Critics miss the point of the IPL on this level. By looking only at the funds, the fireworks and the famous faces, those who don't understand the IPL just don't get it, at all.
Here in South Africa, it's IPL season. It's hard not to notice. The TV shows matches live and as re-runs pretty much 24/7. There's analysis, expert comment and interviews. Initial thoughts about a circus have long been dispelled. What we have now is a clever and slick, well-run cricket machine.
It's easy to be cynical and it's simple to scoff. But when you strip away the glamorous tinsel, you see something unique and endearing. Something that English cricket misses and something that some of the green-eyed money men in county cricket fail to spot. The IPL is a wonderful opportunity for bringing through and showcasing talent.
Where else can a local tape ball cricketer with no cricket experience be head to head with world-class stars earning hundreds of thousands of dollars? How in English cricket could someone who isn't in the official cricket system get a chance to be seen, perform and better still, show they are as good as many others on the biggest stage of all?
For the truth is, the IPL, whatever else anyone says about it, is a talent machine that uplifts, encourages and gives opportunities to Indian players. And that can only be good for Indian cricket and cricket in India.
Critics miss the point of the IPL on this level. By looking only at the funds, the fireworks and the famous faces, those who don't understand the IPL just don't get it, at all. I have enjoyed the cricket and more so, enjoyed seeing names I didn't know. The chance to see young lads plying their trade, what they have learned and testing themselves in an entertaining way.
If this is what the IPL means, then Lalit Modi should be widely congratulated. The platform for domestic talent works, and works well. As someone interested in developing players I have found this part of the tournament fascinating so far. If only English cricket can be so open minded.