I am a Bangalore Royal Challengers fan. And despite knowing that after the kind of final we had, cricket has to be the clear winner, I still feel a bit low. But that is my problem, not yours.
IPL 2 is over.
So many fans have been disappointed. But one eighth of them aren't (I hope you are in that one eighth). It's their team, Deccan, that has weaved the magic after the last place in the previous tournament.
But these are unnecessary details that none of us really want. That's why I will not give them to you. But what I am going to give to you, are my thoughts on the tournament which I am sure would be respected by all of you.
This season of the IPL would be remembered for many reasons but these are the three ones that immediately come to my mind.
Old men came to the party this time round. They proved why they are what they are. Be it the orange cap holder Mathew Hayden or Rahul Dravid, Sourav Ganguly and Sachin Tendulkar who scored some crucial runs for there respective teams. Symonds, Gillchrist, Jayasuriya were also quite brilliant. Gilly's 85 of 35 in the semis was something that we will never forget.
Also, Anil Kumble. Who not not only bowled quite brilliantly during the tournament, but also captained RCB after Kevin Pietersen left them in tatters and brought them back. He almost manages the final as well. Bu it's a pity his great bowling performance in this final (4-16) was not rewarded with a win.
Shane Warne also was quite a good captain and bowled fairly well though not as great as he has been.
Spin was finally the king in T20. These slow bowlers, who are thought of as easy targets because of their lack of pace, proved that they were underestimated. Not only Kumble and Warne, but those part timers and other spinners too, were very good.
IPL 2 was a tournament full of close and low scoring matches unlike the previous one. It finally gave the bowlers something to cheer about in a game which is usually batsmen dominated. Finally the time came when the batsmen had to have good technique or they failed.
But the sad part is that this is not going to happen the next year when the tourney would be shifted back to India. Back to the flat pitches which used to be spinner friendly a decade ago but now are only batsmen friendly.
Maybe we might see another IPL in more helpful conditions for the bowlers 5 years later when the general elections would again take place since elections were the reasons why security could not be provided to the players in India thus, resulting in the moving of the tournament. Maybe this tournament will help us digest the new government which is often called corrupt.
But this year a few things angered me too, we also had those strategy breaks. Another money making scheme by Mr. Lalit Modi. How can you even think of seven and a half minutes of no cricket in such a fast paced game? Plus the often ended up being momentum breakers for the batting side. Wow! let's break the momentum in a game based totally on momentum.
Over that Arun Lal says that is it good as it helps the bowling side get wickets. I half agree with that but where I disagree is that it can be bad as during that gap your body relaxes and it often becomes difficult to persuade it to play again and therefore, you have to force it. This may very much lead to injuries.
But the thing that really angered me about the IPL was the HEAT initiative to help students by donating money to schools.
Everywhere this move is being praised as being some as it is providing education to the needy.
But what I don't understand is why is there such a big fuss being made when only about 1-2% is being donated while the rest is going to the BCCI treasury. I also like the fact that it is helping the poor, but some unnecessary fuss is being made over it, which is making it seem like a publicity stunt.
Let's not advertise every deed off goodness that IPL does. So many other people do thing that are never recognised. The often give up their entire lives and fortunes to such causes. People also give up a huge part of their small salaries for these things. And that little money means a lot more to them than this huge sum meaning to BCCI.
But my likes and hates are not the only things I would like to talk about. I would like to end by talking about how the IPL was perceived by me over the past 37 days.
IPL has shown many of us the true picture of Indian cricket. It has shown us that all those Swapnil Asnodkars and Niraj Patels and Manpreet Gonys and the Yusuf Pathans who were the Indian stars of IPL 1 are still not as capable as they seemed to be. They struggle the moment tough conditions arrive.
Which clearly show that Indian domestic cricket has to rise and become still more competitive and the pitches have to improve.
At the same time it showed us that Suresh Raina, Rohit Sharma, R.P. Singh, Irfan Pathan, Abhiskek Nayar, Manish Pandey etc. who proved that they are people ready to adapt.
So we finally got a good Idea about who all can actually take on the high level pressure when things don't exactly go your way. So season 2 has been a true mirror of where India stands.
Something else which we saw was the fact that many team owners decided to have Indian captains replaced by foreign ones. This also highlights that we are not really seeing a promotion of Indian cricket. We are seeing the Indians reemphasising a point which I think is not good for India. The foreigners are they guys capable of leading and Asians are just supposed to follow.
Not all the foreign skippers were successful and that is a lesson to many owners. . We saw how miserably KP and Brendon McCullum failed. Choose good skippers not good foreigners.
It is of extreme importance that we do not just go after the foreign talent. It is the Indian Premiere League and let it be so.
I do not go against foreign captains but I go against blind appointment of any foreign captain when we are so care full about choosing Indian ones.
Another side of the media was seen too. It is so pro youth. Last year, the old men were given a real demoralising doze of criticism by the media. This year when they performed well, it was difficult not to praise them but the young stars were never criticised. What do they want to show? Youth cannot be shown as negative whatever they do and old can?
I really doubt if this is done so that our young talent does no get demoralized. The media does not care.
IPL this year has also shown that India has not matured. If people still complain that batsmen are not able to score enough and not enough runs are scored and not enough fours and sixes are hit, then we seriously face a problem.
This is what leads to so many bowlers not being given much importance which leads to our country never producing a long term product in that department. This has been a problem in India for quite some time. And if this continues, we will never find good back up bowlers for Zaheer and Ishant for the Indian team.
This year we have seen another fact reemphasized. Mr. Modi is a business man. To him the game matters a lot less than the advertisements, sponsors and unnecessary competitions such as Miss Bollywood South Africa
To end this long piece I would like to add that IPL has also given Bleacher cricket a boost. During this time we have seen some brilliant articles written about it. We have also seen some true cricket fans. They wrote about other stuff despite this huge tournament going on. I hail them for that. They also found good readership so I also hail the audience.
And now in the end let me just say: "Get back to some international cricket mate. It's the best cricket. After the Twenty20 World Cup, watch the all important ashes with the same enthusiasm. But yes, wait for IPL 3 and hope we do not see a repeat of those small boundaries and big scores like the first season. It will be a HUGE disappointment after this brilliant tourney in SA."
Thank you, people. Don't forget to comment and give your valuable POTDs. Also, become my fan if you are not so far.
And to Rocky: Mallaya will no longer say "@#$*%"