At the onset of the T20 World Cup 2012, the voices of detractors and supporters are becoming louder than ever.
Amitav Ghosh, the Indian author, famously called the IPL (Indian Premier League) “cripoliwood”: a heady cocktail of cricket, politics and Bollywood. The word itself conjures up all forms of a crippling disease and perhaps that is what’s plaguing India’s national obsession. In fact, the recently concluded IPL was as true a testament to “cripoliwood” as could be.
The scandals were rife. A TV sting operation led to the suspension of five domestic players investigated for spot-fixing, a star-studded party was raided for drugs in Mumbai (spotlighting two IPL players in the process) and a boisterous Shah Rukh Khan was slapped with a ban from entering Wankhede Stadium after an argument with security guards. Most recently, Australian Luke Pomersbach from the Royal Challengers Bangalore was arrested on charges for allegedly molesting an American woman and beating up her fiancé. Clearly, this season was no stranger to controversy. However as this article has stated, “The IPL is truly Indian, let us be proud”. It talks about how the League is just a successful business model and people are trying to “demonise” it with calls for more government control. It then concludes that all this “scuffle is normal Indian activity.” So perhaps it is this very acceptance and attitude that will keep IPL cricket, politics and Bollywood forever embroiled in a messy web: “that is the Indian style and we need to accept it”. Having played two Tests against New Zealand, our Boys in Blue are off to try and win the title of T20 World Cup 2012 Champions in this year’s tournament in Sri Lanka (running from 18 September to 7 October).
The question still prevails: will “cripoliwood” rear its ugly head once again and become synonymous with Indian cricket? The younger players have certainly proved themselves having just won the ICC Under-19 World Cup 2012 under the helm of Unmukt Chand. What’s more, they did so by beating Australia on their own turf, in a thrilling final. Now it’s time for Dhoni and his boys to follow suit. According to former Indian skipper, Saurav Ganguly, West-Indies and Pakistan pose as the biggest threats to India. He points to the West Indies’ “powerhouse” line-up with the likes of Chris Gayle, Keiran Pollard, Dwayne Smith and Andre Russel, making them strong contenders for t20 trophy. Ganguly also talked up the Pakistani team saying they were teeming with talent and flaring with an itch to play. In Dhoni’s squad, there is Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Yuvraj Singh, Harbhajan Singh, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, Manoj Tiwary, Irfan Pathan, R Ashwin, Zaheer Khan, L Balaji, Piyush Chawla and Ashok Dinda.
We’ve got what is bound to be an emotional return from a battling Yuvraj Singh, the promising form of Virat Kohli and the potentially explosive Dhoni, Sehwag, Gambhir and Tiwary bolstering our batting line-up. Yet to prove themselves are Harbhajan Singh and Piyush Chawla as spinners. All in all, the ICC t20 World Cup 2012 promises to be a blistering tournament full of exciting cricket. Let’s just hope it’s clean of “cripoliwood”, too.