There are countless good things about PSL. It has laid a ground for revival of home cricket in Pakistan. It has provided opportunity to emerging players to get recognized beyond the selectors’ biased whims (imagine what kind of confidence booster it could be for a youngster to share dressing rooms with local and international greats). It has become a festival for entertainment deprived masses. It certainly has created some job opportunities for many marketers, singers, graphic designer, photographers and many more. It is a perfect answer to systematic alienation of Pakistani players at international arena by some powerful factions. And my personal favorite: there are no cheerleaders in PSL. All in all, PSL has achieved beyond expectations and it is loveable.
But there is something questionable. It’s astonishing how the rich elite has taken control of this game that should be public property. It happens in all leagues, but that does not make it right. It seems that affluent of society for their own entertainment and projection of their brands has created this whole story. New Zealand cricket board boldly termed the whole auction process of IPL “humiliating” and “undignified”.
An “owner” of a team sitting between the hoardings and boundary line, even ahead of the team dugout with top actresses, models of the country presents a bleak but real picture of how things work in our society. I am not spoiling the party here,but I really despise the fact that esteemed players can be maneuvered this easily by a refrigerator owner.
It is appalling to see that how much projection a team owner gets during a match. This is one example of how rich flaunt about their wealth in a capitalist structure. This blatant display of power and glamour has given a pictorial form to Noam’s Chomsky criticism of spectator sport.
Chomsky had the audacity of criticizing this whole frenzy of spectator sports that keeps masses busy and aloof from real issues. But even he didn’t predict such obvious portrayal of a propaganda.
What are we injecting in the minds of youngster with this shameless display? That you could do anything if you have got the money. You can buy prestigious players, hardworking actors, media personals and make them dance. It perfectly reflects that how a capitalist setup slowly erodes the esteem out of every profession and can easily turn a sportsman into hoarding board.
While it’s a long road ahead for making a society free from menace of material love, however, as a cricket lover (a spectator sport, nevertheless), I have a naïve wish to see discreet profiles of franchise owners and egalitarian mechanism replacing this king style gimmickry in next editions of PSL.