Tag: IPL

An Indian Premier League XI to take on the Men in Blue

Gautam Gambhir

Gautam Gambhir is easily the best captain of the latest season of the IPL © Sportskeeda

After dust settled, at least temporarily, in the fracas between the International Cricket Council and the Board of Control for Cricket in India, the three-man selection committee was finally allowed to do its job and pick a team to play in the Champions Trophy. As choices go, this was not a terribly challenging task.

The Indian One-Day International team wears a fairly settled look and with the key characters in the show fit, there was little doubt about what India’s best eleven would be. In the backdrop of the Indian Premier League, however, a certain buzz was created around the selection, with several young Indian cricketers having made a splash in the tournament.

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Off the field, this Rahul is still silken

KL Rahul nurses his injured shoulder

KL Rahul nurses his injured shoulder

On a warm summer’s afternoon an unremarkable scene plays out in a coffee shop just out of range of a long Chinnaswamy Stadium drive from Chris Gayle. Four young men are huddled around a table, dressed fashionably casually, beards, sassy spiked hair, flip-flops and tee-shirts of varying hues, sipping exotic teas. But there is something remarkable about one of those young men, KL Rahul, who has enjoyed one of the best years of his fledgling cricket career. Recovering from a shoulder injury that needed surgical intervention, Rahul is forced to cool his heels, missing the very tournament that provided the breakthrough in his career.

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Man proposes, rain disposes

KSCA

The officials at KSCA must be asking, what more can we do?

A healthy Tuesday crowd at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore enjoyed the relief from the heat that evening showers brought, but many would have been flabbergasted at the actions of the ground staff. Each time the rain stopped, the ground staff removed the three giant covers that protected the square and the practice pitches, dumping the water on the outfield. No super-soppers were called for, no mucking about with sponges and the like.

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One man’s Wisden is another’s IPL

April is Wisden and IPL

April is synonymous with Wisden in England and IPL in India  © Economic Times

There are very few things that purists and modernists agree on in cricket. The older, wiser, more traditional lot believe that Test cricket is the only form of the game that really counts, that whites are colour of cricket and that anything else is not quite cricket. The younger, fresher, more mobile lot have no appetite for games that go five days without a clear winner, want their runs and wickets bookended by pom-pom wielding cheerleaders and that anything longer than a feature film is a waste of time.

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Umesh Yadav, always giving back to the game

On a crackled pitch tailormade for spinners Umesh Yadav returned the best figures © Economic Times

Indian cricket has been besieged with all that is bad about how the game is administered, tales of mismanagement and corruption, backhanders and nepotism gathering such momentum that judges constantly berated the cricketing powers that be before passing stern judgment. But, at the recent Indian Premier League auction the other side of this beautiful game emerged.

To take only three examples, there was Thangarsasu Natarajan, the left-arm seam bowler from Chinnapampatti near Salem in Tamil Nadu, who went from being unknown to bagging a contract worth Rs 3 crore annually.

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The BCCI administration, with all its flaws, is just a reflection of how things work in this country

If, in every walk of life, we are uniquely Indian, for better or worse, why do we expect cricket, and how it is run, to be any different?
© Economic Times

An English journalist friend and colleague, a veteran of India visits, a man who knows his curry from his Balti and his Kingfisher from his Kalyani Black Label, was frankly mystified just recently. Not by Englands dramatic collapse in the final Twenty20 International against India in Bangalore, where they lost eight wickets for eight runs he has seen enough and more England implosions than to be taken aback by such mundane events but by the other big cricket thing that was hogging column inches. The judiciary versus the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) might be a juicy subject, but it is not one the world at large understands too well.

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