The brain child of Lalit Modi, IPL, is in full swing, and just in its first week it has shown some promising viewership figures in India as well as abroad. In Britain its viewer ship has increased 1000 % and in the Indian subcontinent by 43 %.
Talking about the teams, they are all playing great cricket as compared to the first two seasons of IPL. The reason being the players being more accustomed to this version of the game and a number of young players coming forward to show their talent.
Now that everybody is discussing IPL day in and day out, we have come up with 5 attractions one should look for in this season of the league.
1. Controversies — IPL can be easily termed as the father of all controversies as it witnesses a lot, be it fight between the players or political connections. IPL started with a controversy of BCCI not recognizing ICL but giving approval to IPL. In its first edition we saw the turbanator slapping Sreesanth and facing a ban.
As the venue changed for the second edition it triggered yet another controversy as to why Modi moved it to South Africa. The multi captaincy policy and removal of Ganguly stole the lime light as Bengal protested against this decision and this eventually led to sacking of Buchanan.
IPL 3, though started just a week back, has already had its share of controversies. Firstly, during the auction, the Pakistani players were not auctioned.
Another controversy is still in courts; Deccan Chargers have taken the IPL authorities to courts as they wanted to know about the shift in the match location, out of Hyderabad, which is their home ground.
The decision of NBA on not covering IPL on grounds of “arbitrary guidelines and contentious clauses regarding tournament footage” triggered a new controversy.
With just one week in the tournament we are hoping that IPL will generate more controversy and will give us topics to talk and discuss.
2. Auctioned players — In this year’s auction, Pollard and Bond made the headlines, both of them were subject to highest bidding. Mumbai bagged the services of the all rounder Pollard for a whooping sum of Rs. 3.41 crore, while KKR managed Bond for the same price and thus adding a gem in their bowling department which was already studded with pacers. Other important players auctioned were Wayne Parnell (Delhi), Roach (Deccan), Kumar Morgan (Bangalore), Thisare Perera (Chennai), Adam Voges (Rajasthan), Kemp (Chennai) and Kaif (Punjab).
Pollard and Bond will have to prove that they deserved what they got unlike last year when Flintoff and Peterson flopped, although they garnered maximum revenue. Bond bowled really well in his first outing while Pollard still has to prove his worth. My bet would be James Shane Bond, one of the lethal bowlers in today’s era gifted with speed, who can demolish any batting line up, but the problem with him is that he breaks down after a few games. Pollard is a bit over rated but I do not doubt his talent. He can prove to be an asset for MI.
Let’s hope that these players play to their potential and retain their good name by performing according to their worth ($$).
3. Ageing Players Vs Rookies — It will be interesting to see what the outcome is when Players like Sachin, Kumble, Dravid, Warne, Hayden, Vaas and Glichrist lock horns against the younger lots of Manish Pandey, Saurabh Tiwari, Jakati, Nannes, Praveen Kumar and Abdullah. Hopefully the new kids will learn a lot.
In the previous version of the IPL rookies dominated the game as Hayden proved himself as the run Machine and Vaas was the highest wicket taker. On one hand Warne, Kumble, Gilly etc. have proved that they still have a lot left in them, on the other hand exceptional skills from Manish Pandey, Nannes, Abdullah, Jadeja, Nayyar proved that this bunch has no dearth of talent.
In IPL 3 a lot will be expected from the experienced lot as this could be the last IPL for many of them. In its first week Sachin, Gibbs, Sehwag, Kallis have already proved their mettle by playing great knocks in a winning cause. Talking about fresh legs, Saurabh Tiwari, the dashing hitter from Jharkhand has already struck two half centuries in his two innings, Yusuf Pathan set the crowd on fire by hitting a blistring 100 off 37 balls. Praveen Kumar took a hat trick against RR.
All we should do is sit back and enjoy some good cricketing moments here.
4. Injuries — Though every team hopes that their players do not get into the trap of injuries but in a game like T20 cricket it is almost next to impossible. IPL 3 has already witnessed almost a dozen of injuries which has forced many good players to sit out for a few matches or for the entire tournament. The list is too long but some of the major players in category are Dhoni, Smith, Gambhir and many more.
5. Tweeting — This is certainly the off field event but is really becoming trendy as well as popular. The best way to catch the teams, their players and their inside stories are social networking sites such as twitter and facebook. Every other player and team owners are tweeting this time. From Shane Warne to Shahrukh Khan, all are using it. In his twitter account, Modi announced that Lara was keen to play in IPL 4. Preity Zinta tweets about her Punjabi suit and her punjabiness got many re-tweets. Shahrukh tweets about game situations and also the party after winning. Other stars who are tweeting are Katrina, Juhi, Warne, Bond etc. Bond is active on Facebook as well.
These will be the things to look out for in IPL 3. Other attractions will be cheerleaders, Infrastructure of the grounds and especially the pitch of Kotla.
If you have more to add to this list then do not hesitate to mail us at [email protected], or add your thoughts in the comments section below.
The writer is a Sports Editor of Youth Ki Awaaz.