The Indian Premier League (IPL) is about to begin its 10th season. That means we will also have the 10th opening ceremony. In fact, this year there will be EIGHT opening ceremonies spread across the first 10 days of the tournament. They say you can have too much of a good thing. It turns out you can also have too much of a weird thing that no one can really explain the purpose of. So to celebrate the eight opening ceremonies, here are eight reasons why they are a complete waste of everyone’s time.
1. Shane Watson singing
Shane Watson loves to get the guitar out, and the IPL opening ceremony gives him the opportunity. Nobody wants this to happen. Watson is a fine cricketer who has given us joy with his batting, bowling and ability to get out LBW. But he is a mediocre singer at best. IPL opening ceremonies just give him an excuse to underwhelm us.
2. Awkward celebrity moments
Cricket isn’t cool. We try and pretend that it is, but ultimately it is a load of men hitting a ball with a stick. We are pretty good at pretending that the sport with love is brilliant, and most of the time we are successful, but when actual cool people turn up at the IPL opening ceremony it exposes the sport for what it is.
Think back to when Katy Perry was performing in 2012. She got Doug Bollinger to show her how to bat and the Aussie paceman looked more awkward than a teenager asking someone out of their league to the school dance.
On top of that Perry was under threat of court action for holding a microphone close to her groin. A lawyer attempted to bring the case saying that Perry’s performance was “obscene and lascivious – appealing to prurient interest.” It is best for everyone if cricket doesn’t expose itself to people that can lay bare its uncoolness.
3. Wooden presenting
The presenting at the IPL opening ceremony is more cringeworthy than your parents meeting a new girlfriend for the first time. In fact, there are times when it is so bad you would be less embarrassed if the ceremony just involved a slideshow of your least favourite childhood photographs.
Perhaps the most egregious example was in 2015 when Saif Ali Khan made a right mess of the job, with some news agencies commenting that he “fumbled, forgot lines and failed at contributing something unique to the opening ceremony.”
4. Manufactured excitement
These issues with presenting all stem from the fact that the job of those running the show to try and make the idea of some singing and dancing sound exciting to a bunch of people that want to watch some cricket. T20 cricket is brilliant and has been a massive success ever since it was first played in England in 2003. Everyone thinks it is great. But we are made to wait for the cricket to get underway while some Bollywood actors chat nonsense for 90 minutes.
5. Motorbike accidents
In 2015 Shahid Kapoor performed at the opening ceremony. He sang out of tune, fell off a motorbike and then tripped over his own feet. Other than that it was great.
6. Cricketers dancing
Worse than the biggest mistakes that the professional performers can make there is always a chance that some cricketers will do some dancing. With the notable exception of Dwayne Bravo’s “Champion” dance, cricketers dancing is a really bad idea. And Champion only works because it involves nothing more than moving your arms back and forth. It is virtually impossible to mess it up. Even still, there is every chance that given an opportunity to dance in front of a live TV audience there is going to more toe-curling embarrassment if most cricketers give it a go. No IPL opening ceremony means dancing by cricketers gets less likely. Win/win.
7. Memorable failure
The biggest problem with the IPL opening ceremony is that all anyone ever remembers is when it all goes wrong. Ask people what they recall from these events and they will list off motorbike accidents, Shane Watson singing, presenters being awful etc. No one remembers the good bits. You are just setting yourself up for failure.
8. Forgettable success
If you do get it right, and there have been times when it has been good, that is instantly forgotten. When Chris Brown performs well, or Katrina Kaif pulls it off, that is never what people will talk about. All of that is lost in the mashup of boring speeches from dull administrators and people falling over. If people forget when you succeed but cheerfully remember when you fail you might be better off not bothering.