It's difficult to write the obligatory IPL blog (or IPL3 as this year's event will be hereforth known) as quite honestly I am not excited about it. I have been weighing up the pros and cons of staying up until 3am to watch the start of the Bangladesh-England test, but have payed no attention to the hype surrounding the start of the IPL. To be quite honest, I don't even know who's playing. Or any of the star players for any of the teams. It's not that I am against the IPL, it is just that I don't really care.
I know that this must be sacreligious for an internet cricket blog to not pick a pro or anti-IPL viewpoint. All of the Indian blogs are no doubt detailing each team, player, and security guard; whilst many English, Australian and South African blogs are ridiculing the cheerleaders, glitter and Lalit Modi. However, I am not going to be doing that either.
I sat down (well, lay down) to write this blog grudgingly, knowing it would have to be saying something about the IPL. Despite the many interesting things currently happening in world cricket; England touring Bangladesh, Zimbabwe touring the West Indies, Australia touring New Zealand, the PCB shooting themselves in the place where their foot used to be, Michael Clarke looking for nude photos of his girlfriend; the IPL starts tomorrow, and should take centre stage. Because Lalit Modi said so. But why should it? Just because loads of Indian businessmen I've never heard of and some woman who used to be in Big Brother have thrown loads of money at something, doesn't make it particularly interesting or enjoyable. Ultimately, the IPL is an Indian domestic competition, just like the KFC Big Bash or the MTN40 (I had to look that one up). And as such, I am treating it with the same apathy as any overseas domestic competition.
It's not that I wouldn't enjoy it if I watched it. Last year, whilst incapacitated with illness (possibly ebola, probably swine flu) I actually watched the events from South Africa. And for the most part, they were fairly interesting. I was watching as Flintoff got injured, and I was watching as Pietersen got injured. I also watched as Paul Collingwood and Owais Shah sat on the bench throughout. And then the English players went home and I stopped watching (I was better by then). I only really showed interest in the games involving players I had interest in, and no disrespect to your Roelof van der Merwes, but there were plenty of players who I didn't care about. My reason for not paying attention to the IPL is simple: there is nothing really drawing me in. Just like watching a game of French league football - it could be a perfectly fine game full of well paid players showing good skills, but if there are no players I know I won't watch it. Which is ultimately why I won't be watching this years IPL.
While I will no doubt succumb and flick through a few highlights on ITV4, the IPL lacks something to succesfully maintain my interest, and I'm guessing, the interest of the world at large (outside India). Over the next five days, the only cricket I'll be watching will be Bangladesh v England.
OK, probably the next three days...