It's not hard to reason this one but you migh...
Barring bandwagon fans that jump aboard when India's playing in a World Cup, we're pretty sure that most women aren't really into cricket. But if any format of the game has broken down preconceived notions that women may have had about cricket it's Twenty20. And there's no better representative of the cricket-meets-entertainment USP of the format than the ever-popular IPL.
Skinny jeans and ballet slippers are suddenly seen all over stadiums that were once filled with shabby shoes and oversized sports jerseys; fragrant perfumes are battling the sweaty stench and svelte, manicured hands are flying up in the air with cadence every time the oh-so-delectable Virat Kohli steps on the cricket pitch. Yes, the IPL has a major female fan following, and we couldn't wait to find out what they really thought about this colorful league.
So we tracked, pinned down and badgered five Mumbai-based--and female--IPL fans into answering these three questions:
1) Have you been watching the IPL?
2) What's your general opinion of the IPL? Do you have a favourite team?
3) Who do you think is the best looking player in the IPL?
Here's what they had to say:
"Well, I wouldn't label myself as an ardent follower but I definitely enjoy a good match and I've kept track of the Mumbai Indians this season for sure! I don't enjoy watching them live anymore thanks to err... unpleasant past experiences. Sweaty bodies and general unruliness aren't exactly my scene! I'll be honest though, when the first season kicked off, the entire IPL high was incredible! There was a genuine feeling of pride that came from knowing an Indian league was being executed so well--not to mention that it was an interesting new form of entertainment! But over the last few seasons, it's just become too much of a money-making, consumer-driven racket. It's so overdone that it has lost its charm. And no, I'm not really supporting any one team over the others."
"Cricket players don't get any cuter than Virat Kohli! He's so dignified and cute. Is he going to read this? Can I put my number here?!" - Rubeina Karachiwalla, make-up artist and model, 23
"I'm a huge IPL buff so yes, i've definitely been following every single match! It's great because there's a personal liking for it, so it's become a superb way to spend time with my husband knowing that we're both genuinely enjoying the same entertainment! I definitely enjoyed the game a lot more in the start when it had a little more charisma though! It was less focussed on the money-making aspect and more tuned in to the actual game. Either way though, i'll definitely keep watching the tournament even if it's purely for entertainment purposes! And it's Mumbai Indians all the way for me; I just know they're going to win it this year!"
"Umm, I'd have to say Virat Kohli because he's pretty gorgeous but honestly, he's only a replacement for Yuvraj Singh. He's my real favorite and I miss him terribly this season!" - Shrina Mehta, Student, 22
"I absolutely never miss a match; I love the IPL! For one, it's completely changed my perspective towards the game of cricket but more than anything, I think it's been a great break from--or temporary replacement for--Bollywood as far as entertainment forms go. A good Bolly flick was my favorite pastime earlier but IPL's changed all of that because it brings Bollywood-style entertainment and cricket together, so what's not to love?! Also, I'm a Mumbai Indian supporter this year but it's only because of Malinga and Malinga alone!"
"I guess I already made it pretty clear that my heart will always be Malinga's! I get so much flak from all my friends for this but I can't help it, his blonde highlights are just too cute. Sometimes, I even temporarily streak my hair for every match of his I'm able to attend!" - Sanjana Mayur Kothari, freelance graphic designer, 23
"I've been following it pretty religiously for sure. I never miss a match if I'm at home and I try to keep abreast with all the updates even if I do happen to miss one. Chennai Superkings is a definite favorite as far as teams go but that's probably because of Dhoni--he's too amazing. As for the IPL, I think it's a remarkable concept in every aspect, be it for its entertainment value, commercial value or the simple enjoyment of a great sport. Not to mention, this is the best possible version of cricket there is, in my opinion. I've never enjoyed test or even one-day cricket for that matter, and this format is just so much more gripping.
"Virat Kohli is as good as it gets. He plays so well and the fact that he's so cute on top of all that just works even better for him!" - Malvika Panjabi,marketing manager at letsintern.com, 21
"Well, I'm watching it right now so i'll have to say yes to that! Mostly, I don't go too out of the way to catch the match but it's a super way to pass the time if I'm free and right now, I'm on holiday so the timing couldn't be better. Honestly, I think the whole tournament is just a money-making racket though because nothing about it is true to the game. But I can't deny that it's great fun and entertainment for people who don't have much to do. I'm flip-flopping between Mumbai Indians and Rajasthan Royals this year because RR has been delivering some stellar performances of late."
"Virat Kohli's the hottest! (After some rather desperate begging from me for any other player, simply for variation's sake) "Brett Lee too I guess". (Grudging, but we'll take it!) -Lubna Shaikh, Intern at Letsintern, 19.
That's all we have for now, but Virat Kohli, wherever you are, don't go anywhere because you're certainly keeping the female fans interested in cricket!
-Pictures courtesy Thinkstock and indiacricket.com-
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