Knights in Shining Armour, Finally!

Sourav Ganguly has done it again. Once more he’s has come back with a bang to prove his doubters wrong. Dada can exit the tournament with his head held high. He is the highest run scorer getter for his team and has the best economy among bowlers (save for Ajantha Mendis who played just one game). Moreover, he was almost single-handedly responsible for 3 of his teams last 4 wins. I don’t know if SRK and John Buchanan love him, but his last effort has ensured that cricket lovers across the country are in love with him all over again.

Talking of SRK, this was also a day when both he and Dr Mallya managed to end up on the winning side. Both of them should take credit for their teams’ wins, having motivated their teams in their own unique ways. SRK’s SMS seems to have done the trick for Kolkata, so much so that Airtel will soon be coming out with a new Value Added Service – receive motivational SMSes from Shahrukh Khan. As for RCB (Royal Challengers, Bangalore), there seems to be some correlation in Dr Mallya having put a lid on his mouth and the team winning two games on the trot. This is called silent motivation.

There was a lot of talk about Hyderabad being one bowler short and it this costing the side it’s the game. But no one seems to be talking about the side missing a batsman or two. The side was in control of things till they introduced the fifth bowler. But they side were also on top till they lost their fourth wicket. How can the team end up short on both bowlers and batsmen when it is playing it’s full quota of 11 players and has a wicketkeeper who is good enough to play as a specialist batsman? This is because DC (Deccan Chargers) plays a few dummies that neither bowl nor bat and are there to just make up for the numbers. A player whose father happens to be an influential cricket administrator is a case in point. After all, the league has to maintain its nepotism quota. A word about the beneficiaries of nepotism. The various quotas allow for some free-loaders in each side. Forget domestic players, some lucky kids are also getting a chance to rub shoulders with the greats of the game. And for this special privilege they are the duds of the day.

The award for the best runner between the wickets goes to…..Wasim Jaffer for managing to get run-out twice in the same game. He wins the Dada-Inzy award for best runner in the IPL.

It was especially nice to see IPL Participants Ricky Ponting, Jacob Oram, Ross Taylor, Shivnaraine Chanderpaul, Brendan McCullum, Dwayne Bravo and Andrew Symonds who seem to have made the transition from twenty-20 to test cricket with effortless ease. They have all been in splendid form and don’t seem to be suffering from a Twenty-20 hangover.

If anything else, the IPL has changed the way we perceive cricket. It has brought a certain freshness with itself that compels each and everyone of us to root for a team, and be part of the madness that comes along with it. It is not exaggeration when some one said that the IPL had replaced the saas-bahu sitcoms. In a way the IPL is also doing the society some good, don’t you think?

Avnish Anand

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