New Delhi: With a brand value of Rs 19,000 crore, representation from all major continents and an extravagant display of culture and sports, the Indian Premier League have become a sign of India’s growing economic prowess across the globe.
Through lure of immense riches and fame, the IPL has managed to accomplish what no Indian government has been able to do till now- improve the image of India in eyes of developed world. For instance, there used to be times when visiting teams used to frown on prospect of touring the sub-continent. The unpleasant fact was evident when Sir Donald Bradman along with the Australian team, on their return from England on their way back home, refused to step out of their vessel on bunker port of Kolkata.
But today, five years after IPL was started, contemporary Australian legends like Adam Gilchrist and Ricky Ponting among others are leading teams for their Indian franchise owners. Experienced and budding cricketers from England and across the globe are coveting for the share of IPL pie. The wheel of fate has turned , and it is India which is at top this time.
But critics of IPL point out that mixing the sport with entertainment has degraded the quality of cricket in the country. Some sport-writers admonish the fact that youngsters are more lured towards glamour of IPL than cricket, and thus cricket in the country has taken a hit. It is believed that IPL has destroyed budding cricketers by introducing them to vices of Bollywood(read late night parties and hobnobbing with celebs). Punjab leg-spinner Rahul Sharma, accused of taking drugs in a rave party during last IPL epitomizes the phenomenon of talent being detracted by vices.