Tag Archives: ipl

Twenty 20 World Cup feels better than IPL

10 Jun

It feels like a decade since I last posted on this blog. However, I have a topic now in the form of the Twenty 20 World Cup that is taking plaec in England.

Sandwiched between the IPL and the Ashes, the timing of the World Cup seems right. It is not particularly hot or cold at this point of time though the mood and interest have been a little bit timid as compared to the IPL. This is because, of late – thanks to the IPL – all of us have consumed an overdose of 20-20.

The format is interesting and is at its best when countries play the event rather than cooked up teams as in the case of IPL. Also, the shorter schedule/duration makes it more interesting. For example, in a matter of five or six days a few teams have already been eliminated unlike the IPL where the fans need to wait for a whole month even to figure out which is a good team.

A couple of facts about the Twenty 20 World cup and the twenty 20 game in general:

  • Teams like Australia are yet to figure out what Twenty 20 is all about
  • Teams that are bad at longer plans but can perform in quick bursts are doing great here e.g. West Indies
  • The teams that have maximum number of ‘generalists’ than ‘specialists’ are likely to do better
  • The formats can be made more exciting with more rules like ‘free hit’

I am looking forward to the super eight league. I personally feel that either West Indies, India or Sri Lanka will the second World Cup Twenty 20. England may not be at its best and New Zealand & South Africa are good at goofing it up towards the end of any series. The days ahead are interesting!

Hopefully, Lalit Modi may take a look at the scheduling of this event and make IPL a shorter event next time.

IPL 2009 (IPL 2) is a commercial joke!

22 Apr

The IPL 2 (Indian Premier League), which is being held in South Africa is becoming a big joke this time around. Though Mr. Lalit Modi and co put together some good effort to make it colorful and guaranteed on time delivery of the tournament, the undertone now is MONEY and not cricket!

The South African cricket board has done a wonderful job by hosting the tournament at such a short notice. However, there are some things about this edition of IPL that makes it less attractive for the cricketing world.

First of all, the game rules were changed to make money for the advertisers and Sony Entertainment Television. It is really pathetic that a prolonged and so-called strategic break (10 mins break after 10 overs in an innings) is taking the momentum and steam away. Sometimes I felt that they are using much more than 10 minutes. This break has nothing to do with on the field strategies but to stuff more ads for the Indian spectactors watching it on the TV

Secondly, I am really getting irritated with SET MAX’s ‘technical difficulties’ at key moments during the game. This usually happens during the toss and I get a feeling that they are intentionally doing it.

Thirdly, the weather, which was cited as the prime reason for moving IPL to South Africa (and not England) doesn’t seem to behave as predicted. Half the matches so far have been shortened or wiped out due to bad weather.

As I mentioned in the last post, I was hoping for really fiery pitches so that some of the Indian batting heroes in dead rubber gets to reassess themselves. Definitely the pitches are much better than those in India but somehow not as pacy as expected.

I am also disappointed due to the fact that only 4 foreign players can be used in the 11 member team. Probably this number should have been 5 or 6 as the match is being played abroad. Talking about the game abroad, we are also missing the noise and buzz in the stands that you get to see in India.

The missing real fanbase is another issue. Since there’s no concept of home and away matches for the local teams (Chennai, Delhi etc) some part of the excitement and fan support is missing.

The money aspect is visible in every stage of the tournament. Several teams have sent back their under performers ruthlessly to cut cost. The emphasis is always on how much the broadcasters and team owners can make.

The only positive so far is the older stalwarts who are proving their points. Anil Kumble, Muralidharan, Shane Warne, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, Saurav Ganguly and VVS Laxman are just proving the fans that with technical perfection the problems with age can be offset. Many of the young batting heroes and young bowlers have already failed miserably.

I hope that the situation improves as the tournament progresses and weather gets better. But certainly, since IPL first edition had set a lot of expectations, this time around it is turning out to be a less exciting event.

IPL: Sourav Ganguly should join politics

1 Apr

The IPL is still called the Indian Premier League but this time around it will be conducted in South Africa – thanks to those terrorists in the sub continent. At the outset, I would like to appreciate Mr. Lalit Modi’s proactiveness and immediate actions to move this edition of IPL out of the country as there’s been political issues over the security in this country. By taking such a bold decision on a short term basis saved the franchise’ and several international players’ interest. After all, this year probably will be Modi’s last chance to prove that IPL and Twenty 20 success can be carried forward further as his @$$ is on fire after loosing in the Rajasthan Cricket Board elections.

Ganguly plays politics again

When Rahul Dravid lost captaincy of the Indian team or even most recently that of the Bangalore Royal Challengers nothing really happened in Bangalore or Karnataka. But the case is different when Sourav Ganguly is stripped off power. The ever innovative (and sometimes lunatic) John Buchanan, the team coach of the Kolkata Knight Riders, suddenly had an enlightenment that his Twenty 20 team needs three or four captains this time. This is mainly to ensure that just in case Sourav Ganguly didn’t figure in the scheme of things, he needed somebody else to lead the team. As usual Dada didn’t take it quite well. Just like the times when he was dropped from the Indian team, he played all his ‘hinting’ statements in the press that he is unhappy. Finally Mr. Shah Rukh Khan, the team owner, got involved and he ensured Dada’s crazy followers that Dada will be consulted on the captaincy issue. According to Buchanan he was already consulted.

The following are my views on this issue:-

. If Buchanan and Shah Rukh Khan didn’t want Ganguly in this edition of IPL, they should have told him that directly and dropped him rather than coming up with this ‘Panel of Captains’ theory.

. Not just Ganguly but even people like Rahul Dravid should stop playing Twenty 20 cricket as this version is not meant for people in their late 30s.

. Dada has not been playing competitive cricket for quite sometime now that he will be a burden to the team.

. Ganguly may stop playing politics and if he wants to do so he should actually join Indian politics as he has been a shrewd thinker off and on the field.

. Shah Rukh Khan should stop behaving diplomatically if he really wants his team to win. The contracts apart, the Twenty 20 format is so dynamic that, today’s hero is nobody in a few months time.

Fortunately, Buchanan was much more diplomatic and composed than Greg Chappell and hence he’s still with the team.

Looking forward to the IPL

I am really looking forward to this edition of IPL mainly due to the quality of pitches and grounds in South Africa. Moreover, these bouncy tracks will definitely prove too good for many Indian heroes but I expect a couple of adaptable youngsters to emerge to replace some of the old faces in the current Indian ODI and test teams. Though it’s a fast and short format, those who can play in bouncy pitches can be easily spotted and picked!

Let’s wait and see how it goes.

Controversy over Test Ground, Stanford and the IPL lord…

18 Feb

The past few days’ good cricketing action between Australia & New Zealand and West Indies & England have been offset by some controversies. At first it was with the Antigua test ground, then cases of fraud against the Mr. Allen Stanford – the billionaire behind the Stanford 20-20 – and finally the number of FIRs (First Investigation Report) filed against the IPL master brain, Mr. Lalit Modi.

Antigua Test Ground

Antigua was in news twice this week and both for not-so-good reasons. The second test between West Indies and England was abandoned after just 10 deliveries the reason was a sandpit ground which apparently put bowlers at risk. It was pathetic to see how the sand was being showelled out by bowlers’ run up. Finally the captains and umpired called it quits and an enquiry has been ordered into this controversy putting the WICB in huge embarrassment.

Sir. Vivian Richards was of the opinion that the WICB should do justice to the grounds named after him by at least maintaining reasonable quality there in. I am sure the past heroes of the game should not loose their faces due to the current pathetic conditions of their homegrounds.

Allen Stanford admits errors

Another Antiguan, Mr. Stanford – the brain behind the lucrative Twenty 20 initiative in the West Indies – has been charged with multiple frauds related to his company’s insider and illegal activities while listed in the US markets. Stanford has been charged with the way he manipulated the past and present numbers of his listed entity thereby cheating the investors. God alone knows what’s awaiting him now! Antigua, the beautiful island, into shame once again!

Modi bowled by allegations

A similar rich administrator, Mr. Lalit Modi of Indian Premier League has been charged with misappropriation of funds and illegal ways by which he won the RCA (Rajasthan Cricket Association) president role in 2005. As it looks, the change in state politics has affected Modi’s fortunes as his dissidents (apparently jealous of Modi’s IPL stature) and opponents are trying to corner him. Mr.Modi is alleging foul play and has threatened to take all IPL 2 home matches of Rajasthan Royals out of Jaipur. With the RCA elections around the corner and most importantly with IPL 2 gaining momentum, even those who are opposing Lalit Modi can gain a lot of popularity! Nice plot!!

(PS: I could not write about the wonderful 20-20 match between Australia and New Zealand last week. It was the 20-20 at its best with some exceptional hitting, ground fielding and controlled spin bowling)

England in Dire Staits, IPL auctions and controversies…

9 Feb

It was not a great week for England where they got trashed by West Indies in the first test match at Sabina Park. The visitors received an innings defeat and more importantly they managed to score a mere 51 in the second innings.

It’s really bad to see that the typical problems of teams like India or Pakistan now has gripped England as well. Basically, the team now has several former captains, no proper coach and with Kevin Pietersen and Peter Moores getting axed the on and off the field tension is affecting their game.

IPL affecting teams

Another important thing is the greed that IPL has created. I guess with KP and Flintoff getting offers of the tunes of more than 1.5 millions they must be wondering what’s there in playing for the country. This can happen to any other country and as I maintained in the past Twenty 20 cricket and Indian Premier League will spoil all international teams. To make things worse, Lalit Modi even commented that he wouldn’t mind if Cricket Australia sacks Andrew Symonds from their national side because in that case he gets to play IPL second edition throughout the event.

Pakistan Cricket Board in the meantime has not allowed their key players to participate in IPL. Sri Lankan Cricket Board’s ex-chief Arjuna Ranatunga is trying to amend his stand by telling that he’s not against IPL or BCCI.

Basically, the Indian Premier League has created a lot of headache for the international cricket boards and their national teams. I don’t think, it can continue like this forever.

Other highlights of the week

India won the ODI series in Sri Lanka 4-1. Though, India put together great all round performance, they were lucky to get the toss in their favour four out of five times. New Zealand had a great start to their 5 match ODI series against Australia and are now leading 2-1.

The week was otherwise pretty boring as most of the matches this week were pretty one-sided.