There have been some pretty awesome opening bat pairings – Sachin Tendulkar and Saneth Jayasuriya’s 137 runs for the first wicket at St Georges Park last night was breathtaking. Or Adam Gilchrist and Herschelle Gibbs – also yesterday – I don’t think I’ve ever seen Gilly hit it so sweetly.
The old guys (read 35+) have been showing the young guys a clean pair of heels. Big performances by Matthew Hayden, Adam Gilchrist, Shane Warne, Saneth Jayasuriya, Sachin Tendulkar and Herschelle Gibbs – even Rahul Dravid has a strike rate of over 120!
Some of those who didn’t get paid 1.5 million USD, but who proving to be great bargains. AB de Villiers for the Dehli Daredevils at only 300K, or Yousuf Pathan for the Rajasthan Royals. Hayden and Gibbs too are proving great value for money – whatever they were paid.
The crowd support has been fantastic (Newlands, St Georges Park and Durban at least). These grounds now get a rest, and the IPL moves inland to Johannesburg and Centurion. Surprisingly, the atmosphere at St Georges Park has seemed to be the most lively and festive of all, even though the ground only holds about 13,000. Good on you Port Elizabeth, and your brass band!!!
The IPL’s HEAT initiative – providing funding and sponsorship to students and schools of South Africa – it’s an awesome initiative – a BIG THANK YOU – IPL!
The cheerleaders – need I say more?
Kevin Pieterson by now must surely be the only person left on the planet that thinks he’s seriously cool, a great cricketer and a team player. On the one occasion he didn’t get a duck, and with his team in trouble, one might have thought that he would put his team first, and play with some responsibility (granted it is still T20). But no – he just can’t resist being an irrepresible show-off, trying to play his sad little “switch-hit”. Its always just about you KP – and I really feel sorry for those who paid 1.5 million USD to have you in the team!!! This time let it be me that categorically states “you are NOT a South African!!!”.
Chris Gayle and Brendan McCullam on paper should be an awesome opening pairing for the Kolkata Knight Riders. But they just haven’t yet fired – and Gayle will be leaving soon.
A batting order with the top three containing Jaques Kallis and Rahul Dravid for the Royal Challengers Bangalore – although in fairness both have been adapting to this game, and are surprisingly both have strike rates above 120. But compared to the explosive performances that other opening combinations have – it is just not enough.
Apologies to the Royal Challengers Bangalore – this seems all about you. But its not surprising considering that you are holding the last place on the log, and unlikely to change it. The team just has no team spirit, no sense of unity, and certainly no will to win. They look like a bunch of guys who just have to pitch up and play in order to get their USD. And I blame a lot of this on Kevin Pieterson – he is just a one-man-show – and should NEVER be put in charge of other people – it is just not going to work!!! Prediction – when KP leaves and Jaques Kallis takes over as captain – it will be a changed team.
The Super Over is great in concept – but for heaven’s sakes – does it need to take as long to bowl two overs as it does to play an innings? The batsmen and bowlers need to be identified and nominated before the start of the game. In a sport where everything happens so quickly, where the batsmen sit in dugouts on the field so as to save time – can we not bowl two overs with “known” participants in under half an hour?
Interviews with people in the crowds – with responses limited to “yes”, or “no”. Not interesting enough for the viewers.
Even though it’s all about the sponsor DLF – it gets quite annoying hearing about “DLF Maximums” instead of “sixes” – especially when Tendulkar and Jayasuriya are batting.
The Indian Premier League may have brought money and fame for many, but the glitzy Twenty20 tournament is proving a bitter pill for many home-grown players. Organisers insist the IPL is a domestic Indian tournament with teams allowed to field only four foreign players per match, but local cricketers are already feeling the pinch in the event’s second season. All eight teams are coached by foreigners and only four sides are captained by Indian players.
The fascination with international stars does not end there. Among those cricketers bought at IPL auctions, seven of the top 10 earners were foreigners. “This whole talk of IPL being a domestic Indian tournament is a joke,” former India captain Ajit Wadekar told AFP. “It is Indian money, our country’s money on which foreigners are thriving. But they do not think twice before sacking an Indian.”
India star Mohammad Kaif, 28, was shown the door by Rajasthan Royals two days before the IPL’s second season started in South Africa because skipper Shane Warne said “he did not fit into the scheme of things”. The removal of Kaif, who has played 13 Tests and 125 one-day internationals, left many fuming. “It has exposed the complete ruthlessness of the owners,” said Sharda Ugra, sports editor of the respected India Today magazine. “Eventually for them it’s business first.
Unfortunately the Indians seem to be losing out, even the great players.” India’s most successful Test captain Sourav Ganguly was replaced at the helm of Kolkata Knight Riders by New Zealander Brendon McCullum, a move masterminded by their cricket head, former Australian coach John Buchanan. Rahul Dravid was dumped as captain of Bangalore Royal Challengers after Kevin Pietersen came on board this year while Venkatsai Laxman was sacked as skipper of Deccan Chargers in favour of Adam Gilchrist. When Pietersen leaves the IPL in early-May due to England commitments, South African Jacques Kallis will take over as captain for the rest of the season.
Wadekar said he wished Indian coaches were taken on by the rich owners. “Some of the foreign coaches have not even played Test cricket, that’s why they don’t know how to respect talent at the international level. No wonder, players like Ganguly are being ill-treated.” Ugra fears it may not be long before the restriction on four foreign players per match is removed.
“There was already an attempt to amend the rules and have six foreigners in a playing eleven before the auction this year, but luckily it was shot down,” she said.
Article courtesy of Sports365 , Thu, 23 Apr 2009
South Africa will stage the 2009 Indian Premier League after officials decided to move the Twenty20 tournament to a neutral venue because of security fears due to the elections taking place simultaneously in India. Ironically South Africa will be holding their own general elections during the tournament, and one hopes all goes smoothly.
England was the alternative choice for the highly-lucrative event, but IPL chairman Lalit Modi confirmed South Africa as hosts. Modi said after the meeting: “We are very happy to confirm that South Africa will host the 2009 DLF Indian Premier League tournament.
Gerald Majola, CSA said : “The South African public loves T2O cricket and CSA successfully hosted the inaugural ICC World T20. Both of these factors weighed heavily in South Africa’s favour, and we look forward to a successful and exciting tournament being held at venues throughout South Africa.”
“This event will strengthen the ties even further between South African and Indian cricket, as well as binding our nations even closer together.
“We are looking forward to hosting some of the world’s best cricketers, and we can assure them they will be provided with the very best facilities to show their skills.
Hyderbad Deccan Chargers
Owner: Deccan Chronicle
Kolkata Knight Riders
Owner: Red Chillies Entertainment
Owner: Emerging Media
Chennai Super Kings
Owner: India Cements
Owner: GMR Holdings
Kings XI Punjab
Owner: Ness Wadia
Owner: Reliance Industries Ltd
Royal Challengers Bangalore
Owner: Vijay Mallya
The Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg
Newlands, Cape Town
St Georges Park, Port Elizabeth
Supersport Park, Centurion
De Beers Diamond Oval, Kimberly
Outsurance Oval, Bloemfontein
Buffalo Park, East Londen