tense, upset and building up his defence against the wolf after his life is a very confusing excitement, but nevertheless excitement and entertainment. To see the man (Lalit Modi) whose office every high profile person used to visit, himself visiting offices of IPL franchises partners for support, is a complete 20/20 entertainment. To see a suave, sophisticated, intellectual Shashi Tharoor lose his wicket like a novice player, is a complete 20/20 entertainment.
To see the seasoned, shrewed and powerful minister Sharad Power dropping his support to Lalit Modi like a hot iron rod is a complete 20/20 entertainment. To see the Congress men jumping with joy after knowing that Maratha Man Sharad Pawar is taking a backfoot and praying for his luck to save him further embarassment is a complete 20/20 entertainment. To see the friends and foes of Lalit Modi vying for his lungs and bones is a complete 20/20 entertainment.
All in all, the IPL has been an entertainer through and through. Modi, the mastermind, has, by virtue of his enhanced stature, created a sort of mega entertainment even in his debacle. The IPL has been a complete paisa wasool show so far.
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