IPL -7

So, an year has passed and we are back to new season of Indian Premier League (IPL).
If you are looking for the schedule of matches, you can find it here
It seems, IPL has completed one complete round and has returned at the point from where it started. To begin with, IPL had 8 teams, which changed to 10 for one of the season, then reduced to 9 in the last season and once again it has 8 teams participating. The exiting teams are from Kochi and Pune. Pune's exit has relieved me. Now I won't be in dilemma whether to support Mumbai or Pune.
Most of the players I knew are out of the league now. Even Bret Lee went unsold this time. That makes little less interesting for me. Virat Kohli is the new hero of Cricket. Off-course he is fantastic, he can not cast spell on me (much older than him), as Tendular or Ganguly did some 15-20 years back.
IPL is also marred by so many controversies, which again makes it worth avoiding for some. When even the owners of the team seem to be involved in the controversies, credibility is bound to go down.
But in spite of these I prefer IPL for many which I have already discussed earlier through this blog. It gives one last opportunity to fading out players like Sehwag. It gives opportunities to upcoming players like Sanju Samson. It helps removing unwanted players like Chandila who basically play for money and not for the love of the game. It helps remove bad blood among players of different countries. (Off-course it at times creates one among players of the same team, read: Gambhir Vs Kohli).
What I appreciate most is the fact that it diminishes the line of country wise division among players. I think there is a need to remove the idea of one country playing against another. I think there is a need to go beyond that give more importance to the passion of the game.
I keep hearing from almost all commentators and players saying, "India-Pakistan match is a very crucial match which neither of the team would like to loose. All other matches apart, this is one match they want to win". Watch any India-Pakistan match and you will hear words on these lines. Same is the case with Australia-England match. Whether it is Ashes cup or any other match between these two teams. You will never hear such words for India-WestIndies, India-Newzeland match. Is it because of some history of exciting battle between two players like Sachin Tendulkar vs Shane Warne? It surely is not. 
Recently, I watched India-Pakistan 20: 20 match as well as India-Pakistan match in Asia Cup. Both the matches had commentators as well as some players uttering words like this is the most important match which they can not loose at any other cost. Doesn't matter if they loose all other matches, but not this one.
Interesting thing is nobody asks question like Why? and no body tries to answer it even if not asked.
Why this match is so important to win?
All I can understand is there is lot of history between the two countries, and the two countries try to look at this match as a representative of those wars, battles and unexplainable activities which they want to take revenge of. And that's why all the players are so full of passion and pride that they make this match a question of life and death. This is what makes me repel away from such country wise matches. The bad blood flowing here is between the two countries while the bad blood flowing in IPL matches is between two players. There is a big difference between the two. 
Even if you are supporting Mumbai Indians, but if Yusuf Pathan hits long sixes for KKR, you appreciate it. No matter which team you are supporting, you don't want Gayle to get out cheaply, because that will take all the interest out of the match for which you are watching. But, same can not be said about the country vs country matches. Most of the Indians/Pakistanis want their team to win the match because of the national pride and the fact that they can not accept defeat from Pakistanis/Indians with open heart. This is a feeling which really makes IPL preferred over Country vs Country matches for me.
Off-course this  feeling has subsided in recent years, but you need to give  a big  credit to events like IPL for that. So, when I hear words like "This match is the most important one for India against Pakistan", it doesn't resonate with me. For me, Pakistan is as good as South Africa, Srilanka, West Indies. I am trying to understand what these players and commentators try to communicate while uttering these words.
IPL -7 IPL -7 Reviewed by Ka Jo on April 15, 2014 Rating: 5
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