The Indian Premier League (IPL) continues to surpass expectations. Witnesses report that for a fortnight India has been in a ferment and even a frenzy. Of course there is nothing unusual about that. Cricket followers in the region are not inclined to sit in an armchair smoking a pipe before offering an opinion. On the contrary, they customarily act upon the thought with an alacrity calculated to please Mrs Macbeth and to shame Hamlet. Cricket must be willing to don the greasepaint. In some opinions IPL has laid it on a bit thick, but then traditionalists are not forced to attend. These self-appointed protectors of the game are actually doomed romantics. But it is a mistake to overestimate the past. It was not such a fine place. Nor is it possible to pin cricket into a book, like a dead butterfly.