Just yesterday, I was watching the news, and I came to know about the 2013 Indian Premier League spot fixing case which arose when the Delhi Police arrested three cricketers, Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila, and Ankeet Chavan, on the charges of spot fixing. And thus I started thinking if the IPL really does encourage the spirit of the game, sportsmanship or team spirit, or if it is more inclined to money and sponsorship. And so I present my opinion for the motion that IPL is sabotaging the essence of authentic Cricket.Playing in IPL was considered to be a viable career option as opined by a celebrity, in a daily newspaper, recently.

I read it and felt it to be a wrong observation. Till few years ago, in India, most of the responsible parents and the guardians took sports as a whole to be a pass time. For them it was a pleasure to watch and allowed children to play whatever they liked to, during free time, just for relaxation, fun and health. But now, the sports scenario for IPL has definitely changed in India. While the IPL has many plus points, it also has a lot of negatives which have left the purists of the game fuming.

For instance, The BCCI's stubbornness in not including the IPL as part of the international calendar has led to a lot of cramped schedules. One problem is that the Indian players play the IPL and head straight into another series without enough practice and conditioning for that particular series. Either that or they play the IPL immediately after a series. Either of the situations leads to players having fatigue issues. In the past most players tried to prolong their international cricket career as much as possible.

Famous cricketers like Sir Garfield Sobers, Sachin Tendulkar, played test cricket for an average of 20 years.Not anymore. Playing two months in a year and making enough money for the entire year is enough for most players nowadays, just like Chris Gayle and Lasith Malinga, who have given up their test careers and are very happy playing the IPL. There is no denying that one of the biggest charms of the IPL is the introduction of foreign players. That gives an international appeal to an otherwise domestic tournament.

But that defies the original purpose of the tournament completely, which was to provide emerging Indian players a platform to display their talents.As team owners go after the prize money they can get after winning the matches, most of the time only foreign players or known Indian players are recruited. With recent spot fixing and other controversies related to IPL, it seems as if IPL has changed into a mere profit-related game for sponsors, and nothing else. Also, due to IPL, viewers are finding Test cricket and ODI’s uninteresting, as IPL is a shorter and most exciting format of cricket. This has resulted in these long-duration formats gaining unpopularity, although these are the actual games which test a cricketer’s skills and stamina in the long run.

IPL does not promote team spirit, or camaraderie, but rather makes players individualistic for their financial interest making sure they are rated higher than their teams, neither does it promote nationalism, unlike traditional cricket, where the whole country cheers for their team, and rather discriminates between the states in the country itself. IPL does not add any real value to society or industry and instead ensures a waste of hundreds of productive hours. IPL defocuses people from their personal or professional goals and is responsible for the time wasted by our youth and future generations.So whether it has reached a US $4 billion market cap or more, whether the franchisee owners will be doubling their returns in a year or so, what difference does that make to us – you and me? A select few will become richer to further flaunt their ostentatious lifestyle funded by us to gratify their egos.

Having said that, I sincerely feel that IPL should be more or less viewed as a TV-show, where everything is scripted, and should not be considered as a traditional cricket form, for it most certainly sabotages the essence and sportsmanship of authentic cricket. Thank you.