Sunil Gavaskar, Ravi Shastri Defend DLF Maximum and Citibank Moment of Success in IPL


On the face of it, it would not seem unusual given revelation of certain developments. However, the ignorance of Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi on the podium by the England cricket team has given the duo leverage.

With Tiger Pataudi being ignored on the podium even as England lifted the sponsors trophy following their 4-0 Test series over India to go no.1 in the ICC Test rankings, it has turned into a talking point with the inadvertent snub not going unnoticed. Since Pataudi was invited and present on the podium and still ignored, the former Indian cricketers turned commentators found it a point to rub it that sponsors were given top priority and not only in the IPL.

There has been much criticism regarding the Indian domestic Twenty20 league including the fact that the sponsors are blatantly sponsored by the commissioned commentators who are seen blowing the trumpet as far as the IPL is concerned without a single negative word that belittles the tournament or its value. The commentators of the sport, who are usually neutral in their observations and provide the picture of the game as is, are often bursting their lungs out, going out of their way to ensure that the sponsors are getting their money’s worth. It is all premeditated of course.

However, the idea that cricket terminology such as fours, sixes and wickets have been replaced by sponsored phrases such as DLF Maximum and Citibank Moment of Success when it comes to the IPL, something that has had the goat of the cricket fans and foreign cricket observers who have felt that the soul of the game has been sold out to commercial greed. The cricket fans have not taken too kindly either with what they have termed publicly as bombardment that they have not been able to appreciate as well as they have the Twenty20 format.

The criticism was particularly strong in India’s cause because the BCCI was a reluctant participant in the idea of the Twenty20 format before realizing the value of the commercial exploitation of the sport that is possible via Twenty20. Now with the IPL at loggerheads not only with foreign boards but also, cricket fans who feel that crass commercialization at play, it is rare when the IPL has been able to score a point when it comes to serious cricket debate.

However, Ravi Shastri and Sunil Gavaskar, who it was recently exposed have been on the BCCI’s payroll even as commentators, jumped at the opportunity to point out that there were double standards at play when the England and Wales Cricket Board was honouring the sponsors at the height of overlooking Pataudi on the podium while the BCCI were being criticized for pandering to the sponsors who were pouring money into the IPL.

Although they do make a point, it is rather difficult to equate associating the name of an ex-cricketer or sponsor’s name with the trophy and then to actually cricket terminology by replacing it with sponsored words that are repeated constantly over the length of a match.