Last evening rain was lashing from the north as I wrote this post. It was past 8 in the evening, and despite the troubles that water from the sky always poses for the city, one was reasonably sure that people were heaving a collective sigh of relief from several days of grueling heat.
For me there was double relief. Yesterday was the first day after a month-long spell of T-20 hullabaloo that nearly stole all the other ‘sporting’ senses that one possessed.
I’ve hardly watched the shortened version of the cricket – some of which, I gather from newspapers, were cliffhangers – sweetened with bollywood masala and some real fleshy stuff, not because I was terribly occupied otherwise which I was not, but because of my firm belief that any game that has 3 time-determined formats just to popularize it is not worth spending precious time for.
But I am perhaps in a minority. The papers say T-20 has been so roaringly successful that kids and oldies are suffering from withdrawal syndromes now that the games are over. It is also widely reported that malls and plexes suffered remarkably reduced footfalls while the show was on.
The IPL success doesn’t mean that we the Indians are really a sports-loving bunch. I happen to come across IPL-bitten people in the last 2 days who barely know that the same day when IPL final was taking place, a lesser-known Jamaican, Usain Bolt (see the video below), put the stadium on fire making new world record (9.72 seconds) for men’s 100 meters dash.
Many are also not aware that this weekend a bigger sporting spectacle, Euro Cup 2008, is to start, the more than 1 million tickets of which are already sold out.
But then the Indians are never sports crazy. If however IPL brings in some sort of craziness in other games, like the 1.2 lakh turnout at Mohun Bagan versus Bayern Munich match with another 20K waiting outside failing to get in, I’m game for it.