- No “soap opera” happenings on the sidelines if you can discount the genital warts (well, the PCB cannot exist without pulling off some embarrassing stunts) and the “team unity” press conference (Dhoni does do things differently).
- No DLF maximums. A hit over the boundary is a six and not a product of a real estate company.
- No shilling of tournament magazines (which by the way is one of the crappiest ways to spend a hundred bucks…not that I spent a single rupee) and continuous thanking of the sponsors. We get the fact that they are funding your food, drink and parties. Stop banging it in our heads.
- One can actually see the action without putting the TV on mute. The T20 WC commentary team is diverse, subtle, speaks when necessary, does not shout with excitement unless something extraordinary has happened and more importantly, is knowledgeable. The IPL commentary team was the exact opposite except for its diversity. Also this time we got Kumble. The man used to bowl leg spinners, has captained the country and is a thorough gentleman. Now one can see that he can talk like Benaud also. And that voice! Holding sure got competition for the manliest voice in the commentary box.
- The boundaries are long. Very long. A six (not a maximum) has to be actually earned. It is no surprise that the most successful batsmen here are good technicians and not flat track bullies. One could say that IPL 2 also had lesser sixes. But it was more due to compulsions since the tournament was moved in the last minute and that the end of season South African pitches were not flat tracks. If it had happened in India, we sure would have seen 65 yard boundaries, flat tracks and unreal amount of DLF Maximums (not sixes). After all, it is all about repeating your sponsors’ names until it is drilled in the very essence of our being.
- There is a real purpose in watching the game. An IPL match seems just like a form of entertainment and the players seem to represent their employers and not their countries. I do not mind the Mumbai Indians losing (they do play pathetic at times) but never like the Indians losing (even when one feels that they seriously need a kick up their back sides now…which the West Indians have provided in style). City based franchisee competitions still has to find acceptance in cricket like it has in football. Then again, even the format in football is criticized as being too money centric and one that discounts club loyalty.
- The cricket is of a higher standard. The IPL does have some of the best players but not all of them are the best. The 4 overseas player restriction means that a minimum of 56 Indian players had to play. And India and for that matter any other country does not have that many world class players. So you had the finer players having to shield the weaker players. All IPL teams were a mix of great players and those whose standards were not up to it. Here there are no such issues and a team can play its 11 best players. We do have weak teams but the better teams do not seem to have weak links. Hence a match between two top teams is of a better quality than the match between the top two IPL teams.
- Not much of Modi. In the IPL, when the commentators were not shilling the magazine or the sponsors, they were singing paeans about the lisping egomaniac. Everyone was sucking up to him whether it is Shastri (Moses Modi. Really?) Granted Modi has done a great job in getting the IPL show running. However it is not as if cricket would have died a miserable death if he had not been born. In this World Cup, there was just one shot of Modi standing in his usual showman style and gesturing towards no one in particular. The commentators kept quite and I kept my finger off the mute button.
- No opening ceremony. Granted it was cancelled due to bad weather. Seems like the Gods above were in a good mood and spared us the agony.
- No strategy break. Enough said.
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