Most of us who once were saying things like "It's hit and giggle stuff", "It's too short to get really pissed", "There's no strategy or building of an innings, it's all just close your eyes, swing the bat and hope for the best" have now been converted by the phenomenon which is the IPL. Whether it's Brendon McCullum's stunning 158 not out in the opening match, the bold names of the teams, the Indian pop ditties that accompany every four or six, or the antics of the billionaire owners; there's something for everyone in terms entertainment. Bangalore owner Dr. Vijay Mallya cancelled a star studded launch of his team’s music video such was his disappointment after they were hammered by 140 runs in their first match; it must of made him wonder why he’d bothered to fly out the Washington Redskins cheerleaders! Some personal highlights so far are the enormous lettering on the back of the shirt's of the King's XI Punjab players, the buffoonery of the ground announcers and of course the brilliant naming of the Kolkata Knight Riders. Watching the Knight Riders in action you just can’t help but think of this:
On a serious note, the success of the tournament must surely mean the eventual death of the 50 overs a side format. Twenty-Twenty really hammers home the point that overs 15-40 in the ODI are a complete waste of time. If a guy can smash 158 unbeaten off just 73 balls then what’s the point of him working the ball for singles off a part-time spinner? I think that the new form of the game will also have an effect on Test Cricket. The ease of which the players are smashing the ball all over the place could possibly mean that Test matches in the future will no longer be played over five days. Let’s face it, very few five day Tests come to a dramatic conclusion these days. The lines of thinking will be “why take five days for a match when we can get it over with in three or four”? It’s not likely to happen in the next couple of years but the IPL and general success of Twenty-Twenty worldwide has begun the start of cricket’s next evolution.