ipl-vi PREVIEW

a league less ordinary



Editor’s Note Introduction
By Sourav Ganguly 

03 05 07 13 21 25 27 33 37 41 43 48 49 53 59

Big Picture the tv deal market force Overseas stars - Dale Steyn
By Neil Manthorp 

- Kieron Pollard - Ryan ten Doeschate - Shakib Al Hasan The role of the coach By Eric Simons 
the big bang Powered by a 48-ball 89 from Manvinder Bisla (fifth from left), KKR romped home by five wickets against CSK in the IPL-V final in 2012 to win their first IPL trophy.
on the cover: Manjunath Kiran/AFP/GettyImages

Quiz the physio and IPL Physics Cheerleaders The fans 





he laser show and Brendon McCullum’s even more vivid strokeplay in the first Indian Premier League game. Thousands of Kolkata fans walking in search of transport after midnight on Rabindra Jayanti. Shane Warne talking up his unknown players and eventually guiding them to the title. Tendulkar against Warne in Durban. Complimentary bottles of wine in the press box in Port Elizabeth. Manish Pandey’s heroics on a most un-Indian pitch at Centurion. Symonds and Gilchrist reaching back to the glory years to deliver an unexpected win. Hayden and his Mongoose. Chennai Super Kings finally shedding the bridesmaid’s garb. Lalit Modi and one tweet too many. A postWorld Cup IPL that left most cold. A Kochi team that lasted only a season. The Chargers’

countdown to extinction three years after winning the trophy. Kolkata’s shirt changes, and a trophy after seasons of ridicule. Overpriced flops. Undervalued gems. Think of the IPL and many of these images, fleeting or not, form a kaleidoscope in my mind. On the verge of its sixth season, cricket’s richest league continues to divide opinion. The most passionate followers view it as the Promised Land, and Modi, who envisaged it, as a Prophet. Its detractors see it as a bully with two fistfuls of dollars, whose excesses have irrevocably altered cricket’s financial ecosystem for the worse. The Greatest Show on Earth or The Great Satan — there’s rarely a middle ground. The reality is, of course, more nuanced. Like a small child who’s gone beyond baby steps without being able to sprint, the IPL is still finding its way and its place in the larger scheme of things. Its lucrative contracts have

changed lives, and even subsidised other cricket boards in exchange for their noobjection certificates. The suspicion remains that the schedule is too bloated and flabby — six weeks and 76 games — but the crowds continue to turn up. So do the players, including the elite. Those that miss out grumble and may refuse to sign central contracts in the future. Five years after Monkeygate, Ricky Ponting will captain Harbhajan Singh and Sachin Tendulkar. Rahul Dravid will take his last bows. Millions will flock to the grounds, including new venues at Raipur and Ranchi. Many more will follow the action on TV, complete with breathless overhyped commentary. Love it or loathe it, the IPL is

not going anywhere. It’s here to stay. The second edition of the Wisden India Extra takes you inside the IPL and gives you many different perspectives. The views of players, coaches, physios, fans, TV producers and even cheerleaders — each of them addressing the good, the bad and the sometimes ugly. We hope you have as much fun reading it as we did putting it together. ‡

Dileep Premachandran is editor-in-chief at Wisden India. Follow him on Twitter @SpiceBoxofEarth

Contributors: Sourav Ganguly, R Kaushik, Shamya Dasgupta, Sidhanta Patnaik, Neil Manthorp, Kieron Pollard, Ryan ten Doeschate, Shakib Al Hasan, Eric Simons, Dileep V, Saurabh Somani, Angela Carson, Manoj Narayan | Compiled by Manish Adhikary | Designed by Ashish Mohanty



My mind often goes back to the first IPL game in Bangalore. a few days after the World T20. with Mohun Bagan and East Bengal — and so much of that is because of a sense of local pride. If it was possible. then India’s captain. APRIL 2013 6 . After we finished the tour of England in 2007. Going forward. and we all know what happened next. Kolkata Knight Riders played Rahul and RCB once more. We thought we would rest and start afresh against Australia. colour. on Rabindro Jayanti in Kolkata. in Bangalore in 2008. it was like a carnival — music. Brendon McCullum’s hitting just added to that. that sense of identity is what the IPL needs to nurture most. Bengal and others. Australia were due to tour India for a one-day series. For me. Now. We had won the Test series in England and. That first season. even with so many international stars there. I would try and improve the ‘local’ connect. That brought home to us just how much people had taken to the new format. But there were still 50000-plus inside. against RCB.INTRODUCTION DIBYANGSHU SARKAR/AFP that extra zing to fight By Sourav Ganguly I f I was to be perfectly honest. telling us that the youngsters should go for the World Twenty20 tournament in South Africa. it was a different high. I never found it to be so. If anything. People often asked if it wasn’t awkward playing against your India teammates. I remember Rahul Dravid. that sense of identification with a city was the best part of playing the IPL. MS Dhoni ended up captaining the team to South Africa. my generation had no idea how big Twenty20 was going to be.  ‡ ISSUE 2. You look at the following that the top European and South American football teams get in their cities — we see the same in Kolkata. it’s common. Over my career. noise and the excitement of the unknown. for India. The atmosphere was just electrifying. it gave you that extra zing to fight it out against those who were usually your colleagues. Rain delayed the start and the match finished long after midnight. The prices paid for players seemed like madness at the time. But that first game… when Rahul and I went out. blazing start McCullum set the stage for IPL I by cracking a 73-ball 158 in the very first match of the season. I went out to toss quite a few times. With the added city sentiment. The first IPL auction a few months later was also another clue as to how big it would become.

dismissing it as a hit-andgiggle routine that the Indian landscape could do without. a rebel tournament. exploits in South Africa. APRIL 2013 8 . surprise victors The success of India. India had played exactly one Twenty20 International before their African adventure. not only did it trigger an outpouring of national pride and celebration. In September 2007. ISSUE 2. after being promised the right to stage the 50-over World Cup in 2011. just as the IPL is the behemoth of domestic leagues worldwide. There is no gain saying what course the domestic competition with an international f lavour would have taken had Dhoni’s men not gone all the way in South Africa. That the BCCI sat the seniors out showed exactly what they thought of a competition they only entered. saw a shift in its first year. particularly converts. The emergence of the Indian Cricket League. no one was sure how city-based franchises would be received by audiences. somewhat forced the Board of Control of Cricket in India’s hand. For one thing. Indian administrators frowned upon the 20-over version. IPl mojo rising By R Kaushik W hen the Indian Premier League was initially conceptualised and then unveiled amid great fanfare. was in BCCI’s view of the format after the team a direct fallout of won the inaugural the national team’s World T20 in 2007. it has been whispered. For another. Mahendra Singh Dhoni was only a little more than a bit player. Talk about timing. and when S Sreesanth held on to a Misbah-ul-Haq catch that signalled India’s triumph over Pakistan in the final. the Twenty20 game had yet to intrude upon the imagination of the average Indian cricket fan.the big picture Duif du Toit/Gallo Images/Getty Images five years on. yes. it also piqued the interest in Twenty20 cricket of the hitherto blasé fan. the reluctant T20 the IPL. Yuvraj Singh irrevocably trained a nation’s eyes on the unfamiliar format with six sixes in an over off Stuart Broad. so no one raised an eyebrow when he was missing from the official launch. there was excitement. a newlook Indian team was quietly making its way through the draw at the inaugural World Twenty20 in South Africa. introduced a decade ago in England to revive waning interests in cricket. but few would have envisaged the runaway success that the IPL has become over the last five seasons. Dhoni is the undisputed superstar of Indian cricket. It was a sign of the times that even as the IPL was being launched formally. but there was also great apprehension. It’s worth remembering that India were reluctant participants in the first World T20. Today.

Brendon McCullum exploded in sensational fashion. turned out for Kings XI Punjab. given the current political climate. that Pakistani players will be seen in action in IPL VI. Much of the early controversy stemmed from the words.” Ball The first official Twenty20 match was played in 2003 in England. The IPL itself has evolved hugely from its early days. Bangaloreans couldn’t help but appreciate and admire the quality of McCullum’s batsmanship. the home crowd wasn’t amused to see ‘its’ bowlers being taken to the cleaners. participation in the IPL was restricted to the commentary box and the coaching staff. entertainment and drama. ushered in with great pomp and ceremony as cricket and entertainment became strange bedfellows once the BCCI embraced the T20 concept wholeheartedly. APRIL 2013 10 . smashing an unbeaten 158. Not until IPL-V. India went into the 2007 ICC World Twenty20 having played just one match until then — against South Africa in December 2006. the fight for remotes non-existent because Twenty20 cricket has successfully won its battle with tear-jerking soap operas. It was exhilarating stuff. after the league was forced out of India due to general elections. as an event of this magnitude invariably will. David Hussey told Wisden India about how IPL I was mainly about aftermatch parties and sponsor events. This led to a misplaced sense of outrage and betrayal across the border. though. for eight weeks every April and May. By the second edition. of Lalit Modi. as a wonderfully heady and potent cocktail of cricket. turning tables Modi was a picture of relief as he watched the IPL opening ceremony unfold in Cape Town in 2009. but that didn’t make too much of a difference with franchise owners steadfastly steering clear of bidding for Pakistan players at the auctions. “whereas now.” he recalled. Inevitably. It is unlikely. not least because of the huge Indian settlement there. Even that at early stage. evenings are set aside. now a British citizen. Carrom Any fears that the IPL. the year of the general elections. Its place in the cricketing landscape is now firmly established. and sometimes deeds. did a Pakistani play again in the tournament. and Modi considered it a personal coup because he put on an impeccable show in an alien land at very short notice. turning out for Kolkata Knight Riders. it’s fully about the cricket. qualify for the Champions League. and took the second edition of the IPL to South Africa. it became apparent that with the passage of time. The uncertain political climate in the wake of the Mumbai attacks in November 2008 meant franchise owners were wary of signing Pakistani players. might not be well received were allayed on the very first day of action in IPL I. The tournament was a resounding success. Pakistani ISSUE 2. fans would identify with ‘their’ teams. The first year. the mercurial former chairman of the league. subjected the Royal Challengers Bangalore bowling to a most brutal assault. and the first international between Australia and New Zealand in 2005. when Azhar Mahmood. the IPL has courted controversy. “The cricket was almost secondary. so has the IPL grown as a brand. as an event.R Kaushik Tom Shaw/Getty Images the big picture As the years have progressed. The spectacular fireworks during the opening ceremony paled in comparison as McCullum. Everyone wants to make the finals. That said. In front of a packed gathering at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore that was unsure of what to expect but was certain that there would be value for money. everyone thought it was just a new competition that was all about a lot of fun but now it’s big business. He dared the Indian government in 2009. while franchise loyalty had obviously yet to take root. however much one might try to keep politics and sport separate.

APRIL 2013 12 . Ownership patterns continued to haunt the IPL with Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab both having to win legal battles to overturn their suspensions. though. both in terms of on-field personnel and backroom support staff. equally. he has changed the face of the IPL at a time when it was turning blue in a desperate search for oxygen. Dale Steyn has produced some of the most outstanding IPL spells. No one. Dhoni has led the team astutely and steered them to at least the semifinals in all five editions. Muttiah Muralitharan. Gayle is the ultimate entertainer. however. Paul Valthaty. among others. but as he was laying into the bowlers Punit PARANJPE/afp photo Gayle. Rahul Sharma. took the IPL route to the national team. AB de Villiers and Jacques Kallis have shown that there is a place for classicism even in slam-bang cricket. Deccan Chargers were terminated as an IPL franchise. Rahul Dravid. Harmeet Singh — all young men who flourished briefly. He was also s p e e c h l e s s l y strengthening his claims for an eventual international return that culminated in him playing a starring role in the West Indies’ triumph in the World T20 in Sri Lanka in October 2012. Ajinkya Rahane. marking them as the most consistent team over the years. had already taken 50 first-class wickets but he wasn’t noticed by the fans — or the selectors — until his IPL exploits. The West Indies might have lost Gayle for a year after the 2011 World Cup. the Australian paceman. brash and abrasive. Swapnil Asnodkar. were less fortunate as they were disbanded after just one edition.  ‡ the talisman The Chennai Super Kings. the man primarily credited with the resounding success of the IPL was suspended on disciplinary grounds. Ashwin. most dramatically. Chennai have reiterated the significance of continuity by sticking to the core group from season one. Kumar Sangakkara. ISSUE 2. Gayle was snapped up by Royal Challengers Bangalore following an injury to Dirk Nannes. while Sunil Narine owes his Test debut to his magical bowling in IPL-V. the Jamaican with tattoos and flowing dreadlocks. a free spirit who can decimate and destroy with consummate ease. while Mahela Jayawardene. Michael Hussey. Virat Kohli. Brad Hodge and Sachin Tendulkar have debunked the young man myth. troubled seasons with underachieving Kolkata Knight Riders. the offspinner. Kochi Tuskers Kerala. Amit Singh. Modi. Kamran Khan. therefore. M Vijay and. On the field. Gayle. All on his own. with his astonishing six-hitting skills and laidback attitude bringing the crowds back in their thousands to the venues and lending credence to the belief that the lukewarm response to IPL IV was a direct fallout of its proximity to the World Cup. charges of financial irregularities having subsequently been probed. and scattering packed crowds in the stands. but who disappeared as dramatically as they broke through. has single-handedly propelled the IPL into the stratosphere. as did that of Suresh Raina. and proven. Ravindra Jadeja and Yusuf Pathan. Minutes after the final of IPL-III had been completed at the DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai. Unwanted for IPL IV after three modest. ‘impact’ players faded away rapidly. has single-handedly propelled the IPL into the stratosphere. hadn’t endeared himself to many network and goes into IPL-VI as Sunrisers Hyderabad. when he fell on bad times. The Super Kings have won the title twice and have made the finals on two other occasions.R Kaushik the big picture Modi bit off more than he could chew by implying that then Union Minister Shashi Tharoor had a role to play in the Kochi franchise winning a successful bid for IPLIV as the league expanded into a ten-team competition. R Ashwin. Anil Kumble. the towering Jamaican with tattoos galore and flowing dreadlocks. IPL-V was consequently reduced to a nine-team affair. Shane Warne. few have been as dominant as Chennai Super Kings. led by Dhoni. epitomises the IPL better than Chris Gayle. by investigative agencies. he was also raising the profile of the IPL. Few sympathised with him. The Hyderabad team has since been bought by the Sun Television Dhoni’s stock grew exponentially with the Super Kings’ success. have won the IPL twice and reached the semifinals of all five editions. when he ruled the IPL with an iron fist. Just a few months ago.

anchors. To Navjot Sidhu (centre). the International Management Group does a neat. One very popular TV show. it’s just the unfettered champion a lot of simultaneous of cricketainment. is what the production of the Indian Premier League involves. and usually mentally exhausted. But where the IPL has rewritten the rules for cricket coverage is in the scale at which its wrap-up show — Extraaa Innings (EI) — is designed. reporters. so highenergy that you are always on sixth gear. And it’s all live. All done while jet-setting around the country. It also requires a massive contingent of technicians. the broadcasters of the IPL. Every moment under close scrutiny. there are multiple things popular sense happening at once. of course. and no one has any more rights over it than the next person. No time. IMG handles the IPL’s distribution rights. experts – no one can slip. or room. To a television is criticised because it is professional. event and venue management and sponsorship sales as well. straightforward job of pulling it off. Around nine hours every day. where. ISSUE 2. Archana Vijaya. the presenter: “It’s an adrenaline rush. vision mixers. graphic artists. odd-jobs people and much else. in a nutshell. franchise rights. technicians. The company’s role. for retakes. like extremely watchable. With its years of experience in producing live cricket content. is not limited to just bringing us the pictures on TV. No one owns cricket. it is basically an extension of the usual live coverage of cricket.” The ‘extraaa’ coverage “Cricket is not the domain of the few who choose to guard it so zealously. APRIL 2013 14 . the lay viewer. claims Extraaa Innings activity. again. Anyone who understands television production is wowed by the way the show brings together. But. mid and post-match shows. But this is blended with the dancing girls and the musicians who are doing their thing. Three hundred-odd people on the job. at times. producers. That. three standalone shows within one. And.” says Jasdeep Singh Pannu. The coverage of the live event alone involves upwards of 20 cameras (including the one that flies around above the stadium supported by wires) at the ground and an additional eight in the central studio in Mumbai for the pre. producers (at the venue and inside the production control room). Camerapersons. you have the part coming in from the ground. vice-president–programming at SET Max.THE TV DEAL Parveen Negi/India Today Group/Getty Images dancing down the tv track By Shamya Dasgupta J ust under two months. at some level. The basic show involves an anchor and studio guests: a straightforward chat show. finally.

”says Navjot Singh Sidhu. a news television anchor ISSUE 2. “As much as possible. officials and team owners to ensure interviews take place during the game and in the breaks. “We have Sunil Gavaskar. and noodle straps entered the national consciousness perched on the picture tube Mandira Bedi’s wellDealing with the live groomed shoulders. who was from 28 cameras. who am I to judge?” In any case. they don’t disagree. “People in the industry were inspired by the concept and the audience reaction. The producers don’t care as long as the sponsors are queuing up. Mandira represented the average Indian female fan. we don’t need anyone else to tell us what’s right or wrong. and where do they come in? Well. In ’93.” Ball Doordarshan charged Rs 5 lakh from the BCCI to telecast matches played in India to cover the costs of production in 1992. And that’s the philosophy SET Max works with.” You want to throw stones at it? Go ahead. Ajay Jadeja.” And presenter Shibani Dandekar says. If they are endorsing it and having fun being on the show. Abhinav Kohli. Pannu puts it like this: “The idea is to ensure that the family gets entertained. and all.” That is how Pannu found himself overseeing the production of the Shaz & Waz Show. In fact. says. APRIL 2013 16 . for a TV channel like ours.shamya dasgupta Chirag Wakaskar-IPL 2010/IPL via Getty Images THE TV DEAL When the IPL came around. these are the men and women — scattered around the different venues — who (a) brief the presenters on the editorial tone of the show. So when you catch up with senior members of the production team. SET Max first came up with the concept ahead of the 2003 World Cup. producer Azhar Habib tells us. simply explained. the ‘serious’ cricket channel’s attempt at stepping off its pedestal in the wake of Mandira Mania. Who are they. and it worked. it’s important to make the programming broad-based.” And then.026 billion. “Nobody throws stones at a tree that doesn’t bear fruit. The coverage of the IPL — with its innovations — has also led to the birth of a new variety of producer: Venue Producer.” What we have as a result. time. “The flavour of the conversations should be along the lines of what it would be like if I were sitting down with the player in a coffee shop. producer Debayan Sen is candid enough to admit. (b) innovate in terms of bringing in local flavour to the presentation. Taking the show to the dugout Carrom The brains behind EI stress that they “respect the viewer” above all else. In 2008. the format and concept automatically lent itself to some heavy-duty Shaz-Wazmatazz and noodle-strapping. feed. we address the Lowest Common Denominator. BCCI sold TV rights to Trans World International (TWI) and DD paid $1 million for the right to telecast India matches. Sanjay Manjrekar and others on the show. there’s no wishing away this sexed-up coverage – much like purists cannot wish the IPL away. bring in people. and provide something for everyone. sure. streaming in Pannu. you are likely to hear sentences like these: “I will not talk down to a viewer” or “If people want to watch their sport the same way they watch their evening entertainment shows. as Pannu says. With live music. is “easily the biggest sports show in India. Dumbing down? Yeah. Sony inked a ten-year global TV rights deal for IPL for US $1. comedy acts. (c) coordinate with players. in response to criticism of the IPL broadcasts over the years. and (d) look out for celebrities in the crowd during games and arrange for ‘chats’ with them. calls for one of the most employed with ESPN exhaustive production STAR Sports at the processes on Indian TV.

” A world away from Aakash Chopra. He wanted to fool around. Play cricket. the sudden appearance of a celebrity at the venue … that’s what makes it fun. and 40% cricket. a template is in place. it was important to lower the intensity in the breaks – whether at the venues or in the studio.” says Dandekar. 60% entertainment Over the years. “The entry of the guests. “When you do justice to the presence of cheerleaders and comedians. Surely no one “Cricket has changed with the IPL.” Kohli says. but.” Fair enough. Sunil Gavaskar also looked like he didn’t want to drive straight anymore. “There are cheerleaders in the studio and stand-up comedians. Sometimes. with the tournament moving to South Africa. Not always. “We can’t order Mr Gavaskar to do what we want. the comparative figures of the cricket and EI showed that there has been an increase in the ratings for the show. local flavour gauged.” watches the ‘extraaa’ bit if they are not watching the match to start with? That work is paying off now. on the other hand. Was it done spontaneously or was he under instructions from the producers? ISSUE 2. We want a Rusty Theron to sing the IPL anthem. Apart from that? “Well. bring on the dancing girls. We had so many close finishes in 2012 that the viewership was assured. and often do. but with not too many games coming his way. we had also awry. but that fewer people are switching channels at the break or after the matches than before. feels it’s as simple as the fact that the tournament saw better cricket this year than the year before. so anything might go wrong. and planning continuing to the last minute. “The players would have to be made available for interviews. who are paid as handsomely as the ex-cricketers are.” Dandekar. “Reinventing and innovating. on entertainment then. can we?” Pannu asks.” Sen says. IPL coverage has changed dramatically. The moment you do justice to their presence. but almost invariably. After that. as well as tricky.” Fall back obviously.shamya dasgupta THE TV DEAL and producer till recently. his likes and dislikes … about the dressing room. things have settled down. who says. He was a part of Kolkata Knight Riders as well as Rajasthan Royals as a player. not us.” But is all that extra complication worth the effort? After all. like Pannu says. the coverage on TV floundered too. in 2012. as was mandated by the IPL. APRIL 2013 18 . “Everything is fluid. much like the teams that made mistakes with squad selection and match strategy (because it was all so new). the entire show is dependent on technology. joined the 2012 team as a Venue Producer.” This doesn’t necessarily mean that people are watching EI more than the matches. Like getting a player to open up about his personal life. off the field.” And with the excitement on the field. Get some inside information.” Habib says.” to record interviews in advance because franchises wouldn’t cooperate. “We don’t want to stifle people with analysis. which is the cricket. On SET Max. As a result. mimic people…and he was the one who suggested all of it. The better the cricket is. And Habib clarifies: “He got into the mood. “Last year. “Cricket lovers know answers to standard cricket questions anyway. you lose focus as far as cricket is concerned. adding. During the first year. we innovated with stand-up comedians and the increased use of Hindi. And his take on the matter is 40% cricket.” As a result. the cricket is the raison d’etre of the programming. What that means is cricketers/ experts have an additional platform to air their views. he moved to the commentary studios — both with SET Max as well as with news channels. Get something ‘extraaa’. The second year was The non-cricket percentage of the content is bound to go up with Danny Morrison and Sidhu taking centrestage anyway. What sort of emergencies? Well. “It’s about the cricket. and then some. Chopra has straddled both worlds. explaining the success. After all. “the main thing is to ensure that everything is done on time. But the viewer never gets to know. colour stories readied and presenters briefed on cricket aspects. Much like the IPL itself.” she says. the entertainers. don’t talk cricket too Even as EI plays out on the broadcasters’ channel. interviews lined up. so why shouldn’t the coverage evolve?” asks Pannu. numbers for the show have gone up. time is always at a premium. albeit marginally. last year [2012]. almost every single news channel — Hindi and English — airs their sponsored IPL shows. “We want to make it fun. with airtime apportioned for the entertainers.” says Sen. For him. you lose time and also focus as far as the cricket is concerned. the easier it is for us. it was “60% entertainment. It’s another matter that the template itself is open to tinkering. Since then. it appears the franchises don’t always play ball. “We add value to the main product. Sen explains: “It’s clear that. you just wait for things to go wrong and emergencies to crop up”.

shamya dasgupta Dibyangshu SARKAR/afp photo THE IPL TV DEAL clear: “The news channels I was a part of [all English] focus on the serious side of the IPL. every game.” Shades of Sidhu there. how can one argue with that? The girls have launched themselves in a big way using the EI platform. not necessarily the “cricket purists”. and therefore more people saw us. clearly. Party’s here. “We chat with all sorts of players and talk about all sorts of things. to play the eye-candy role just as much as the cheergirls or presenters. without a day’s break. and were picked up by the dance reality show.” What happens next? More innovation for sure. the boys.” Chopra also hints that SET Max’s affiliation to the Board of Control for Cricket in India as its media partner is something of a hindrance.” she says. For seven weeks. Dandekar is looking for a career in films now. “We had five presenters till 2011. Unsurprisingly. near the dugout. “What happens is that people start liking a player not just because of his cricket. the league has never lacked in glamour. Is that the way to go? A pointless debate.” says Vijaya. ‡ the tinsel help With silver screen stars such as Shah Rukh Khan (performing at the 2011 opening ceremony in Chennai) co-owning different franchises. So these players get a fan following too. You need Sidhu to dance on stage. with a heavy dash of glamour. it’s not just the presenters who benefit from the show being the way it is. hasn’t it? “Oh yes. former England cricketer. while SET Max has its hands tied in that respect. Morrison to yell above the drumbeats and Isa Guha.” But. The disgruntled can always turn to recordings of old Test matches. as far as Dandekar is concerned. more people watched the show. they bring together two of the biggest Indian passions – cricket and celebrity. ‘In-depth’ isn’t the buzzword here. In what direction: more entertainment? “It’s too early to say. they are everywhere. There’s an attempt to do in-depth analyses of every team. but it could be anything. and Samir Kochhar and Gaurav Kapur. in the studio. chatting and dancing with the stars and much else. Pannu promises. Vijaya and Dandekar. The strategy will target the “broad-based audience”. A female expert is still woman first. aren’t they? At the ground. Also. when it comes to the IPL. and so is its coverage. Jhalak Dikhlaa Jaa. we have been more visible of late. Last year. where’s the host? Oh. is in a minority here. “News channels focus on the burning issues [controversies].” he says. but then. The girls. ISSUE 2. you get more time to air your views on news channels. eating kebabs in Delhi. again. is simple: “You will always be criticised for standing out.” Chopra. APRIL 2013 20 . when it’s economics that will decide the formula. as contestants for the 2012 season. So it’s worked out well. and it’s been reduced to create a higher connect with the audience. the cricket is relatively simple. shopping in Jaipur. maybe live audiences for every show. But that’s the nature of the beast. right? Pannu’s take. Even if that means 70% entertainment and 30% cricket. Both of them are hot on the glam circuit today. but because of the person he is – which we try to bring out.

a brand valuation firm. The IPL’s biggest commercial USP has been its positioning as ‘cricketainment’. to experiment and leverage the platform. merchandising is fruitful.92 billion in 2012. the tournament benefited us in terms of creating visibility through the eyeballs it generated. as live cricket matches become family-outing options for the first time. is a good example of that. Nita Ambani and Harbhajan) to cricket the connect has been shoes. For a brand such as ISSUE 2. the industry has evolved. contests between international stars. But. “With nothing else happening around IPL time. The failure of the Indian Cricket League. the sponsors of Rajasthan Royals (as well as the now defunct Deccan Chargers). That was the core thought behind associating with the two IPL franchises. including the ones not traditionally associated with cricket. generate substantial interest. whereas franchise sponsorship is more of an effort to establish a direct connect with the emotions of fans. India only in 2006.” race for the rage For a lifestyle From ‘Mickey Cricket’ brand that entered unveiling (by Tendulkar. it is still among the top sports properties globally. the league has become the pivot the market economy revolves around for the six weeks that it plays out. the managing director of Puma India. The playbook A brand works on three levels of association with the IPL. with an annual viewership of approximately 162 million. The decisions to purchase commercial time from the broadcaster and sponsor the league are driven by economics. the six weeks of the IPL have created a fresh spending pattern among the end consumers. But with the advent of the IPL.65 billion in 2010 to US $2.the market force indranil mukherjee/afp photo tapping fans for force and fortune By Sidhanta Patnaik T he brand value of the Indian Premier League (IPL) dropped from US $4. In the cricket-dominated Indian market. offering the new IPL buzzword. has changed the consumption behaviour of a wider audience and. Since we are a lifestyle and performance brand. where other forms of live entertainment are still not volume driven. according to Brand Finance. whatever teams they represent. This has in turn led various brands. APRIL 2013 22 . Since team loyalties are still not set in stone.” says Rajiv Mehta. we were looking for a cricketing platform. The strong core product. The television ratings failed to garner an average of 4 in the fifth edition. Puma the option of using a group of talented second-rung cricketers as a communication tool in a costeffective manner. now defunct. combined with other forms of peripheral entertainment. “Both from the performance and visibility angles. it gave people the idea that Puma exists in the cricket market too. Pre-2008 sports marketing in India was not always financially viable and lacked direction.

compelling innovation on technical as well as creative fronts. where bureaucracy is involved at all levels. as Mehta says. body is more focused on generating revenue than building a sustained brand. “We took a spin and said that it’s not about winning but about enjoying. “The IPL as a Ball At $853 million. fundamental errors need rectifying and the commitment to the audience has to stand out. the Mumbai Indians (at No.sidhanta patnaik RAVEENDRAN/afp photo the market force The other focus has been to seed an element of aspiration among the fans to spend on merchandise. a path for the future has been paved. However. introducing their new shoe range in 2011 as well as 2012.” connecting with the fans. Puma’s primary focus has been social marketing. With an estimated value of $48 million. The parent brand continues to remain profitable but. Carrom An IPL association comes at a premium for a brand. Commercially. That is what we have played on – make the team look cool. Firstly. and Los Angeles Galaxy. “As long as you are having fun while you are playing. there is a fear of misplaced focus. Also. we created merchandise with the bull and its horn. Puma’s plan seems to be on track.” With sale of merchandise reporting a yearon-year growth of 20% since the first IPL season. ISSUE 2. “We had to balance the two schools of thought and take a risk. justifying return on investment is a challenge. it appealed to others and the viral effect took shape. Secondly.” says Mehta. Puma.” The IPL model has played its part in the revamp of Indian football’s I-League and has helped conceptualise World Series Hockey. with the IPL. Puma seized the space. an IPL association comes at a premium. the memories of a franchisebased competition fade too fast. A comic book strip that summed up the entire fifth edition was their way of the leg-up Puma’s IPL association (Gilchrist sporting Puma shoes in 2012.” says Mehta. “It is desirable. for the majority of investors. That is what we have banked on. Fan engagement models have not matured in India but. for other stakeholders. it does not matter who wins or who “For some. And for some. After a few players started wearing them (the shoes). the plan has been to stay ahead of the team’s fortunes and focus on marketing the stars within the team as individual entities. it is like any other form of cricket. Something you want to wear both on and off the field. the momentum is lost after the end of every season and.” Mehta says. creating unique on-ground experiences while shifting the core foundation of the fans’ association with the team. IPL is not cricket. it becomes unviable for other stakeholders to think long term. loses. a Major League Soccer team. “For Deccan Chargers. compelling innovation on technical as well as creative fronts. The fan experience also has to reach a stage where the aspirational value of owning IPL sporting merchandise and those of the English Premier League football teams are  ‡ perceived as same. Their marketing plan is not inclusive. APRIL 2013 24 .” On the communications side. With the IPL governing council scripting no guidelines on footwear. the myth that the league is free from the influences of the prevailing economic conditions has been busted. for the IPL to be a complete marketing success. Manchester United’s brand valuation is the highest among sporting clubs. In a seller’s market. Lazio and Fiorentina. ahead of century-old Italian clubs. It has even shaped India’s role in World Series Boxing. 146) are the best-valued IPL team. the stars look cool and the fans look cool too. However. at a fundamental level. for instance) has helped the brand secure a year-on-year growth of 20% in merchandise sale. with an extensive international cricket calendar.

The games are pretty intense. revving up the action in IPL. PAGE 42 Noah SEELAM/afp photo (Steyn). the league is helping reinforce India’s image as the centre of world cricket PAGE 38 SHAKIB AL HASAN IPL’s a great tournament. including Dale Steyn. Graham Crouch/Getty Images (pollard).KIERON POLLARD The IPL has been great financially. APRIL 2013 . import duty With the world’s most fiery cricketers. PAGE 34 RYAN TEN DOESCHATE There’s not as much downtime in the IPL as you’d think. Michael Steele/Getty Images (ten doeschate) ISSUE 2. It’s not something I wish to hide. it prepares young cricketers for the world.

but as an ambassador-at-large for SAB’s water conservation programme. 1 Test bowler. “I must have signed 500 Dismissal man autographs – and Steyn played for RCB for that was just after the first three IPL seasons before he was bought by dinner. blacktie affair with even the official part of the programme lasting deep into the night. SA Breweries. There is no escape for some who are sticking to sparkling water.Noah SEELAM/afp photo dale steyn and the anger within By Neil Manthorp T he annual Cricket South Africa Awards is a glamorous. 2011 and has picked up “Got to bed at 2am 32 wickets since. APRIL 2013 28 . eyes shining. The occasion was a business breakfast at the headquarters of the game’s longest-serving sponsor. which makes Castle Lager. synonymous with the national team since the end of isolation (except in Pakistan). and up at 6am – good job I’ve been training for this discipline at the IPL!” he laughs. the wine is poured until the early hours. ISSUE 2. “It takes 155 litres of water to make one litre of beer from the very beginning of the process to the very end. however.” says Steyn to an audience of 50 or more who aren’t sure whether to be wide-eyed and open-mouthed at his presence — or his talk.” says Dale the Deccan Chargers in Steyn. and that’s just too much. For the invited guests and sponsors who can afford the hangover the next morning. Steyn was there not just as the world’s No.

when somebody or something does make him angry. “Then I kicked another one. he gre up in the shadow of the game park’s ‘Big Five’ and has always felt close to nature. “I don’t need to be angry.” Steyn says. We finished bottom. feeling that I should be doing some ‘good’ while I had that profile. I wouldn’t be the same cricketer without it. he quickly became concerned at the amount of debris and pollution in the world’s oceans.” Steyn removes a folded sheet of paper from his pocket and reads out his top ten tips for saving water — and recounts a tale (with actions) of how the ‘bath’ at one hotel he stayed at during the IPL consisted of a large. using it to try and make a difference. If I can make a small difference in the world it would make a big difference to me. he doesn’t look or act like that either.” It is a statement that makes Steyn laugh aloud. better than any drugs — not that I’ve tried any. I almost dislocated my leg.” Steyn says. So my interest grew as I learned about how careless we are with water. like all surfers. “I had never experienced anything like it before. “I sent out a tweet about the state of the water and I had literally thousands of responses inside an hour. I love winning. Steyn has the fourth-best bowling strike rate of all time in Tests. “I’m lucky because not only do I have the chance to experience the thrill of winning. The great fast bowler laughed at the faces in front of him: “Ha! I guess you all thought the IPL was just about five-star luxury and millionaires. the dejection from the last defeat driving international cricketer Steyn to kick a kit bag I always had a strong and break his toe. pottery bowl of water and a smaller jug which he used to pour the water over himself. he tried to organise walking on to the field of play before an IPL match with a tiger cub on a leash to bring their endangered plight to the attention of the widest possible audience. but it was full of water bottles and I broke my toe. but I also get to bowl really fast.” It doesn’t sound like a young man with millions of dollars in the bank. he’ll be the Carrom “SAB have committed themselves to reducing that substantially and I’m backing them and passing on the message. Having moved to landlocked Pretoria and then to Cape Town four years ago. He already had the hip and knee movements required. But I was mad as hell. but not the majority. Having been born and raised in the small town of Phalaborwa on the edge of the famous ISSUE 2.neil manthorp Seshadri SUKUMAR/afp photo the foreign player Kruger National Park in the north of the country. Those two things are the best feelings in the world. and how we take it for granted. Currently. APRIL 2013 30 .” Steyn says. the first completely hurt locker The Deccan Chargers altruistic: “From the suffered a six-match run moment I became of final-over defeats in an established IPL V.” Two years ago. John Ferris and Shane Bond.” His great friend and teammate. “One day. Steyn’s interest started for two reasons. is often accused of lacking that fire in his belly. Stupid. I missed a couple of games. That’s the fire I hope I never lose. I kicked an empty kit bag so hard when it happened for the sixth time. he quickly took to surfing as a replacement for his childhood passion of skateboarding. He has shot an impala and even caught a croc. Morne Morkel. “Dale has enough anger for both of us. “We (Deccan Chargers) lost six games off the last ball [in IPL V]. But then. before questioning the assertion. And. Dale Steyn’s other interests include fishing and hunting. Some South Africans were able to relate.” says Morkel. but we could so easily have made the play-offs. hey?” Most of us nodded. earning him the tag of ‘crocodile hunter’. He looks bemused when asked about his motivation to keep playing as hard and bowling as fast as he does — especially given the toll that his job takes on his body. “Maybe it’s more that I hate losing?” Ball Apart from inducing fear into the batsmen. but the logistics and red-tape required made it impossible. behind George Lohmann.

but that’s Graeme’s (Smith) job – that’s for him to worry about! I’ve had a couple of fines in international cricket and I’m not proud of myself if I get into trouble. but I will always be a person. That’s all I care about. His place as one of the greatest fast bowlers in the history of the game is already secure. ‡ To be a good one.” Provided. When South Africa really needs a wicket. and I don’t like that. I really mean that. I won’t always be a cricketer. as much as I love getting a batsman out. no bouncers when we’re bowling. And often I’m able to give them what they need. YES. my personality changes. “You got it!” he replied. Nothing better than that. but that does not mean he is ‘out of touch’ with his on-field persona.” he says. I think ‘I’ve got you now.” He may be charming and gentle off the His favourite tale about ‘fear’ comes from an encounter with Muttiah Muralitharan who suggested a ‘deal’ before one game. Sure I see it. Right now I’m just living in the moment. from time to time. but it’s just a consequence of what I do. At all. but that will probably be very close to the end of my career. “There have been a couple of times when I have needed to be calmed down. “No doosras. but not dwell on. loved it. When I cross the boundary rope. I’m not one of them. and I don’t like that.” AB (de Villiers) throw the ball to me. There is no split-personality syndrome going on. It’s something he is prepared to accept. of course. who enjoys his batting every bit as much as his bowling. So that’s my priority. and it gives me a thrill.’ But. field.”  ISSUE 2. I want to be a good cricketer. You’re mine. that would not change. Graeme or I’ve met a few cricketers who are more excited about their own performance than the team’s. it doesn’t compare to the thrill of winning the game. but I am a person first and a cricketer second. that Morkel is able to control and channel the rage — something Steyn hasn’t always managed to do. I know roughly how many wickets I have. “A time may come when I do start looking at my record. If he never played another game. OK?” Steyn. APRIL 2013 32 . At all. but I don’t keep track. Does he enjoy the sight of fear in a batsman’s eyes? “Oh.neil manthorp best bowler in the world. “I know I’m doing well. But I’m happy with that. I’ve met a few cricketers who are more excited about their own performance than the team’s.

One of the things I will readily admit is that the IPL has been great financially too. Guys like Dwayne Bravo. Not just for me. my savings — it’s been superb.the foreign player Carl Fourie/Gallo Images/Getty Images IPL is ideal for West indians By Kieron Pollard I greatly relish the opportunity that I’ve been given to play in a high-profile tournament like the Indian Premier League. my standard of living. also find that Twenty20 and tournaments like the IPL are ideal for him. it tells me that I need to go out and perform each time my team plays a game. has amassed 639 runs from 44 matches in the three IPLs he’s been part of. But the big salary also makes someone like me accountable. ISSUE 2. a star performer in IPL-III. APRIL 2013 34 . in terms of my life. we are exciting Caribbean cracker Pollard. who has so much experience.71. I think the format suits the kind of cricketers we are. his strike rate a scorching 185. a chance to rub shoulders with big international stars and play in front of such passionate crowds. and to be given the kind of respect I have been. It’s perfect. is fantastic. We are cricketers with flair. 2010 was his best outing with 273 runs in 14 matches. So many cricketers from the West Indies fit into the Twenty20 mould very well and have become regulars with different IPL teams. Look at Chris Gayle — his flair and style of batting are perfect for T20 cricket. To get such an opportunity as a young cricketer. But it’s not just me. It’s not something I wish to hide. but all of us who have been fortunate enough to get contracts with the franchises. It’s changed so many things for me personally.

At various times.It’s a happy dressing room. no franchise had bid for him in the 2009 auction. but Mumbai Indians outbid the other three in a silent tie-breaker to take him home. Travelling to India every year for it has been incredible.kieron pollard Carrom Ball Kieron Pollard attracted the maximum open-auction bid of US $750. there is a lot of excitement. Sachin Tendulkar: there haven’t been too many better cricketers in the world. there’s a process of evolution going on and I’m sure we will be a better Test and ODI team in future. and there are big crowds at the grounds. T20 is not everything for us.000 from four teams in 2010. There is an abundance of talent in the West Indies. Thousands of people are coming to watch T20 cricket and the more opportunities we get. Ravi Rampaul and others. Ricky Ponting will also be there. We. APRIL 2013 36 . be more patient. as West Indians. Andrew Symonds. Sunil Narine. and that makes for a bunch of players who can go out and add to the excitement of the IPL. the better it is. and represents Mumbai Indians in the IPL. He has done everything that can be done in cricket. the entire focus is on the IPL. we have had Zaheer Khan and Sanath Jayasuriya. and we plan to kick on from there. It’s the sort of atmosphere that makes you want to give your best each time. like to enjoy ourselves and that works best in the IPL and other T20 tournaments. when his base price was just US $60. and we like to have fun when we play. Our success is because we can play the way we like to in T20 cricket. It is the first step. It’s been an eye-opener. cricketers. you need to temper things a bit. Some of them have also played Test cricket. Being in the Mumbai Indians dressing room makes it even better. Now. But as I said before. You look at Andre Russell. There’s Harbhajan Singh and Munaf Patel. Surprisingly. They are all getting their chances in the IPL now. Everywhere you go in India. It’s awesome to get an opportunity to share a dressing room with these guys. You see how loved he is by his fans. In Test cricket and One-Day International cricket. but it’s T20 that brings out their best.000. Lasith Malinga and JP Duminy. He spoke to Shamya Dasgupta ISSUE 2. ‡ Kieron Pollard is an allrounder with the West Indies cricket team . For the next couple of months. It has been a phenomenal experience.

As an example. The guys are there to do well and there’s a strong sense of purpose. in different conditions. Essex. is that the preparation and the analysis that goes into each game is pretty thorough.the foreign player Noah SEELAM/afp photo Everything’s frantic in india By Ryan ten Doeschate I t can be a very difficult life for someone like me at times. In all the teams I’ve played for. But I’ve been pretty lucky. Different strokes. different folks The most noticeable thing about playing in Australia. travelling constantly and playing for teams in all parts of the world. APRIL 2013 38 . New Zealanders seem to be more laidback. travel guru Ryan ten Doeschate. has represented 11 teams in his playing career. massive differences in the cultures that the different teams have. There are. ISSUE 2. Even in places I haven’t done well. obviously. I think it’s very important to identify and align your goals with the team’s because there’s so much at stake in Twenty20 cricket. And then you’ve also got individuals — your captains and coaches and senior players — who set the tone. Chittagong Kings. Tasmania and KKR. where the time between games is a lot. Obviously in India. everything’s quite frantic. including the Netherlands. and there’s a lot more at stake. They go about their stuff quietly. I’ve found it really easy to get along with the guys and to focus on playing five-six weeks of good cricket. That will differ from team to team. I’ve been in good environments where the guys try and help you as much as they can to bring out the best in you. it makes it easier. the 32-year-old Dutch cricketer.

but you get to an age where you’re smart enough to realise what’s going on. but I’ll definitely get back at him. Yes. you see a hell of a lot. He thinks I’ve forgotten. the three-time ICC Associate and Affiliate Player of the Year. The games are pretty intense. I’m very conscious of how lucky I’ve been to get a career out of cricket. I’m just so grateful for what I’ve got out of cricket. When I finished school at 18-19. I wasn’t playing because I’d torn my calf. Essex is the team I’ve played for the longest. But there’s one I won’t forget. I’m like a kid — when I’m playing at the Eden Gardens or playing in my backyard. He’ll tell you every great cricketing story you want to know. but hopefully there are many more to come. But I’d like to do one or two things in the city this year. Lee and the trousers I’ve got a terrible memory for stories and. I’ve been through a lot with Essex and I’ve achieved a lot there. I just love it and I’m always smiling. then it’s another bus back. Obviously. but unfortunately. He’s got a book full of stories. I try to play with a lot of energy all the time and I think people also relate to the underdog tag — from a small country and doing well. as an overseas player you’re fighting for one of four spots with ten quality players. I went to receive it. so I’ve got no regrets about not playing Test cricket. but I think to be out on the streets and just walk around and see how things are done gives you a true feeling of the place. But it was probably one of my most enjoyable overseas ones. so that’s a massive difference. His Dutch passport allowed him to play for Essex on weekdays and club cricket in Netherlands on weekends. In front of everyone! And because I was on crutches. and in the other teams too. there are some really exciting players. and it was pretty embarrassing. and the flights are relatively short. Scott Styris came up behind me and pulled my trousers down. the guys like to play a bit of golf. if you want them. there certainly wasn’t enough time where you could actually plan things ahead of time and get out in the city. the level of my cricket definitely wasn’t good enough to consider it as a career. and it was a Twenty20 game so it was sold out. In the Dutch team. and that’s still my home. APRIL 2013 40 . You drive around in a bus. On the off-chance that you do get a day off. I’m over the moon with how far I’ve come in my cricket and how many opportunities the game has presented me. ISSUE 2. South Africa was also pretty different because I was playing in a franchise that was new and it was a new concept where they brought in only young guys. it would have been amazing. Those guys don’t get to play a lot of first-class cricket. we were quite a weak team. I couldn’t get them back up quickly and had to put my crutches down first. That was a different experience. It’s nice to get a feel of the place. You’ll find the odd gem there. So there’s not as much downtime as you’d think. They don’t get to play good volumes of cricket. It was on TV as well because there was a big screen on the side of the field. so I chose another path. I was on crutches. I know at KKR. who’s a good player. He’s a very aggressive batsman and he’s done consistently well. have produced some really good players. and you can afford to go with different players in different conditions. got his break when Graham Gooch spotted him on Essex’s tour of South Africa in 2003. It was all over the show. but the travel time definitely takes a lot out of you: from the hotel to the airport. like I said. I went to university because playing Test cricket was never really a viable option. there’s Paul Stirling from Ireland. I’m going to get back at him. The dream was to play Test cricket. I’ll obviously put names of guys forward. I’m the first. It was a great concept. remember. it’s almost the same for me. go to Brett Lee. particularly. I Carrom Ball Ryan ten Doeschate. Then you wait around at the airport for another flight. If I think of one or two names. there’s a new Aussie guy called Michael Swarz. but it’s not something I lie awake and think about. I was like any other cricketer when I was growing up. But Kolkata’s also amazing – just the people and. Saurabh Somani spoke to Doeschate The standout Associate star There’s a whole pool of talent in that subsection of the cricket world. so the preparation for them is also pretty intense. Gooch would drive him to and fro to the airport to make it happen. With the IPL. so they probably are best suited to Twenty20 cricket. We sometimes jump into a taxi and go out for lunch or go for a coffee or something but. I’ve really learnt to cherish them. It’s special to be with them. the analysts and the coaches do their preparations so thoroughly that they would have gone through all the guys that are available. Ryan ten Doeschate is a Dutch cricketer who has made waves in domestic leagues around the world and represents Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL. Your team’s never set in stone. People say it’s only a three-hour game. the schedule’s very hectic. so it’s a very comfortable environment for me. And I think that by starting so late and making my achievements very late in my career. it’s a decent bus journey. last year.ryan ten doeschate the foreign player In the IPL. If I get asked. I received an award halfway through a game in Essex. The Irish. and guys that can go on to play in the IPL and all over the world. As I went up. the quality of players and the quality of the set-up is so different. He’s got it coming from me at some stage.

At the same time. our players have become more confident. I have personally gained a lot from playing in the IPL. even in One-Day Internationals. Naeem Islam. a teammate during his Hgh Performance Centre days. a match. and taken 23 wickets at an average of 16. All these things must come together for Bangladesh cricket to improve. That will also be good for the Bangladeshi players. We have had a couple of big-hitters like Tamim Iqbal and Mahmudullah but. after the Myna bird. bangla hero Shakib has scored 120 runs at a strike rate of 125. which provide a great platform for young cricketers. But it was a heartening performance and we were very satisfied with how we played. after the BPL. Unfortunately. what’s more important is that Bangladesh come to India for a full tour. came up with the name. It prepares young cricketers for the world. We beat India to reach the final and then lost to Pakistan. I feel we should have won. The conditions in India are similar to the conditions in Bangladesh and the players who have done well in the BPL should do well in the IPL too. in 15 IPL matches so far. Earlier. including our bowlers. because the IPL is such a great tournament. Carrom Shakib Al Hasan is an allrounder with the Bangladesh cricket team and represents Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL.the foreign player Indranil MUKHERJEE/afp photo can do with more Bangladeshis in ipl By Shakib Al Hasan T he 2012 Asia Cup in Bangladesh was a big deal for us. Ball Only the 28th player in the history of Test cricket to score a century and pick up five wickets in an innings (in 2011 vs Pakistan) Shakib Al Hasan is known as Moyna. But after routinely chasing 150-175 in the BPL. which has never happened. while contracts with IPL teams would be great for Bangladeshi cricketers. I think a lot of credit should be given to the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) for preparing us for the Asia Cup.08. big totals. There are many others in Bangladesh who could well be a part of the IPL. APRIL 2013 42 . would daunt us. Our first-class structure is also not properly developed. Shamya Dasgupta spoke to Shakib ISSUE 2. many more of us have become better players in limited-overs internationals. I am still one of the very few Bangladeshi cricketers with contracts in the Indian Premier League.

marketing commitments and. Almost the entire squad arrives at the tournament in the middle of an international or domestic schedule. And this very aspect of human nature is. so. it’s easy to say that when it comes to an international side. Sometimes you have spoken to them and given instructions and you think it’s gone through but it hasn’t. like I said before. As a non-Indian coach. as a coach. With practice. Building a team is not the only challenge we face as coaches of an IPL side. I had to understand them before putting my plans in front of them. matches. perhaps. and one of the ways in which I have evolved as a coach is that I realised that I had to understand my players before I could make tongue twister come to you. I think the learning process that I have gone through has been an enjoyable and interesting experience for me. APRIL 2013 44 . they just nod. says Simons. one of the biggest problems I face is the language barrier when it comes to the younger Indian domestic players. but they come from disparate backgrounds with different I suppose we all evolve with new experiences. I do try to make a special effort to communicate with the guys who might be a bit starry-eyed and intimidated and. and you don’t know if you are getting through to them. if you have made them more comfortable. You have to go to them and not expect them to the IPL mother hen manual By Eric Simons H aving coached South Africa and been the bowling coach of the Indian team. them and make them feel comfortable and a part of the team. Bringing them together and getting them to work towards a common cause is my first objective. the part of the role which interested me the most about coaching and has probably been my biggest takeaway from the job with Delhi Daredevils. but it is also a time of hard work and effort. It can For a foreign coach. This challenge is even greater with an IPL team. there is a clear goal and a clear cause in place. At times these youngsters are a little overawed by the environment so. they can play to their potential and become a real part of the team. and they are already physically and emotionally drained.THE COACH’S PERSPECTIVE Anesh Debiky/Gallo Images/Getty Images them understand me. it’s the job of the coaches to make them feel comfortable. It’s funny really. playing cultures and styles. If I had gone in and tried to dictate terms. which is not the case when a franchise-based team is put together. is to communicate with the young recruits who you have to build are not conversant in a relationship with English. hopefully. Most will just see the money and the glamour of the tournament. but the IPL has actually been an interesting thing for India. one be intimidating for of the key challenges them. like so many others in the IPL. we need to build their energy and make sure it maintains itself throughout the eight weeks so that we can peak in the crucial knockout phase of the competition. I win”. Communication is the key Not that they are not keen. flying virtually every third day. it wouldn’t have worked. and they accept that they are well paid. On the ISSUE 2. of course. The first challenges any coach faces is moulding a group of talented individuals into a talented team with a common cause and objective ― a team where the individuals understand “if the team wins. when you speak to them. and managing the energy of the squad is a big part of what we do. But. I have always been a person who coaches people first and cricketers second.

but we are all trying to figure out how best to have a winning plan. particularly in the latter stages of the tournament as the wickets started getting slower and. in many ways. took eight wickets in 12 IPL matches in 2012. but I still think there is a lot of room for growth and understanding of the format. international cricketers are more used to the conditions in India and are playing bigger roles in matches for their teams. working with the big international players. The Daredevils dynamics rookie on the rise Shahbaz Nadeem. and spinners are too. You obviously can’t win every game. our attack was largely built around a powerful pace attack and it performed very well to take us to the top of the league table. What we tried to do in the auctions this year is get the players that were missing from our plan. when we played down south. figure out our shortcomings and find players who can fill ISSUE 2. That theory has taken a beating. since we all became a part of the IPL. with the right balance and the combination of left-handers and right-handers. And they are now playing huge roles in the outcome of matches. one hand. On the other. that’s not only true of India. young Indian cricketers have grown a lot faster by rubbing shoulders with the big stars. but we realised that we were too unidimensional and easy to strategise against. It has always fascinated me that when T20 cricket was conceptualised and started becoming popular. one of the biggest benefits I have seen is in the Indian youngsters. Now they are coming every year and learning faster. Eric Simons. One. to manage the odds and keep your winning percentage at an acceptable level. What I have done is put together a blueprint for what is the ideal T20 team. played in our success. In all domestic T20 competitions around the world. APRIL 2013 46 . To be with and see how a Dale Steyn prepares or a Mahela (Jayawardene) plays or observe what Kevin Pietersen or Jacques Kallis does. people felt spinners wouldn’t play much of a role at all. for Delhi Daredevils. Shahbaz Nadeem and Pawan Negi. It is still relatively young and the trick of the game is to be ahead of the pack. and they are improving their skills in Indian conditions to attract the attention of the franchises. So what it’s done is it has made life tougher for the Indian national team. T20 cricket is evolving as such.eric simons THE COACH’S PERSPECTIVE MANAN VATSYAYANA/afp photo Carrom Figuring out T20 cricket Ball Out of the 23 who have coached IPL teams until the fifth season. A lot of foreign cricketers want to come to India and play the IPL. playing in a style and manner which others will follow. it has allowed international cricketers to come to India and learn from Indians and others from the subcontinent and become better players in these conditions. Over the past five or six years. only five have been Indians. In IPL-V. the Delhi Daredevils’s head coach. followed by five South Africans and two New Zealanders. spinners have come into their own. Earlier. we are still pioneers in its development. teams would visit India once every two-three years and there was always a sense of uncertainty for them when it came to coping with the conditions. Australians are the most sought after with 11. where the wickets were different. the T20 format has evolved tremendously. I think the standard of the cricket in the IPL has improved. It is an exciting time to be involved with the format because. is a former South African cricketer who played 23 ODIs. You play to your strengths. the young left-arm spinner who impressed Simons a great deal last year. it’s made them better cricketers and helped them be more confident about their own ability. for two reasons. But not enough can be said about the role the two relatively inexperienced spinners. Amazingly. Secondly.

this bowler now works on his brother’s farm after being shunned by Pune Warriors last year. will have to understand the T20 format properly and realise that the mushrooming number of leagues around the world are here to stay. he spoke to Shamya Dasgupta Which Kenyan cricketer was signed by the Deccan Chargers for the fifth season as an ‘Indian’ player because he had an Indian passport? Who is the only Indian to be head coach of a franchise in IPL 2013? ISSUE 2. The coach and the management team are very much a part of the planning process. or the squad. Name him What innovation made an appearance in the match between Kolkata Knight Riders and Rajasthan Royals on April 23. after Modi was unceremoniously ousted from the post owing to corruption charges? For the fourth season in 2011. what format did IPL follow after the group stages instead of knockouts? Whom did Pune Warriors bring in as substitute for the injured Ashish Nehra in their first season? Eric Simons is a former South African cricketer and the coach of Delhi Daredevils.eric simons the gaps in all conditions. The main thing is to very clearly understand what you need as a team and make sure you invest intelligently. the right balance in terms of how much is enough and how much is too much. the right balance. a more global game — that has to be figured out. There isn’t much point in buying someone who will sit on the bench for most of the tournament. keep T20 leagues: the way forward I think the people who run the game. What will make cricket a better game. That’s a reality cricket people need to embrace. in Cape Town? Who replaced Lalit Modi as chairman of the IPL in 2010. So it’s important to manage them properly. Cricketers will want QUIZ 1 3 5 7 9 Who was the first Indian to score a hundred in the IPL? By Dileep V ANSWERS ON PAGE 64 Which was the only franchise to appoint a foreign player as captain in the IPL's inaugural season in 2008? Who are the only bowlers to take two hat-tricks in the IPL? The franchises have more in common with football teams of the world than conventional cricket structures. At some point. The stakeholders will have to put all the issues on the table and try to find a solution. the management team and the captain working together and there will be the senior players that you also use in the planning. cricket boards of countries and the International Cricket Council. It’s important to have the vision in place and know what your requirements are and what role the players can play. There are various other dynamics at play as the franchises have more in common with football teams of the world than conventional cricket structures. Ego has to be kept out of the debate. We have a mentor and a manager who are part of our team. I don’t think it is about the boards relinquishing power or control but about finding solutions. To start with. You’ll find the coach. them motivated. all the stakeholders of the game will have to sit down and find a solution. That’s the start point. which has to be accepted. But in the IPL. 2 4 6 8 Touted as the “next big thing” in 2009 by Rajasthan Royals captain Shane Warne. the team is run by an owner and not an association or club members. These tournaments are going to get bigger and better. The other challenge is managing these players. You have 10–11 internationals and these are guys who would walk into their national sides easily. APRIL 2013 10 . you can play only so many of them. is very interesting and unique. 2009. We must find out what is the optimum level. to be part of the more lucrative formats. Selecting the IPL team.

It’s actually made our job easier. The IPL not only allows they got me. schedules in the Indian Premier League might not appear too packed.” says players of different Ramji Srinivasan. But as happens so often. Any diet. from sushi to other exotic food. being the physiotherapist for an IPL franchise is a more daunting task than managing an international side. fitness backgrounds to come together. that our investments — the players. with nine teams in the fray. even on diet. Experienced not just in terms of cricket played. hydration liquids. each team plays 16 matches spread over almost seven weeks. but also with physical training.LOOKING AFTER THE BOYS Vijayanand Gupta/Hindustan Times via Getty Images the physio and the IPL physics By Saurabh Somani O n the face of it.” Each franchise is aware that. the former physiotherapist of the Indian team.” As Gloster puts it: “We take the responsibility as a franchise. and there is only a small window in which the players are under your direct supervision. currently employed with Rajasthan Royals. However. because it’s sort of opened up their (the uncapped younger players) eyes to what is expected if they want to perform and play at international level. that is — are in good shape. physiotherapists and trainers are offered all the resources they need to help them put together a team that is fit enough to win cricket matches. whatever I asked melting pot the management for. “They as a team and learn. in adversity there is opportunity too. APRIL 2013 50 . “During my involvement. the management has been amazing — very. fruits. the significant amount of additional travel and the time needed to train and wind down after each match eat into the match-free days to a great extent. The job is no less high profile. while IPL has to do with sport. and high-energy bars. but you’re overseeing the fitness for a group that has wide diversity in physical training cultures and body attributes. which comes down to one three-hour match in three days. it also who worked with the allows physios to work Mumbai Indians. making for a hectic tournament with explosive action packed between the travel and the practice. In some ways. never hesitated to spend money on any resources. therefore.” Both Gloster and Srinivasan have spent ISSUE 2. “It’s allowed us to bring in the experienced players and have them blend with the young kids.. “It’s actually been very exciting. very helpful. During the league phase..” says John Gloster. Winning on the field is the only way to ensure that and. the dollars the owners have invested demand some form of visible return.

because it’s a totally new way of looking at human physiology and the capacity and limitations of it. “We get the opportunity to come together as a collective and bounce ideas off each other. The range of players under him covered perhaps the widest gamut. Prior to that. “The global exposure in the IPL has not only raised the standards of the players. “That gives us a better understanding of how to prepare him when he just lands up for 45 to 60 days for the IPL. Advances are made not just on the cricketing Srinivasan foresees even more radical changes. Together. The intensity is such that it’s probably very close physiologically to a 50-over match. what loads his body has taken through the season.” says Gloster.” he says. also offers new learning avenues to physiotherapists.” says Gloster. That may be the future.” says Srinivasan. “Bat left-handed for an over and right-handed the next.” It seems a fantastic leap to imagine a future populated by cricketers who could give Sir Garfield Sobers a run for his money.”  ISSUE 2. and get eight weeks of experience he would otherwise have never had. Pollard is far ahead of Rayudu.” says Gloster.” Gloster takes this a step further. That’s what will happen ‡ in cricket also. the Rajasthan Royals physio. but I would love to have somebody like that to train. APRIL 2013 52 . “The fitness parameters for a cricketer from Australia or South Africa need to be regularly updated through the year. “For example. But.’ but it’s not just that. As the only foreign physiotherapist in the IPL who is permanently based in India.8 seconds in the 100-metre run. was the first fully-qualified physical fitness expert hired for the Indian cricket team in 1998. they bring a wealth of experience. So you have to mix and match the fitness needs. “Someone said a long while ago that you cannot go below 9. Yet. Ali Irani was the physiotherapist till 1997 and then Dr. it would have been a fantastic leap to think of Indians. It opens up communication pathways. but also in how we handle players. modified for a much shorter game. Australians and South Africans playing side-by-side.” says Srinivasan. we can train him accordingly and do a better job of it. front with skills. Dr. Take Sachin. Ravindra Chaddha was hired for a year. it’s raised our standards too. and left-arm spin the next. the Melbourne-based trainer of Greek origin. so I don’t know. their idiosyncrasies. “The local physiotherapist will be funded by the BCCI and will shadow the franchise physiotherapist. It will be an amazing challenge. If we know how much he has bowled. for example. considerable time with international teams as have most physiotherapists attached with the franchises. if not in absolute ability then in the variety of skills owned. Gloster’s views on extending the scope of player fitness are well worth listening to. “The way we prepare and. importantly. “It’s a great opportunity for the BCCI to pick some of the best physiotherapists in the country and get them to travel with a team for the duration of the IPL. in terms of strength and speed. it’s just 20 overs.saurabh somani LOOKING AFTER THE BOYS Carrom Ball Andrew Kokinos. Kieron Pollard as a gifted athlete and Ambati Rayudu as an up-and-coming player. bowl right-arm fast one over. ‘Oh. “There are certain parameters where Rayudu will be stronger than Pollard — flexibility. as disparate in composition as the IPL sides are. but it’s different now. The unique dynamics involved in handling a team. which could be tweaked to suit individual needs.” The only ingredient needed is a proper knowledge of players’ fitness and injury histories. “Every year we go to the next level. The way we prepare and. with Sachin Tendulkar as the seniormost pro. importantly. we modelled ourselves on 50-over cricket. I haven’t trained anyone (like that). how we train and monitor players throughout the tournament. “In the future we may get ambidextrous cricketers. the way we recover has changed. People will say.” But two decades ago. He will take back those lessons to his association for the following season and learn to work with big international stars. in the first year.” Gloster’s idea has merit and is an extension of some of the things the IPL is lauded for — opening channels between players and providing opportunities to young Indian players to get international experience. understand their mentalities. He’s just extending that advantage to the support staff. opportunities to share ideas with one another were rare until they joined the IPL. “What happened? Humans keep evolving and pushing boundaries. His needs are totally different from all of the others put together.” Srinivasan had an elaborate system in place.” says Gloster. the way we recover has changed.

During season one. it is overseen by the United States Cheerleading Association. it was a strategy designed to sell more tickets. APRIL 2013 54 . who were banned from going on stage at a Kings XI Punjab match and sent home by the organisers who felt that Indians didn’t want to see those with dark complexions performing in their stadiums. Although it is relatively new to India. Very few candidates would present themselves because of the ridicule and shame it would bring on their family if they were to use their athletic abilities and dance training for something like cheerleading.IPL CHEERLEADERS Noah SEELAM/photo no dirty dancing this By Angela Carson S ince the Indian Premier League’s debut season in 2008. cheerleaders have been an interesting topic for discussion. A ISSUE 2. The decision to bring in foreigners instead of allowing Indian dance professionals to apply for the job seemed twofold. flip. the British press zeroed in on the case of two English cheerleaders. it is not a reality today. Brought in as entertainment for IPL fans and to entice sponsors by internationalising the franchises. Many a little girl dreams of being a cheerleader. However. choreographed routines lasting from one to three minutes. in a society not used to such entertainment around sporting events. instead of placing the Indian girls in traditional cheer uniforms designed to make it easy to jump. gymnastics and stunts to enliven sports fans. and there are national publications dedicated to the sport in addition to training centres and national championships. Although the IPL originally did have black cheerleaders. some starting as early as the age of five. their girls were in traditional ethnic attire with ornate jewellery and heavy makeup. with both male and female participants. the Pune PW and KKR may have Warriors broke decided to go native. created the first allIndian cheer team. Secondly. and a virtual hotbed of controversy and debate. They perform ‘cheers’. It is a highly respected and competitive physical sport in western cultures. cheer umpires In 2011. The IPL cheerleaders are traditionally attractive and fair-skinned Caucasian girls between the ages of 18 and 23. tumble and perform cheers. the taboo around but young Caucasian cheerleaders continue having local girls to draw bouquets and perform. In the US. the squads for the first three years were comprised exclusively of girls from South Africa. when they brickbats like no other. and combining dance. Europe and the US – with some from National Football League teams like the Washington Redskins. That one move changed the face of IPL cheerleading by rendering it impossible for the Pune Warriors girls to actually perform cheers and therefore be cheerleaders. cheerleading originated in the US in the 1800s.

ISSUE 2.angela carson courtesy of sports illustrated india IPL CHEERLEADERS fun fusion Locations such as New Delhi's Lodhi Gardens may not always be available for practice (unlike during a promotional event in 2012). but cheerleaders do spend a lot of time visiting heritage sites during the IPL. APRIL 2013 .

They try their best to ignore the disrespectful behaviour that their appearance. cheerleaders are not leered at. and is CEO of social media company Stratagem Labs (www. An interview with four RCB cheerleaders in 2012 revealed that — like professional Indian dancers — each one of them had studied dance including ballet. The next franchise to do away with cheerleaders was the Kolkata Knight Riders. hip hop and modern dance almost their entire lives. it’s the negative aspects of a cheerleader’s behaviour or her life that are commented on in the media. In their free time. their “every move is monitored as closely as the IPL players for their protection”. attire and cheers provoke from cameras that follow them during their official duties and appearances. Some people also believe the girls to be escorts or strippers brought to India for lewd reasons some men. if not more. the moves by Pune Warriors and Kolkata Knight Riders were viewed as a positive change by many conservative Indians and sponsors who feel that the IPL does not need cheerleaders. Fringe political groups have threatened to disrupt games if the cheerleaders perform. jazz. So instead of modern-day cheerleaders performing to current dance tracks. Some people feel that it is distracting to the players and the fans. with routines that date back hundreds of years. Angela’s Bangalore (www. but it’s hard. and selected six young female cheerleaders to cheer for the Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL.angela carson IPL CHEERLEADERS Carrom Ball Before the start of the 2009 season. Those franchises aside. while others think it is a blatant insult to a culture that avoids displays of sensuality in public. a 22-year-old South African. APRIL 2013 58 . They also visited a local orphanage.stratagemlabs. the IPL committee fired Gabriella and implemented a ‘no blogging’ clause in contracts. She writes the Google ranked #1 ‘Bangalore Blog’. However. which one cheerleader said “left a lasting impression on us and has touched us more than any other experience to date in India”. with the exception of articles that could be counted on one hand. what is quite interesting is the reaction that some people have to the girls themselves. the reality is that. The girls said that they try to erase those negative memories and remember only the kindnesses that they have come across. com). the general feeling across social media and in the press has been that PW and KKR are less exciting franchises now that they no longer have cheerleaders. took inspiration from a recent film they had starred in to create a Bengali-inspired dance troupe. cat-called or looked at with such blatant lust. They seem to be judged simply because they cheer. where they all felt in awe of the impact she had on the world. Instead of reprimanding the players for their behaviour or simply trying to keep them from fraternising aside from official duties. charity organisations. and away from the All RCB cheeleaders had studied dance including ballet. According to one RCB White Mischief cheerleader. Carson is a Californian living in India. Like ballet or long distance running or any other sport — including cricket — the body of an athlete needs to be able to move freely. and all were involved with at least one. The girls have unfairly been blamed in the press and by political leaders for inciting aggression towards women. Many had taken years of gymnastics and other sports training as well. IPL cheerleaders are often a target for India’s moral police. Shah Rukh Khan’s Red Chillies Entertainment launched a reality dance show. Follow her on Twitter: @angelacarson ISSUE 2. The girls were university graduates or still studying. In other countries. that have nothing to do with the sport of cheerleading. was fired for writing a blog about her experiences. Some men try to grope any body part they can through the fences or as they walk by. or shout degrading comments just for fun. the RCB cheerleaders who we interviewed in 2012 spent time at Mother Teresa’s Mother House charity. That said. when Gabriella Pasqualotto.angelasbangalore. when the team’s coowners. without anyone trying to get to know them or finding out about the real person behind the big bright smiles. hip hop and modern dance almost their entire lives. Only the scandals go viral. This happened in 2012. jazz. The biggest scandal to rock the IPL’s cheerleader universe took place in 2011. traditional cheer uniform is in line with what you see on professional gymnasts or tennis players. In some and gave an unedited version of what goes on behind the scenes. Sourav Ganguly was a guest judge. Knights and Angels. the Pune Warriors showcase Indian dancers who now perform myriad styles set to traditional music. Bollywood actors Shah Rukh Khan and Juhi Chawla. She documented in detail the flirtatious behaviour of various players.

Sivamani Chennai Super Kings supporter and mascot I have a fabulous rapport with the boys. the popular percussionist and Chennai Super Kings mascot. talking the walk By Manoj Narayan W atching cricket from the stands in India can be a tiring experience. Finally. who's the finest. often spices up the proceedings at the MA Chidambaram Stadium during CSK's home games. best qualities of a leader. backed by a well-marketed and managed tournament. especially (MS) Dhoni. for the audience. all my under-the-breath prayers had paid off.what the fans say Chirag Wakaskar-IPL 2010/IPL via Getty Images man and beat Sivamani. I'd like to see the franchisees getting a little more creative in terms of providing off-field entertainment in the stadia. He's got the Upasana Dutta Kolkata Knight Riders fan Winning the IPL (in 2012) for me was like India winning the World Cup all over again. What works for the IPL is the perfect mix of international and domestic stars. except this time it felt awesome as a Kolkatan. APRIL 2013 60 . He's had a huge impact on Team CSK. We spoke to several die-hard fans of different franchises to gauge the mood ahead of the IPL's sixth edition. before and during the matches. But the IPL has helped make the experience better in more ways than one. most down-to-earth human being. It is always more fun to be part of the ISSUE 2.

Either the teams should get stellar. thrilling finishes and features the best players from all over the world and your country? The inter-city rivalries add a strong element of passion and fanaticism. But I wish team owners were more serious about nurturing and retaining local talent. it spices up the action. Pune Warriors India fan Auctions every few years alter the franchises drastically. those four hours of sheer entertainment. This also leads to dramatic shifts in fan loyalty. Kedar Sastry Royal Challengers Bangalore fan What better form of entertainment than a match that lasts for three hours. scouting. APRIL 2013 62 . With the teams based on cities. We were one of the least popular ISSUE 2. and RCB could definitely do with having them on the team. and the relentless controversies keep it interesting. Japitoj Kaur Kings XI Punjab fan Shanti Shankar The IPL is fun due to its short format and high-adrenaline moments. following a particular franchise is very difficult. the city-based team concept. The move to Pune has not worked for the two. That’s all that matters. If not. I switched my loyalties to PWI instantly when Dada (Sourav Ganguly) went to them. suppose belonging to Hyderabad Sunrisers/Deccan Chargers fan I enjoyed the time when Adam Gilchrist played.manoj narayan MANAN VATSYAYANA/afp photo what the fans say winning team and I am super proud of KKR. However. Franchises have their own money and reputation at stake and this ensures that clubs are not only run professionally in terms of tight financial management. Winning the whole tournament would be a nice feeling but nothing compared to when India wins the World Cup or Sachin Tendulkar makes or breaks a record. is fast paced. filled with fours and sixes. the party begins. I see no reason why Bangalore had to let go of Robin Uthappa and Manish Pandey. For a long-term fan. About the IPL as a whole. It’s about that one day. Nothing would make a fan happier than to see a cricketer from their city perform well. it's no surprise that fans. If they win. I’d scrap auctions altogether. 2009). I doubt if there is anything better on television during those two months. and the match is Delhi versus Punjab. But what works is the combination of a franchise and a league system. including this young man (RCB vs DC Johannesburg. This also means that nepotism is thrown out of the window and performance is the only criterion (unlike our domestic set-up). Now when with friends. it’s okay – there’s always a next time. the T20 format. but also with the highest level of technical inputs (skills coaching. come to the stadiums to watch their favourites play. the whole cheerleader concept is tacky. kudos. admission of love With many former greats taking part in the IPL. making some teams completely unrecognisable from one year to the next. well-trained cheerleaders or just get rid of them altogether. I’ll show off in my circle. physiotherapy). Tanay Ghosh Delhi.

the best team loses. And why the sudden change in names (from Deccan Chargers to Sunrisers)? I wonder how any fan would react if Manchester United were suddenly called something else. Reaching the finals among eight teams in a long tournament is a good achievement in itself. Regardless of results or performance. unlike say KKR. I would want to watch the sport not just for fun. but for some wellplayed games. Delhi Daredevils fan QUIZ 1 3 5 7 9 Rajasthan Royals Manish Pandey Delhi have one of the best squads in terms of international names. there is no club loyalty. I don’t see any cohesiveness in the team and I miss players like Gilchrist. I spent some years in London and attended a few Premiership matches and the big difference in fan experience is. I was pretty disappointed. so that’s My feeling is that. ANSWERS Yuvraj Singh and Amit Mishra 2 4 6 8 10 Kamran Khan Super over Chirayu Amin Playoff Sourav Ganguly Tanmay Mishra Pravin Amre ISSUE 2. They have top international names but. some consolation. But we The five seasons of the IPL have fuelled a steady rise really turned it in women spectators (RCB around. it’s a very long period. APRIL 2013 64 . Maybe have qualifying matches and then four teams play for the final tournament or something like that. with an upperlimit and a lower-limit. They are very good as individuals but haven’t found the combination to play as a solid team. you see a huge difference in terms of quality of players. during an IPL season. if there is a break for even one day. It’s a 50-day tournament. I don’t find that. That could make it ‡ more exciting. though. there isn’t a balance in a lot of teams. I feel Unmukt Chand will play a big part this year. The IPL should ideally be a two-year event. because otherwise there’s an overdose. 60. resources and so on. but we won the Champions League that same year. Arjun Puri teams when IPL trend setter started. I feel this is Delhi’s year.manoj narayan what the fans say Gaurang Sahlot Rajasthan Royals fan Rahul Shrivastava Mumbai Indians fan We reached the finals (in 2010) and lost to Chennai. Rajasthan is the kind of a team that is dependent on a mix of good domestic players and one or two good foreign players. In IPL. People watch teams based on the players they like. there is a feeling that something is missing — that’s what the IPL has done to the entire nation. 2011) flocking to the last few years match venues to watch the Gentleman's Game. At the end of the day. I understand that there is a wallet-slice. If you compare Chennai to Rajasthan. Over vs KKR. in the IPL. At times. so the tournament should also be made shorter. over there.000 of us were one behind Arsenal. but they don’t gel as a team. And now there seems no method to the madness. but I really don’t see it followed in some of the teams. However. It’s the shorter version of the game. they haven’t found the right combination of Indian players. there is a sense of belonging. Having said that.

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