If three of the most popular categories of news are taken into account in India, Cricket, Bollywood and Politics will surely make it to the top three. And if all three of them combine we get what is Breaking News for the television and Front Page News for the print industry. All this seems to be happening before the upcoming season of the IPL.
It all started with cricketers when none of the 11 Pakistani players available for bidding weren't hired by any of the eight teams. Pakistan termed as a pre-meditated attempt by the Indian cricket board and it's government to isolate the Pakistani players. The Indian government denied any role in the bidding process and even the IPL Commissioner Lalit Modi said that it was left to the teams to hire players and the decisions of the franchise's was purely commercial.
Kolkata Knight Riders' owner Shahrukh Khan brought in Bollywood when he said that he was upset at the treatment meted out to the Pakistani players. Although his team did not hire any Pakistani player he was the first celebrity to come out in their support. Shahrukh even said that the Pakistanis were the best T20 players in the world and should have been participating in the IPL. Amitabh Bachchan and Aamir Khan also voiced support for Pakistani players.
This was enough to invite the ultra-nationalist to come into the scene. First they started taking on the Australian players for the attack on Indians down under and then shifted their focus to Pakistani cricketers and threatened Shahrukh for his support of Pakistani players. They even went to the extent of asking him to settle in Pakistan. Shiv Sena had threatened to attack any Pakistani or Aussie players who comes to play in Mumbai.
All this has meant that the Gentleman's Game is no longer seems to be gentleman as far as IPL 3 is concerned. Cricket no longer seems to be the point of focus in this season's IPL and is is becoming more about political correctness and stands. The sponsors of the tournament need not worry about the publicity as IPL 3 seems to be in everybody's lips without them having to spend anything!