Rajasthan Royal all-rounder Rahul Tewatia’s heroics last Sunday were the stuff Indian Premier League dreams are made of. An unknown cricketer fashioning the unlikeliest of heists in the most dramatic of circumstances. It was IPL’s pure Bollywood moment, when the rookie hero, beaten to pulp, drags himself from the ditch and demolishes the goons. In the space of eight deliveries and 15 minutes, Tewatia became a household name. For this one night alone, he will be remembered for a long time. ‘Doing a Tewatia’ has already sneaked into the IPL lingo.
Only time will tell whether the talented all-rounder will be around for a long time or fade away, but he is the latest example of the league’s capacity to create fairytales. Only IPL could offer such moments of instant and dizzying fame. For, by the time a cricketer makes his international debut, there might already be a wealth of data and Youtube footage. The audience, to an extent, is well informed of its subject. But less so for somebody like Tewatia, whose numbers in domestic cricket aren’t remarkable.
The IPL is the universe where the rags-to-riches script becomes a reality. It’s the reason Kamran Khan, the slingy left-arm seamer of Rajasthan Royals, is remembered still. Khan has not played any competitive cricket in seven years, but in two fiery overs in Cape Town, he held the IPL world in thrall. Or hard-hitting Kings XI Punjab batsman Paul Valthaty, who raised a century in barely 50 balls and then vanished even quicker. Or Manvinder Bisla, whose 89 from 48 balls won Kolkata Knight Riders their maiden IPL silverware in 2012. IPL has given cricketers the moment of fame that they might not have otherwise got — it’s the filminess of IPL that makes it most entertaining.
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