Indian Premier League 2013 – Of glory and temptations

Indian Premier League - Glory and TemptationsSo Mumbai Indians it is, the “IPL 2013 Champions”. In front of a capacity crowd at Eden gardens they played with great zeal to win and were probably against a very indifferent Chennai Super Kings (CSK) side. One would wonder if the CSK which turned up for this big final wasn’t really the celebrated familiar one. In fact, this one arguably stands out as the most ordinary of their performances this season.

That said, credit definitely goes to the Mumbai Indian boys for bringing out their A-game and holding the nerves better. They looked far more settled overall and ensured that CSK never got going. A run chase that deserved far more intensity didn’t see much of it for a large part of 20 overs, and Dhoni perhaps left it for too late even for his standards and reputation of hitting the long ball. The tournament began with some thrilling games but one would agree that the final promised more than it delivered.

Largely this IPL (just like its previous editions), was a great exhibition of power-hitting, superb acrobatic catches, remarkable bowling variations and of course glamour. But it sort of got uneasy for all as the reports of spot-fixing and corruption came out. Taste of an evening cricket extravaganza got sour. And amidst all that, IPL lost its charm and with it was lost the joy that this event brings to the cricket lover each year.

There is this feeling of “Money is bigger than Cricket at IPL” that surrounds it all the time, and as the news about corruption surfaced this feeling sank in deeper. Temptations got bigger and with it sportsmanship and work ethics took a back seat. They say that ’if it is too bright you tend to lose sight’, and with IPL’s pomp-n-show, seems it got too bright for some to see.

For a cricket lover, it is heartbreaking and it is devastating. It is catastrophic for the joyous feelings that we all have deep in our hearts, those feelings which we have nurtured since we got our first exposure to the game of cricket as a kid, feelings which take complete control of our emotions each time we see our favourite batsman take guard and each time that fast bowler we love comes steaming in.

But all is not lost, and there are lessons to be learnt for future. The last time when such a major fixing fiasco happened in late 90s, the cricketing fraternity probably didn’t affirm enough and measure taken were perhaps not enough to cleanse the system. This time around, we have another opportunity to get it right. Stepping down of people at position of authority may not be the solution, but if that can induce faith, facilitate transparent inquiry and proceeding, well that may be a way to go about it. But there are other ways for sure and the love for the game would find those ways. This game has had a glorious past and our hearts know that few aberrations just can’t kill its future.

It won’t be easy, but we live in hope.

Photo Credit: Wikipedia


Last ball thrillers are back!

Last Ball Thrillers: Cricket Exclusive

All it took was just one match and here we are folks, the last ball thrillers are back! Royal Challengers Bangalore vs. Mumbai Indians last night, with many a twist in the tail, eventually ended with a breath taking last over from the T20 specialist Vinay Kumar. When Vinay Kumar ran into bowl the final ball of the match, the result still hung in that very famous uncertainty which IPL brings to millions of fans this time of the year, each summer. I don’t know precisely what percentage of spectators were thinking that either side could win, but 99.99 % wouldn’t be a bad guess at all, when you know it was the big boy Pollard facing on the other end.

This is what makes this league so exciting to watch and this is what moves cricket lovers around the world. Moreover the booming ticket sales is a good indicator of the fact that fans are also keen to come to stadiums to watch the action and although IPL still remains a big television phenomenon, people are storming in to the witness it all, LIVE.

IPL6 has arrived and the excitement has just begun. The rare spectacle with Sachin and Ponting opening an innings together is sufficient enough to set the expectations sky high and one has to cut deep to find reasons as to why this edition won’t live up to it. Stay Tuned, we are just about fastening our seat belts!

Photo Credit: Stadiums Queensland

Two Big Fishes Clash In Their First IPL Game This Season

Harbhajan Singh at Adelaide Oval

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Two big fishes, with match winners on both sides, tremendous talent and a lot of promise. This spectacle kept us waiting though…well, such is this year’s IPL calendar that Mumbai and Kolkata face each other for the first time in the tournament. Just for the records, 80% of the tournament shall be gone by when two captains spin the coin for toss today.

Its difficult to pick between these two sides, but on current form, Kolkata looks better. Gambhir has lead by example and that lifted the side. This time they have made a statement – No HYPE, ALL PLAY.

Mumbai on the other hand is playing well in patches but they require consistency. Harbhajan has to take aggressive decisions, players need to back themselves and believe that they belong. It can be another exciting thriller, and here on folks, it is all…Sudden Death!!!

Battle of Finishers At Mumbai

Sachin smiling

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Both these teams emerged winners in their respective matches on the ‘Super Sunday’. Dwayne Smith did it for Mumbai and hours later AB de Villiers replicated it for Royal Challengers Bangalore. This is going to be a tremendous clash as both the teams would want to secure two very precious points.

Seems Mumbai Indians have an upper hand because of their bowling line-up. Malinga is in top gear as always, Harbhajan is bowling with so much more confidence and flight since last few games and Peterson is more than handy. They also have utility players like Rayudu, Franklin and with Tendulkar back in the line-up they’ll be blazing all guns. We all saw last game the kind of form God is in.

For Royal Challengers it is very much a must win game because a loss here will make it little tough for them to qualify for play-offs. They will be hoping that one of their numerous match winners’ fires tonight. On his day, Gayle can be as destructive as it gets, Dilshan, AB and Kohli make the line-up even stronger. They however need to bowl better. Zaheer and Vinay Kumar look out of form which puts too much pressure on the spin of Muralitharan.
This is a crucial game which promises to be a real humdinger!!!