You are currently reading a blog about cricket. Therefore it stands to reason that you probably follow and enjoy cricket yourself. Going one step further, it would make sense that you've been catching some of the IPL action at the moment. After all the latest installment is now well underway.
I say "it would make sense" that you've been watching the IPL, but I don't totally believe my own proposition. I have a confession: I don't watch the IPL.
I'm not saying, "I'm not much of a T20 fan," or "the IPL is not my thing", or even "I'm not watching it because it's not being broadcast properly in Australia this year," I'm saying that I've literally never watched a single live broadcast of an IPL game and as it stands, don't have any immediate plans to do so. What sort of lifelong cricket fan willfully ignores his own generation's version of the Packer revolution? This one, my friends.
I'll qualify these statements slightly though; I read about it quite extensively and have watched a decent amount of highlights on YouTube, some contemporaneously and some on time delays stretching years, which in stripping the games and events of any present-day context, often renders them exotic and entertaining. By viewing them stale, they take on a kind of warped, B-movie quality that I enjoy. But for the most part, the IPL is a large chunk of cricket that just doesn't exist to me. Obviously there are countless other chunks of cricket awaiting me and ones that I take greater pleasure in, so I feel neither a loss nor any sadness for missing it.
I hadn't really thought about all this in any depth until Chris Gayle's six explosion for the Royal Challengers of Bangalore in the week gone by. The night after Gayle's innings I caught the highlights on YouTube, which is itself symbolic of my thoughts on both Chris Gayle and the IPL. I wondered whether there were other cricketing lifers who 'consumed' this type of cricket the same way.
I jest only on the last point.
At the time this film idea seemed at least equal in brilliance to the plot of Blade Runner, but I am now willing to concede that it was the red wine talking and that I am literally the only person in the world who would pay to go and see that movie. Mind you, that was also the case with 'Save Your Legs', which actually did get made. The fact that I didn't flesh the plot out beyond that initial idea is probably not the only reason it's not going to be green-lit any time soon, though it was a recycled combination of two very average pre-existing films, so I'm sure someone in Hollywood would at least take my call...
I'm not trying to shoe-horn a Cricket Australia jibe into everything I write, I swear, but watching Gayle biff all those sixes I noted the way that IPL highlights translate so well to short YouTube videos. Maybe that should be the aim of the Big Bash League; screw the live broadcast figures as long as there is an exponentially higher click rate on the 3 minute highlights package uploaded following the game. We can't rule out the possibility that someone down on Jolimont hasn't already suggested this. Play some Basement Jaxx over the top and we wouldn't even have to listen to Greg Blewett...
Would the IPL be any more or less appealing to me if the implausible scenario of my drunken brainstorm actually came into play (stop thinking about spot fixing, stop thinking about spot fixing)? I actually don't think it would push me very far either way.
I'm not going to bore you with a treatise about how the IPL and the wannabe domestic T20 leagues it has spawned are corroding the soul of the game because I don't actively hate the IPL, it's just not on my radar and I wondered how many people feel the same way.
So readers, are you dedicated followers of cricketing fashion or do you give the IPL a miss? Am I missing anything genuinely important by not tuning in?
P.S. There is one thing that the IPL has got going for it and that is the amount of completely mental TV commercials it has spawned. This is my favourite: