Is this only about cricket?
Let me apologise at the outset for straying from the brief for this blog. But I promise I will not go too far away.
I am a bit puzzled by the uproar over the IPL auction.
So, no team bought a Pakistani.
But why should that anger people here and across the border? It’s like I walk into a refrigerator store, look around, and pick up a Samsung.
Should I expect a Voltas salesman to come after me with a knife? The franchisees didn’t want a Pakistani, period.
Why should that upset anyone?
Almost every night, an IPL story falls into our lap – and it’s mostly about another angry Pakistani with another conspiracy theory.
The first reactions were justifiably sharp. It is humiliating to be on the block and then be taken off unsold. It can be demeaning.
But then it’s a voluntary thing.
The players have to agree to be put on the shelf.
If they were sold, they stood to make a lot of money.
And that’s why they were there. No one forced them.
I could understand their anger the first day, the second day, and even perhaps for a week.
Almost newspapers and TV channels highlighted the disappointment across the border in the first few days after the auction.
Shahid Afridi was crestfallen and he said so. So did some of the other players.
But a lot of the top-line players there have kept quiet.
The whole business of chest beating has now passed into professional hands – politicians and some retired and retiring cricketers who need to stay relevant.
They are doing a great job of it – a new theory and a new demand every day.
They all claim it’s about cricket; it’s about relations between two countries who need cricket to bring them together.
But they will never say it’s about money, when it’s about nothing but money.
Would Afridi play for free?
If he can decide to play or not for money, the teams surely have the right to buy or not buy a certain player if they want.
I don’t hold a brief for the franchisees or the controversial league boss Lalit Modi.
And let me state this clearly I would have loved to see Rambo Afridi in action.
But I think we must respect the right of the teams to pick who they want.
Should India snap ties with the UK if Baichung Bhutia was not picked up by any of the English Premier League teams?
It’s been argued that how could the teams ignore the players from the world’s best team – Pakistan won the last T20 World Cup.
Well, may be the franchisees are not as cricket savvy as they were thought to be; may be the owners are dumb or the team officials they have hired seriously challenged idiots.
But it’s their money, and they have a right to decide what they should do with their money.
Is it about foreign policy?
It’s being said Preity Zinta and Lalit Modi can’t be allowed to run India’s foreign policy.
They are not. They are only trying to make some money.
This is not about ONLY cricket, ladies and gentlemen..
Get the difference.