The tradition of playing the game of cricket dates back to the 16th century in England. Cricket was an activity undertaken by the English and was considered no less a test of character than sport. The game spread over five days proved like a litmus test to figure out the truest spirit in a human, right from the amount of perseverance, dedication, commitment and passion he had for anything that he indulged in. And Dr. WG Grace, who I consider to be the father of the sport could have least imagined that the game that he once played could turn into a tempting means to earn quick bucks. <br/><br/>Flashback to four years from now, the Indian Premier League that was launched amidst much pomp and show provided a unique platform for all those deserving players of the sport a fair chance to showcase their talent and make hay while the sun shone. The IPL has, since then been a great attraction, not only for the corporate bodies but also for people inclined towards the sport in some way or the other. The umpires, match referees, the curators, the cricket associations, the media and, last but not the least, the cricketers have found a lucrative way to extend their cricketing careers.<br/><br/>At a time when the world is shrinking in size owing to the increased effects of globalisation, animosity and unhealthy rivalry has been keeping people of different nationalities aloof. Cricketing nations were at their wildest best on and off the field and left no stone unturned to put the opposition down whenever a chance arose. IPL in such a scenario was like a breath of fresh air that bridged distances. Players belonging to varied nationalities formed a team, worked in unison for a common cause. This union of bitter rivals for achieving a common goal is nothing less a wonder. <br/><br/>After having mentioned the pluses that IPL has fared, the upsetting drawbacks are also worth a mention, only to gratify the beauty of the game of cricket. MONEY is certainly “the” driving force that makes this barely credible union a reality. Sad but true, IPL has, in a way, polluted the game of cricket. With cricketers being bought and sold, the auctioning of the representatives of the classy and gentlemanly game looks nothing less an inanimate object that awaits a buyer. <br/><br/>The true spirit of the game of cricket is lost somewhere. The 20-20 format is no doubt fast paced and thrilling, but it lacks the simplicity and the authenticity of the old English classy game. <br/><br/>When players play for their respective national teams, they are thorough about each other’s secret techniques, thus allowing each other to battle it out conveniently at the international level. <br/><br/>Taking a plunge into the other side effect of the shortest format of the game, one can see temptations supersede over convictions. Youngsters find an easy means to grab limelight while the older lot tries to make the most before the sun sets. Test cricket and ODIs are just “options” now. Players lack charisma and uniqueness. They just go out in the middle and play brash. <br/><br/>At the end, all I can say is “too much of anything is poison”. A healthy balance work and play makes life pleasurable and so is the case with the game of cricket. There has to be fun in some serious action.