Thursday, May 01, 2008

Indian premier yawn

I’ll try not to be too smug, but isn’t the IPL boring?

Does anyone care any more? What’s more interesting: the IPL or the English county championship?

An obvious trick question. However, if you are a) a cricket blogger; b) not well disposed to twenty20; c) obsessed with international test cricket; d) me, then you were always going to struggle for consciousness whilst watching this marketing spectacle

A great many people who satisfy none of the above criteria but are still reaching for their remote controls and hitting the “Big Brother” button. Or a film. Whatever floats your boat. Personally, I’m a news 24 man. Except when there’s no news. Then news 24 is pretty much the least informative thing outside of a White House press conference.

With 59 games scheduled in total, you don’t have to be Malcolm Speed to work out why interest is waning. Indeed, television audiences have been dropping steadily as the novelty of this event begins to fade.

I’ll chuck in my usual self-congratulatory anti-twenty20 rantings here: perhaps people are recognising the shallowness, the artificiality and the limited possibilities that twenty20 offers as compared to even a 50 over match.

The subtle nuances, the competition of bat versus ball and the developing strategies are all removed from this format of the game. Once you watch a bloke smack a ball 70 yards you have exhausted the game’s entertainment possibilities. It’s just more of the same.

I’d like to think that viewers are assessing these weaknesses and are deliberately boycotting an impoverished version of the game. However, the fact is that they’re just getting bored by it. No one really cares about the teams, the play is predictable and the results unrelated to skill. They’d rather watch reality television.

Heck, I'd rather watch reality television.

People make a big deal of twenty20’s potential to pull in cricket-haters into the fold. But, judging by this league, twenty20 might result in putting people off from the game.

Take that establishment!


Gridman said...

Or... looking at other sport tournaments of similar duration, there's a natural audience tendency to watch the first games, drop off during the middle, pick up again as they approach the finals.

Typical "saddle" in the viewing numbers.

On the other hand, viewers may have figured out that the IPL doesn't showcase the cheerleaders as much as the ICL did.

Jrod said...

You have a big brother button.

Does Orwell speak to you at night as well?

Suave said...

24 hour news is shite!!

see here.
is a link to a page on
the World Wide Web.

My favourite man in the world, Charlie Brooker.

No, it's re-runs of Terry Thomas movies for me, ding dong.

On another note, the reason I'm not a fan of 20/20, is that smash thru the line sloggers can look good at the game. There's never any seaming/swinging wickets to show these arses up, for the shithouse sloggers they are.
You look at the new India side, whenever they get a wicket with sideways movement, the new boys are all f*cked.

Hammy said...

Promotion of the IPL in Australia is based solely on an Aussie, or former Aussie, doing something of interest. Gee, did Michael Hussey score 37 from 49 balls? Sounds more like a one-day score than 20Twenty. It's not exactly newsworthy. Besides, the games are on too late to watch so I can't see much interest until perhaps the finals. You're onto something there, AYALAC.

Anonymous said...

Although the IPL is mostly boring there was one game I thought was rather interesting. The secret it would seem is a dodgy wicket. There was that game where the lights went off where the pitch was roundly criticised. I thought it was brilliant! More T20s should have wickets unsuitable for ODIs or Tests.

Q said...

The ratings haven't dropped. IPL TV ratings in India, Pakistan and across the Middle East sky rocketed during the first week. The fell only slightly during the 2nd week but have been stable since then.

The interest has actually picked up as viewers have started to familiarise themselves with the teams.

Initially people did not know who played for who. Today they do.

What has become apparent over time is that good cricket is being appreciated rather than 1 single team being supported. Some do have their loyalties ties to a team or 2 but majority of the people are just enjoying the cricket.

Someone pointed out that sloggers look good in this game. If you take a look at the top scorers and top wicket takers it has been the batsmen with the bette techniques / hand-eye coordination and the bowlers with the skill to bowl a variety of deliveries and fox the batsmen that have done better.

At the end of the day, it is cricket, and cricket as we know it, that stands supreme.

The IPL has shown some amazing batting, bowling, fielding, and captaincy.

It has shown the world what a good captain can do to a side. It has shown that only sloggers will not get u anywhere in 20-20. It has shown that bowlers like Mcgrath and Warne and batsmen like Hayden and Hussey will perform in whatever format they play.

Its not boring. Its cricket. Its entertaining. People are hooked. Players are hooked. Its not test cricket, but it is cricket. And cricket better than the ODI form.

Tests and 20-20 is the way forward.

The Atheist said...

Thanks for your well thought-out response, q.

I have had a look at the top-scorers and top-wicket takers and although the Sehwags and Warnes are up there, so are the Rohit Sharmas and Manpreet Gonys.

The most obvious sign of twenty20's randomness is the results. No team is undefeated, yet no side has failed to win.

It's almost like people are rolling a dice for the outcomes.

The twenty20 also weeds out previously important elements to the game. You don't see batsmen surviving a testing spell, as they might in ODIs. Indeed, aggressive bowling seems to be a thing of the past. Even fifty over cricket saw three slips.

Sorry. Boring.

Q said...

Rohit Sharma is actually a very good batsman. If you have seen his innings they have been anything but slogs. He has future India potential. I believe he did well against Australia in Australia over the summer as well.

As for Gony, he is also a good bowler. bowls in the 140s and gets the ball to move. Very dilhara fernando type - similar built and action.

Again these 2 are proper cricketers who could play ODIs and Tests for India in the longer term.

I agree that testing spells havent been played out but then u dont expect that in 20-20 cricket.

But the good bowlers have had batsmen tied up.