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Archive for the ‘IPL’ Category

KKR and Deccan Charges shares glory

Monday, March 15th, 2010

Kolkata Knight Riders have started off the 3rd season of IPL in grand style. They upset the reigning champions – Deccan Charges in the opening match followed by a thumping victory over the runners up of last year – Royal Challengers, Bangalore. The arrival of Angelo Mathews has made a big difference to the team as the all-rounder from Sri Lanka has enticed everybody in both matches. Knight Riders haven’t had a good start in the opening match, losing 4 wickets quickly. The new recruits – Owais Shah and Angelo Mathews forged an unbeaten partnership to take them to a respective total. In reply, Adam Gilchrist lit up the Dr. DY Patil Stadium with some vicious hitting. Every time he plays in IPL, we are bemused of the reason behind his retirement, as undoubtedly, he is still the dangerous batsman in the world cricket. Once Gilchrist departed other batsmen, tried-and-failed to replicate his batting and KKR registered the first win of IPL 2010.

Yusuf Pathan had almost sealed a thriller against Mumbai Indians with his whirlwind knock of 37 balls 100. Mumbai scored their best total in IPL, but almost allowed the Rajastan Royals to overhaul it. The youngsters – Saurabh Tiwary and the former ICL player, Ambati Rayudu batted well to take the Mumbai Indians past 200. Lasith Malinga Excelled with ball by getting some prize scalps and a beautiful last over. Pathan’s effort went in vain as Royals lost the match by 4 runs.

Delhi Dare Devils once again showed that they are hard to beat, atleast in the league round. Kings XI Punjab, after missing the services of their key players, was restricted to just 142 runs in 20 overs. Dirk Nannes and Co delivered some fine bowling to restrict Punjab.Yuvraj couldn’t make any impact in his come-back match from an injury. Barring Sreesanth, none of the bowlers bowled well and some sloppy fielding helped Delhi to chase the target quite easily.

Knight Riders continued their winning streak by completing a commanding victory over Royal Challengers, the finalist of last IPL. Angelo Mathews bagged 4 wickets to limit Royal Challengers 135 runs. Jacques remained unbeaten on 65 runs. Manoj Tiwary and Brad Hodge gave brisk reply for KKR and when he was dismissed for 50 runs, KKR almost sealed the match. Deccan came up with a big win against the Chennai Super Kings at Chennai. Symonds’s fluent fifty and some fireworks from Gilchrist and Gibbs helped Deccan to reach 190 runs and Chennai choked in pursuit of 191 runs due to the quick flow of wickets. Dhoni and Morkel showed some resistance, scoring 42 runs each.

Kieron Pollard – The Future of Caribbean Cricket

Wednesday, March 10th, 2010

West Indies cricket have always enticed the cricketing world with some fantabulous performances since their entry in to cricket. As we all know West Indies is not a country, it’s a unity of the islands in the Caribbean and they instill that unity in their game each time they enters a cricket field. This trait is the trademark of the West Indian cricket. They ruled the cricketing world in the 70′s and 80′s with ruthless and aggressive cricket powered by some great fast bowlers and audacious batsmen. They were literally ‘invincibles’ in that period. Sir Garry Sobers, Malcolm Marshall, Joel Garner, Andy Roberts, Michael Holding, Clive Lloyd, Courtney Walsh Curtly Ambrose, Sir Viv Richards and Brian Lara were the legendary players who made the West Indies, the best in the world. After the retirement of Lara, Chris Gayle came in to the limelight with some blistering batting. It took a few more years for the Caribbean cricket to get their next super star – Kieron Pollard. He came in to the stardom after his whirlwind knock of 18 balls 54 against NSW Blues in the champions League 2009.

Though it would be too early to call Pollard, the savor of West Indies Cricket, it is quite evident that he has some substance. His contract for South Australia and Mumbai Indians is just an incentive to his fearless batting in the champions’ league and in other series for West Indies. He had a normal outing in his first international appearance for West Indies in the U-19 World Cup in 2006. He came in to limelight in the Stanford Trophy when he hits 83 for Trinidad and Tobago. He followed up with some brilliant knocks in the domestic cricket also. He was swamped with T20 offers from all over the cricketing world after his stupendous performance in the Champions League T20 in India.

At 22, Pollard will get valuable experiences from the IPL, where he will be playing alongside the legendary Sachin Tendulkar for Mumbai Indians. He can’t ask for a better mentor than Sachin. If he maintains his sensibility that he is showing now, there is no doubt that he will be the true successor of Sir Garry Sobers.

IPL 2010 – Truly Global

Friday, January 22nd, 2010

As the players auction concluded , we are all set to see the 3rd edition of Indian Premier league embark on. Lalit Modi has made a giant leap in pursuit of making the IPL a global event, by singing a 2 year deal with the Google-owned YouTube. As per this deal, YouTube users can see the live streaming of IPL 2010 through internet. This will also enable the UK spectators to see the IPL, as they would have missed the action due to television rights disputes.

The snubbing of the Pakistani players has sent a strong signal across the cricketing globe that, the players cant take the IPL for granted. If they are willing to lay majority of the matches, then they will get  contract. Many Australian players lost the contact due to this and Pakistanis lost it due to the animosity among the two nations.

So, after all the auction and broadcasting drama, the stage has set for breathtaking season of the Indian Premier League. Shane Bond is coming for his maiden IPL year, so is Keron Pollard. There are lot of quality bowlers and hard-hitting batsmen in this years IPL and we hope we will witness some scintillating matches like in 2008 and 2009.

Commercialization of the Gentleman’s Game

Tuesday, July 28th, 2009

Since the first cricket test played in 1877, cricket has evolved drastically and diversified into three main formats and other local formats. Test cricket remains as the heart and soul of cricket, while one day cricket and now T20 are tagged as the popular versions of the game. Cricket has been generating billions of money from the sub-continent, especially from India, where people keep cricket close to their heart and celebrate every cricket match as a national festival. Advertisers pour in to be a part of every cricket carnival where cricketers are considered as demigods. Corporates are behind them for making them brand ambassadors of products, because of their superstar value and it is no wonder that cricketers are amongst the highest paid sports professionals now.

IPL has helped several international and domestic players to secure their lives through its lucrative pay packages and helped them to get priceless experience through its generic flavor. The IPL has contributed a lot to team India’s current success, with players like Yusuf Pathan, Ravindra Jadeja, Abhishek Nayar and several others being the beneficiaries. It has also amplified the flow of money into cricket. The prize money, sponsorship, players’ salaries and all other attributes have outdone the prevailing trend and IPL became the benchmark in the world of cricket.

Notwithstanding its attractiveness, arguably, IPL has resulted in the premature retirement of several great players like Adam Gilchrist, Matthew Hayden and the latest update to the list is Andrew Flintoff. Can the players alone be blamed for this especially when West Indies players boycotted their series against Bangladesh due to contract issues? We can argue that the players should give preference to their country first than any other commitments. However, the fact is that, at the end of the day money matters!

Dhoni to be blamed?

Tuesday, June 16th, 2009

The T20 World Cup ’09 was a disappointing tournament for the Indian fans. The expectations were at the peak. But the unexpected early knockout of the Indian team really made the fans show off their anger.

Winning and loosing are all parts of the game, like two sides of a coin. When we toss the coin, we can’t predict which side will come up. The same is the case with cricket; especially the T20 version.

But let us take a look at it from media perspective. Media has come up with a discussion on “Who is to be blamed for the failure?”. This kind of discussion, although not necessary, will help to identify the pros and cons of the team.

There are many hot discussions going on. The most common one is, whether the skipper has to be blamed for his poor performance and co-ordination. As we all know, Dhoni is a talented player and very efficient as a skipper. But this time, he had a clash with the media on Sehwag’s much spoken injury. Many senior players have come up with the opinion that Dhoni needs to manage the media with more care. This incident might have indeed made some sparks inside the dressing room, which in turn made the players to deviate from the game.

Another hot discussion is on Sehwag’s absence. Many questions arise on this context. How much did India miss Virender Sehwag, with the kind of opening and the spontaneous start he gives? Did his injury bring down the confidence level in the team? India did not have an alternate option on who could give a sparkling start to the Indian innings together with Gambhir?

The after-effects of IPL matches is yet another important aspect. The players could have been drained and tired after the IPL as matches were played on consecutive days with a total of 59 matches! This can be considered a reason for the world cup failure indeed. But still, a vital question arises. What about the players in the other winning teams, as most of them have also played in IPL? Many players are of the opinion that IPL matches gave them a real opportunity to tune their strengths for the world cup.

Anyway, India’s T20 world cup dreams for the year 2009 has come to an end. Still we can hope(as usual) that they will come back with real energy for the upcoming West Indies tour and the biggy, ICC world cup.

Choices Galore For Andrew Symonds

Tuesday, June 9th, 2009

When Andrew Symonds was sent home from the World ICC Twenty20 in June 2009 it was foreseen by all as the end of his international cricketing career. The reason for his exile from the Australian team in the World ICC Twenty20 was for violating a clause in his personal contract with Cricket Australia (CA) that prohibited him from drinking. Cricket Australia had no other choice, but to send him home.

It is speculated that the Australian all-rounder will announce his retirement from international cricket on Wednesday.

His retirement may actually be a blessing in disguise for him. There are a several franchises and teams who would be thrilled to have him in their team.  The Pro20 franchises in South Africa have expressed their interest and if Symonds is interested, he could earn a fortune playing in South Africa.

Deccan Chargers, the champions of IPL2009 had already made it very clear that they would retain the services of Andrew Symonds no matter what.

Queensland Cricket has also expressed their support to Symonds and seeking to have him in their team.

England is also looking forward to having Symonds as part of the English County cricket.

All in all, the statistics suggest that Symonds has nothing to lose, but loads to gain, money-wise.

However, cricket lovers all over the world will definitely love to see Andrew Symonds turn over a new leaf, quit drinking and continue to play for Australia. Let’s wish him the very best!

Imagine Umpires in Helmets

Thursday, May 14th, 2009

It must be pretty awkward to imagine umpires in helmets. But safety comes first before sixes and fours and one can truly empathize with the umpires for wanting to wear helmets on the field.  It must be time to say goodbye to the good old umpire hat.

The T20 cricket, introduced to deliver fast paced, exciting cricket has raised safety concerns for the umpires. They feel that they can no longer be defenseless on the field. Imagine Mathew Hayden charging down the pitch and hammering the ball straight down the ground. The umpire has every chance of being hit if he doesn’t duck in time.

Daryl Harper has voiced his opinion of wanting to wear a helmet while officiating in Twenty20 games. According to him, in one of the recent IPL 2009 games, one of Sanath Jayasuriya’s shot hit him so hard that he felt breathless for a while. And Hayden’s hits seem to have brushed his ears a few times as well.

In fact some of the other umpires he spoke to were also of the same opinion, he said.

He feels that the pace and the force with which some of the players hit the shots has made the umpiring job really dangerous. And they have no choice but to take the necessary precautions.

Well, one cannot help but agree, given the fabulous form of players like Hayden, Gilchrist and Raina.

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Will John Buchanan’s Multi-Captaincy Theory Make a Difference?

Monday, April 20th, 2009

There has been quite a bit of furor over veteran Australian coach, John Buchanan’s proposal to introduce multiple captains in Twenty20, where there would be a nominating captain, a bowling captain, a fielding captain and a coach who would be captain when the team is batting.

Buchanan who has eight years of experience as Australia’s coach, firmly believes that this novel concept would be advantageous in the fast-moving shortest version of the game. Buchanan is coach for the Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL second season.

Indian cricket fans are quite skeptical about this new theory as there has never been more than one skipper in a match in any form of the game before. While ex-captain Sunil Gavaskar has expressed resentment over this new development, former India skipper Sourav Ganguly is upset that he was not informed about this earlier.

Former Australian pace bowler Glenn Mc Grath and former Australian medium pacer Damien Flemming were totally against this new concept, both favoring the traditional system of a single captain for the team.

The only person who seems to support Buchanan’s theory is Kolkata Knight Rider’s owner and film actor Shah Rukh Khan, who feels there is nothing wrong in trying out a different concept especially since single captaincy did not win his team laurels in the last IPL.

With the air now taut with tension, it’s going to be interesting to watch how the Knight Riders perform this season.

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