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news EDITOR SPEAKS preview cover story interview trivia April 2009

04
EDITORIAL BOARD

IPL BONANZA Editor


Manish Verma
Managing Editor
Rakesh Pandey
Sub Editor

a
s March is fading, we set our Controversies kept on coming on a fast
eyes on Indian Premier League track in the cash flowing league. Mohd. Asim
which is ready to swing once We bring you the best of the best from Contributing Editors
again in April with its second the first season in terms of Stadiums, S. Pervez Qaiser, Partab Ramchand,
season on course. Not to for- Cheerleaders and the spectators. It is Sreelata S Yellamrazu, Haresh Pandya
get what has happened in the first edi- well said that failure makes one more Graphic Designer
tion of the cricket saga. Only few teams determined to achieve success. Taking Lalita Adhikari
could live up to the expectations, while lesson from the failure in the most Media Relations Officer
some drowned themselves by their on talked about league , the owners of the Monica Bhardwaj
field poor performance. Chennai Super franchises went in quest of what is right Production Co-ordinator
Kings, Kings XI Punjab and Delhi for their team to attain much needed Sunil Chaudhary
Daredevils were the franchises life line on the cricket field at the auction Photos
Who did justice to their star hubbed held in Goa for the second season. A.P.
teams while Kolkata Knight Riders, Millions were spent to hire the services
Deccan Chargers and Bangalore Royal of star players who in return can guaran- BUSINESS OFFICE
Challengers just blew away. We also take tee the winning formula to the team. DIAMOND MAGAZINES PVT. LTD.
a look at how the most under rated There were few surprises also in terms X-30, Okhla Ind. Area,
team of IPL emerged as the champion of of amount spent on players bidding. Ph-2, New Delhi-20,
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at the future prospects of the IPL teams all the attention and attraction by Fax (011) 41611866
for the second season. becoming the costliest players in the IPL, Director (Mktg.) Manish Verma,
The unsung hero's of the league who both went for the whooping amount of E-mail : manish@dpb.in
put themselves of the radar of success more than seven crore with Kevin going
and those big buddies who could not in the kitty of Vijay Mallya ADVERTISING OFFICES
bear the burden of expectations in the and Flintoff to Chennai Super Kings. Delhi Vivek Parashar, M. P. Singh, Vimal
inaugural season of IPL have also been South African J P Duminy and Malhotra, Sudhesh, Nikhil (011)
covered. Indian Premier League was Bangladeshi tiger Mashrafe 40712100
bang in terms of records and mile- Mortaza were the surprise pack- Mumbai Praveen Chandra, C. Garima
stones set by the players. ages at the auction by getting 9820129206
Several new records were much higher price than their Kolkata Biswajit Dasgupta 9830092763
made and it was raining four original base price. In our edition Bangalore MQ Networks Pvt.Ltd.
and sixes in most of the we throw light on the life of Lalit 09980543965 Kanpur Sundhaya Tewari
clashes. Apart from sheer Modi, how he slowly but 09415291020 Jaipur Suresh Kaushik
entertainment and gradually came to power in 9829103129 Indore Ramesh C. Nagar,
excitement, terms of cricket world and
Controversies also laid Indian Premier the big tail of controver-
Kanta Nagar 9302113401 Nagpur S.M.
Khisti 9822202082 Chennai Sathish C.
its clouds on the IPL. League was bang sies attached with him. Anand 9841023010 Hyderabad P.
There was Asif's doping in terms of With all these happenings Raghupati 9885634618 Ahmedabad
scandal to follow with
Harbhajan-Sreesanth
records and mile- inbring the cricket world we
you our regular
Madan Menon 9898002522
Coimbatore D. Rahul 9443372246
spat on the field which stones set by the columns, Willowy Words Bhopal S.B. Sharma 9425024386
sent Bhajji out of the players. Several and Greats of the game to Raipur V. Sridhar 9893309558
tournament. new records were keep you intact till the end. Patna S Prashant 9835369916
made and it was Punjab Puneet Arya 9316969911
Bhubaneshwar Madhusmita Hota
raining four and 9937027768.
sixes in most Pune Prasad Datar 9822112674
of the clashes. Copyright
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Cricket
Today
news CONTENTS letter preview cover story interview trivia April 2009

06
IPL SPECIAL
THE RISE AND RISE AND
SLIGHT FALL OF LALIT
MODI - 16

TEAMS AT A GLANCE - 20

TEN SPARKLING
DIAMONDS IN THE
ROUGH - 36

THE BEST OF THE IPL –


SEASON ONE - 40

MILLION DOLLAR MEN:


DOLLOPS OF FLOPS - 42

WHEN TROUBLE CAME


LOOKING FOR THE IPL -
60

WORLD RECORDS AND


MILESTONES IN THE
INAUGURAL IPL - 66

IPL IN FIGURES - 72

82 TRANSFER WINDOW AND


AUCTION (SEASON II) - 78

PLAYERS TO WATCH OUT


FOR – SEASON 2 - 82

WILLOWY WORDS : BILL


FRINDALL - 88

24 GREATS OF THE GAME :


WARWICK ARMSTRONG -
92

WOMEN’S TRINATION
SERIES - 98

DOWN MEMORY LANE -


100

MARKET SCANNER - 104

CONTEST - 106

48
Cricket
Today
April 2009

08
DELHI, JAIPUR DROPPED AS IPL VENUES
The Daredevils and the Royals will not get to play any of their games in the
second season of the Indian Premier League on their home grounds as New
Delhi and Jaipur along with Vishakhapatnam have been dropped as venues in
the latest revised schedule of the mega event.
The revised schedule, which was submitted to the Home Ministry on 18th
March, has left out these three venues as the respective State Governments
could not guarantee security because of the general elections, IPL sources
said.
FIRST IPL FETCHED RS 91 “We do not expect any problems now. The Home Ministry will consult the state
governments and then get back to us,” a top IPL official said.
CRORE AS INCOME TAX Dharamshala, Ahmedabad and Nagpur are the three new venues in the latest
The IPL is not just a money spinner for schedule, it is learnt. Mumbai will host the maximum number of matches - 14
sponsors, players and franchises but also at 2 centres, followed by seven matches each in Kolkata, Hyderabad, Bangalore
for Government which earned a whoop- and Ahmedabad. The IPL will begin on April 10 and end on May 24 as per the
ing Rs 91 crore as income tax from first original plan.
edition of the Twenty20 cricket tourna- The IPL has also received a boost with Kolkata clarifying that it would not have
ment. any problem with revised schedule since the matches would not clash with
The revenue was received by the Central election preparations.
Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) after it cat- According to sources, Raipur in Chhattisgarh may also host a few games as per
egorised the tournament under the ‘pro- the new schedule. An IPL delegation has already visited Raipur and inspected
fessional services’ last year. the facilities there.
The taxes had been accrued as Tax The rejection of two of the earlier IPL schedules and the Home Ministry’s
Deducted at Source (TDS) from the remu- reluctance to provide paramilitary forces for the event had put a serious ques-
neration paid to players, umpires, coach- tion mark on the fate of the high-profile event, slated to begin from April 10.
es, commentators amongst others by the
organisers of the sporting extravaganza.
“The first edition of the IPL has fetched
Rs 91 crore under the TDS category. The
CBDT has brought a notification cate-
gorising sporting services as professional
services last year,” CBDT Member
(Revenue) Saroj Bala told reporters.
On August 21 last year, the Board had
notified the services under section 194 J
of the Income Tax Act, 1961 as rendered
by sport persons, umpires and referees,
coaches and trainers, team physicians and
physiotherapists, event managers, com-
mentators, anchors and sport columnists
as “professional services”.

MODI ACCUSED OF Rajasthan Home Minsiter Shanti Dhariwal


has called lalit Modi “a cheat” and has
TAKING IPL OUT OF said Modi was responsible for pulling IPL
JAIPUR out of Jaipur. He blamed Modi for acting
IPL commissioner Lalit Modi’s troubles against the state because he recently
seem unending. Now the Rajasthan gov- lost the election in the Rajasthan Cricket
ernment protests against his decision to Association.
pull out matches from Jaipur. “He never negotiated with us, never dis-
The state government has hit out at cussed with us. In election one party
Modi for “taking the IPL out of wins and the other loses like in matches
Rajasthan”, after it had expressed con- but that doesn’t mean you leave the
cerns over providing security on a few state and walk away with matches. The
dates. The government now says it had people of Rajasthan will never forgive
a problem with just a few match days him for this,” he fumed.
and not the entire tournament.
Cricket
Today
April 2009

10
and the installation of floodlights would be completed with -
DHARAMSHALA TO BE READY FOR in next 15 days.
IPL BY APRIL 15 The HPCA President said the stadium in Dharamshala
High on spirits after getting the nod to host this season’s boasts of all the necessary world-class facilities required to
Indian Premier League matches, the Himachal Pradesh host international matches.
Cricket Association (HPCA) said the stadium in Dharamshala “The stadium has been constructed with initial cost of Rs
would be ready for the Twenty20 tournament by April 15. 35 crore and it has seating capacity of 18,500 visitors. It
HPCA President Anurag Thakur, who played a key role in has separate boxes for corporates and media. It’s also got
bringing the IPL to the hill state, said the the upgradation sauna and gymnasium club house for the players,” Thakur
of the stadium will be done as per international guidelines said.

ELECTIONS TAKE PRIORITY KALMADI CALLS FOR


OVER IPL: POSTPONEMENT OF
CHIDAMBARAM IPL
In the battle between the Indian Premier The Indian Olympic Association
League and Elections 2009, Home Mnister wants the Indian Premier League to
P Chidambaram has made clear that elec- be deferred till the general elections
tions are a clear priority over the cricket are over as any untoward incident
series. during the Twenty20 event could
Speaking with Karan Thapar on Devil’s raise serious security concerns for
Advocate, Chidambaram said he would the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth
leave the decision of rescheduling the Games.
league to the organisers and that the The second edition of the IPL, start-
states cannot compromise on forces ing April 10, has come under a cloud
promised for elections. of uncertainty in the aftermath of
“It is the responsibility of the state govern- last year’s Mumbai terror strikes and
ments to provide security to the IPL the attack on Sri Lankan cricketers in
matches. I have made it very clear that I Lahore on March 3.
cannot exempt any state government To compound problems, the IPL
from committing the number security coincides with the general elections
forces for elections that they have prom- and the Home Ministry has already
ised and that I can’t spare any paramilitary made it clear that it cannot provide
forces,” he said, adding, “Elections are paramilitary forces for the event think the government can’t give,”
unquestionably more important than the during the elections. IOA President Suresh Kalmadi said.
IPL”. “IPL should be postponed till after “So, if there is a severe incident dur-
When Karan Thapar asked if the Home the elections are over because a lot ing the IPL matches, I think it will
Minister wanted the organisors to resched- of state governments have also said have repercussions on the
ule/pull out on their own, Chidambaram it is not the right time and they Commonwealth Games itself,” he
said, “They are patriotic people. I think they need paramilitary forces which I added.
will take a call.”
Cricket
Today
April 2009

12
BULLET-PROOF VEHICLES TO MODI DOWNPLAYS SLC SECURITY
SECURE IPL PLAYERS CONCERNS
It is not just the Indian authorities who are in a tizzy Indian cricket officials downplayed security concerns surround-
over the security of players and officials during the ing their Twenty20 league next month after the Sri Lankan
forthcoming Indian Premier League (IPL) Season 2. board said it would review the situation before allowing its play-
Foreign cricket boards, too, are trying to do their bit to ers to participate.
enhance security for players and officials. The African Security fears around the tournament, which attracts a large
security agency hired to provide security cover to the number of international players has intensified following an
IPL has gone ahead and placed a big order for bullet- attack on the Sri Lanka team bus in Lahore, Pakistan, this month
proof SUVs and buses for the team to Jalandhar based that left six players and a coach wounded.
Laggar Steel Industries. All the top Sri Lankan cricketers, including newly-appointed cap-
“We have received a number of queries. The South tain Kumar Sangakkara and vice-captain Muttiah Muralitharan,
African authorities have placed an order for bulletproof- are contracted to one of the eight Indian franchises.
ing SUVs and buses,” said Sanchit Sobti, Director, Laggar “I don’t think security is an issue at all,” league chairman Lalit
Steel Industries. Modi told reporters.
Laggar Steel Industries has been in the business of bul- The second edition, planned from April 10 to May 24, has
letproofing vehicles for the high, mighty and those at already hit a roadblock after the Indian government asked the
risk. Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for revised match
However, it is only now that the orders for such vehicles dates to avoid a clash of dates with the general election.
is being placed for the safety of cricket teams obviously The Ministry of Home Affairs told organisers to reschedule
following the attack on the Sri Lankan team in Lahore. match dates for a second time because regional governments
The vehicles prepared by Laggar can also resist explosive said they would find it tough to spare security forces that
detonations. The South African security agency, realising would be busy with the month-long poll starting on April 16.
that Laggar might not be able supply in the short span
of time, has asked the company also to rent out bullet-
proof vehicles. COLLINGWOOD,
“We have been asked to provide vehicles, but if we can-
not do so immediately we might rent them out from SHAH WARY OF
existing clients who have been provided such vehicles,” IPL IN
said Sanchit Sobti. AHMEDABAD
Each bus will seat 40 people and each SUV will seat Wary of playing Indian
seven. Premier League matches in
No one wants to take chances and while cricketing offi- Ahmedabad, Paul Collingwood
cials are doing all they can to prevent a repeat of the Sri and Owais Shah have sought
Lankan team’s brush with terrorism, bulletproofing com- feedback from Delhi
panies are perhaps laughing their way to the banks. Daredevils, their IPL team,
and the England and Wales
Cricket Board (ECB) on
whether the city is safe
enough for the Twenty20
matches.
Ahmedabad was proposed as
a venue in the revised IPL
schedule which is awaiting the
Home Ministry’s nod and “Lines of communication are
Collingwood and Shah are in open and we have been seek-
two minds about playing in ing to make a contribution on
the city England shunned last all aspects of security,” Sean
year following the Mumbai Morris, chief executive of the
attacks. Professional Cricketers
After November’s terror Association, was quoted as
strikes in Mumbai, ECB saying.
deemed Ahmedabad unsafe “It is true England had no
for the India-England Test wish to play in Ahmedabad
which was eventually shifted after the Mumbai bombings
to Chennai. but security issues are forev-
According to The Guardian, er developing and it is our
Collingwood and Shah are task to keep abreast of all
naturally in two minds about new information and consider
playing in the Gujarat city. our assessment of it,” he said.
Cricket
Today
April 2009

14
MAJOR BRANDS JOIN HANDS WITH STRESS FRACTURE
DAREDEVILS RULES SREESANTH OUT
Delhi Daredevils seemed to have found a way out of the economic melt- OF IPL
down as the Indian Premier League outfit recently announced its association Fast bowler S Sreesanth will miss the
with a host of new corporate partners. Indian Premier League’s (IPL) season
The GMR group owned team welcomed new partners which include Coke two in April-May due to a stress
and Royal Challenge (associate sponsors), Wrigley’s India (gum partner), fracture in his lower back, his IPL
Virgin Mobile (mobile partner), Fever 104 (radio partner), Big Adda (online team Kings XI Punjab announced
partner), GupShup.com (mobile fan activation partner), the Times of India recently.
and The Hindustan Times (official media partners). Sreesanth is currently in Sydney
The team already has existing partners like Hero Honda, Adidas, Royal receiving treatment from the Kings
Challenge and Kingfisher. XI Punjab physio Patrick Farhart as
“We are delighted to announce our association with some of the biggest part of his rehabilitation.
players in the corporate world,” Amrit Mathur, COO of the Delhi Daredevils, The bowler will instead be associated
said. with his team as ‘fan mentor and
“All our partners are leading brands in India and the world and their associa- community face’.
tion with Delhi Daredevils goes beyond being just co-sponsors. “I intend to be with the team all
along the IPL season. I will be their
motivator and will cheer them
through to the IPL Season 2 finals so
that I can play the champions league
with Kings XI Punjab. The new role
that I will play in the interim for
Kings XI Punjab as a fan mentor and
community face is going to be very
exciting,” the bowler said in a state-
ment.
“It is unfortunate that Sreesanth will
not be participating in the season 2
due to his back injury. He is a per-
former and was a great asset to the
team last season and his absence on
the field will surely be felt, Kings XI
Punjab coach Tom Moody said.

AZHAR MAY CONTEST FROM


MEERUT OR MORADABAD
Uttar Pradesh Congress committee (UPCC)
President Rita Bahuguna Joshi has said that former
cricket captain Mohammad Azharuddin could con-
test the Lok Sabha election from Meerut or
Moradabad.
“Azhar has desired to contest from the state. We
believe fielding him from Meerut or Moradabad will
make a good impact,” Bahuguna said.
She also said that the cricketer has pledged to cam-
paign for the party in the state, even if he does not
contest the polls.
Azhar will attend a rally of the party in Meerut on
March 23.
Other celebrities like comedian Raju Srivastava and
Bhojpuri superstar Ravi Kishan are also likely to be
the party nominees from UP’s Jaunpur and
Phoolpur constituencies.
Cricket
Today
April 2009

16

m
anmohan Singh and
Jagmohan Dalmiya
should be thanked pro-
fusely by most Indian The rise and rise
and slight fall of
cricket fans for their
contribution to the game. Whether or
not either had a vision to see the game
at the pedestal it currently resides on,

Lalit Modi
is for another forum, but one thing is
for certain; without either, it would
have been a rather steep climb
upwards for Indian cricket to get to the
stage it has today.
Dalmiya – along with his then-friend I.S.
Bindra – had brought home the World
TV, the final catalyst that ensured that
cricket had found its new home: India.
by Suneer Chowdhary
Cup of 1987, and it established enough Lalit Modi has only done what was the shrewd, brash, go-getter, street-smart,
self-confidence in the minds of those next most logical step in this race perceptive and the likes, and one
involved about India’s role in the would be. He wanted to top the should be closer to the truth.
world of cricket at large. Yet, cricket world of the field.
what would fuelled the inter- Yet, it has been beyond OPENING OVERS:
est of most Indian fans the realms of what Celebrities pay the price of being in the
would have been the explo- can be termed as the limelight by losing their privacy. There
sion of ‘cable’ television into reality for most can hardly be an iota of doubt that
the homes of the citizens entrepreneurs, let Modi is a celebrity; you like him or you
after the liberalisation of alone a common loathe him, he will continue garnering
the economy in 1991, man on the street. the eyeballs with his daredevil audacity.
brought about by our Putting adjectives for And, the price? Oh well, for starters,
Finance Minister, Manmohan the man and his con- his past has been dug up by all and
Singh. If the 1983 World Cup tributions would be sundry and is in front of the whole
triumph had brought the easy enough’ one
Indians on its feet, the hosting would have only to look
of the 1987 Reliance Cup for synonyms for
proved to be a trigger and
the intrusion of cable
Cricket
Today
April 2009

17
world. As a twenty-two year-old stu- that working on the other side of the Sponsorship deal of more than Rs.600
dent in a university in the US, he had fence of the BCCI was getting him crores for four years. This was followed
been charged with the possession of nowhere with the bureaucratic setup by the media rights deal with Nimbus
some cocaine, to add to the assault that it was so famous for. It was then Sports for all the matches played in
and kidnapping indictments; resulting in that he decided to join the BCCI itself; India for more than Rs.2000 crores!
him being sentenced to a couple of self-christening himself as the market- Couple of more such deals happened,
years of imprisonment. ing man of the cricket board. And what before the biggest one of them all
Yet, back from America without serving a marketer he turned out to be! shook the very foundations of
any time in jail, he joined Godfrey What worked to his advantage was his the hallowed sport.
Phillips Ltd. as a management trainee. background, that helped him under- His long-forgotten idea of
He was the made the President of the stand how companies operated, getting cities to play against
International Tobacco Company Ltd for how the balance sheets were each other had been dilly-dal-
a period of four years, before return- read and deciphered, the spon- lying at the upper echelons of
ing back to Godfrey Phillips in 1992. Still sors’ behaviour, the market the BCCI, but hadn’t yet seen the
on the board of Godfrey Phillips, Modi is value of the product, the light of the day. With the
also the MD of Modi enterprises. ways that TV channels Indian Cricket League
One doesn’t quite know whether it was gained their top and bot- Modi’s strategy coming into the picture,
here that he learnt the tricks of the tom-line, the promotional was rather simple. it needed no second invi-
trade, but such was his rise after that, strategies and everything He understood that tation and the Indian
that the man who would have studied a related to what he was the game was a Premier League was
whole load of case studies in his B- probably going to religion in the born. The rest, as they
school, that the whole business model encounter at the BCCI. country and the say, is history!
of IPL has become a case study in devotees would I will not even hazard
itself; discussed and dissected by many! THE spend enough time going into the what-and-
Modi had been a part of Modi POWERPLAYS: and in turn the the-why of the IPL;
Entertainment Network that bought However, it was not before money for it, if it except that it changed
cricket rights from the BCCI, produced he entered the cricket were to be the perception of how
live cricket and sold it to the channels ‘field’ that the whole world wrapped and the game had been
which cared to buy. Yet, he realised turned around for this packaged played, viewed and
businessman. Or turned to well. earned out of in a long
bend for him, so to say! For time. Earlier a top-notch
starters, he achieved the impossible by cricketer could earn a crore
overturning the Rungta-rule from only after having a fruitful and
Rajasthan Cricket. The Rungta clan had a long career; today, a crore is what
been termed as ‘personal fiefdom of most of the top-rung cricketers can
one family’ in a ruling by the High Court earn in less than a couple of months!
and Modi had managed to get better And this has been all thanks to the IPL.
of him after their years of domination. If IPL had some cities within India play
In turn, Dalmiya was soon ousted from against each other, another idea soon
his post as the President of the BCCI, came around from the Modi-stable;
and Modi became the youngest ever that of having a soccer-like Champions
Vice-President of the BCCI. This was League, where the top clubs from
just the beginning though. around the world would fight for the
Very soon, he was anointed as the mar- prestigious – and the money-spinning –
keting and promotion man for BCCI, trophy. A seven day tournament to
and that was the beginning of the begin with, this is expected to go up to
process of bringing Indian cricket to the as many as a couple of weeks and yet,
world map. a ten year deal with ESPN Star Sports
Modi’s strategy was rather simple. has enabled the BCCI pocket a cool
Almost in Kerry Packer-style, he under- $975 million! This converts to at least a
stood that the game was a religion in couple of zeroes more than what I
the country and the devotees would learnt to count in my pre-primary!
spend enough time and in turn the
money for it, if it were to be wrapped MAN-OF-THE-MATCH
and packaged well. He also understood AND THE SERIES?
the power of a rampaging economy The awards have not stopped coming.
coupled with the increasing spending If Sachin Tendulkar holds the record for
power of an average Indian. Therein lay the most number of Man-of-the-Match
the key to the opening a huge treasure. awards in the ODIs, then Modi would
So, he began with a couple of deals surely hold it for the most awards as a
with Sahara and Nike for the team cricket marketer!
sponsorship and the Apparel A Business Standard award for making
Cricket
Today
April 2009

18
have been sharpening their knives to lay
it on the man when the opportunity
arose.
In Rajasthan’s assembly elections’
results, came that chance, when the
incumbent Chief Minister of the state
lost out. Unfortunately for Modi, he had
been very close to the CM – and in turn
would have probably enjoyed the
desired benefits as the President of the
Rajasthan Cricket Association – and her
loss was the first nail in Modi’s coffin as
the President. With no real backer, Modi
was challenged to another election – in
his own words, threatened is what was
the right word would be – and by the
time, the dust settled and the results
were out, Modi had had to bite the
dust. He had been beaten in an acrimo-
nious election by the little-known Sanjay
BCCI the most innovative company was
followed by the Brand Builder of 2008
by Asia Brand Conference and ‘The
Consumer Award for Transforming
Cricket in India’ by CNBC Awaaz. NDTV
Profit gave him the sobriquet of ‘The
Most Innovative Business Leader in
India’, while there were many more like
the ‘Excellence in Innovation’, ‘Teacher’s
Achivement of the Year award’, ’Sports
Business- Rushmans Award For
Sports Event Innovation’ and the
‘CNBC Buisness Leader’ award.
It would have helped that he
owns a couple of houses in
Mumbai which would
assist him in allocating
space for all the awards! Lalit Modi has been
India Today has listed accused of misap-
him as one of India’s 20 propriation of funds. winning glory at every step Dixit; more a suggestion of how infa-
most powerful people. Apparently, he had and sneeze. Add that to the mous he had grown to become than for
Sports Magazine Sports collected donations fact that Modi has been the lack of disposing his duties as the
Pro ranked him number to the tune of crores known to be a rather brash RCA head. Even before that, he has
17 in the Power List of of rupees for the individual, with a penchant been accused of misappropriation of
global figures connect- Jaipur bomb-blast for being ruthless and in- funds, a charge that Mr. Dalmiya is only
ed with sports. I am victims but the your-face; a trait that would- well versed with! Apparently, he had col-
sure that if I continue money hadn’t n’t go down too well with lected donations to the tune of crores
this monologue, it seemed to reach friends and foes alike. of rupees for the Jaipur bomb-blast vic-
would take another those for whom it Despite his success at con- tims but the money hadn’t seemed to
couple of pages to give actually was verting Indian cricket to a reach those for whom it actually was
out the full list of the meant. Brand Indian cricket, and meant.
recognitions that he sending the coffers on a Fortunately for Modi, along with being
has got from the all and sundry alike. ringing overdrive, there have the President of the RCA, he is also the
been many within the BCCI cir- Vice-President of the Punjab Cricket
QUICK WICKETS OR cles that haven’t quite enjoyed being Association (PCA), under his mentor and
START OF A COLLAPSE? snubbed by the man. guru, I.S. Bindra. Why it is lucky is
Higher up the corporate ladder one Modi himself terms this as an open and because by being a part of the PCA, he
goes, it is with a rather alarming and shut case of jealousy. Yet, the fact of can still remain the Vice President of
rapid rate one finds the crab-mentality the matter that remains is that to climb the BCCI, within the laws! And yes, the
amongst those few around. Especially if that ladder of success as quickly as good news is that he can continue to
there is a singular individual hogging the Modi has, he would have had made his be the chief commissioner of his baby,
limelight, taking all the accolades and share of enemies; those who would the Indian Premier League. 
Cricket
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t
eam Owner: Emerging Media,
Shilpa Shetty
Emerging Media is a media
group focused on sports
development in the Indian sub-
continent. The company began as
Investors in Cricket (IIC), founded in
2005, to create and commercialize
sports that have relevance in the Indian
sub-continent. Through this subsidiary,
Emerging Media launched India’s first
cricket talent hunt and reality show
(Cricket Star), after developing a part-
nership with Leicestershire county
cricket club, and staging the first inter-
national club T20 championship.
Emerging Media has been a significant
and long-standing investor in Indian
cricket, and now it owns a franchise in
the IPL, which will only enhance its rep-
utation.
Shilpa Shetty, the famous Bollywood
actress, bought an twelve percent

Rajasthan
Royals
well received by everyone, including
opposition teams. In addition, many
players of the Royals team have consis-
tently played well. The Royals secured a
place in the finals with a victory against
the Delhi Daredevils.
The Rajasthan Royals became the win-
ners of the first IPL tournament, when
they defeated the Chennai Super Kings
stake in the 2008 champions in part-
nership with her beau, industrialist and
by Chetan Narula by 3 wickets in the final played on 1
June 2008. With the scores level with
producer Raj Kundra. They paid an esti- well in the tournament. Evidence of the one ball remaining, Sohail Tanvir scored
mated 16 million USD for the same. latter opinion seemed to be confirmed the winning run and therefore prevent-
Shilpa faded for a while after an initial when the team lost its first match ed the match from being decided on a
foray into the Hindi film industry, but against the Delhi Daredevils in a 9 wick- bowl out.
gained cult status after she won the UK et loss. However the Royals won their
reality show, Celebrity Big Brother. Her next game by defeating the Kings XI COACH: SHANE
career and personal life have only rock- Punjab and continued to win the next WARNE
eted skywards after that and she five games in a row. The Royals built up A living legend, the greatest spinner
intends to spice up the media campaign an impressive 11-3 record after their ever Shane Warne is a captain and
for her team, with an eye on present- fourteen premilinary round matches; coach of this IPL franchise. The second
ing stiff competition to other this included a consecutive 5-game and highest wicket taker in test cricket
Bollywood owners in the IPL. 6-game winning streak with an unde- brings in vast experience and is a mas-
feated record on their home ground ter strategist as seen in the first sea-
2008 RECORD: and a spot at the top of the points son of the tournament, when he was
CHAMPIONS table. They were also the first team to single handedly credited with the
Prior to the start of the inaugural IPL book a place in the semifinals with their team’s success by players and onlook-
season, many considered the Royals as 65 run win over the Royal Challengers ers alike. Given that he is committed to
possibly the weakest team in the IPL, Bangalore. Shane Warne’s captaincy and the core of players, one can see the
giving them little chance of competing simultaneous coaching was praised and Australian flair in his play and the work
Cricket
Today
April 2009

21
would be bidding for Kevin Pieterson from a sabbatical from the game. One is
since the two were close friends. And it sure that this stint with Warne is going
seemed just, for last year, the franchise to be a turning point in his career
didn’t really bid for anyone too and in the absence of Sohail Tanvir,
pricey. But they couldn’t really he will invariably get to shoulder the
afford him; what with their attack.
Pakistani players missing They also got Tyron Henderson. Yes
out, they had a change Tyron who? Well, if Mike Hussey is
of plans and went in Mr.Cricket, this guy is Mr.Twenty20. He
for players who would has played in South African &
complete their squad English T20 leagues, and now
in the title defense With Shane all set to play in India. All this
bid. Plus they could Watson out while he averages 21 with more
have never really
outbid Vijay Mallya
injured, Yusuf than sixty wickets in around
seventy T20 games! All hail
who was even pre- Pathan is the Warney for his astute thinking
pared to shell out prime weapon prowess. They might not start
USD 2 million for the
player. in the arsenal as favourites again this year,
but they surely have the fire-
That shows why of Shane power, and a hell of a captain,
Shane Warne is a
cricketing legend and
Warne in the to do the impossible all over
again.
Mallya is just a busi- defense of PLAYER TO WATCH
nessman tempted their title. OUT FOR:
successfully by Lalit
Modi’s marketing YUSUF PATHAN
skills. Warne saw the need for a fast It has been a meteoric
bowler and he bought Shaun Tait, a rise for the elder Pathan
young Aussie who has just returned in these last twelve
months. The first season
of the IPL was really his
arrival on the big stage
ethics he brings to the table with him. and ever since his exploits
He knows the game in and out, and can twelve months ago, his
be a great inspiration for the whole foray into the Indian
team. He has never really lead Australia team hasn’t been quite
and the first season was his first coach- smooth. At first, he did-
ing stint, but the dual role of captaincy n’t really get many
and coaching allowed him to have full chances. When he start-
powers and look how that paid out in ed getting those
the end! chances, he didn’t really
use them to good effect
SQUAD: and even had to sit out a
Shane Warne (captain), Graeme Smith, series in Sri Lanka. But with the domes-
Mohammad Kaif, Niraj Patel, Swapnil tic season, he got his thinking right, if
Asnodkar, Taruwar Kohli, Raiphi he does that on a cricket ground that
Vincent Gomez, Robert Quiney, is, and went back to what he did best –
Mahesh Rawat (wicket-keeper), hitting the ball out of the park, not
Naman Ojha, Ravindra Jadeja, thinking about what everyone is think-
Yusuf Pathan, Tyron Henderson, ing about his batting.
Shane Watson, Dimitri And the results were all there for every
Mascarenhas, Lee Carseldine, one to see as he bludgeoned his way
Shane Harwood, Morne Morkel, back, first against England at home and
Shaun Tait, Munaf Patel, then away in Sri Lanka. He is now an
Siddharth Trivedi. important part of Indian plans at the
T20 world cup later this year, but more
STRENGTHS & than that, with Shane Watson out
WEAKNESSES: injured, he is the prime weapon in the
There was this specula- arsenal of Shane Warne in the defense
tion that coach and of their title. It will only be an ideal
captain of Rajasthan preparation for the T20 world cup,
Royals Shane Warne which only bodes well for India! 
Cricket
Today
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22

t
Team Owner: India Cements suffered but their bowling attack took also filled by the arrival of Makhaya
One of the leading cement a hit too. They were bound to suffer Ntini and Morkel, both of whom had
manufacturing companies, when such top class players left and been playing the Pro20 domestic tour-
India Cements Ltd. was estab- the team’s performance reflected this, nament in South Africa during the start
lished in 1946 and the first as they proceeded to lose their next of the tournament and the surprise
plant was set up at Sankarnagar in three matches. emergence of Manpreet Gony.
Tamil Nadu in 1949. The company has This was the apt time for Dhoni to Bolstered by these re-enforcements,
since witnessed rapid growth in its show why he was the highest paid the Chennai Super Kings went on a
stature, to seven plants spread over cricketer in the IPL and he displayed his spree all but making sure that they will
Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. They mettle using his resources very careful- progress to the knock outs on their
are the largest producers of cement in ly, and cleverly. Suddenly the batting, own terms. A win in the final league
South India and has nearly 28% market although inconsistent, eventually start- match against the Deccan Chargers
share in that part of the country. Being ed adjusting to the losses of Hayden ensured their progress into the semi-
the major corporate entity in the and Hussey with contributions from finals.
south with a turnover of around Dhoni, Suresh Raina, Parthiv Patel and The team defeated the Kings XI Punjab
Rs.1200 crore, the company’s activities Albie Morkel. The gap in the team’s in the semifinal by nine wickets. But in
now span cement, sugar, trading and bowling left by Oram’s departure was a see-saw finale, they lost to Rajasthan
finance.
Industrialist N Srinivasan is the vice-
chairman and managing director of
India Cements. He is a post graduate in
chemical engineering from IIT, USA and
is a member of the Executive
Committee and Steering Committee of
Federation of Indian Chambers of
Commerce and Industry. He also has a
keen interest in sports and his passion
extends to golf and chess as well as
cricket. He is the president of the Tamil
Nadu Cricket Association as well as the
Chairman of the Finance Committee of
the BCCI.

2008 RECORD:
RUNNERS-UP
The Chennai Super Kings led by the
Indian ODI captain MS Dhoni were one
of the firm favourites when the tour-
nament began. And expectedly they
made a solid start to their 2008 IPL
Season, winning their first four match -
es and climbing to the top of the table
without much fuss. But like all teams
they were hit by players leaving for
international commitment and more so
because they lost much of their fire -
power when Mathew Hayden, Michael
Hussey and Jacob Oram left. This by Chetan Narula
meant that not only their top order
Royals by three wickets off only the

Chennai
last ball of the match.

COACH: KEPLER
WESSELS
Kepler Wessels is a cricket and boxing
aficionado who, before opening for
Australia for four years, played in his

Super Kings
native South Africa, in England and in
World Series Cricket. He subsequently
played for an Australian rebel team in
South Africa and then became the
Proteas’ first test captain of the mod-
Cricket
Today
April 2009

23
ern era. He made 162 on debut for been watching him lead, it is no doubt really good but that is going
Australia and averaged 56 in a series that he is one of the best captains in to cause real problems in
against the West Indies, no mean feat the business today. The batting the sense that expectations
at that time. He went into coaching won’t be dependent on him alone will be very high from the
after retiring and while he was initially and he can juggle his bowling word go! Especially when his
successful at Northants, he found it resources carefully. They even team mate Kevin Pietersen is
hard to drive a side operating on a shoe have extra keepers in the also valued the same
string budget and left by mutual con - squad to allow him to rest and The fire in Flintoff’s and if he perform bet-
sent midway through his contract. not take undue pressure, for belly, when stoked ter, then the media
they realize the importance
SQUAD: of a fit MS Dhoni.
whether batting or ganedt othnehfisanbsacaklikreeawl ill
MS Dhoni (ICON & captain & wicket- Beyond that, young – and bowling, is sure to quick. But this is
keeper), Andrew Flintoff, Mathew cheap – Aussies are the fla- destroy all that is in Andrew Flintoff we are
Hayden, Michael Hussey, George Bailey, vor of the season as Chennai front of him. It talking about and he
Suresh Raina, S Badrinath, Murali Vijay, have gone ahead and pur- doesn’t matter to thrives on a situation
Abhinav Mukund, Anirudha Srikkanth, chased yet another one who like this.
Arun Karthik, Muttiah Muralitharan, is adept with both the bat
him whether it is Forever labeled as the
and the ball in this shortest the best bat in the underdog who would
format of the game. George world, or the best one day replace the
Bailey will be a player to bowler for great Ian Botham, he
watch but that remains to be that matter. rose to fulfill his prom -
seen if he gets a chance ise in the 2005 Ashes
to shine for both series when he was
Stephen Fleming and one of the pillars on
Mathew Hayden will which the long overdue
be available for the whole English triumph was built.
length of the tourna- Since then there has been no
ment. looking back as he even led the
Thilan Thushara has- England team, although that
n’t had a great home ended in a miserable failure. And
series against India after that he was plagued by
but one bad outing recurring injuries.
doesn’t make him a But that hasn’t deterred his will
half bad player. He power and he eventually made a
can bowl and uses return to the national fold, the
the long handle to highlight of his comeback being
good effect and so an the scorching spell he bowled to
asset for the team. The Jacques Kallis in the test series
management were actual- against South Africa in 2008.
ly looking for a player in And it is this spirit which
this mould. But in reality he makes him what he is
is just a back up. For there is today. The fire in his
no one better than Andrew belly, when stoked
Flintoff who can get a whether batting or
team’s spirits soaring with bowling, is sure to
his antics, be it the willow or destroy all that is in
the cherry. Getting the front of him. It does-
most expensive player on n’t matter to him
their books for a second whether it is the
Makhaya Ntini, Jacob Oram, Albie year in a row will only pay best bat in the
Morkel, Thilan Thushara, Shadab Jakati, rich dividends in the world, or the best
Napolean Einstein, Viraj Kadbe, Suresh end. bowler for that
Kumar, Vidyut Sivaramakrishnan, R matter, rest
Ashwin, Joginder Sharma, Manpreet PLAYER TO assured he will
Gony, Sudeep Tyagi, L Balaji, Palani WATCH OUT come out on
Amarnath. FOR: top. Not with -
out reason, he
STRENGTHS & ANDREW is one of the
WEAKNESSES: FLINTOFF best all-
Their strength mainly lies in the fact The USD 1.55 rounders this
that none other than the Indian captain million price game has
will be leading them. And if anyone has tag looks ever seen. 
Cricket
Today
April 2009

24

t
eam Owner: Preity Zinta, Ness century and five half-centuries.They aged to win nine of its next ten match-
Wadia, Karan Paul, Mohit too were involved in the Bhajji- es and thus clinching a berth in the
Burman Sreesanth saga, but since the opposi- semi-finals. In the semis though, their
Kings XI Punjab is owned and tion player was the culprit, Sreesanth run in the tournament came to an end
promoted by a consortium escaped the ban and managed to play after a comprehensive nine wicket loss
which includes leading actress Preity the whole of the IPL, though still carry- to the Chennai Super Kings.

Kings XI Punjab
by Chetan Narula
Zinta and well known industrialists Ness
Wadia and others. They are the self
proclaimed people’s team in the IPL and
aim to be the most significant, progres-
sive and valuable franchise in the years
to come.
Preity Zinta is a well renowned film
actress and as a co-owner, she is
responsible for actively promoting the
franchise and its team. A leader, vision-
ary and perfectionist, Ness Wadia is the
joint managing director of the Bombay
Dyeing Pvt. Ltd., the flagship company
of the Wadia Group. Mohit Burman,
Director, Dabur India is the driving force
behind the Dabur Group’s foray into
several high growth and sunrise sectors
of financial services like life insurance,
annuities and asset management,
besides agriculture and retailing. Karan
Paul is the chairman of the Apeejay
Surrendra Group, which is worth
Rs.4500 crores, and looks after the
financial planning of the franchise.

2008 RECORD: SEMI-


FINALIST
They got off to a slow start in the
tournament, losing their first two
games, but recovered and learnt quick-
ly from their mistakes to string togeth-
er a winning combination. They lost
some sheen in Australians Brett Lee
and Simon Katich who were committed
to tour the West Indies with Australia,
but the coach Tom Moody had planned
well with good re-enforcements com-
ing in, especially Shaun Marsh who was
without doubt the find of the tourna- ing on with his antics. Powered by their COACH: TOM MOODY
ment. He finished the tournament as balanced bowling lineup and effective A player of international stature, Tom
the highest run scorer with an average top order, coupled with some fine lead- Moody was instrumental in Australia’s
of 68.44 and a strike rate of 139.68 in ership from both Yuvraj Singh and triumph in the 1999 World Cup. Moody
eleven innings. His innings included one Mahela Jayawardene, the team man- was a medium pace swing bowler, a
Cricket
Today
April 2009

25
hard hitting batsman, a safe slip fielder Kukreja, Yash Gandhi, Ravi Bopara, bowler good enough to hold his
and a natural leader during his playing James Hopes, Wilkin Mota, Ramesh place in the team with Brett Lee
days. He and Steve Waugh together Powar, Irfan Pathan, Ryan Ninan, still out injured, physically and
became the first two Australians to win Piyush Chawla, Kumar mentally; while Sreesanth is
the world cup twice. Moody’s greatest Sangakara (wicket-keeper), nowhere near his best. Irfan
service has been to Worcestershire and Uday Kaul, Brett Lee, Pathan was their all round solution
Western Australia, leading both to all Jerome Taylor, Burt to back up the middle
kinds of success. He called time on his Cockley, VRV Singh, S. In a team filled order and he hasn’t been
international career in 2000-01. Moody Sreesanth, Ajitesh Argal. with hitters and too convincing of late. So,
came close to becoming India’s coach in in that light, their purchas-
May 2005 only to be piped to the post STRENGTHS & all rounders in the es have been up to the
by Greg Chappell. That same year he WEAKNESSES: IPL, Sangakkara mark. Ravi Bopara has
was appointed Sri Lanka’s coach. He This is the second fran- holds his own grown leaps and bounds
then led the Lankan team to the World chise which has a ever since he first made his
Cup final in April 2007. Bollywood connect as
because of his presence known to the
well as a business one dual ability to bat international cricketing
and they did well last high up the order world and at the time of
year, reaching the semi- and keep wickets writing was scoring his test
finals. Their problems are debut ton. He can even
actually quite different with equal turn his arm over, finish
from the ones faced by zeal. matches, use the long han-
other franchises. While dle and even open the
their opponents are reeling from the innings, so his flexibility will
effects of Pakistan players not playing mean that for the three
or the mix of the side not good weeks he will be here, Pathan can
enough, Kings XI has a well balanced expect to sit out. The other purchase,
team atleast on paper. Their players Jerome Taylor will be an asset to the
were all in good shape last season but depleted fast bowling stable. Even
twelve months is a long time in sport though he isn’t the most fearsome of
and things inadvertently do change. the current Windies fast bowlers, he
And so, they now don’t have a fast managed to run through a strong-on-
paper English batting. So, four overs
day in and day out won’t hurt much.
PLAYER TO WATCH OUT
FOR: KUMAR
SANGAKKARA
A steady batsman and wicket-keeper,
Kumar Sangakkara has continued to
grow steadily on the international
stage. He is the most consistent bats-
man of his national team, probably only
after Aravinda de Silva and achieving
such consistency at such a young age
means that he will be around for quite
some more time, scoring runs galore
and leading his team from the front.
In a team filled with hitters and all
rounders in the IPL, he holds his own
because of his dual ability to bat high
up the order and keep wickets with
equal zeal.
This lends a fine balance to the side, be
it the Sri Lankan team or the Kings XI
Punjab. Furthermore, he can even open
the innings if need be, to up the tempo,
or stabilize the innings later down the
SQUAD: order. He has a penchant for big knocks
Yuvraj Singh (ICON & captain), Shaun and with a two month window free of
Marsh, Mahela Jayawardene, Simon international cricket, in all probability he
Katich, Luke Pomersbach, Sunny Sohal, will be the one on top of the batting
Karan Goel, Tanmay Srivastava, Sahil charts for his franchise this year. 
Cricket
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26

t
eam Owner: GMR Group
GMR Group is a global infra-
structure major with interests
in airports, energy, highways,
urban infrastructure, manu-
facturing sector and agri-business
including sugar and ferro-alloys. The
Group is also invested heavily in various
ventures in education, health, hygiene
and sanitation, empowerment and
community based programmes.
They are led by G.M.Rao, a mechanical
engineer by profession and their
founder. Hailing from a small town of
Srikakulam district in Andhra Pradesh,
he established his business empire in
1978, starting with a jute mill in Rajam
district. A visionary businessman, Mr.
Rao recognized the huge business
potential in the infrastructure space,

DELHI
DAREDEVILS
led the Delhi DareDevils to the semifi-
nals of the IPL in the very first season.
As a player, he represented Western
Australia from 1977 to 1984 and fin-
ished his career with the Tasmanian
Tigers in 1990-91. He then went on to
especially with the opening up of the
power sector in the 90s in India. Under
by Chetan Narula coach Tasmania and is also the current
coach of Victorian Bush Rangers.
his guidance and vision, the company is Malik and Amit Mishra teamed up well A right-handed top order batsman,
also modernizing the Delhi International to share the spin burden. More than Shipperd never played a test or ODI for
Airport and also developing the new that, it was their explosive top order Australia but has coached Tasmania for
Greenfield International Airport at batting and sharp bowling that won eleven seasons and guided them to
Hyderabad. them more than half of their games. their maiden Sheffield Shield final in
They recovered well to finish with 1993-94. He also has to his credit the
2008 RECORD: SEMI- seven wins and six losses in the league slowest first class century ever scored
FINALIST phase, after losing steam in the middle by an Australian taking 481 minutes to
With the squad they boasted after the stint of the league. score his hundred.
first round of auctions, it was amply But their deficiency in the middle order
clear that the Delhi DareDevils will go a caught up with them in the semi-finals SQUAD:
long way in the first season of the when they succumbed to Shane Virender Sehwag (captain & ICON),
Indian Premier League. They started Warne’s team on a mission, Rajasthan Gautam Gambhir, Dinesh Karthik (wick-
with a bang, beating eventual champi- Royals by a huge margin of 105 runs, as et-keeper), Ashish Nehra, Amit Mishra,
ons Rajasthan Royals convincingly in their batsmen faltered in chasing a Aavishkar Salvi, Manoj Tiwary, Mithun
their first match. And then went on a mammoth 193. Manhas, Pradeep Sangwan, Rajat
winning spree to climb the charts with Bhatia, Tejashwi Yadav, Umesh Yadav,
four wins out of their first five games. COACH: GREG Vijaykumar Yo Mahesh, Yogesh Nagar,
They had most of their players available SHIPPERD Paul Collingwood, Farveez Maharoof,
to them for the entirety of the tourna- Gregory Shipperd is a former Australian Andrew McDonald, Glenn McGrath,
ment, barring Daniel Vettori, but Shoaib first-class cricketer and coach, and he Owais Shah, Dirk Nannes, Tilakratne
Cricket
Today
April 2009

27
Plus one of the pillars of their bowling Shikhar Dhawan to Mumbai and
attack, Mohd. Asif doped his way to got Ashish Nehra in his place.
glory and Glenn McGrath was ini- Not only he adds to their fast
tially unsure about his return bowling options but also gives
this year. More than that, them a chance to bring in anoth-
Daniel Vettori will be playing er foreign player in the
the full season this time eleven.
round and while that is David Warner Moving onto their pur-
indeed great news for the known to be chases this year, the pur-
management, this will chase of Owais Shah
cause many problems for pretty explosive becomes yet another
the team balance, keeping and will only great business done. For
in mind the four foreign-
ers limit for the playing
add to the fire- Shah is hot commodity
right now, especially with
eleven. power that the Middlesex doing so well in
And so, they went into the Delhi team T20 last year. But at the
transfer season and the same time, what is ques-
auctions trying to sort out boasts at the tionable is the signing of
their deficiencies and top of their bat- Paul Collingwood. It is
problems at the same hard to fathom both
time. They signed upcom-
ting order. Englishmen making the
ing David Warner from the playing eleven and in
Australian youth ranks and his reputa- that scenario, wasting
tion as a big hitting opener money on two Englishmen in
already precedes him. This lent a similar mould, with both available
an even heavier look for only three weeks doesn’t
to the top order, make much tactical sense. But
so they looking at the bright side, it will
offloaded rid them of their dependence on
the top order.

PLAYER TO WATCH
OUT FOR: DAVID
Dilshan, David Warner, AB de Villiers, WARNER
Daniel Vettori. The young Aussie opener is the first
player in his country’s 132 years old
STRENGTHS & cricketing history to wear national
WEAKNESSES: colours without playing first-class
One look, last year, at the squad of the cricket. Though he will only get a short
DareDevils from Delhi showed that window to play in the IPL this season,
they did not really have a well bal- for he might be included in the team
anced team. Instead, they had to play Pakistan in the UAE. But having
some really good players who said that the very fact that the
are well known exponents in DareDevils management moved swiftly
their respective arts. In for his signature, when he shone with
Sehwag and Gambhir, they a brilliant 89 off 43 balls on debut
boast of two very fine bats- against South Africa, means that he is
men at the top of the order some one to watch out for!
and some equally gifted He is known to be pretty explosive and
bowlers in McGrath and will only add to the firepower that
Maharoof who could strangle the Delhi team boasts at the top of
any batting line-up at any given their batting order. With him in the
time. What they lacked was a side, probably Gautam Gambhir
backbone in the team, a sure shot will drop down to number three
match winner at number five or six, to anchor the innings the way
who would help the chase down tar- he sometimes does in the ODIs
gets, and even build the innings for India. And with Virender
depending on a good or bad start to Sehwag at the other end, the
the innings. That was to prove their 22-year-old New South Wales batsman
major failing when they were eventually will surely be a treat to watch as
knocked off their perch in the semis boundaries rain down from both their
last time around. blades. 
Cricket
Today
April 2009

28

t
eam Owner: Reliance Industries University, USA. He directed and led the Limited. He is ranked 42nd amongst the
Limited creation of the world’s largest grass- World’s Most Respected Business
The Reliance Group, founded roots petroleum refinery at Jamnagar. Leaders. He is also a member of the
by Late Dhirubhai Ambani, is He also set up the largest and most Prime Minister’s Council on Trade and
India’s largest private sector complex information and communica- Industry.
enterprise, with businesses in energy tions technology initiative in the world
and materials value chain. The Group’s in the form of Reliance Infocomm 2008 RECORD: FIFTH
annual revenues are in excess of USD
27 billion. The flagship company,

Mumbai
Reliance Industries Limited, is a
Fortune-500 company and is the
largest private sector company in India.
Starting with textiles in the late seven-
ties, Reliance has pushed the same
strategy through the years, entering
various verticals in polyester, fibre
intermediates, plastics, petrochemicals,

Indians
petroleum refining, oil & gas explo-
ration and production.
India’s largest private sector company
is headed by a charismatic persona
Mukesh Ambani. He is a chemical engi-
neer from the University of Bombay
and pursued MBA from Stanford

The whole of the first season can be


by Chetan Narula said to be a case of what could have
been especially after they got off to a
nightmarish start having lost their cap-
tain Sachin Tendulkar to a hamstring
injury he sustained during a test series
against the South Africans just prior to
the IPL. They saw many changes at the
helm of affairs which can also be cited
as a reason for their overall failure to
reach the knock-outs. After Sachin,
Harbhajan Singh took over as captain,
primarily because Sanath Jayasuriya
refused the offer. The inexperience
showed as the team proceeded to lose
their first four matches of the tourna-
ment.
Singh was sensationally suspended for
hitting Sreesanth after their match in
Mohali and in the first few days, that
was the most exciting happening in this
camp. In the meanwhile, Shaun Pollock
assumed leadership duties until
Tendulkar’s return in mid-May. It was
during this time that the team turned
their fortunes around, putting togeth-
er a six game winning streak and an
opportunity to make the semi-finals.
Tendulkar returned and alongwith
Jayasuriya, formed a potent pairing at
the top of the order and together the
duo provided the team momentum.
Especially the Lankan as he played a
vital role in securing two important
wins for the team. They were however
unable to take advantage of this
opportunity as they lost three of their
Cricket
Today
April 2009

29
next four games. This really hurt their while Sanath blazed away, but plug the holes and, in Mohd. Ashraful
morale for the three losses were in what was missing in the first and JP Duminy, they
truth very close affairs and could season, was support to them have got exactly
have gone either way. The from the batsmen coming what they
Mumbai Indians finished fifth later in the order. The story wanted.
with a record of seven wins was similar in the bowling depart- Duminy was a
and seven losses, and as ment as after Bhajji was hot cake ever
afore said, mulling what An opening banned, there was simply since his debut
could have been. no one else to carry the Down Under and lived
batsman burden barring Shaun up to the hype at the
COACH: beyond par, he Pollock. Obviously auction. With the two best
LALCHAND will form a most these problems openers firing at the top, a
RAJPUT
Though he doesn’t have
crucial partner- needed ing.
re-dress- potent pace attack and
the most exciting
the charisma of a Tom ship with Sachin But fresh talent to
Moody or a John Tendulkar Plus anchor their middle
Buchanan, Lalchand Rajput there is his order, the Mumbai
has managed to erase the Indians are looking
notion that only successful potent spin good already.
players make successful bowling to
coaches. He made his test fall back on. PLAYER TO
debut in 1985 against Sri WATCH OUT
Lanka and did well as an FOR:
opening batsman but due to a string of
low scores was forced out of the squad. expect the SANATH
After the 2007 world cup disaster, the Ambanis to do sharp JAYASURIYA
BCCI was skeptical in getting a new for- business. They are missing He will be touching
eign coach so soon and he took over Shaun Pollock this year for he forty when he plays
the reigns as manager in the T20 world refused to sign a further exten- the second edition of
cup and since then his record has been sion to his one year contract the IPL. He already
outstanding. He is known to keep a low from last year but he might be has the record of the
profile but has a shrewd tactical brain. back as mentor come coach with oldest century maker
Known to have a good relationship with the highly rated Mumbai Indians. in the ODIs and if he
a young Indian team, he was sidelined Though his absence as a player so much even repeats
after Gary Kirsten was appointed the is a low indeed but for cover, his antics from last
new Indian coach. they got Kyle Mills, who will play year, he will also
the entire season and will cost become the oldest cen-
SQUAD: less too. He can bowl four tury makes in the T20
Sachin Tendulkar (ICON & captain), Jean- overs decently enough, with form of the game.
Paul Duminy, Mohammed Ashraful, pace and get a few runs if An opening batsman
Shikhar Dhawan, Saurabh Tiwary, the situation demands so, beyond par, he will form a
Ajinkya Rahane, Jaydev Shah, Sanath too. They also got Shikhar most crucial partnership
Jayasuriya, Ryan McLaren, Dwayne Dhawan in a barter for with Sachin Tendulkar at
Bravo, Graham Napier, Kyle Mills, Nehra from Delhi DareDevils the top and even if they
Abhishek Nayyar, Luke Ronchi (wicket- during the transfer win- get going half the times in
keeper), Pinal Shah, Yogesh Takawale, dow, so that will bolster the fourteen game league,
Lasith Malinga, Dilhara Fernando, their top order as they Mumbai Indians will be assured
Harbhajan Singh, Dhaval Kulkarni, Rohan didn’t have anyone sup- of a place in the knock outs.
Raje, Zaheer Khan, Chetanya Nanda, porting Jayasuriya and Plus there is his potent spin
Rahil Sheikh. Tendulkar at the top (not bowling to fall back on, adept at
that the duo need much quickly slipping in four danger-
STRENGTHS & support!). ous overs, and there is no
WEAKNESSES: They also got Zaheer Khan wonder then, why skipper
They are strong only at the top of the back to his Ranji team in Tendulkar was adamant on
team line-up where two of the greatest exchange for Bangalore Royal having his good friend
batsmen bat for them together, Sachin Challengers’ Robin Uthappa and and a gem of a
Tendulkar and Sanath Jayasuriya. If they so their pace attack bears a men- cricket player
get going, then it is curtains for the acing look with Dilhara Fernando and on his side
opposition without even facing a ball Andre Nel too in their ranks. But the when the
and it will only seldom happen that both main point of business at the auction teams were
of them will fail. Generally it so hap- for Mrs. Ambani was to purchase a cou- first selected
pened that Tendulkar built the innings ple of solid middle order batsmen to last year. 
Cricket
Today
April 2009

30

t
eam Owner: Red Chillies no godfathers in the film industry and 2008 RECORD: SIXTH
Entertainment it was his sheer determination and hard SRK is seldom wrong for he is amongst
Red Chillies Entertainment is a work that has paid. Even after more the few people who know what they
film production company than two decades, he still somehow are talking about. But even he cannot
owned by none other than manages to exude the same charm and predict the uncertain game that is
Bollywood’s leading personality Shah flair. He is also an ardent sports lover, cricket. The self proclaimed favourites
Rukh Khan in partnership with good who didn’t intend to be an actor for the championship in the first year
friends actress Juhi Chawla and indus- always. In fact, he always wanted to be fell flat as they fell on their face after
trialist Jay Mehta along with his wife a cricketer or a footballer and acting a whirlwind start to their campaign.
Gauri Khan. The prestigious banner has came to him by default. It was a mix and match run for them in
some of today’s biggest hits under its
belts, including Main Hoon Na, Om

Kolkata
Shanti Om and Billu Barber. Apart from
production, the company also boasts of
a state-of-the-art visual effects studio
known as Red Chillies VFX. King Khan is
all set to enhance it to a world class
visual effects studio with Hollywood
giants Walt Disney Pictures likely to
invest a whopping amount in the com-

Knight Riders
pany.
Shah Rukh Khan is a household name
and a brand in himself. He is an excep-
tional actor, one who is guaranteed
success at the box-office. He has had

the first year of the IPL. After the


by Chetan Narula blitzkrieg in Bangalore they went on a
winning spree of four matches, taking
them straight to the top of the table,
only to fizzle out with three consecu-
tive losses. Clearly they did not have
enough reinforcements for the likes of
Gayle and McCullum. The arrival of
Shoaib Akhtar rejuvenated their spirits
and lifted them to three wins in a row.
But even that effect didn’t last long as
they were bowled out for 67 runs
against the Mumbai Indians, which was
the lowest total in the IPL and really
made sure that they would not qualify
for the semis.

COACH: JOHN
BUCHANAN
John Buchanan will go down as one of
the most triumphant modern day crick-
et coaches as he almost single handedly
revolutionized the coaching manuals.
With barely any cricket playing experi-
ence the tall, teacher by profession,
coach had new methods to get the
best out of his players. He had highly
successful stint with the Australian
team, the highlight being the back to
back world cup wins. He has an amazing
ability to identify the best players at
the youngest levels and no wonder he
was employed by the Kolkata franchise
and put in charge of all young recruit-
ments.
Cricket
Today
April 2009

31
SQUAD: purchase considering his aggressive this batsman played in
Sourav Ganguly (captain & ICON), Brad bowling and ability to use the long han- the first ever match in
Hodge, Aakash Chopra, Debabrata Das, dle but he came a bit expensive. But the IPL! To say that the
Cheteshwar Pujara, Brendon McCullum then that is what auctions are all about! opposition was hit for a
(wicket-keeper), Wriddhiman Saha, David six would be kind on
Hussey, Moises Henriques, Chris Gayle,
PLAYER TO WATCH them and that the specta-
Mashrafe Mortaza, Angelo Mathews, OUT FOR: BRENDON tors were blown
Laxmi Ratan Shukla, Ajit Agarkar, Iqbal MCCULLUM away would be an
Abdullah, Sachin Rana, Ashok Dinda, Who can ever forget the blistering Sourav Ganguly under statement.
Murali Kartik, Ishant Sharma, Ajantha innings that Claiming that
Mendis, Mohnish Parmar. sets his sights on Bangalore
winning the IPL Royal Challengers’
STRENGTHS & problems began
WEAKNESSES: crown to re-affirm with this innings
Sourav Ganguly is rated as one of the that he is still the won’t be wrong
best captains in the modern day cricket for Vijay Mallya
and his presence alone make sure that a best when it was clearly embar-
great thinking process is behind each comes to donning rassed every time
and every move of the franchise. With SRK danced
him in the side they are not only the captain- around on his
assured of an amazing leader of men cy hat. sixes. He provided
but also a brilliant batsman and a crowd the team with the
puller, all in one. But he has his limita- momentum that
tions too, especially since he can gave them the high-
sometimes get into argu- est run rate in the league
ments with his own till about the tenth match.
management. The fact that the Knight Riders went
That will howev- down after that was in keeping with
er be the last the departure of Brendon McCullum
thing on his for international duty. It was as if the
mind as he sets spark had gone out of them for he
his sights on win- single handedly provided them with
ning the IPL crown to re- the all important x-factor. Since
affirm that he is still the best when it that night in Bangalore the New
comes to donning the captaincy hat. Zealand wicket keeper has gone
Along with Rajasthan Royals, they are on to open the innings for his
the worst hit in terms of losing their country in both the ODIs and
Pakistani players. Umar Gul was superb T20s, for who wouldn’t want
last season and Mohd. Hafeez was use- his fire power at the top of the
ful. Shoaib Akhtar is always an asset if order.
fit and it took him one match to prove This year he is bound to play
it last year. Suddenly all three aren’t the entire tournament for his
there anymore and there was no time country does not have any
to decide on alternates or money to international commitments. It
buy them with. inadvertently means more
For the Knight Riders are one of the spectacular hitting from the
two franchises who were bought by Kiwi and he is bound to score
Bollywood stars and unlike some other atleast a couple of similarly
owners, they don’t carry a million swashbuckling innings in four-
dollars as pocket change, however teen games. His wicket keep-
rich they may be. This year they ing skills will provide the nec-
will have Brendon McCullum avail- essary balance to the
able throughout the tournament Kolkata team and they will
and Chris Gayle is fit again too. Plus only benefit by his contin-
coach John Buchanan meticulously ued presence. The whole
signed a host of bits and pieces of Bengal, and India, will
players in the off-season from unquestionably be
India and Australia. So everything watching with great
said and done, SRK not having anticipation everytime
the money to splurge is this Knight Rider goes
actually working out very out with a willow in his
well. Mortaza is a good hand. 
Cricket
Today
April 2009

32
poration of diverse companies having a
sharp focus on the brewery and alco-
holic beverages industry. Under the
chairmanship of Vijay Mallya, the UB
Group has flourished into a conglomer-
ate of over 60 companies in India and
abroad. The recent ones are Air
Deccan, White & Mackay, Scottish and
Newcastle. In India, they market most
of its beer under the name Kingfisher,
which is also the name of their domes-
tic-cum-international airlines.

2008 RECORD: SEVENTH


They got off to the worst start possi-
ble, when they were not only defeated
on the ground but also morally and in a
way humiliated on their home turf
when Brendon McCullum ground them
into submission in the first ever IPL
game. It was a crushing blow from
which they really couldn’t recover and
there were problems galore during the
tournament’s course as well. Only one
of their frontline batsmen, Rahul Dravid
managed to score more than 300 runs
in the tournament and they had to
even bench their costliest foreign play-
er, Jacques Kallis for few of the match-
es due to his poor form. The string of
failures mid-way through the season
led to the sacking of the CEO, Charu
Sharma who was replaced with Brijesh
Patel.

by Chetan Narula

Bangalore
Royal Challengers
t
eam Owner: Vijay Mallya sions. Apart from being a dogged busi- Even coach Venkatesh Prasad was
Son of the industrialist Vittal nessman, he also has a passion for cars, about to be sacked, but he saved his
Mallya, Vijay Mallya was elected car racing and sports. He is the first job by publicly apologising for the
the chairman of the UB Group Indian to own a Formula One team, team’s failure. Vijay Mallya went on to
in October 1983. Since then, named Force India. From East Bengal to publicly criticise Dravid and Sharma for
he has followed a process of defining a Mohun Bagan to United Racing and the failures by saying that they had not
corporate structure with performance Blodd Stock Breeders horse racing selected the right team. He regretted
accountability, inducting professional company, Mallya’s kitty is filled with that he had made a mistake by not get-
management and consolidating the various sporting clubs. ting involved in the selection of the
empire into individual operating divi- The Bangalore based UB Group is a cor- team. They were the only team in the
Cricket
Today
April 2009

33
IPL to try out 11 opening combinations ready to listen to and has thus missed
in 14 games. So much so, that they
STRENGTHS & the trick yet again. If Dravid is anywhere
were even called a test team in T20 WEAKNESSES: as intelligent as he is made out to be,
clothing. The owner Vijay Mallya could- Last year Mallya’s complaint was pretty he would do better to stay away from
n’t come to terms with their poor per- much that he had been fooled into buy- captaincy in Pietersen’s absence.
formances and the add-on insult. All ing a ‘test’ team in T20 flannels. On that Because one expects much of last
this infighting and low morale saw them pretext he fired Charu Sharma, climbed year’s disaster to repeat itself!
in winning only four matches in this sea- all over Rahul Dravid and now started
son, losing ten matches and managed this year by replacing Kiwi great Martin PLAYER TO WATCH OUT
to secure only the seventh position in Crowe with Ray Jennings (former South FOR: KEVIN PIETERSEN
the points table. African coach). Seems he has assumed At USD 1.55 million, obviously he is the
full control of the pro- player on whom all eyes will be trained.
COACH: RAY ceedings That is because the owner of
JENNINGS the franchise has
Ray Jennings’s career as a wicket-bats- created so much
man almost entirely spanned South there and hype about him,
Africa’s year of isolation. For Transvaal now will do pretty that anything less
and Northern Tranvaal he was ever- much what he wants than a miracle will
present and he was South Africa’s No. 1 and rebuilt the side be considered a
for more than a decade, but limited to in the transfer failure. But how
only 14 appearances for his country season and the will be able to do
against rebel touring sides. When South auctions. that remains to be
Africa returned to the fold he was But that doesn’t seen as the
expected to be handed the gloves, even necessarily mean England player will
though he was then 38, as much as a that what he does be here in India for
reward for his service as anything, but is right. And that’s no more than twen-
the selectors opted to pick Dave where his purchase ty to twenty five days
Richardson. Jennings, a fitness fanatic of Kevin Pietersen and might not play more
and disciplinarian, started coaching at comes out to be a than five games in all. In that
Gauteng before moving to Easterns and big mistake. He had scenario, what will be impor-
from there to South Africa A. His the chance to right a tant is the momentum he
appointment as South Africa’s coach few wrongs of can give to his team in that
came in October 2004, surprising many last year with the short term. If he can just
as he had a reputation as speaking two million dollars conjure up a way to lift
too bluntly for some of a more available to him the team that became a
sensitive nature which has and he spent most laughing stock of IPL last
more than once landed him in of it on one player, year, he would have
hot water. He didn’t have a who will be available been worth every
very successful stint with for just three penny.
them and after the first weeks. On top of And Kevin Pieterson
season disaster replaced If Kevin it, he is in the has the ability to do
Martin Crowe as the Pietersen can running to be that. When he first
coach of this IPL fran- just conjure up a captain as well. made his test debut
chise. He will be assisted way to lift the How Mallya for England, people
by India’s bowling coach team that expects doubted if he would
Venkatesh Prasad. Pietersen to be able to con-
became a turn the tide all tribute much in
SQUAD: laughing stock by himself in 21 the Ashes, but in
Rahul Dravid (ICON), Kevin of IPL last year, days is unfath- the end, he
Pietersen, Shivnaraine he would have omable? walked away with
Chanderpaul, Ross Taylor, been worth The better thing to all the accolades as
Wasim Jaffer, Gaurav do would have been England emerged
Dhiman, Robin Uthappa, every to buy two-three victorious. His antics
Mark Boucher (wicket- penny. players - in the Jesse in the ODIs have been
keeper), Shreevats Ryder mould - who no less entertaining;
Goswami, Dillon du Preez, Jesse Ryder, are there for the what with the switch hit
Jacques Kallis, Cameron White, Virat entirety of the tour- now coming into real
Kohli, Praveen Kumar, Balachandra Akhil, nament and would also bring prominence. He may come
Ranganath Vijay Kumar, Dale Steyn, about the much needed for five games only, but rest
Nathan Bracken, Abdur Razzak, Pankaj balance he wants in the assured, he is going to deploy
Singh, Anil Kumble. side. But one thinks, that that shot a lot more than just
is not something Mallya is once a game. 
Cricket
Today
April 2009

34

t
eam Owner: Deccan Chronicle
Deccan Chronicle is a
Hyderabad based company
which is involved in printing
and publishing newspapers and
periodicals alongwith advertisement
services. Established in 1938 Deccan
Chronicle is the number one daily in
Andhra Pradesh and the fourth most
read English daily in India. It enjoys the
readership of more than a million peo-
ple within the world. It is also the only
Indian newspaper with an international
edition from London. Deccan
Chronicle’s venture into the Chennai
market produced spectacular results
within three months of its launch in
March 2005 as it took over more than
half the market share of the English
dailies.
Deccan Chronicle Holdings plans to
pump in more than one billion dollars in
the air cargo business. They are all set
to launch India’s first international dedi-
cated cargo airline, Flyington Freighters
based out of Hyderabad.
Better described as a media baron, T.
Venkattram Reddy already owns two
editions of his flagship Deccan
Chronicle in Hyderabad and Chennai,
with another one to go in Bangalore.
Reddy recognized the importance of
internet in India and he is intent on by Chetan Narula

Deccan
highest caliber. However, these were
the only two wins for them in the first
season and the owners were quite
clearly not impressed.

COACH: DARREN
LEHMANN

Chargers
The Aussie world cup winner replaces
Indian fielding coach Robin Singh and
obviously this move has been inspired
by the change in leadership. Adam
Gilchrist and Darren Lehmann have
been team mates for quite some time
and surely the team management
exploiting it with online newspaper first season, it was not an under state- believes that this paring holds the key
communities and e-papers. He is a ment that this team was one of the to success for them this season.
graduate in commerce and holds a favourites, boasting of players like He has been in the captaincy race for
diploma in printing technology. He has Gilchrist, Gibbs, Styris, Symonds, Afridi Australia and is bound to have some
also served as a Member of the and Vaas. But two and two did not ideas of its own floating around as well
Parliament. equal to four for this team as they to complement Gilly. He played for the
crashed from the beginning itself. Rajasthan Royals in the first season of
2008 RECORD: EIGHTH They did not win even a single match at the IPL and the fact that he was in the
There is nothing much to write home home which was in fact their biggest company of Shane Warne strengthens
here except that this team was per- disappointment. The fact that they his resume all the more.
haps the biggest disappointment in the beat Mumbai Indians in Mumbai and
history of cricket, where eleven players Chennai SQUAD:
have been randomly been chosen to Super Kings in Chennai was proof Adam Gilchrist (captain & wicket-keep-
form a team. At the beginning of the enough that they had a team of the er), Chamara Silva, Herschelle Gibbs,
Cricket
Today
April 2009

35
around for he only got to play a hand- all, they weren’t expected to
ful of matches. This time though splash around after the splurge
he will get to play a lot more of 2008 and seem to have made
since he is missing out on sound cricketing investments.
international cricket action They can only go up from here!
and then only will every-
one know if he is really PLAYER TO
worth being one of the
Gilchrist is now WATCH OUT
most expensive players FOR: ADAM
in the IPL. captain and
Rohit Sharma was the Darren Lehmann GILCHRIST
brightest spark for is the coach, so Will he prove to be the
them last year and he they will bring Shane Warne of the second
was given company only season, for Deccan Chargers
by RP Singh and Prgyan fresh and aggres- are undoubtedly wearing
Ojha. However, they will sive ideas suited the crown of underdogs,
miss the services of to this format, something that rested on
Shahid something VVS Rajasthan Royals’ head
Afridi the most, whose Laxman was before the tournament first
contract they ended began last year! And after
due to the squabbling unable to. that, all know how one
between him and VVS Aussie great turned the for-
Laxman. The Pakistani tunes of his team around.
didn’t really fire last year but there is Mind you, he was never the
nobody in world captain of his country!
cricket who under- Adam Gilchrist, on the other hand, has
estimates him. led Australia on a fair bit number of
How much occasions and to be really honest, the
will his team also did well in his lead. But again,
absence sting that was the great Aussie team which
the team remains really didn’t know how to lose and this
to be seen! is the IPL team that doesn’t know how
In the last to win. For in the initial few weeks, it
eight was all a puzzle for VVS Laxman and by
VVS Laxman, Arjun months, a the time, he realized he wasn’t cut out
Yadav, Venugopal Roa, lot of for the job and gave it to Gilly, it was
Rohit Sharma, Ravi changes already too late.
Teja, T Suman, have taken place To his credit, Adam Gilchrist did bring
Abhinav Kumar, behind the curtains. about a certain consistency in the side,
Dwayne Smith, Scott Gilchrist is now in a short span of time. No they were
Styris, Andrew Symonds, captain and still not winning any games but they
Ryan Harris, Halhadar Das, Darren were regularly threatening to do so,
MS Bisla, RP Singh, Fidel Edwards, Lehmann is the coming close on a number of occasions
Chaminda Vaas, Nuwan Zoysa, D coach, so they as the tournament reached its last
Kalyankrishna, Prgyan Ojha, Sarveesh will bring fresh stages. The advantage that the leg-
Kumar, HS Bansal, Jaskarandeep and aggressive endary wicket-keeper has this season is
Singh, Vijay Kumar. ideas suited to that he knows he will be incharge from
this format, day one and can plan accordingly, as the
STRENGTHS & something VVS last time around the sorry state of
WEAKNESSES: Laxman was unable to. affairs didn’t really give him a chance to
Their biggest strength is Dwayne Smith is an all- explore on all possible fronts.
their batting of course. rounder but won’t be able Add to that the magic of the batting
If the collective might of to fill the void of Shahid phenomenon that is this player. He hit
their batting line up fires Afridi, that is, if and when one of the fastest centuries in the IPL
then they will zoom right the Pakistani fired. last year and if he is able to bring about
towards the top of the Otherwise Smith would be an assured look to the team, it will only
league table. Andrew a good investment. Fidel be most beneficial for him as he will be
Symonds has been in the wild Edwards might prove to able to focus his mind only on one goal:
for the past year and he will be be the fire power that to send the ball out of the park. And
keen to prove a point to his Chaminda Vaas lacked with Adam Gilchrist in that sort of
detractors. He was not and now seems to have mood, it can only be bad news for the
an entire failure last time lost completely. All in bowlers! 
Cricket
Today
April 2009

36

w
hen a well established
player scores another
milestone on the interna-
tional scene, heaps of
praise are showered on
him and reams of pages dedicated to
his class act. But every single feat
always borders on expectation before
it is achieved. There is a sense of antici-
pation every time he takes the field
and in that, perhaps the slight degree
of expectation that precedes him takes
away the element of surprise.
But there is something equally special
when a relative unknown bursts onto
Manpreet Gony
the scene, creates a sensation and
was not the
enraptures the audiences. There was
Chennai team’s first
entertainment in the form exhilarating
choice. However,
talent utilizing the platform for expres-
once Sudeep Tyagi
sion, creating a brand new league of
was rendered
rising stars. In fact, expect the unex-
unavailable
pected, became the mantra of last
through injury,
year’s IPL.
Gony was brought
Take a look at some of the names that
into the team’s
impacted both, IPL and cricket, in the
scheme of things
ascending order of their impact (in
and suffice it to say,
keeping with the building suspense that
they had no
they continued to provide through the
regrets.
tournament) in this enthralling
Twenty20 extravaganza!

JEWEL 1: THE NAME’S


GONY, NOT DHONI
The similarity of his name with the
Indian skipper amused many. But the
only on field trait that the duo shared
was their calm, cool demeanour in the
face of a sandstorm. It made a lot of by Sreelata S. Yellamrazu

Ten
sense, in hindsight, that two of the
coolest heads were operating in the
Chennai Super Kings’ dressing room.
Admittedly Punjab’s Manpreet Gony
was not the Chennai team’s first
choice. However, once Sudeep Tyagi
was rendered unavailable through

Sparkling
injury, Gony was brought into the
team’s scheme of things and suffice it
to say, they had no regrets. A tall, well
built fast medium bowler, he caught
more than one batsman by surprise
with his ability to bowl bouncers, to do

Diamonds
so with accuracy and to lead as the
strike bowler in the side contrary to
the relative lack of experience he has
had in the game.
No mug with the bat, he averaged 35
though he batted in only five innings of

in the Rough
the tournament. But he showed his
ability as someone who could really hit
the ball hard (enhancing that skill fur-
ther will make him another in the mould
Cricket
Today
April 2009

37
of perhaps an Irfan Pathan for India). ASNODKAR – GOD’S exactly what he wanted – an unexpect-
That he picked up seventeen wickets, GIFT TO GOA ed bomb that exploded to destructive
equalling Albie Morkel’s tally for Swapnil Asnodkar. Not many even in effect. His whirlwind knock of sixty in
Chennai, meant that he has surpassed cricketing circles would have heard of the game against Kolkata Knight Riders
the likes of Makhaya Ntini and Muttiah him. That is a shame because Asnodkar showed what talent in a conducive
Muralitharan who picked up seven and is breaking barriers, coming from a tra- environment can do, even when not
eleven wickets respectively. To outshine ditionally football oriented land called picked regularly in the team.
his more esteemed colleagues would Goa, and he is doing it with numbers Asnodkar proved to be one of the
have been immensely satisfying but so that would make most first class bats- most well known names of the tourna-
was his 26.05 average, again way ahead men proud. But while his name has ment and that is credit to his perform-
of the established men in his team. eluded the ears of the selectors, the ances in the opening position alongside
Batting personal issues or exploding roll call of the Rajasthan Royals beck- the South African powerhouse Graeme
batsman, Manpreet Gony was shown an oned the diminutive dynamite and he Smith who was also dwarfed by
unruffled intensity about his game that responded with resplendent strokes. Asnodkar’s feats. With 311 runs in just
belies the depth of the fight in him and Asnodkar played only nine games in the nine matches at an average of 34.55
clearly marks him as one of the most IPL but it was a deliberate ploy on the and a strike rate that is simply phenom-
tenacious competitors on the field. part of the Royals skipper Shane Warne. enal, he will be earmarked for more
Unleashing him on unsuspecting oppo- features in forthcoming years. He is no
JEWEL 2: SWAPNIL nents, Warne got out of Asnodkar longer the stock weapon; he is the well
established pint sized arsenal in the
Royals camp.

JEWEL 3: DHAWAL
KULKARNI – WAITING
TO BE DISCOVERED
An understated gentleman would per-
haps describe Mumbai’s
Dhawal Kulkarni best. But
only a fool would equate
his demeanor with his
talent. As a medium
fast bowler, he is no
small sensation. He
may not have had his
share of the lime-
light yet. But it
does not, in
any way,
undermine
the potential,
which the Mumbai
Indians were also
shrewd to spot.
It was always a great
opportunity for such a
young and upcoming bowler
to share the dressing room
with a stalwart like Shaun
Pollock and that is perhaps
one of the biggest attributes
that Mumbai has benefitted
from. Kulkarni’s opportunity to
refine his bowling, perhaps only polish
it, reaped rewards majestically in an
unfortunate scenario where his team
did not really make the impression
for him to truly stand out. But
the medium pacer, who like
Pollock likes to hit the right areas with
regular consistency, grew in stature in
the eyes of the spectators as the tour-
nament wore on.
Cricket
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38
JEWEL 5: ALBIE MORKEL
– ZULU’S BACK?
South Africa lost Lance Klusener some-
where in the chaos of the 2003 World
Cup. The manner in which Lance “Zulu”
Klusener took the 1999 World Cup by
storm, there was little doubt that the
need of the hour for other teams was
not just an all rounder, but one that
doubled up as a terrific finisher of the
game. South Africa’s yearning for a
Zulu-like character in the side put mas-
sive pressure on Justin Kemp.
A big hitter and valuable all rounder,
Kemp somehow did not bring to the
fore the depth of his talent. But the
search need not be exhaustive anymore
because the IPL was a showcase for
Albie Morkel not only to announce him-
self to the cause of the South Africans
in a stronger vein after three years of
struggling to establish himself but also,
send a warning to the rest of the crick-
et world.
Morkel, the older of the Morkel broth-
ers, has been preferred to play in the
one day version of the game while

Where his team failed, Kulkarni pursued eyes as he makes the team in the
on and was rewarded for it. With eleven national colours, a dream he shared
wickets from ten matches, just one with his late mother.
wicket less than Ashish Nehra but a far But as an all rounder, he has shown a
better average of 21.45, Kulkarni’s spark, and it refuses to dwin-
maturity far outweighs the opportunity dle or fade despite the fact
presented to him. Holding his own in that enormous expectations
the midst of a slog is also something rest on his young shoulders
he is capable of as he showed in and tender mind. But Jadeja is
the league game when the not new to pressure. He
Rajasthan Royals suffered a showed he could take it in his
shock defeat and in no small stride, whether it was as
measure, to Dhawal Kulkarni an teenager in the his-
who came back well in the
As an all rounder, toric under-19 World Cup
match with two wickets. Ravindra Jadeja that India won or in the
Certainly an understated has shown a IPL where Shane Warne
talent, but one worthy of spark, and it marked him for great-
pursuit. refuses to dwin- ness.
dle or fade Not inexperienced with
JEWEL 4: despite the fact the bat and not a novice
RAVINDRA that enormous with the ball, Jadeja pre-
JADEJA – expectations rest sented his skipper with
on his young all rounder’s options, one
GRADUATION of the facets that made
TO THE BIG shoulders and Rajasthan Royals team
tender
LEAGUE mind.
distinct as Warne’s dis-
His seemingly lack of runs cerning eye kept his faith
can be deceptive as also the in the young man for the
lack of wickets in his IPL wickets column. entire duration of the
But there are no statistics that would tournament. Groomed for
measure determination on a scale. the future, Jadeja’s first steps of lin-
Ravindra Jadeja, at just twenty years of gering success could continue to the
age, finds himself in the cynosure of IPL.
Cricket
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39
young brother Morne, who features
prominently in the Test arena, is being
called South Africa’s next ‘White
Lightning’ by none other than Allan
Donald himself. Morkel is an all rounder
with cool, level headed batting under
pressure that can convert probable los-
ing positions into match winning ones
and whose bowling contributions give
captains an additional option to fall
back on to contain as well as pick up
wickets.
Morkel’s figures in the IPL include 241
runs at an average of 34.42 that do
not mention his penchant for lusty,
unflappable batting in the face in
seemingly insurmountable odds. His
range of shots, his depth of tenacity,
the sheer distance that the ball covers
after caressing Albie’s bat, makes one
of the world’s most dangerous bats-
men lower down the order. It is a tall
resume for a cricketer whose real mark
came from last year’s IPL. The fact that
he took seventeen wickets, the same
number as Chennai Super Kings’ other
highest wicket taker – Manpreet Gony,
at a better average of 23.47 makes him why he has found a place in the one He notched up the tournament’s
one for the future, and an indubitable day squad for team India. fastest fifty against the Deccan
star of the IPL, overshadowed only by One of the cleanest hit- Chargers in only twenty-one balls and
others that shone a bit brighter than ters of the ball in the showed an amazing nonchalance when
him. game, Yusuf dis- setting the ball sailing for maximum.
played remark- For someone coming from a family
JEWEL 6: able calm and where there was already an interna-
YUSUF confidence tional player, it appears that the need
PATHAN – and cer- to prove himself almost did not matter
tainly to him. Self assured and tailor made for
ANOTHER the game, Yusuf Pathan set his career
ONE OF A took off to a rollicking start and that he is
CLAN the IPL by now a regular in the Indian team is only
India is fortunate storm. If he ever vindication of the fact.
not to have one but needed an oppor- With 435 runs to his name at an aver-
rather two Pathans in tunity to come into age of 31.07, not to mention his tally of
the line up. That the his own without the eight wickets in the tournament with a
Pathan brothers are both preordained talent of his best of three for twenty-two in the
capable of decently holding younger brother lurking in final of the IPL when he had the
their own in all departments the shadows, he could not Chennai Super Kings in a tail spin,
of the game is a huge advan- have timed it better. A tall makes him a dangerous and crucial
tage. While Irfan Pathan has striking batsman, Yusuf player for the Rajasthan Royals and his
established himself as a bowling showed an ability to pick a Man of the Match award in the final
all rounder years ago, elder bowler early and send the was only testimony to it. The Pathan
brother Yusuf took a while to ball sailing high and over the has truly arrived.
break out of the shell that boundary ropes whether
shielded his talent. But he over midwicket or over the JEWEL 7: GAUTAM
could not have asked for a covers. That added to his GAMBHIR – CATCHING
better platform than the IPL pesky off spinners, proved THE SPIRIT
to showcase the destructive valuable traits in a team He lost the orange cap (bestowed on
talent he poses potently as that was short on star the batsman who makes the most runs
another one of the most power. in an IPL season) narrowly to Shaun
dangerous batsmen in Yusuf flourished and the Marsh. But that did not diminish in any
the world. There was lit- Rajasthan Royals did too way the value and significance of
tle wonder thereafter by having him in the side. Gautam Gambhir’s performance and its
Cricket
Today
April 2009

40
number of sixty-four boundaries to his Super Kings where he returned with
name, he remains unsurpassed in the figures of six wickets for just twenty
first edition and an established crowd runs in his allotted four overs, a record
puller in his own right now. by any stretch of the imagination in a
Twenty20 match! His exploits with the
JEWEL 8: HAIL, SOHAIL bat in a pinch hitter’s role were not
TANVIR overlooked either. The man with the
Pakistan perhaps did not even know Purple Cap (awarded to the bowler who
Sohail Tanvir’s worth. Although his takes the most wickets in the IPL) had
name has floated around prior to the clearly set the benchmark amongst
IPL, his talent was only prominently evi- bowlers, vying for recognition and
dent when the first season of the IPL glory in the IPL.
eventually concluded. That he was a
clear league ahead of the rest of the JEWEL 9: SHANE
bowlers and a more than useful bats- WATSON – SHERLOCK’S
man was a matter known prior perhaps FIND!
only to Shane Warne and Tanvir himself! Indeed it would have to take someone
Tanvir picked up a colossal twenty-two with the keen eye, acuteness of mind
wickets from just eleven games at and accuracy in belief to back this
average of just 12.01. His impressive young man. Shane Warne did and he
strike rate of 11.2 and a decent econo- managed to convince his franchisee,
my rate of 6.46 made him the catch of the Rajasthan Royals, that Shane
the IPL from the sub continent. His Watson was the man to snare. It was a
stand out performance was clearly the gamble, a calculated one but one that
league match between his team, the paid off marvelously for the Royals
Rajasthan Royals, and the Chennai cause.

impact not only on the IPL but also, on


his own career in international cricket.
For the rather short lived memories,
when Gambhir was first considered for
the opener’s slot in the Indian Test line
up, the perception of him came across
as someone who was a slow accumula-
tor of runs and the perfect foil as
anchor for the more explosive Virender
Sehwag. Gambhir, by that measure, was
a surprise choice for the World
Twenty20.
He showed the first glimpse of his
capabilities in the inaugural World
Twenty20. And while his name is a
slightly strange sight in this list of large
unknowns, his untapped talent until the
IPL makes his name relevant amongst
his peers who, like him, grabbed the
opportunity and made it count. What’s
more, in Gambhir’s case, he has been
able to translate his success in the IPL
to a fortified role for team India in a
form and manner that it is hard to
imagine that it was the same Gambhir
before and after the IPL.
His consistent partnerships with Delhi,
ONGC and team India opening partner,
Sehwag, were one of the scintillating
highlights of the IPL. With an average
of 41.07 and 534 runs, Gambhir’s may
have missed becoming the leading runs
scorer in the IPL, but with a mammoth
Cricket
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41
Watson, who battled for five years to
establish himself in the Australia team
with a spate of injuries and inconsisten-
cy of form, found a believer in Warne
and the relationship of faith was vindi-
cated. The first man in the IPL to win
two Man of the Match awards, Watson
steered his team with a solid seventy-
six against Mohali to follow it up with
sixty-one in the Royal Challengers
Bangalore. Priced at a modest USD
125,000, Watson emerged as one of a
handful of brightest stars to have
grabbed the opportunity with both
hands.
In addition to his batting, making 472
runs at a strike of 151.76 with a valu-
able average of 47.20, Watson’s ability
as an all rounder proved to be the dis-
tinct advantage of the Rajasthan Royals
team. With seventeen wickets in his IPL
stint, it is little wonder then that
Watson was soon competing with
Andrew Symonds for the all rounder’s
spot in the Australian team soon after.
With stress fractures affecting him this
year, he has sought the describe his style. Shaun Marsh
resources of Dennis Lillee brought new energy to the team
and will once again look to with his consistency bat-
recapture the magic of the Shaun Marsh ting at the top of the
IPL ahead of the all impor- brought new ener- order. The fluency of his
tant Ashes. gy to the team with strokes, the effortless
his consistency bat- ease with which he provid-
CROWNING ting at the top of ed the anchor as well as
GLORY: SHAUN the order. The flu- the impetus was breath-
MARSH – TURN- ency of his strokes, lessly spectacular, his
the effortless ease technique impeccable, and
ING MARSHES with which he pro- his aura, one of supreme
INTO GOLD vided the anchor as dominance. It was hard to
SPOTS well as the impetus imagine that the
Very few people get to was breathlessly Australian team had wait-
impact the international spectacular. ed so long before making
scene even before their him an integral part of the
international debut for one day line up.
their country. At 30,000 dollars, his With 616 runs to show in
price was clearly understated as was his the tournament at an
talent. Yet every muscle movement on extraordinarily incredible average of
the crease was worth its weight in gold. 68.44 in the course of a Twenty20
Even the franchisee owners of the tournament and a handy strike rate of
Kings XI Punjab would fail to win the 139.68, the Mohali team certainly
argument that they knew the exact found a diamond in the rough. Son of
worth of having him in the team. His the former Australian wicket keeper
unbeaten knock of eighty-four against Geoff Marsh, this son surely did make
the Deccan Chargers was only the taste his papa proud!
of things to come as he went onto Men of unpolished brilliance like these
make five astounding half centuries make the journey all worthwhile. There
and a terrific century to cap off his is little doubt that they would have
performances. It is hard to imagine required big boots after their stint in
that the Mohali team would have had the IPL because the expectations on
the kind of success they had without them have only become enormous! One
this young charmer with the bat. could only ask in wonderment, has tal-
Sublime dominance would perhaps best ent finally found its match? 
Cricket
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42

Million Dollar
Men: Dollops of
Flops
by Sreelata S. Yellamrazu
Cricket
Today
April 2009

43

t
hey made not have made all
their millions directly from the
IPL. But their heroics in cricket
history have assessed them as
being worth millions, such
being the wealth of their talent and
power of their performance. Yet some-
how their allure failed to add to the
glitz of the IPL. In what must be
counted as one of the biggest disap-
pointments, while the IPL has
sprung up a whole bunch of new
names, the stars simply failed to Fleming knew
shine, taking just a little bit of
sheen away while also, adding to his batting was
the need to make amends a sec- failing the team
ond time round. and spent time
Here are ten top cricketers who
never quite found their radar in off the field and
IPL’s inaugural year, in the in the dug out
descending order of degree of
disappointment. than on it, giving
way to younger,
1 DOWN: THE nobler inten-
VOCIFEROUS
SHAHID AFRIDI tions.
Not only did the Hyderabad
Deccan Chargers become one of the
most talked about teams but there was
also a member of the team who did
most of the talking, ironically, not with
his bat. Shahid Afridi’s big hitting is now
legendary. But his presence in any team
can also mean a double
edged sword in that if he
gets going, it is Boom
Boom Afridi. But
aggression can get
the better of him,
with him perishing
often as many failed to find the ignition being overshadowed by Twenty20, “I
times to injudicious button. But perhaps he can’t say if 50-overs cricket would be
thinking that was speaking for affected by the popularity of
betrays the himself when he Twenty20 but certainly Test matches
talent he is spoke about the would be hit hard as people are more
capable of cheerleaders interested in seeing instant and exciting
unleashing to being a distrac- cricket.” But his bat chose to remain
tornado tion and that silent right through.
effect. The cricket was The fireworks continued to elude
Hyderabad entertainment despite repeated trials. While his bowl-
Heroes enough with- ing was still handy with nine wickets in
certainly out the need the tournament, Afridi’s primary role as
saw the for additional a swashbuckling batsman was not vindi-
Dr. Jekyll crutches. He cated in the first season with a paltry
side of Mr. had plenty of average of 10.12 to show for his
Hyde. other talking eighty-one runs. Undeterred he went
In a version of points, not about giving his opinion on the two
the game that involved his skippers in the team, Adam Gilchrist
designed for bat though. He who took over from an injured V.V.S.
trailblazers was also con- Laxman, “Laxman led the team well in
such as him- cerned about the first six matches. But it was a les-
self, he Test cricket son to learn how Gilchrist treated the
Cricket
Today
April 2009

44
players after our two losses under him. start and Ponting’s own form (at a 9.75 4 DOWN: GIBBS – GUZ-
He (Gilchrist) must be feeling bad, but average!) spoke volumes of how silently
he does not show it. He tries to absorb Ponting went about through the tour- ZLING DOWN GLOOM
it and speaks nicely to teammates. It nament as opportunity to see arguably Another reason why such a batting
was amazing.” That only fuelled further one of the world’s three best contem- heavy Hyderabad Deccan Chargers
when Afridi’s statements were inter- porary batsmen at his best went amiss. failed to take off was because of
preted as those that eventually led to There is no chance of seeing Ponting in Herschelle Gibbs’ form. In fact, it would
the change of guard for the Deccan the second season as he has chosen to be appropriate to say that the collec-
Chargers. opt out in favour of forthcoming tive failures of their batsmen, a cluster
He though apologized to the crowds assignments for Australia and it would of some of the world’s best explosive
that turned up to support his team and hurt him to hear Lalit Modi batsmen, led to their eventual low rank-
stated, “I know I disappointed and let say that the absence of one ing in the points tally.
down my fans with my batting fail- man would not make IPL Priced at a 100,000 less than the USD
ures. My team finished at bottom poorer. 675,000 paid to Afridi, Gibbs could have
because of my ordinary form. It viewed the faith of his franchisees as
really hurts me. This version of 3 DOWN:
cricket suits my aggressive FLEMING – NOT
style of batting. But I took QUITE THE
pressure in the league. I Gibbs could not
wanted to give my best in provide the SILENT ASSAS-
this shorter version but Chargers’ innings Stephen SIN
unfortunately I failed.” Fleming was
There is always time to the momentum one of the men who
make amends. With the kind they desperately held the international
of figures he had in the first needed. His off banner of the IPL when
season, anything above and it was officially flagged
beyond would be an field amusements off. A slightly unusual
improvement. and positive mind choice, much like the
2 DOWN: LOW frame failed to Indian counterparts who
stood witness to the
POINT FOR inspire the event despite shunning
PONTING team. the World Twenty20
Ricky Ponting was not too championships, the for-
unhappy with the auction amount he mer New Zealand captain
was eventually bought for by the did have his explosive and
Kolkata Knight Riders. At USD 400,000, exquisite innings such as the one during
it was considerably lower than the 2003 World Cup against hosts
Australian team mate Andrew Symonds’ South Africa in the limited version of
1.35 million dollar deal for the Deccan the game.
Chargers. Ponting expressed his feelings Bought by the Chennai Super Kings,
the way he always does, without a Fleming was predictably expected to
hitch, “I thought I might have been able translate the finesse of his opening role
to attract a little bit more than that. I to the cause of getting the Chennai
have had my fair share of endorse- team to steady starts. But Fleming
ments over the years and always felt appeared largely out of his element,
the Indian people have warmed to me often searching for the middle of his
quite often when I have been there. bat or desperate to pierce the field.
Lots of things have gone through my Sedate and undermined, Fleming knew
mind, even my involvement in the his batting was failing the team and
Harbhajan (Singh) thing, but I thought spent time off the field and in the dug
hang on, Symo (Symonds) was involved out than on it, giving way to younger,
in it as well.” nobler intentions.
But that was not the only reason why It is little wonder then that with a view
Ponting was miffed. The failure to to using him in a role where he will per-
launch cost Australia’s top cricketer, not haps be able to serve best, the Chennai
to mention the highest paid cricketer Super Kings decided to employ
that year, additional grief compounded Fleming’s services in the position of the
by the fact that he was playing under team coach, Kepler Wessels’ contract
skipper Sourav Ganguly, a man he did standing not renewed for a second
not always see eye-to-eye with. The year. Perhaps Fleming’s innovations as a
Knight Riders flattered to deceive after captain will now yield better results for
Brendon McCullum’s stupendous kick Chennai than his own bat did.
Cricket
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45
One would want to be less harsh Ganguly would win the war of
on Rahul Dravid simply because half centuries, having made one
he was by far the highest run more than Dravid’s two and top
getter in the Royal scoring with ninety-one to Dravid’s
Challengers Bangalore team seventy-five. But neither
and led like a true captain, Sourav Ganguly stood out for memorable
with grit, when many ques- and Rahul Dravid, performances as an
tioned his captaincy as well enduring image of the IPL,
as his presence in a
failed to justify now established as a pow-
Twenty20 arena. But their icon status erhouse of Twenty20
being icon players and and if anything, tournaments. It would be
captains of their respec- raised uncomfort- too critical on Ganguly but
tive teams, both, Sourav able queries about given his lasting image as
Ganguly and Rahul Dravid, why men who one who could turn it on
failed to justify their icon rejected the World with some panache and
status and if anything, Twenty20 would one who has been a veter-
raised uncomfortable lead a young an of successful one day
queries about why men man’s team matches for India, he
who rejected the World would naturally come
Twenty20 would lead a
in the IPL. across as the favourite to
young man’s team in the adapt to the format, while
IPL. Dravid was clearly the under
Their figures are dog in a competition of expec-
virtually identi- tations between the two former India
cal. While captains.
Ganguly
made 349 6 DOWN: KALLIS –
runs at an LEAVING SOMETHING
average of AMISS
29.08, Dravid There was a furore when Jacques
made his 371 Kallis was left out of the South
runs at 28.53. African squad for the World
an opportunity Twenty20 hosted at home, so much
to earn back his so that Mark Boucher, his South
form and a permanent African team mate and now also at
place in the South African the Royal Challengers Bangalore, was
team, something that has tailgated up in arms over the decision. That
him without doubt until the last couple though only meant a rap on the knuck-
of years. An explosive batsman at the les for the South African wicket keeper
top of the order with a hand-eye coor- and Kallis feeling the need to redeem
dination to rival only the likes of a himself.
Virender Sehwag or Sanath Jayasuriya, Kallis may be enjoying a bit of limelight
Gibbs has the ability to win a match sin- this year, having surpassed 10,000
gle handedly, apart from boasting of international runs in both, Test and one
being an electrifying fielder. day internationals, but it was not easy
But Gibbs could not provide the going during the inaugural IPL. The
Chargers’ innings the momentum they Royal Challengers Bangalore were
desperately needed. When he landed in dubbed largely a ‘Test’ side and the
India, he had hoped that he would be criticism extended to Kallis as well,
able to change the team’s fortunes. rather harshly given that Kallis has
But at an average of 18.55, the been a colossus in the one day ver-
Chargers were going nowhere, at least sion of the game as well. That
not to the top. Gibbs’ off field amuse- Misbah ul Haq could have well
ments and positive mind frame failed made this list with an
to inspire the team; it appears only his average of 16 was not
bat can do the trick. discounted. But that
Kallis has had not
5 DOWN: JOINT only three addi-
SHARING VENTURE - tional matches
GANGULY AND but also, a
wealth of expe-
DRAVID rience makes his
Cricket
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46
presence a must on this list. mier leg spinner, one had to wonder
And the first year of the IPL was not what Kumble was doing in a Twenty20
where Kallis managed to change that trade when he was not even in India’s
mindset. He averaged a measly 18.09 strategy in the one day format. Picked
with 199 runs in eleven matches with a to play for the Royal Challengers, he
lone half century to his name. His bowl- further strengthened the ‘Test’ tag
ing did not really prove the Royal attached to the Bangalore team by
Challenger’s stock weapon either with simply failing to make an impression,
just four wickets at an average of much like the team he represented.
77.75. Kallis had under achieved, and While Twenty20 started out with the
the unsavory expectations received an image of being a bludgeoning game for
unusual day in the sun. batsmen while skewed negatively in
favour of the bowlers, increasingly a
7 DOWN: SPECIAL case is being made for genuine bowlers
APPEARANCE BY who are adept in their skills and at vari-
SHOAIB AKHTAR ations. But there was hardly a formida-
That could per- ble reason to justify his place purely
haps explain his looking at his performances last year.
career really. Yet Kumble was sought after, sadly
Shah Rukh Khan though he could not bring his skills to
felt almost vindicat- the fore in the format of the game
ed in his pursuit of where he could have set the precedent.
ensuring that the Rawalpindi At USD 500,000, he did not come
Express did make his mark in the IPL cheap. Picking up seven wickets from
when Shoaib Akhtar made a spec-
tacular show on debut. But wickets for only
like with most matters eleven runs. It
pertaining to cricket in his included the prized
life, success was short scalps of the form
lived mired amidst con- of the dynamic
troversies, and memories duo from Delhi,
even shorter. skipper
Shah Rukh Khan was pre- Virender
pared to go the distance Sehwag and
to get his USD 425,000 Gautam Gambhir,
worth fast bowler from to send the Knight Riders
Pakistan into the Kolkata to a rollicking victory.
Knight Riders’s ranks. Akhtar But Akhtar lasted just
nearly missed the entire IPL two matches before
after the Pakistan Cricket injury got the better of
Board (PCB) imposed a five him. The journey of the
year ban on him to virtually IPL, like his cricket life,
kaput his international career. came full circle when
That he even made it to two Akhtar, who was
matches then was as much backed to the hilt by
SRK’s lobbying for him as Shah Rukh Khan and
was the enormous pres- his franchisee, was
sure of watching put up for trade
stars in action in for the second
the IPL. season as soon
His debut at as the trad-
Eden Gardens ing window
was sensational. opened.
Defending a
modest 133, 8
Akhtar gave DOWN:
his team a KUMBLE –
performance
that involved NOTHING TO
taking four RUMBLE ABOUT
Despite Anil Kumble’s colos-
sal success as India’s pre-
Cricket
Today
April 2009

47
ten matches in the IPL, down in the Commonwealth Bank even make it to the semi finals. As
three of which came in a single game, series. Ishant Sharma missed a chance young as he may have been, he had
Kumble’s average of 43.42 and a not so to tour South Africa a year earlier raised the expectations and based on
economical economy rate of 7.93, it is when the selectors had a change of his then form and ability, it has to be
hard to imagine that Kumble made a heart at the eleventh hour. But that he said that he was a star but one that
lasting impression, one that made a had arrived was never in question. faded into the background in the
case for making him a regular in the Ishant Sharma found himself in great course of the tournament as did his
starting line up. He will have to draw demand in the days leading up to the team.
from his past successes in international IPL and it was quite a catch and a
cricket, if he wants to continue to be a match to watch Ishant in the same 10 ALL OUT: NOT QUITE
force to reckon with post retirement team as Ricky Ponting who would have SACHIN TENDULKAR
and make a dent in the RCB’s favour. found it bemusing to be sharing the One may wonder why Sachin Tendulkar
dressing room with his nemesis. But is being singled out when he, like V.V.S.
9 DOWN: ISHANT – apart from the odd moments when Laxman, battled with injury in the
WHEN BEING Ponting was seen discussing matters on course of the duration of the IPL. V.V.S.
“SHAANT”(SILENT) IS the field with the fast bowling sensa- Laxman fought the indignity of being
tion, Ishant himself struggled to pick up dubbed a player better suited for a
NOT GOOD! wickets at will. Test team as he warmed the bench. His
“I’ve been off my game lately” would In fact he was hardly creating a name penchant to throw away his wicket
perhaps apply best to the man, nay, lad for himself with only nine wickets in the rather casually when in supreme touch
who walked away with a huge pay entire tournament at a not so econom- has often been Laxman’s bane. Like
check (USD 950,000 to be more accu- ical rate of 7.80. He was also perhaps Dravid and Ganguly, the IPL could
rate) beyond his imagination within six one of the reasons why despite have been the platform to prove his
months of being a pivotal member of having such a star studded line critics wrong and led his respective
the bowling attack that took Australia up, Knight Riders failed to regional team to success with the
backing of local support. But the
expectations from Tendulkar was
exponentially higher than those from
Laxman because not only was
Though Sachin may the former the highest paid
have been placed icon player but also, because he
in the list in a mat- was a phenomenal name in
ter of being the cricket history whose milestones
lowest of disap- belonged as much to the one
pointments, so day game as they did to the
much is expected Tests.
of the man who While injury is a valid reason,
spectators never when these two batsmen of flu-
tire of watching ency and flair took the field,
that there was no their performances suggest
way he could have they had clearly underachieved.
been left out With an identical average of 31,
of the team. Tendulkar played one game
more than Laxman’s six, it was
simply a case of not having left
behind performances that inspire
instant recall in a game tailor made
for the likes of Tendulkar.
Though he may have been placed in
the list in a matter of being the lowest
of disappointments, so much is expect-
ed of the man who spectators never
tire of watching that there was no way
he could have been left out of this
team, leniency of injury notwithstand-
ing.
That the IPL shone without the light
shining from such men of brilliance is
extraordinary. One has only to shudder
at the imagination of the kind of luster
that would surround the IPL should one
or all of these men suddenly decide it is
their time to shine! 
Cricket
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48

The best of the


IPLSeason One
by Chetan Narula
Cricket
Today
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49

t
he Indian Premier League is not just gold dresses with golden helmets and gear
about cricket only. If anybody thinks were the most pleasing to the eye, any part
so, they are grossly mistaken of the country one went to. No wonder their
because they just need to look into merchandise was the one outselling that of
the months of preparations that go all other franchises. It was plain and simple,
into staging the matches, getting the cheer- their design. They were the king’s men and
leaders ready, the clothing designed and thus the golden hues painted brightly on
stitched, the marketing and media campaigns their uniforms. Plus they were the knights
running overtime and getting the crowds and thus had to be in a shade which not only
worked into a frenzy. Yes, it wasn’t about stands out people but at the same time,
the cricket alone and if the first season did- doesn’t hide their strong points, rather
n’t impress you enough, just wait up for the brings them out in the open. Clear winners in
second season to enthrall your imaginations. this area, the Kolkata franchise.
Meanwhile we are fairly convinced that a lot And if there is place for a close runner-up,
of effort was put in which was beyond the then the Delhi Dare Devils clothing is as close
boundary and therefore that needs to be as it gets. The red and black colouring was
highlighted as well. For only then will they be yet another treat to the eye, making the
inspired onto the next level, presenting prob - team look serious about their work on the
ably an even better show this year. field and all the more dangerous at the same
time. Even the Chennai Super Kings weren’t
BEST CREST: that bad with a bright yellow hue to their
The identity of the eight teams involved was clothing, giving them a pleasant and fun-
everything to them. They chose fancy names filled yet business minded look about their
and needed fancy designs on their crests to antics on the field. The worst: well that was
symbolize what they stand for. The colours reserved for the Kings XI Punjab who could-
and the name need to fit in fancy fully and n’t get their clothing right from the very
live on in the minds of those who not only start and changed designs and colours
cheer for the teams but also follow their atleast three times before one stopped car-
progress. More than that, they should be ing!
unique and recognizable from a distance
whenever they are viewed in any part of the BEST STADIUM:
country if not the world. All the franchises did their very best in this
There are a few contenders for the best respect, for although the tournament was a
crest and they are: Kolkata Knight Riders, domestic one, the presence of international
Deccan Chargers, Rajasathan Royals and stars meant that the whole world would be
Kings XI Punjab. Deccan Chargers could have watching and probably even coming down to
been the outright winners here but their watch some of the matches. Most of the
team didn’t perform anywhere near the existing grounds like Mohali, Delhi, Chennai
charged up bull they display on their badge and Bangalore were renovated
and therefore miss out – probably next time! while some other new ones also
Kings XI Punjab is an example where they came up like the one in
may have cluttered it up a bit too much for Hyderabad. The best one though
comfort, with two lion manes flowing but was host to the most important
there are many unexplained initials on game of the tournament that is
their crest. Knight Riders run the even - the all important final match. The
tual winners close but the Rajasathan DY Patil Stadium in Mumbai
Royals are clear winners here for is a world class facility and
their crest represents what their DY Patil Stadium in one of the best grounds in
team, franchise and host city is all Mumbai is a world the country at present. No
about: royalty. Complete with gold- class facility and one wonder then that the BCCI
en hues, crowns and trumpets, of the best grounds chose this particular venue
there is a kingly feel to the symbol in the country at for the finals when the top
they wear on their clothing. present. No wonder honchos of world cricket
Oh, by the way, the Bangalore Royal then that the BCCI descended into the country.
Challengers have the worst one, no chose this particular Having said that the worst
thinking going into it, just two plain venue for the venue wasn’t far away
alphabets, R and C. finals.when the top either, with the Wankhede
honchos of world Stadium across the city,
BEST CLOTHING: cricket descended taking the cake for this one!
The Kolkata Knight Riders are the into the coun- The plight of the common
clear winners here. Their black and try. man was beyond words as
Cricket
Today
April 2009

50
for the length of the tournament. Even
the new ones brought in weren’t a
shade on the ones they replaced and
throughout the duration of the cham -
pionship, there was one din which when
heard could only be associated with the
Royal Challengers: the test team in T20
clothes with the best cheergirls!
No one could figure out what it was
with poor teams and best cheer girls
for the Deccan Chargers had Russian
troupers flown in for the IPL. Needless
to say, they had the second best girls
of the lot, while having the worst team
in lieu of points scored in the league.
The worst cheerleading squad was of
the Mumbai Indians as they, as per
their name, decided to go local and
hired from the city itself. The end
result was some pathetic artistry every
time a wicket fell or a boundary scored.
Why, there were even boys in their
troupe!
people were made to sit on wooden beer from his Kingfisher stable! Beer at
slabs and not even proper seats. This is a cricket ground is an almost unheard BEST ENTOURAGE:
the venue for the world cup final in of concept in India, a country where This one has to go Shah Rukh Khan. He
2011 and it is only apt that it is being even water bottles are sometimes for- conjured up the Knight Riders which
renovated as one writes. bidden past the gates. will surely get more tag-
awards but this one was
BEST HOSPITALITY: BEST CHEERLEADERS: the most unlikely one they
With the best grounds The other part good about the would have got. But consid-
and the stadiums, Bangalore team were the girls they had ering that the Eden Gardens
comes in the hospi- in their cheerleading squad. They had more than twenty thou-
tality factor. The brought in the girls from the sand tickets reserved for the
write has been Washington Red Sox for the opening members of the Cricket
to a large game and a few of them stayed back Association of Bengal, this was
number of one party that couldn’t be
IPL matches as topped. And as if it wasn’t
a part of the enough, SRK had his personal
crowd and as a friends and family following him
member of the around all over the pavilions and
press, and the the grounds. Even the usual cul-
experience is entirely prits the DDCA were not able to
different in both the dole out as many free passes and
cases. And that is what is tickets for the GMR people kept a
wrong with Indian cricket. strict watch and checked back the
Unless and until the Board numbers to just around five thousand.
realizes that the people who
come in to watch the game are BEST CAMPAIGN:
the driving force behind it, and the It is the Delhi Dare Devils who trump up
money that they earn, then only will every one in this category. The GMR
things improve for the better for group came up with some really decent
Indian cricket and their fans. and innovative ideas when it came to
Having said that, the crown for the bridging the bond between the fans
most hospitable hosts has to go to and their local heroes. All the teams
Vijay Mallya! He may not know how to got their local catchment areas’ news-
pick a side for T20 match but he does papers and radio stations on board,
know how to treat his guests. The first that was a given. But the Daredevils
match of the IPL, while his team was went one step ahead.
being tanked to all parts of the ground, First things first the team bus didn’t
people sitting and watching were not have tinted windows like any other
only enjoying sumptuous food but also cricket team bus in this country. The
Cricket
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59
logic was simple: the public should be
able to see that their heroes are
sweating it out, going for practice ses-
sions or on their way to the grounds
for the battle to commence. And with
the bus in tow, many would also follow
them to the stadium. The other initia-
tive that really caught the eye was in
collaboration with their official radio
partners, 104 FM. The cricketers actu -
ally went to the contest winners’ resi-
dences to award them free tickets and
give out a personalized invite to the
Delhi team’s matches at the Feroz Shah
Kotla. In a country where a cricketer is
but a demi-god, this was definitely a
once in a lifetime heavenly experience
for all those lucky contest winners to
find the likes of Sehwag and Gambhir
knocking on their doors! the spirit that Mumbai brings with it only, showman to have bought a team
to the grounds, where they wear in the IPL! And he spared no expenses
BEST CROWD: their hearts on their sleeve. in making sure that the masses, espe -
When it comes to watching, Even Rahul Dravid was surprised to cially the Bengali ones, take to his
and appreciating, cricket in hear complete silence when he hit a charm and his team. Dressed up in gold
India, there is no better boundary in his match against the dhotis with damsels in equally glittering
place in the country Mumbai Indians at the Wankhede and get-ups, SRK danced his way to glory
than Mumbai. And quite therefore that alone is testament to on the tunes of Bappi Lahiri, the cult
simply then, they have the fact that the crowds who Bengali singer-music director. And from
the best crowds rush - Preity Zinta made it thronged the three stadiums that moment on the tunes of Korbo,
ing in to watch each a point to be ever in the cricketing capital of the Lorbo, Jeetbo were on the wagging
and every cricket present at each country, took the city rivalry tongues of every cricket and SRK lover
event, or a sports match, be it at theme of the tournament in this country, and not just Bengal.
event for that mat-
ter in their vicinity.
home in Mohali or quite seriously! BEST AMBASSADOR:
Sure, they may not away, hugging one BEST SONG & The franchises really spared no expens-
always be very well and all even SRK DANCE: es as one after the other famous per-
behaved, booing did his best until he Quite clearly there is only one sonalities were roped in to promote
home heroes and was impeded by man who could have beaten the team amongst the billion strong
uttering monkey
chants at times, but
the ICC from enter- hthimissfeielfldtoanbdeitnhgatthise SbReKs.t Finor cricket fan base in this country. Be it
Kareena Kapoor with Saif Ali Khan in
then that is part of ing the pavil- he is the number one, and the tow for Mumbai Indians, or Katrina Kaif
ion. for Royal Challengers, or the daredevil
Akshay Kumar himself for Delhi
DareDevils, the stars kept popping out
at almost every occasion, like clock -
work. Some teams didn’t really need
the props thanks to star power owner-
ship and they were the ones who really
promoted their franchises and teams
to the hilt, taking the honors in this
category. Preity Zinta made it a point
to be ever present at each match, be it
at home in Mohali or away, hugging one
and all, high fiving Lalit Modi on her
team’s journey to the semi-finals. Even
SRK did his best until he was impeded
by the ICC from entering the pavilion
and then he got busy with his shooting.
With Shilpa Shetty joining in the circus
this year, it will be a good cat fight
between the new entrant and the
feisty Zinta! 
Cricket
Today
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60

t
here was little doubt that the

When Trouble
IPL was a runaway success in
the inaugural year. It had all
the essential ingredients that
make for a Bollywood block-
buster – heroes with rockstar roles,
dancing girls, raucous crowds, drama,
drink and delight. But the villains were
never far either, springing a nasty sur-
prise in blind alleys in form of contro-
versies. They held their fair share of
Came Looking for
the IPL
the limelight. That it was not a pretty

by Sreelata S. Yellamrazu
he made about the IPL. He claimed he
made the remarks in jest and that he
had been “an idiot” in his own words to
goof around saying that the IPL was
“only four overs a game and it was like
a paid holiday; you only had to work
hard if you felt like it, which is probably
why we (the Royal Challengers
Bangalore) finished second-last.”
He apologized for the folly of his ways
in the following words, “The truth is, I
tried my absolute hardest for
Bangalore in every game and I was as
disappointed as anyone that we fared
so poorly. I desperately regret my
naivety and look forward to the oppor-
tunity of helping the franchise reach
the semi-finals next year.” One wonders
if Mallya could have ill afforded to put
Steyn in the trading window for his
comments, even if he did take them

sight, would be an understatement. team even before the IPL tournament


Here’s a run down of some of the itself had marched into a second week.
swirling winds and sand storms last Seeing at the turn of events that
summer that caused quite the stir in reduced his team image to ridicule, the
ascending order of significance to the first head on the chopping line was of
game itself! the CEO of the team, Charu Sharma
who Mallya accused of plotting the
SHOCKER NO. 1: RCB wrong strategy to gather up the play-
FIRE CEO BEFORE ers at the auction. It was an allegation
GAMES BEGIN! Charu refuted in the politest manner
Such can be the corporate way of possible while still recovering from the
working that no one is secure in their shock himself. The news sent shock-
job, not even the CEO, or perhaps one waves through the team, other teams
should say, especially the CEO. Vijay and franchisees that sport was no
Mallya was sitting in a grudging mood longer just sport, it meant serious busi-
at the pit wall of the Turkish Grand Prix. ness, even ruthless at times.
On his mind, was the humiliation that It was a good thing then that Dale
his IPL team, the Royal Challengers Steyn made a apology in writing to his
Bangalore, was being dubbed as a ‘Test’ franchisee and in public about a remark
Cricket
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61
seriously. But in a dressing room that clothes and skin exhibition. cheerleaders to entertain.”
was made to realize very early that Subsequently franchisees were forced
their transgression, nay even under per- to act before party spoilers had a field SHOCKER NO. 3:
formance, would not be taken kindly, day over the issue. MUMBAI’S RELUCTANT
Steyn was better off leaving his jest Mumbai Indians chose to go the way of CAPTAINS –RISE OF THE
behind in South Africa before training local cheerleaders as did the Chennai
ahead with the Royal Challengers. Super Kings and the designs certainly NON PLAYING CAP-
Charu Sharma went back, as dignified as involved lengthier tights over hot pants. TAIN?
possible under the circumstance, to The Delhi Daredevils went one step fur- The Mumbai Indians found themselves
anchoring a cricket show on a news net- ther – they did away with their cheer- with a non playing captain for much of
work and Mallya returned back to leaders altogether. Not a very daredevil the season. While teams got off to
watching the progress of the Force move, but one of discretion. So, was
India team on the team monitors as a discretion the better part of valour?
busy Formula One season unfolded. To add to the humiliation, most of the
cheerleaders were from nations that
SHOCKER NO. 2: had little knowledge about the game
CHEERLEADERS SEE NO and therefore, they were slow to react
CHEER and their moves were often mistimed
With the cheerleaders around, how far and predictably robotic. But it was no
could the moral police be? The fanfare joking matter when two Afro American
for the IPL began with a competition, cheerleaders accused the event man-
not between bat and ball. Rather Vijay agement company of discriminating on
Mallya won this one hands down and the basis of skin and thereby, denying
caught his fellow franchisee owners by them the chance to perform with their
surprise. He roped in the Washington troupe during the IPL’s opening cere-
Redskins and ensured no other team will mony.
be able to get hold of the cheerleaders. The idea behind the inclusion of the
Call it a shrewd move of monopoly but cheerleaders was clearly an attempt to
Mallya was not going to apologise. But it organize a sports event with a more
would be the only competition he would pan global image like an entertainment
successfully conquer all season. But bonanza that has often been used in
that is another matter altogether. countries abroad for other sports. But
While the cheerleaders captivated the all in all, all the cheer about the cheer-
audiences with their moves, their leaders died with euphemism. Leave it
clothes did not see eye-to-eye with all to Shahid Afridi to summarize popular
viewers. While most people brushed it opinion, the latter part of his opinion
off as a flimsy gimmick, one that would perhaps carrying more value and merit,
fade into the background once serious “The girls in skimpy dresses should be
cricketing action took over, some politi- removed from the ground as this is dis-
cians threw in their lot behind those tracting the batsmen. Cricket itself is an
that took up the matter of the skimpy entertainment. It does not require such

start with their icon players expect-


ed to lead their respective teams,
Sachin Tendulkar posed a conundrum.
Laid low by injury, Tendulkar found him-
self benched, though not by design.
While it was a bitter blow to Mumbai’s
batting line up, it was an even bigger
loss in the captaincy department with
Mumbai being the only franchisee to
start without their skipper.
The problem then posed was finding an
interim captain on the field, while
Sachin lent his voice and hand off it. It
was compounded by the fact that the
team had two former international cap-
tains but both were rather reluctant to
take up the role. What kind of impres-
sion does it send across when no man
wants to captain a team?
Harbhajan Singh was given the captain’s
Cricket
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62
badge but when the captain is setting dire straits and although they did make would earn fifteen per cent higher than
an example of the wrong kind as his a comeback of sorts, his role as a non- the highest paid cricketer in the team
case will be visited a little later in this playing captain certainly gave as decided during the auctions.
line up, Mumbai were forced to look rise to a new, unexplored and However, the debate raged throughout
elsewhere. In a toss up between uncomfortable concept in the the tournament as the icons, apart
Sanath Jayasuriya and Shaun game thus far. from Virender Sehwag for the Delhi
Pollock, Jayasuriya apparently It was certainly a polar point Daredevils, failed to really justify their
happily handed the baton to of view from Shane Warne virtu- presence as leading iconic figures of
Pollock who, it has to be said, ally ruling out the need for coach- the immensely popular and highly publi-
had had experience of what es with his role as coach- cized cricket tournament outside of the
it felt like walking on egg The choice of icons cum-captain for the international schedule.
shells when he first cap- in itself was sur- Rajasthan Royals for a lot The choice of icons in itself was surpris-
tained the South African prising. one must less money. Warne him- ing. While there is no denying the legacy
team in a role thrust upon remember that self had issues with John that these players are set to leave
him overnight when Hansie three icon-cum- Buchanan, the former behind upon their retirement, one must
Cronje confessed to the captains – Sachin Australian coach and the remember that three icon-cum-captains
match fixing scandal. His Tendulkar, Sourav current coach of the – Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and
tenure was brought to an Ganguly and Rahul Kolkata Knight Riders. He Rahul Dravid – had actually opted out of
abrupt, abysmal end after
South Africa exited from
Dravid – had actu- only reiterated his
thoughts on what he
the inaugural Twenty20 World Cup.
While Sachin Tendulkar was injured for
the 2003 World Cup hosted ally opted out of thought of coaches, in a most of the first season of the IPL,
at home, ending ignomin- the inaugural not-so-polite manner Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid were
iously after an inaccurate Twenty20 with direct reference to the leading run scorers of their respec-
reading of the Duckworth World Cup. Buchanan. But that he tive sides. Yet they failed to lend the
Lewis method brought the himself has taken up impetus of their powerhouse status to
curtains down on a show that flopped coaching, he has certainly the event, and in that, there were plen-
miserably in front of a home audience. stretched the idea of ty of simmering tensions.
The ‘will-he, won’t he’ game played out whether the captain is good enough to While Rahul Dravid felt the pressure of
before every match. But Sachin make all the calls, rendering the coach captaincy and discomfort with the
Tendulkar proved a hit with the team as as excess. dressing room after the booting out of
well as with the crowds, who were sim- Charu Sharma, V.V.S. Laxman faced a sit-
ply happy to cheer for him every time SHOCKER NO.4: uation that was perhaps a combination
his face flashed on the screens in the ICONIC DISASTER of Tendulkar’s and Dravid’s predica-
stadium. Tendulkar did eventually take The IPL structure was designed ment. Injured and out of favour, VVS’s
the field but by then, his team were in such that the ‘icon’ players absence meant that Adam Gilchrist led
the Hyderabad Deccan Chargers for the
rest of the season, with many knowl-
edgeable voices in cricketing circles
asserting that Gilchrist was indeed a
better Twenty20 ambassador while
Laxman epitomized the cricket repre-
sentation from Hyderabad. But that did
little for his icon status, once again
lending weight to the argument over
the choice of icons.
SHOCKER NO. 5:
AKHTAR’S FOLLOWING
POST BAN
The way Shah Rukh Khan and the
Kolkata Knight Riders pursued the case
of Shoaib Akhtar to have the ban
imposed by the Pakistan Cricket Board
(PCB) lifted partially, one would have to
wonder if the tank was empty as far as
the Knight Riders’ bowling attack was
concerned. But one thing that the
Knight Riders learnt very quickly was
that Shoaib Akhtar could not be relied
on for consistency, but they still had to
learn it the hard way.
For all of Shah Rukh Khan’s vociferous
Cricket
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63
saw the birth of the term ‘pyjama crick-
et’ and coloured clothes and the popu-
larity of the one day game. But most
felt that the IPL was not the Packer-like
revolution and their observations bor-
dered on the dangerous.
The bone of contention was the dispari-
ty between pay check and talent that
the IPL brought forth in its design. Also
amongst contentious concerns was the
IPL, and in turn the BCCI’s monopolizing
dictatorship that extended to other
boards through pressure on the ICC
which was polarizing the game into the
IPL and non IPL entities.
In so doing, it once again brought to
mind the verdict of Justice Slade back
in 1977 during the Packer era that
denounced Packer’s detractors, namely
the ICC, for not adhering to recognizing
all players and their right to earn a living
without discrimination. That the BCCI,
through a successful model, was
threatening to dictate how cricket
should be run by other boards through
moves that suggest an irrational insecu-
rity over the success of the ICL, has
desperation, Akhtar lasted two nament as injury bogged him often been an uncomfortable topic of
matches. Injury laid low the con- down and the Knight Riders soon debate.
troversial fast bowler from Pakistan. found out that Akhtar’s fortunes, like
From being banned for using banned the Knight Riders’ own, had been a case SHOCKER NO. 7:
substances, for inflicting physical of flattery and disappointing deception. BENDING THE LAW,
assault on his fellow player, for being
SHOCKER NO. 6: NOT PUSHING BOUNDARIES
singled out for alleged lack of commit- That this was a serious cricket tourna-
ment during a game, Akhtar has seen it QUITE PACKER LIKE ment was brought to bear by the ten-
all. Now with the opportunity to make The IPL faced a lot of criticism – sions within teams and between teams.
money from the game that he will per- before, during and after. While its com- One such instance came when the
haps look back as something he did not mercial success was not in doubt, the Rajasthan Royals faced the Kolkata
quite do justice to, Akhtar was keen to fate of the game as it stood caused
be a part of the IPL: the only glitch – quite a stir. The number of players
the five year ban imposed by the IPL. alone that had retired on course of the
While Lalit Modi was adamant that the inaugural IPL – Shaun Pollock, Adam
IPL could not bypass the verdict of a Gilchrist, Glen McGrath, Shane Warne,
national cricket board, Shah Rukh’s Stephen Fleming – raised doubts over
efforts paid off in that Shoaib Akhtar whether players would soon fall for the
did eventually feature for the Knight lure of money, cite workload issues and
Riders. But he would leave the field as retire from their national teams. There
he often did – flatter only to deceive. were already those within the puritan
Pakistan have seen that umpteen times society of the game that dubbed it the
and the franchisee owners of the shameless exhibitionism of the sports
Knight Riders tasted the bitter sweet when cricket was now played for money
taste of having a temperamental, trou- and where players who complained of
ble prone player in the team. excessive workloads for national sides
In his debut match for the IPL, Shoaib were happy to sign on the IPL’s dotted
Akhtar produced a match winning per- line.
formance as he virtually single handedly Some though called it a revolution in
destroyed the Delhi Daredevils team. His the sport, with the intention to com-
wickets blast blew away the Daredevils mercialize the game and make it more
on a day when they were expectedly to marketable like some of the sports in
chase a modest total of 133 rather foreign countries. Some even went to
comfortably. But that would be Akhtar’s suggest this was on the lines of the
lone performance of merit in the tour- Kerry Packer drama of the eighties that
Cricket
Today
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64
perhaps saved the day and face.

SHOCKER NO. 8: ASIF’S


CHRONIC DOPING
DOSE
The stop start career of Mohammad
Asif reads like a chapter straight out of
a tragedy. The Pakistan fast bowler was
first caught in the act along with Shoaib
Akhtar by the Pakistan Cricket Board
(PCB) before the last edition of
Champions Trophy. Several cases and
counter arguments later, Asif
was once again free. But appar-
ently not from the doping that
seemed to have chequered his
career.
In random drug testing con-
ducted during the IPL along the
guidelines of WADA (World Anti
Doping Agency), it was
In random drug soon leaked out that one
testing conduct- of the IPL players had
ed during the IPL failed to pass the test and
one of the IPL had indeed turned in a
players had positive sample. Fingers
failed to pass soon pointed towards
the test and had Asif. And it was not long
after the Delhi Daredevils
indeed turned in finished their on field con-
a positive sam- frontations that Asif was
ple. Fingers nabbed at the Dubai air-
soon pointed port en route to Pakistan
towards for the illegal possession
Asif. of drugs.
Once again a red flag was
raised over his career and
for a man who had the privi-
leged opportunity of bowling alongside
Glen McGrath, he has extinguished his
candle even as it promised to burn
bright. While lawyers are fighting the
case on a technical and he continues to
tow the line of subscribing to alterna-
tive medicine that may have contained
the banned substance, it has toll a toll
on Asif and perhaps on Pakistan’s crick-
et, and in turn, the IPL, that would have
been enriched enormously with his tal-
Knight Riders. The Knight Riders skipper, The spirit of the game could have once ent. He now unfortunately shares the
Sourav Ganguly, chose to question the again been brought to bear in a match pedestal of a troubled career right next
umpire over the clean catch taken by that again involved the Rajasthan to Akhar.
Graeme Smith even as Shane Warne felt Royals. Skipper Virender Sehwag SHOCKER NO.9: SRK
the former should have walked off. pestered umpire Steve Davies into tak-
That Ganguly raised the query with the ing the matter of the run out of Shane BANNED FROM KKR
umpire, which is not the norm for a Warne to the third umpire. The reason DRESSING ROOM
batsman of an umpire, irked Warne who perhaps that Davis did not consult the Shah Rukh Khan is known to be flam-
spoke out about Ganguly violating the television umpire in the first place was boyant in the way he expresses his love
spirit of the game. Both players were that the television replays were not and enthusiasm to matters that are
fined ten per cent of their match fee available earlier in the match. But close to his heart. He was rejoicing mer-
and for Ganguly, it was as close to a Sehwag’s insistence could have caused rily in the balcony with the Kolkata
clean getaway as he could manage. another furore. But the technical glitch Knight Riders’ Brendon McCullum set
Cricket
Today
April 2009

65
getting under the skin of the batsmen
he bowls to and it was most unfortu-
nate that the Kings XI Punjab bowler
decided to do it again to the Mumbai
Indians batsmen.
This was on the stand-in Mumbai
Indians skipper Harbhajan Singh was
unwilling to stand for. A hand shake was
met with a slap and the next thing one
saw was a sobbing Sreesanth being
consoled by the likes of VRV Singh,
Irfan Pathan and later by lady Preity
Zinta herself. But was Sreesanth vali-
dated in his tears when he was the per-
petrator himself? Not in the eyes of
the IPL adjudicator and former India
wicket keeper, Farokh Engineer, who
extended himself in a photo op session
with the two team India lads starkly
reminiscent of the bonhomie between
Ganguly and then coach Greg Chappell
over a pool table in Zimbabwe.
the lung opener off to a trail- Nobody dare stop me from coming Harbhajan Singh paid heavily, literally
blazing start. Against the to Kolkata. I’ll be here whenever my and missed out on the rest of the IPL
Chennai Super Kings, he hopped team plays a match at the Eden.” The while Sreesanth dangerously walked
around happily, shaking hands last thing Shah Rukh himself would away with a visit to the principal’s
and engaging in conversation with the want is to be caught out in a situation office.
Chennai coach Kepler Wessels and play- of match fixing, which in recent times, It was one of the most atrocious acts
ers in the dug out. But his merry ways has seen even mobile phones banned by cricketers and one that threatened
were chained when he was banned from dressing room. to completely delineate the game from
from entering his own team’s dressing the gentleman’s image. That it had to
room. MAXIMUM SHOCK: happen just after an equally ugly inci-
While there were no malicious under- BHAJJI’S HIT OUT, dent in Sydney, Australia where both
tone Allen Stanford when the latter SOBBING SREESANTH India and Australia had many moments
gleefully posed for photographs with This is perhaps one that will go down as they would not be proud of, only
the wifes of England players during a one of the worst incidents cricket his- showed India’s image in a poor light and
multi million dollar Twenty20 extrava- tory has witnessed between players one that allowed Australia to get off
ganza in the Caribbean recently, the ICC belonging to one team. There were no saying “I told you so.” That the players
Anti Corruption Unit warned one of language misinterpretations, there was were dealt with sternly, at least to an

Bollywood’s leading male actors from no one off confrontation got out of extent, showed that the IPL
being anywhere near the Knight Riders’ hand, such as the one between Marco had every intention of keep-
dressing room or dug out during the Materazzi and Zinedine Zidane during ing the integrity of the
duration of a match. the football World Cup. And this was game on the field and perhaps, that
Naturally Shah Rukh Khan was an decidedly worse than the head butting was the only small consolation.
aggrieved man and the bone of con- incident that marked the climax of that That the IPL has not only withstood the
tention that his presence could arouse event. multitude of brick bats but also, come
suspicion was insulting to him, “I like to That is what sustained provocation can out looking all glossy, sheen and entic-
hang around with the boys. I am very do and one cannot imagine if there is a ing is credit then to the many highs
energetic. I am very disappointed that better case why sledging should never that have balanced the lows that
the ICC has stopped me. I don’t know be a part of the game in the first place. threatened to undermine not only the
the ICC rules. I’ll tell only one thing. Sreesanth has the annoying habit of IPL but the game of cricket itself. 
Cricket
Today
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66

n
ew Zealand's Brendon
McCullum destroyed the There were many ups
home team in the inaugural
match of the IPL at the
and downs in inaugural
Chinnaswamy Stadium in Indian Premier League
Bangalore on April 18th. It was a brutal
one-man assault on the Bangalore Royal
last year. As many as
Challengers, McCullum blasted an 58 matches were
unbeaten 158 from a mere 73 deliver- played. The match
ies with 13 sixes and 10 fours, thus
putting his name on the top of the lad-
between Delhi
der in terms of highest individual score Daredevils and Kolkata
in a Twenty20 match, which propel
Kolkata Knight Riders to an imposing
Knight Riders at Delhi
222 for 3 in 20 overs. Before was abanonded with
McCullum, Somerset's Cameron White out a ball being bowled.
was the one who had this record in his
kitty. He made an unbeaten 141 off 70
Here are the some
balls with 14 fours and six sixes against world records and mile-
Worcestershire at Worcester on July
9th 2006 which McCullum blew away
stones from inaugural
with his well crafted innings in the IPL. Indian Premier League
The 13 towering sixes smashed by
McCullum during his hard hitting knock,
was the most in an innings of a
Twenty20 match. The previous
record was held by West Indian
Chris Gayle who hit 10 sixes
during his 117-run
knock against
South
Africa

in the

WORLD RECORDS
Twenty20 World
Cup at Johannesburg on
September 11th 2007.
McCullam completed his
century off just 53 balls
with eight fours and seven
sixes which is the sixth
AND MILESTONES
fastest century in T-20
cricket. After completing
first 50 off 32 balls with
five fours and three sixes,
IN INAUGURAL IPL
he just took 21 balls and
smashed three fours and
by Pervez S. Qaiser back after that battering, and collapsed
four sixes to complete his limply to 82 in 15.1 overs to lose by an
second fifty. His third 50 embarrassing margin of 140 runs, the
came even faster, it only fourth-largest defeat in the shortest
took him 17 deliveries with version of the game. Extras (19)
two fours and five sixes to topped the score for Bangalore team.
reach the landmark. The It was the sixth time that extras being
punch-drunk Bangalore highest scorer in an innings.
team was in no con- **Chennai Super Kings recorded the
dition to fight highest ever total in Twenty20 cricket
on Indian soil by scoring 240 for five in
20 overs against Kings XI Punjab in the
second match of IPL at Punjab Cricket
Association Stadium, Mohali,
Chandigarh, on April 19th 2008.
Cricket
Today
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67
As many as 447 runs were scored for score two or more centuries in twenty-
the loss of nine wickets in 40 overs 20 cricket. Symonds blasted his way to
which is the second highest match reach the landmark in just 41 balls
aggregate in Twenty20 matches. A which is joint sixth fastest in
total number of 449 runs were scored Twenty20 cricket. He also
for the loss of nine wickets in 40 overs holds the record of fastest
in the match between century in T-20 version of
Worcestershire and Northampton the game. Playing in Kent col-
shire at Chester Road North ors against Middlesex at
Ground, Kidderminster, on June Maidstone in 2004, Symonds
29th 2007 which is the highest thrashed the bowlers to
ever match aggregate in 20 complete his ton in 34
overs format Chennai Super balls during his 112-run
**Andrew Symonds became Kings recorded knock thus setting the
the 14th batsman to com- the highest ever bench mark for the
plete a century of bound- total in Twenty20 years to come
aries in Twenty20 cricket. **David Hussey became
Playing for Deccan Chargers, cricket on Indian the first batsman ever
the hard hitting middle order soil by scoring to complete a half cen-
batsman achieved this fate 240 for five in 20 tury of sixes in
when he hit four off overs against Twenty20 cricket. The
Rajasthan Royals' medium Kings XI Punjab in right hand middle order
fast bowler Shane Watson
during his class act of the second match batsman from Morley
achieved this record by
unbeaten 117-run knock in of IPL. hitting first six off right
the ninth match of the arm medium fast
Indian Premier League at bowler Siddharth Trivedi
Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, during his battling knock
Uppal, Hyderabad, on April 24th. of 42-run while playing
Symonds' century was his second in against Rajasthan Royals in the Indian
28th innings of 29 matches of Premier League at Sawai Mansingh
Twenty20 cricket saga. The Australian Stadium, Jaipur on May 1.South African
all rounder also became only the fourth Loots Bosman and Australian Cameron
player after Ian Harvey (three hundreds White shared the record of most sixes
in 31 innings of 32 matches), Graeme in Twenty20 cricket before Hussey.
It was also the fourth highest total in Hick (two hundreds in 27 innings of 28 Bosman smashed 49 sixes in 30
this form of cricket after Sri Lanka's matches) and Cameron White (two hun- innings of 30 matches while
260 for six against Kenya at dreds in 27 innings of 27 matches) to White hit same number of sixes in

Makhaya Ntini became the third South African to complete a hat


trick in Twenty20 cricket.
Johannesburg on September 14th
2007, Somerset's 250 for three against
Gloucestershire at Taunton on June
27th 2006 and Nondescripts 245 for
four against Sri Lanka Air Sports Club at
Colombo on October 16th 2005 being
the third best score imposed by a team
in a Twenty20 match. Kolkata Knight
Riders who scored 222 for three in 20
overs against Bangalore Royal
Challengers in the opening match, helds
the previous record of highest innings
total on Indian soil.
**Michael Hussey became the seventh
batsman to smash nine or more sixes in
an innings of a twenty20 match. The
left hand middle order batsman hit nine
sixes during his unbeaten knock of 114
runs. It is the eighth highest individual
score in the shortest format of cricket.
Cricket
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68
27 innings of 27 matches. The
Australian also became the second
player to appear in 50 or more match-
es in Twenty20 cricket. The only player
who appeared in 50 Twenty20 matches
before Hussey is Martin van Jaarsveld
.He played 52, Twenty20 matches
between 2004 and 2007 for Kent and
Northampton shire in England and for
Titans in South Africa.
**David Hussey and Wriddhiman Saha
set a new record for the sixth wicket in
Twenty20 cricket by adding 104 runs
for Kolkata Knight Riders against Kings
XI Punjab at Punjab Cricket Association
Ground, Mohali on May 3rd. After los-
ing their fifth wicket at 50 in 9.4 overs,
Kolkata Knight Riders seemed to be
heading for a massive defeat but David
Hussey and young Wriddhiman Saha
had other ideas intact. The pair started
slowly, playing out a couple of overs
before producing a sensational 104 off
55 balls - a world record in Twenty20
cricket and first ever century partner-
Scott Styris became ship for the sixth wicket. Previously
only the sixth bats- Robert Key and Matthew Walker who
man to complete added 98 runs for the undefeated
1000 runs in T20 sixth wicket partnership for Kent
cricket.The right against Middlesex at Beckenham on
hand middle order July 4th 2006, were the proud owners
batsman from of this record.
Auckland achieved **Sohail Tanvir recorded the best ever
this milestone dur- bowling performance in Twenty20
ing his unbeaten cricket by taking six wickets for 14 runs
32-run knock for in 4 overs for Rajasthan Royals against
Deccan Chennai Super Kings at Sawai Man
Chargers. Singh Stadium, Jaipur on May 4th. He
also became only the fourth bowler to
take six wickets in a Twenty20 match.
Slow left arm orthodox bowler
Sanjeewa Roshan Abeywardene who
took six wickets for 15 runs for
Panadura against Sri Lankan Air Sport
Club at Colombo on October 20th
2005 was surpassed by Sohail Tanveer
**There were as many as five batsmen
who went on to score knot in
Bangalore Royal Challengers' innings
against Kings XI Punjab at
M.Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore on
May 5th.The first three wickets fell
without scoring - Wasim Jaffer and
Cameron White falling off successive
deliveries after that Jacques Kallis was
also run out before he could score.
Praveen Kumar was the next to go
without troubling the scorers, edging
his second ball off Piyush Chawla to
Uday Kaul while Zaheer Khan only last-
ed for one delivery before becoming
the scalp of Piyush Chawla's googly. It
Cricket
Today
April 2009

69
was the first time when five batsmen
could not get their names among the runs
in an innings of a Twenty20 match on
Indian soil and third time overall in
Twenty20 cricket. Kenya holds the 'unwant-
ed' world record of most ducks in an
innings. Six of their batsmen failed to open
their accounts in a Twenty20 World Cup
match against New Zealand at Kingsmead,
Durban on September 12th 2007. Also in
the match between Chilaw Marians Cricket
Club and Burgher Recreation Club at
Athletic Club Ground, Colombo, on March
1st
2007, five batsmen in Burgher Recreation
Club's innings even failed to open their
accounts.
**Scott Styris became only the sixth bats-
man to complete 1000 runs in Twenty20
cricket.
The right hand middle order batsman from
Auckland achieved this milestone during his
unbeaten 32-run knock for Deccan
Chargers against Chennai Super Kings at
M.A Chidambaram Stadium, Chepauk,
Chennai, on May 6.The New Zealander who
made his debut in Twenty20 cricket
against Australia at Auckland on February
17th 2005 batted in 45 innings of 47
matches to reach this landmark. The other
batsmen to score over 1000 runs in this
Cricket
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70
form of cricket before Styris are 53 matches in Twenty20 cricket. achieved this phenomenon feat by hit-
Brad Hodge (1651 runs in 49 The Australian all rounder also ting four of Deccan Chargers' medium
matches), Darren Maddy (1391 became only the fifth player after fast bowler Sarvesh Kumar during his
runs in 47 matches), David Brad Hodge (11 fifties in 50 match- 79-run knock in the 37th match of the
Hussey (1324 runs in 51 es), Darren Maddy (11 fifties in 47 Indian Premier League at Feroz Shah
matches), Hilton matches), Hylton Ackerman (11 Kotla, Delhi, on May 15th .
Ackerman (1224 runs in fifties in 35 matches) and **Amit Mishra became the second
35 matches) and Gautam Gambhir (nine fifties Indian after Lakshmipathy Balaji and
Martin van Jaarsveld Gambhir became the in 21 matches) to score nine 15th bowler overall to complete a hat
(1089 runs in 51 first ever batsman to or more fifties in Twenty20 trick in Twenty20 cricket. The leg-spin-
matches). score 500 runs in a cricket. ner from Delhi had the opposition stuck
**Gautam Gambhir single Twenty20 **Gautam Gambhir became in his spin web while playing for
became the first the 16th batsman to com- Delhi Daredevils against Deccan
Indian and fourth
cricket tournament. plete a century of fours in Chargers in the 37th match of
batsman overall to The left hand open- Twenty20 cricket. Playing the Indian Premier League at
score nine or more ing batsman from for Delhi Daredevils, Feroz Shah Kotla, Delhi, on May
fifties in Twenty20 Delhi completed his the left hand open- 15th.
cricket. The left hand 500 runs during the ing batsman **Sachin Tendulkar equalled the world
opening batsman 39-run knock against from Delhi, record of most catches in an innings in
from Delhi achieved Bangalore Royals Twenty20 cricket by holding four
this outstanding feat Challengers. catches in Kolkata Knight Riders' innings
by making 80 off 49 at Eden Gardens, Kolkata on May 16th
balls with 11 fours .**Makhaya Ntini became the third
and one six for Delhi Daredevils against South African after Nkateko Ethy
Chennai Super Kings at Feroz Shah Mbhalati and Charl Langeveldt and
Kotla, Delhi, on May 8th. Gambhir's ninth 16th bowler overall to complete a
half century came in the 20th innings hat trick in Twenty20 cricket. The
of 21st match in Twenty-20 cricket. fast bowler from Mdingi achieved
The other batsmen to score nine or this feat while playing for Chennai
more half centuries before Gambhir Super Kings against Kolkata Knight
include the likes of Brad Hodge (11 Riders in the 41st match of the Indian
fifties in 49 matches), Darren Maddy Premier League at Eden Gardens,
(11 fifties in 47 matches) and Hylton Kolkata, on May 18th.
Ackerman (11 fifties in 35 matches). **Gautam Gambhir became the first
**David Hussey became the 15th bats- ever batsman to score 500 runs in a
man to score a ton of boundaries in single Twenty20 cricket tournament.
Twenty20 cricket. The left hand opening batsman from
Playing for Kolkata Knight Riders, the Delhi completed his 500 runs during
right hand lower middle order batsman the 39-run knock against Bangalore
achieved this ever praising task when Royals Challengers at Bangalore on May
he hit four off Deccan Chargers' medi- 19th. Gambhir has now scored 504 runs
um fast bowler Scott Styris during his at an average of 45.81 and a strike rate
unbeaten 57-run knock in the 32nd of 141.97 with five half centuries in 12
match of the Indian Premier League at innings of as many matches in Indian
Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Premier League.Justin Langer who
Uppal, Hyderabad, on May 11.Hussey scored 464 runs at 66.28 in eight
also became the most capped player in innings of as many matches while play-
Twenty20 cricket after appearing in ing for Somerset in Twenty20 Cup in
this match. It was his 53rd match in this England in 2006, was the previous best
form of cricket since making his debut in terms of most runs in a single
for Nottinghamshire against Durham at Twenty20 tournament.
Nottingham, July 2nd 2004. **As many as 17810 runs were scored
South African Martin van Jaarsveld who for the loss of 689 wickets at an aver-
played 52 matches between 2004 and age of 25.84 off 2164.1 overs in 58
2007 for Kent and matches of the inaugural Indian
Northamptonshire in Premier League which is a record of
England and for Titans in most runs in a Twenty20 tournament.
South Africa, held the A total number of 7881 runs were
previous record of most scored for the loss of 348 wickets at
matches in Twenty20 crick- an average of 22.64 off 986.1 overs in
et. David Hussey's half centu- 26 matches of the inaugural Twenty20
ry was ninth in 50th innings of World Cup in South Africa. 
Cricket
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72

INDIAN PREMIER
LEAGUE IN
FIGURES
a
s many as 17810 runs were
scored for the loss of 689
wickets at an average of
25.84 off 2164.1 overs in
58 matches of the inaugu-
ral Indian Premier Legue last year. The
match between Delhi Daredevils and
Kolkata Kinght Riders at Delhi was
abanonded with out a ball being
bowled.
A total number of 7881 runs were
scored for the loss of 348 wickets at
an average of 22.64 off 986.1 overs in
26 matches of the inaugural Twenty-
20 World Cup in South Africa in 2007.
Rajasthan Royals and Chennai Super
Kings are the only teams who crossed
2500-run mark in this tournament.
Shane Warne’s Rajasthan Royals scored
2601 runs for the loss of 88 wickets
off 301.1 overs in 14 matches while
Chennai Super Kings led by Mahendra
Singh Dhoni made 2520 runs for the
loss of 79 wickets off 299.1 overs in 14
matches.
Chennai Super Kings who lost to
Rajsthan Royals in the final, conceded
the highest number of runs in this
tournament. Their bowlers gave 1471
runs off 293.1 overs with an economy
rate of 8.43.
Rajasthan Royals who won 13 out of 16
matches in this champions collected a
winners, cheque of Rs 48000000 while
runners-up Chennai Super Kings
received Rs 24000000.
The two losing semi-finlists, Delhi
Daredevils and Kings XI Punjab earned
Rs 12000000 each while Sachin
Tendulkar led Mumbai Indians collected
80 lakhs.
Kolkata Knight Riders who finished six
got Rs 70 lakh while Banglaore Royal
Challenger received Rs 50 lakh after
taking seventh spot. Deccan Chargers
who finished last collected Rs 40 lakh.
Cricket
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73
EACH TEAM’S REPORT CARD:
Team Runs Wkts Avg Overs Runs/ Runs Wkts Ave Overs Runs/
Scored Lost faced Over Given Taken Bowled Over
Rajasthan 2601 88 29.55 301.1 8.64 2403 109 22.04 306.3 7.83
Chennai 2520 79 31.89 299.1 8.42 2471 93 26.56 293.1 8.43
Punjab 2464 79 31.22 279.5 8.80 2387 95 25.12 280.4 8.50
Delhi 2088 77 27.11 249.3 8.36 2223 96 23.15 266.4 8.34
Mumbai 2080 79 26.32 249.1 8.35 2096 94 22.29 269.3 7.77
Kolkata 1845 88 20.90 242.4 7.60 1718 70 24.54 221.4 7.75
Bangalore 1983 106 18.70 272.4 7.27 2205 65 33.92 261.3 8.43
Deccan 2229 93 23.96 270.0 8.25 2307 67 34.43 264.3 8.72
Total : 17810 689 25.84 2164.1 8.23 17810 689 25.84 2164.1 8.23

EACH TEAM’S PERFORMANCE AND PRIZE MONEY:


Position Team Played Won Lost N/R Success% Prize money
1 Rajasthan Royals 16 13 3 - 81.25 Rs 48000000-00
2 Chennai Super Kings 16 9 7 - 56.25 Rs 24000000-00
3 Kings XI Punjab 15 10 5 - 66.66 Rs 12000000-00
4 Delhi Daredevils 15 7 7 1 50.00 Rs 12000000-00
5 Mumbai Indians 14 7 7 - 50.00 Rs 8000000-00
6 Kolkata Knight Riders 14 6 7 1 46.42 Rs 7000000-00
7 Bangalore Royal Chal 14 4 10 - 28.57 Rs 5000000-00
8 Deccan Chargers 14 2 12 - 14.28 Rs 4000000-00
Total 59 58 58 1 100.00 Rs 120000000-00
** The match between Delhi Daredevils and Kolkata Kinght Riders at Delhi was abanonded with
out a ball being bowled

HIGHEST INNINGS TOTALS:


Score Team Opponent Venue Date
240-4 in 20 Chennai Super Kings Kings XI Punjab Mohali 19-04-2008
222-3 in 20 KKR Banglaore RC Bangalore 18-04-2008
221-3 in 20 Kings XI Punjab Rajasthan Royals Mohali 28-05-2008
217-7 in19.5 Rajasthan Royals Deccan Chargers Hyderabad 24-04-2008
214-5 in 20 Deccan Chargers Rajasthan Royals Hyderabad 24-04-2008
211-5 in 20 Rajasthan Royals Chennai Super Kings Chennai 24-05-2008
208-5 in 20 Chennai Super Kings Mumbai Indians Chennai 23-04-2008
207-4 in 20 Kings XI Punjab Chennai Super Kings Mohali 19 -04-2008
204-4 in 20 KKR Deccan Chargers Hyderabad 11-05- 2008
202-7 in 20 Mumbai Indians Chennai Super Kings Chennai 23-04-2008
201-7 in 20 Chennai Super Kings Rajasthan Royals Chennai 24-05-2008
* KKR - Kolkata Knight Riders
* Bangalore RC - Banglaore Royal Challengers
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74
LOWEST INNINGS TOTALS:
Score Team Opponent Venue Date
67 in 15.2 Kolkata Knight Riders Mumbai Indians Mumbai 15-05-2008
82 in 15.1 Banglaore Challengers Kolkata Knight Riders Bangalore 18-04-2008
103 in 16.2 Rajasthan Royals Mumbai Indian Mumbai 06-05-2008
109 in 19 Chennai Super Kings Rajasthan Royals Jaipur 04-05-2008
110 in 18.4 Deccan Chargers Kolkata Knight Riders Kolkata 20-04-2008
110 in 17.5 Delhi Daredevils Kolkata Knight Riders Kolkata 13-05-2008
112-8 in 20 Chenni Super Kings Banglaore RC Chennai 21-05-2008
116-9 in 20 Mumbai Indians Kings XI Punjab Mohali 25-04-2008
* Bangalore RC - Banglaore Royal Challengers

HIGHEST MATCH AGGREGATES:


Runs Teams Venue Date
447-9 in 40 Kings XI Punjab and Chennai Super Kings Mohali 19-04-2008
431-12 in 39.5 Deccan Chargers and Rajasthan Royals Hyderabad 24-04-2008
412-12 in 40 Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals Chennai 24-05-2008
410-12 in 40 Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians Chennai 23-04-2008
401-10 in 40 Kings XI Punjab and Rajasthan Royals Mohali 28-05-2008
385-11 in 40 Deccan Chargers and Kolkata Knight Riders Hyderabad 11-05-2008
377 -14 in 40 Mumbai Indians and Kings XI Punjab Mumbai 21-05-2008
376-13 in 40 Delhi Daredevils and Deccan Chargers Delhi 15-05-2008
375-11 in 40 Delhi Daredevils and Chennai Super Kings Delhi 08-05-2008
372 -10 in 40 Delhi Daredevils and Banglaore Royal Challengers Delhi 30-04-2008

BIGGEST VICTORIES:
Margins Winner Loser Venue Date
10 wickets Deccan Chargers Mumbai Indian Mumbai 27-04-2008
9 wickets Delhi Daredevils Rajasthan Royals Delhi 19-04-2008
9 wickets Delhi Daredevils Deccan Chargers Hyderabad 22-04-2008
9 wickets Chennai Super Kings Kolkata Knight Riders Chennai 26-04-2008
9 wickets Kings XI Punjab Banglaore Royal Challengers Mohali 12-05-2008
9 wickets Mumbai Indians Chennai Super Kings Mumbai 14-05-2008
9 wickets Mumbai Indians Banglaore Royal Challengers Bangalore 28-05-2008
9 wickets Chennai Super Kings Kings XI Punjab Mumbai 31-05-2008
140 runs Kolkata Knight Riders Banglaore Royal Challengers Bangalore 18-04-2008
105 runs Rajasthan Royals Delhi Daredevils Mumbai 30-05-2008
66 runs Kings XI Punjab Mumbai Indians Mohali 25-04-2008
65 runs Rajasthan Royals Banglaore Royal Challengers Jaipur 17-05-2008
45 Runs Rajasthan Royals Kolkata Knight Riders Jaipur 01-05-2008
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SMALLEST VICTORIES:
Margins Winner Loser Venue Date
1 run Kings XI Punjab Mumbai Indians Mumbai 21-05-2008
3 runs Bangalore Challengers Deccan Chargers Bangalore 03-05-2008
3 runs Chennai Super Kings Kolkata Knight Riders Kolkata 18-05-2008
5 runs Kolkata Knight Riders Banglaore Royal Challengers Kolkata 08-05-2008
6 runs Chennai Super Kings Mumbai Indian Chennai 23-04-2008
6 runs Kings XI Punjab Delhi Daredevils Delhi 17-04-2008
9 runs Kings XI Punjab Kolkata Knight Riders Mohali 03-05-2008
10 runs Delhi Daredevils Banglaore Royal Challengers Delhi 30-04-2008
10 runs Rajasthan Royals Chennai Super Kings Chennai 24-05-2008
12 runs Delhi Daredevils Deccan Chargers Delhi 15-05-2008
3 wickets Kolkata Knight Riders Kings XI Punjab Kolkata 25-05-2008
3 wickets Rajasthan Royals Chennai Super Kings Mumbai 01-06-2008
3 wickets Rajasthan Royals Delhi Daredevils Jaipur 11-05-2008
3 wickets Rajasthan Royals Deccan Chargers Hyderabad 24-04-2008

HIGHEST INDIVIDUAL SCORES:


Score Batsman Opponent Venue Date
158* Brendon McCullum (Kolkata) Banglaore Royal Challengers Bangalore 18-04-2008
117* Andrew Symonds (Deccan) Rajasthan Royals Hyderabad 24-04-2008
116* Michael Hussey (Chennai) Kings XI Punjab Mohali 19-04-2008
115 Shaun Marsh (Kings XI) Rajasthan Royals Mohali 28-05-2008
114* Sanath Jayasuriya (Mumbai) Chennai Super Kings Mumbai 14-05-2008
109* Adam Gilchrist (Deccan) Mumbai Indians Mumbai 27-04-2008
94* Virender Sehwag (Delhi) Deccan Chargers Hyderabad 22-04-2008
94 Kumar Sangakkara (Kings XI) Mumbai Indians Mohali 25-04-2008
91 Sourav Ganguly (Kolkata) Deccan Chargers Hyderabad 11-05- 2008
91 Greame Smith (Rajasthan) Chennai Super Kings Chennai 24-05-2008
86* Sourav Ganguly (Kolkata) Kings XI Punjab Kolkata 25-05-2008
86 Gautam Gambhir (Delhi) Banglaore Royal Challengers Delhi 30-04-2008
84* Shaun Marsh (Kings XI) Deccan Chargers Hyderabad 01-05-2008
81 Matthew Hayden (Chennai) Mumbai Indians Chennai 23-04-2008
81 Shaun Marsh (Kings XI) Mumbai Indians Mumbai 21-05-2008
80 Gautam Gambhir (Delhi) Chennai Super Kings Delhi 08-05-2008

MOST SIXES IN AN INNINGS:


Sixes Batsman Opponent Venue Date
13 (158) Brendon McCullum (Kolkata) Banglaore RC Bangalore 18-04-2008
11(114*) Sanath Jayasuriya (Mumbai) Chennai Super Kings Mumbai 14-05-2008
10(109*) Adam Gilchrist (Deccan) Mumbai Indians Mumbai 27-04-2008
9 (116*) Michael Hussey (Chennai) Kings XI Punjab Mohali 19-04-2008
7 (117*) Andrew Symonds (Deccan) Rajasthan Royals Hyderabad 24-04-2008
7 (115) Shaun Marsh (Kings XI) Rajasthan Royals Mohali 28-05-2008
6 (94*) Virender Sehwag (Delhi) Deccan Chargers Hyderabad 22-04-2008
6 (61) Yousuf Pathan (Rajasthan) Deccan Chargers Hyderabad 24-04-2008
6 (71*) Venugopal Rao (Deccan) KKR Hyderabad 11-05-2008
6 (75*) Rahul Dravid (Bangalore) Rajasthan Royals Jaipur 17-05-2008
6 (86*) Sourav Ganguly (Kolkata) Kings XI Punjab Kolkata 25-05-2008
6 (49) Yuvraj Singh (Kings XI) Rajasthan Royals Mohali 28-05-2008
* KKR - Kolkata Knight Riders
* Bangalore RC - Banglaore Royal Challengers
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MOST RUNS:
Batsman M I N.O Runs AVG H.S S/R 100 50 0
Shaun Marsh (Punjab) 11 11 2 616 68.44 115 139.68 1 5 -
Gautam Gambir (Delhi) 14 14 1 534 41.07 86 140.89 - 5 -
Sanath Jayasuriya (Mumbai) 14 14 2 514 42.83 114* 166.34 1 2 -
Shane Watson (Rajasthan) 15 15 5 472 47.20 76* 151.76 - 4 1
Graeme Smith (Rajasthan) 11 11 2 441 49.00 91 121.82 - 3 -
Adam Gilchrist (Deccan) 14 14 1 436 33.53 109* 137.10 1 3 -
Youns Pathan (Rajasthan) 16 15 1 435 31.07 68 179.01 - 4 -
Suresh Raina (Chennai) 16 14 3 421 38.27 55* 142.71 - 3 -
Mahendra S.Dhoni (Chennai) 16 14 4 414 41.40 65 133.54 - 2 -
Virender Sehwag (Delhi) 14 14 2 406 33.83 94* 184.54 - 3 2
Rohit Sharma (Deccan) 13 12 1 404 36.72 76* 147.98 - 4 1
Rahul Dravid (Bangalore) 14 14 1 371 28.53 75* 124.49 - 2 2
Sourav Ganguly (Kolkata) 13 13 1 349 29.08 91 113.68 - 3 -
Shikhar Dhawan (Delhi) 14 14 5 340 37.77 68* 115.25 - 4 1
Kumar Sangakkara(Kings XI) 10 9 - 320 35.55 94 161.61 - 4 -
Robin Uthappa (Mumbai) 14 14 5 320 35.55 48 114.69 - - -
David Hussey (Kolkata) 13 13 2 319 29.00 71 123.16 - 2 2
Swapnil Asnodkar(Rajasthan) 9 9 - 311 34.55 60 133.47 - 2 -
Parthiv Patel (Chennai) 13 13 2 302 27.45 54 101.68 - 2 1

BEST BOWLING IN AN INNINGS:


Figures Bowler Opponent Venue Date
6-14 Sohail Tanvir ( Rajasthan) Chennai Super Kings Jaipur 04-05-2008
5-17 Amit Mishra (Delhi) Deccan Chargers Delhi 15-05-2008
5-24 L Balaji (Chennai) Kings XI Punjab Chennai 10-05-2008
4-11 Shoaib Akhtar (Kolkata) Delhi Daredevils Kolkata 13-05-2008
4-14 Sohail Tanvir (Rajasthan) Mumbai Indians Jaipur 26-05-2008
4-18 Dilhara Fernando (Mumbai) Bangalore Challengers Bangalore 28-05-2008
4-21 Makhaya Ntini (Chennai) Kolkata Knight Riders Kolkata 18-05-2008
4-23 Umar Gul (Kolkata) Kings XI Punjab Kolkata 25-05-2008
4-29 Glenn McGrath (Delhi) Bangalore Challengers Delhi 30-04-2008
4-32 Albie Morkel (Chennai) Bangalore Challengers Chennai 21-05-2008
4-36 Yo Mahesh (Delhi) Mumbai Indians Delhi 24-05-2008

MOST WICKETS:
Bowler M Overs Runs Wkts AVG R/O 4WI Best
Sohail Tanvir (Rajasthan) 11 41.1 266 22 12.09 6.46 2 6-14
Shane Warne (Rajasthan) 15 52 404 19 21.26 7.76 - 3-19
S.Sreesanth (Punjab) 15 51.1 442 19 23.26 8.63 - 3-29
Shane Watson (Rajasthan) 15 54.1 383 17 22.52 7.07 - 3-10
Piyush Chawla (Punjab) 15 46.5 389 17 22.88 8.30 - 3-25
Albie Morkel (Chenni) 13 48 399 17 23.47 8.31 1 4-32
Manpreet Gony (Chennai) 16 60 443 17 26.05 7.38 - 3-34
Yo Mahesh (Delhi) 11 42.1 370 16 23.12 8.77 1 4-36
Farveez Maharoof (Delhi) 10 36 249 15 36.60 6.91 - 3-34
Irfan Pathan (Punjab) 14 53 350 15 23.33 6.60 - 2-18
Rudra Pratap Singh (Deccan) 14 51.2 442 15 29.46 8.61 - 3-35
Munaf Patel (Rajasthan) 15 55 420 14 30.00 7.63 - 3-17
Zaheer Khan (Bangalore) 11 42 357 13 27.46 8.50 - 3-38
Siddharth Trivedi (Rajasthan) 15 48 399 13 30.69 8.31 - 2-25
Umar Gul (Kolkata) 6 22.3 184 12 15.33 8.17 1 4-23
Ashish Nehra (Mumbai) 14 44.5 348 12 29.00 7.76 - 3-13
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b
y the time you would be
reading this, there would
have been more clarity on
the short-term future of
the second season of the
Indian Premier League; whether or not
it would take place as scheduled,
whether or not the motley of crick-
eters would finally be able to pocket
those truckloads of cash. With so much
– read money – at stake, it would take
quite a Herculean task for it to be post-
poned, or invariably cancelled, at such a
late stage of the day. Although some
of the cricketers have expressed their
reservations about travelling to India,
the lure of the lucre should pull most
of them towards the IPL; unless of
course it becomes totally unavoidable.
Yes, it finally boils down to the trade-
off between the individual’s perceived
risk and the money that he would end
up pouching from the event.
So, who will stand to gain how much by Suneer Chowdhary

Transfer Window
And Auction (season II)
from this version of the Indian Premier
League? How did the bidding process
This time around, with the global finan-
cial condition in a not-so-healthy state,
exchanged their players with another,
while others went in for a total revamp.
actually happen? Who were the biggest the franchises were more interested in
gainers, and who were the shocking getting in players who would fit in their THE OPENING
losers in this auction? This piece delves exact scheme of things. This was based ‘EXCHANGE’:
deep into the intricacies surrounding on a variety of factors such as their There were a couple of smart trades
the newest characteristic of a crick- existing set of players, the gaping holes between the teams, none better than
eter’s profile; his price tag. in the team’s previous season’s per- Zaheer Khan who had played for
formance, the loss of Pakistani players Bangalore Royal Challengers last year
TACTICS AND and the cash balance left in their kitty. exchanged with Robin Uthappa of
STRATEGIES: The thing to remember about the last Mumbai Indians. From Mumbai’s per-
When Adam Gilchrist had oh-so- point here is that every team was spective, Zaheer has played his domes-
famously declared that he felt like a allowed a budget of $2 million to pick tic cricket for Mumbai before, and is in
cow at the end of the first auction, their players in this second auction, the form of his life, while Uthappa’s
there had been raised eyebrows and where as there was a restriction of not batting epitomises the life in the fast
the media immediately jumped on to more ten foreign players per squad, lane that a certain Vijay Mallya is so
one or the other side of the fence. This including those that were already pres- associated with. Yet, it was a little sur-
time around, it’s no longer about ent! prising from Bangalore’s point-of-view
shocked expressions, herded cows or Most teams bought virtually unheard to weaken their only area of strength
taking sides; it is plain business. of players even before and after the last year – the pace bowling – to be
The auction in Goa was touted as an auctions, who they thought could fit losing Zaheer.
event as extravagant as the tourna- the above bill, and yet not rake up a Bangalore went on to acquire Gaurav
ment itself; yet, it was as short and long bill! There were some shocking Dhiman – an under-19 World Cupper –
probably, even more exciting than a omissions, either by choice or by force, and Pankaj Singh from the others to
T20 match! where as some of the teams try and balance their team. Then there
Cricket
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79
Sehwag, who plays test cricket and T20 the IPL.
without much dissimilarity, a batsman
who can hit the ball hard will do that OF POCKET-BURNERS
irrespective of whether he is a great AND SHOCKING PICKS:
player or just a good one. What usually The auction day, itself, went according
separates a great batsman from the to plan for most. Bangalore Royal
good is his ability to build an inning into Challengers’ owner Vijay Mallya showed
a long enough one and nail home the that his penchant for the big and cost-
advantage. However, the format of this ly brands is not restricted to the
game is such that even five to six accessories and clothes but
overs of teeing-off is good enough extended to the cricketers as
if the batsman fits in the role. well. Kevin Pietersen became the
And this was not restricted to costliest ever player of the IPL
foreigners only. Quite a few by crossing the $1.5 million record
domestic Indian players, like set by M.S. Dhoni last year. Mallya had
T Suman and Manvinder no qualms in accepting that
Bisla bought by the Mallya had no even if Pietersen would
Deccan Chargers, and
Rajasthan Royals’ Raiphi
qualms in have cost him $2 million, he

Vincent Gomez, a hard- accepting that wouldn’t have hesitated in


going for him. Dhoni’s own-
hitting Kerala batsman even if ers, the Chennai Super
have been afforded a Pietersen would Kings, decided to go in for
chance to represent a
team in have cost him another million and a half
dollar purchase in Andrew
$2 million, he Flintoff and in the end, he
was the Delhi-born Ashish Nehra who wouldn’t have cost the franchise $1.55 –
played for the Mumbai Indians in the
previous season, but was swapped with
hesitated in same as Pietersen. J.P.
Duminy’s stocks had shot
Shikhar Dhawan from the Delhi going for up after his successful tour
Daredevils. him. of Australia, and being a
multi-utility player, he fits
FROM A NOBODY TO this format of the game to
AN IPL PLAYER: the tee. Mumbai Indians outbid
There were many of them who had the others and attained him for
probably shone on a couple of occa- $950,000.
sions for their state side in England, Rajasthan replaced Sohail Tanvir with
Australia or South Africa, and that had Shaun Tait, where as an originally
prompted them to be picked at an top-heavy Delhi team got in Owais
end-of-season-sale price. David Shah and Paul Collingwood for only
Warner was one such commodity $275,000. Owais Shah’s 48-ball 72 in
who was first snapped up by the that rain-reduced 22-over
Daredevils and then went on to Bangalore ODI against India would
make his international debut and have tilted the scales in his favour,
smash a 42-ball 89 against the while Collingwood’s ability to bat
Proteas. Andrew McDonald was in the middle order and bowl the
another such player who was middle overs – not to mention
bought by the Daredevils, which his top class fielding at the cover
was followed by a spot in the and point region – would have
Australian test team as an all- tilted the scales in his favour.
rounder! The other signings There was an ample representation
had Ryan Harris for Deccan from New Zealand as well, as Kyle Mills
Chargers, Moises Henriques was sold to the Mumbai Indians and
for the Kolkata Knightriders, finger-twiddling, nail-biting – in his own
and Graham Napier for Mumbai. words – rotund figure of Jesse Ryder
There were a couple of reasons was bought over by the Bangalore
for these out-of-the-box purchas- Royal Challengers. Ironically, Ryder’s
es. For one, and the most obvious past has a quite a few alcohol-induced
one, the global recession had incidents associated with it, where as
ensured that none of the franchises the Royal Challengers’ owner is one of
wanted to stitch a longer coat than the the biggest liquor barons of the world!
cloth they had. Secondly, unless the Ravindra Bopara found his roots – and
player is of the quality of Virender was paid $45000 for finding them – in
Cricket
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80
Kings XI Punjab, while Dwayne Smith
should be an ideal replacement for
Shahid Afridi at the Deccan Chargers.
Another maverick bowler, Fidel Edwards,
also found his way into the Chargers’
team.
There was also a surprise, as little-know
Middlesex player, Tyron Henderson was
repeatedly bid for and finally got for
$650,000 from a base price of
$100,000. His past record meant that
he probably deserves every bit of the
penny, as he had scored almost 300
runs in 2008 season of the English
T20s, and also scalped 21 wickets at
less than 17. However, at 35, he would
also be one of the older players to fea-
ture in the IPL, and whether that has
any adverse effect on his performance
remains to be seen.

Player Team Price (Base Price)

Andrew Flintoff Chennai Super Kings 1,550,000 (950,000)


Kevin Pietersen Bangalore Royal Challengers 1,550,000 (1,350,000)
JP Duminy Mumbai Indians 950,000 (300,000)
Mohammad Ashraful Mumbai Indians 75,000 (75,000)
Tyron Henderson Rajasthan Royals 650,000 (100,000)
Mashrafe Mortaza Kolkata Knight Riders 600,000 (50,000)
George Bailey Chennai Super Kings 50,000 (50,000)
Ravi Bopara Kings XI Punjab 450,000 (150,000)
Shaun Tait Rajasthan Royals 375,000 (250,000)
Paul Collingwood Delhi Daredevils 275,000 (250,000)
Owais Shah Delhi Daredevils 275,000 (150,000)
Jesse Ryder Bangalore Royal Challengers 160,000 (100,000)
Kyle Mills Mumbai Indians 150,000 (150,000).
Fidel Edwards Deccan Chargers 150,000 (150,000)
Jerome Taylor Kings XI Punjab 150,000 (150,000)
Thilan Thushara Chennai Super Kings 140,000 (100,000)
Dwayne Smith Deccan Chargers 100,000 (100,000)

Table – 1: Players bought in auction


Cricket
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81
However, the shocker of the day came
in the form of a certain Bangaldeshi by “WHAT ABOUT US?” Champion League had been excellent.
the name of Mashrafe Mortaza. A bat- THE OMISSIONS AND Brad Haddin’s hard hitting and consis-
tle ensued between the Kings XI Punjab tency could have paved way for him,
and Kolkata Knight Riders, and was THE PULL-OUTS: but given his international commit-
fought tooth and nail before being won Even discounting his price tag, Mortaza ments, and the IPL restriction of play-
by the latter; $600,000 more than was a surprise pick. Especially when, an ing only four foreign players in every
what the player’s base price of $50,000 all-rounder in Shakib Al Hasan was a match would have gone against him.
was. Mortaza may say that all his hard part of the bidding process and not Michael Clarke had reportedly got into
work had paid off, but the fact of the picked till the very end! Hasan had an a tiff with Lalit Modi about his base
matter was simpler; Shah rukh Khan excellent 2008 with not only the ball, price and pulled out, while Ricky
wanted to exploit the Bangladeshi mar- but he provided excellent balance to a Ponting, already under fire for succes-
ket if some of the matches did get
hosted at Dhaka next year and the best
foot forward here was by having local
flavour. Yet, $650,000 looks rather too
much!
The only other Bangladeshi to get in
was Mohammad Ashraful who was
picked up by Mumbai for $75,000.

very weak Bangladeshi side in the sive series losses, decided to give the
lower-middle order, against stiffer tournament a slip after contemplating
opposition. Yet, Hasan was ignored by about it for long. It has been said that
all and sundry by the teams. Modi was not terribly excited about
Little known and T20 specialist, Yusuf Clarke’s withdrawal and the result could
Abdulla, could have also got a look-in be a ban from even next year’s IPL.
after the kind of form that he had Mitchell Johnson also said no to the
been in the domestic T20 competition. tournament, because he wanted to
So could have another Protea, Ghulam concentrate on his international career,
Bodi whose run-up till the proposed just like last year. 
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82

t
hese players light up the game made his test debut for England, he
of cricket, the ones we are has proven his detractors wrong,
going to talk about here. Every beginning with an awesome show in the
where they go, they command 2005 Ashes, walking away with all the
the same respect from opposi- accolades as England emerged victori-
tion teams and fans alike. Never in awe ous. His antics in the ODIs have been no
of the situation, they are not new to less entertaining especially with the
pressure but manage to overcome it switch hit now coming into real promi-
all, especially when the going gets nence. He may come for five games
tough. They are not supermen though only, but rest assured, he is going to
and bound to fail at times. But as the deploy that shot a lot more than just
cliché goes, form is temporary, class is once a game.
permanent – so they almost always
manage to come back to shine ever so ANDREW FLINTOFF:
bright! Again, it is the USD 1.55 million price
Here we take a look at the ones tag that is what really stands out, but
expected to shine the brightest, come it doesn’t mean that the player doesn’t
the second season of the IPL. deserve it. The other point is that it
may look really good but only on paper,
KEVIN PIETERSEN: as that high a price tag is always going
When your price tag rests at USD 1.55 to be a real problem in the sense that
million, obviously you are the player on expectations will be very high from the
whom all eyes will be trained. Add to it word go! Especially considering that his
the fact that the owner of the fran- team-mate Kevin Pietersen is in the
chise has created so many hullabaloos same value bracket and they will be pit-
about him, that anything less than a ted against each other atleast twice. If
miracle for his team the Bangalore he performs better, then the media
Royal Challengers will be considered a and the fans alike will get on his
failure. And God knows they need a back real quick. But this is
miracle to overcome the grim failures Andrew Flintoff we are
from last season. But just how will talking about and he
Kevin Pietersen be able to do that is up thrives on a situation
for question as the former England when he is under pres-
captain will be available for not more sure.
than twenty one days as per the NOC All knew when they first saw
obtained from the ECB. This means him that one day he would
that he might not play in more than replace the great Ian Botham and
five games in all. In such a case, what he finally fulfilled his promise in
will be important is the momentum he the 2005 Ashes series when he
was one of the pillars on which
by Chetan Narula the long overdue English tri-

Players to
watch out for
umph was built. Since then
there has been no looking
back as he even led the
England team, although that

–Season 2
ended in a miserable failure. And
after that he was plagued by
recurring injuries. But that hasn’t
deterred his will power even one
bit and when he eventually made
can give to his team during his short becoming the laughing stock a return to the national fold, the
stay here. If he can just conjure up a of IPL last year and prove to be highlight of his comeback that
way to lift his team, as captain or oth- worth every penny. instantly comes to mind is the
erwise, he will do them a huge service What’s more he has the ability scorching spell he bowled to
to wash away the humiliation of to do that! Ever since he Jacques Kallis in the test series
Cricket
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83
better player and an even better finish-
er. Truly, the age of Duminy is begin-
ning.

ANDREW SYMONDS:
He was on a high last season, being the
second highest rated player in terms of
money as well as the ability to effect
changes in a T20 game. He made a few
handsome contributions towards the
Deccan Chargers’ cause, even though
they didn’t win much. And then he had
to leave for he was indispensable for
his national side as well. But what a dif-
ference twelve months makes!
Today he is nowhere near his best with
the Australian team not wanting his
services anymore; his thinking prowess
betraying him on most occasions as he
needlessly gets into trouble and his
decision making prowess under serious
doubt with regular fishing trips. As
of this moment, Andrew Symonds is
a cricketer on the fag end of his
journey and what a different
career it could have been.
Except that it is not
all over yet for him
against South Africa in 2008. It is this he burst onto the and the second
fire in his belly, when stoked whether scene with that amaz- season of the
batting or bowling that is sure to ing innings on debut IPL is the
destroy all that is in front of him. It that took his team to biggest oppor-
doesn’t matter to him whether it is the victory before follow- tunity for him
best bat in the world, or the best ing it up gloriously to script a
bowler for that matter, rest assured he with a maiden ton. If comeback that is
will come out on top. ever there was a fitting enough for a
young player that the player of his status. He
JP DUMINY: franchises ought to can still change the game he
Only very rarely does it so hap- have wanted in their wants and the shortest format
pen that a bright new talent teams, it was him. And of the game is only a strength
can make such an important his ‘purchase’ was the for him. He may be weak at the
moment, but he will be watched
IPL is the biggest opportunity for closely, for many Aussie fans will
Symonds to script a comeback be secretly hoping to see the
Symonds of old!
that is fitting enough for a player
of his status. BRENDON
MCCULLUM:
mark on the game of cricket in his very smartest piece No can even remotely forget the blis-
first match and then can follow it up of business tering innings that this batsman played
with one master class after another. It that the always sharp in the first ever match in the IPL! The
is very hard to recall any such incidence Ambanis are known opposition was literally hit for a six
in cricket, maybe the coming of for. The team he will along with the spectators who were
Virender Sehwag. South Africa’s newest play for, Mumbai simply blown away. And that would be
star Jean Paul Duminy may still be some Indians, are top heavy an under statement!
way off the dashing Indian opener but with the likes of Sachin It is only fair to say that the Royal
the way he left the world champions Tendulkar and Sanath Challengers’ problems began with his
Aussies in his wake, it becomes very Jayasuriya, and were in a innings as Vijay Mallya was clearly
easy to say that his arrival on the inter- great need of a finisher last embarrassed every time SRK
national cricketing scene will be remem- season. Plus, his interactions danced around on the Kiwi’s sixes.
bered for a long time to come. with such senior players will He provided the team with the
He was always hot property ever since only help him in becoming a momentum that gave them the
Cricket
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84
suggests that it is a high possibility that
it will definitely happen.
An opening batsman like few others, he
is one half of the most exciting opening
partnership with Sachin Tendulkar at
the top of the order for the Mumbai
Indians. And if the duo gets going even
half the times in the fourteen game
league, the Ambanis can be rest
assured that their team will have a
place in the knock outs. It is also his
potent spin bowling that the team man-
agement can fall back on, as he is adept
at quickly slipping in four dangerous
overs, along with scalping a few impor-
tant wickets. With a skill set as wonder-
ful as this, is it any doubt that Sanath
Jayasuriya is still very much at the top
of his game and one of the best in the
business!

YUVRAJ SINGH:
The basic difference this year, from the
first season, is a simple one really when
it comes to this swashbuckling left han-
der from Punjab. He was woefully out
of touch and low on confidence when
the tournament first happened. And as
in other cases, the last one year has
made a lot of difference. He is back at

highest run rate in the league till about


the tenth match. The fact that the
Knight Riders went down after that was
in keeping with his departure for inter-
national duty. Since then he has also
gone on to open the innings for his
country in both the ODIs and T20s, for
his fire power at the top of the order is
simply invaluable. This year he will be
available to play the entire tournament
for he does not have any international
commitments and that inadvertently
means more spectacular hitting from
the Kiwi as he is bound to score
atleast a couple of similarly swash-
buckling innings in fourteen games.
His wicket keeping skills will provide the
necessary balance to the Kolkata team
and they will only benefit by his contin-
ued presence.

SANATH JAYASURIYA:
Already owning the record for the old-
est century maker in the ODIs, he will be
touching forty when he plays the sec-
ond edition of the IPL. And if he
could only repeat his antics from the
first season, he will no doubt become
the oldest century makes in the T20
form of the game as well. Current form
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April 2009

85
iour on the field as well and a good per- Indian team’s wheel of success. Unless
formance with the willow will only he gives his blistering starts to the
mean more wins for the Kings XI team, chasing or even setting up totals
Punjab and more hugs from Preity can become an arduous task. Plus in
Zinta! the last twelve months, he has added
that extra edge of consistency to his
VIRENDER SEHWAG: game where in the new Sehwag puts a
As with the lefty from Punjab, the price on his wicket. And that price is
same with the butcher from Najafgarh. usually quite hefty for the opposition
Not in the best of touches when the teams while it is all worth for the ones
IPL happened the first time round, he watching!
will be keen to make amends for
Gautam Gambhir running away with the CHRIS GAYLE:
top scores. In the last one year, he has The thing about the West Indian cap-
gone from a destructive opening bats- tain is that few can bat like him when
man to being the most vital cog in the he is in the mood. And the fact that he

being the fulcrum of the Indian


middle order and England will The fact that
only vouch for that. He is sight-
ing the ball early and hitting
Gayle missed
them cleanly out of the park. the first season
Add to it the fact that the of the IPL with-
ground at Mohali is quite small
and obviously then there is the
out hitting a
frenzy of the six sixes all over ball, he will be
again.
Yes, he can do it and probably
in the mood to
will do it if the balls are all smack a few
there to be hit as he is in that around this
good a form. His batting
prowess reflects in his behav-
time.
Cricket
Today
April 2009

86

Dhoni has the


uncanny abili-
ty to fire up
his strike rate
at will and
can dictate
terms in
almost any
situation.

missed the first season of the IPL with- mat of the game, in T20 he is the few shots, half of which don’t exist in any
out hitting a ball, he will be in the mood priceless ones. By the way he scored a coaching manual. He has the uncanny
to smack a few around this time, century in the opening match of the ability to fire up his strike rate at will
buoyed obviously by how well the West T20 World Cup in 2007 and given his and can dictate terms in almost any sit-
Indian team is doing under his leader- liking for big occasions, an encore in his uation. He keeps wickets, that every
ship. When he will come out to open first match in the IPL can be expected. one knows, and the slightly less known
for the Kolkata Knight Riders, he will be fact is that he also bowls a bit. More
in the company of Brendon McCullum MS DHONI: than that, he is one of the sharpest
and the combined effect that these They say he has muted his game and is brains in world cricket at the moment
two batsmen will be able to bring out no longer the big occasion player. Well, and although he will be the second
will be nothing short of a spectacle. captaincy has the effect on people but highest paid from the second season
With his gentle spin to boot as well, he make no mistake that Dhoni is only bid- onwards, but the Indian captain is every
is more than a handy player in any for- ing his time to bring out those blazing penny worth it! 
Cricket
match WILLOWY WORDS content news interview Today
April 2009

88
p
assion for the game and
eye for the minutest of
details on and off the field
of action are some of the
prime requisites for anyone
who aspires to be a cricket
scorer and statistician.
It is a very demanding, mundane job in
cricket. Not many like it. And very few
have truly excelled in it.
In addition to the above mentioned two
qualities, it also calls for tremendous
concentration and patience. You have
not only to be voraciously inquisitive
but also to be very accurate in whatev-
er you do.
Bill Frindall, who passed away on
January 30, 2009, after suffering from
Legionnaire’s disease, possessed all
these and several other virtues that
helped him build a reputation as the
undisputed king of all scorers and stat-
isticians in the history of cricket.
He was a role model for youngsters. In
fact, he could be considered the very

Bill Frindall, the


undisputed king of
cricket scorers and
statisticians he seems to have so much time to was a “record” 11 days old when the
by Haresh Pandya spare. I know that when I have tried Test had to be abandoned as a draw
scoring, cups of coffee go cold “prematurely” because the English play-
prototype of a cricket scorer and stat- because I simply cannot find time to ers had to catch their ship!
istician. He lent a new dimension to the consume them; whereas Bill can pour The TMS commentators always mar-
art of scoring and grew into an institu- himself a cup at the back of the box velled at Frindall’s pinpoint accuracy
tion himself. without ever taking an eagle eye off and prodigious recall of cricket facts
Nicknamed the “Bearded Wonder” for the game.” said the former TMS pro- and figures, including the most obscure
his lustrous facial hair, supreme com- ducer Peter Baxter. and arcane of the game’s trivia. He
mand of statistics and encyclopedic William Howard Frindall, whose interjec- would not flap and usually come up
knowledge of cricket facts, Frindall was tions and mischievous grunts of a laugh with a statistic in a very short time.
an inseparable feature, and a distin- on the TMS were as legendary as his But he would also play the role of a
guished flavour, of BBC radio’s Test calculations were so invariably accurate, curmudgeon in the commentary box. If
Match Special (TMS), on which he always made it a point to say that he ever the broadcasters strayed too far
worked for 43 years. was born (in Epsom, Surrey) on March away from talking about the cricket, he
He coped perfectly with long, strenu- 3, 1939, the very first day of the his- would bring them back.
ous days and stuffy, noisy commentary toric timeless Test between England He was Brian Johnston’s stooge and
boxes. and South Africa in Durban. butt for his schoolboy humour.
“Like the best performers at any art, He also delighted in reminding that he Johnston, who came up with the
Cricket
Today editor speaks contents letter book review interview market mania
April 2009

89 “Bearders” sobriquet and Agnew recalled that the “initial silence happened earlier in the day, he would
“delighted in asking the was followed by a clatter of china” as know exactly which delivery you would
most impossible questions”, including an “aghast” Frindall dropped his teacup. be talking about. If you had a query on
about his favourite subject cake, was Baxter narrated an interesting jape a statistic, he would have the answer in
seldom or never disappointed. when one day Frindall turned up in an seconds. His records were so meticu-
Though he felt “scared” of John Arlott Arab dress for scoring during an Ashes lous.”
when he first encountered him in 1966, series. A perfectionist to the core, Frindall was
Frindall eventually got along famously “I remember Bill turning up one day at remarkable for the fabulous complexity
with the peerless cricket raconteur. It The Oval wearing a full Arab costume of his scoring charts, a modified ver-
did not take Arlott long to find out complete with headdress and sunglass- sion of the linear system developed by
that Frindall enjoyed driving. es. It came as quite a surprise to the the renowned Australian scorer Bill
“If you like driving, I like drinking. We’re commentators,” revealed Baxter. Ferguson in 1905.
going to get on well,” he told an “aston- “When he arrived at the ground, Based on a manual for umpires and
ished” Frindall. Interestingly, Frindall the steward told him ‘You scorers compiled by the former MCC
would act as Arlott’s chauffeur when can’t park there – that’s Bill secretary R.S. Rait Kerr, this involved
travelling to matches. Frindall’s spot.’ He replied, three types of scoresheets – ball-by-
A much sought-after celebrity in his ‘Too bad – I’ve bought ball record of play, innings scorecard
own right, Frindall was an accomplished The Oval!’” and cumulative record of bowling
after-dinner speaker, too, telling tales Vic Marks said: “The analyses and extras. It accommo-
of the commentary box. He would also meticulous scoring Frindall was so dated more facts, too.
impersonate Arlott, Johnston and Fred system, which The method proved so effective
Trueman in his after-dinner speeches. Frindall devised, was accurate that if that after 1966 it was taken up
Eyewitnesses said he imitated them taken for granted.” his tally diverged by all the BBC radio and televi-
brilliantly. The former England
When former England speedster spinner, who is now from the one on sion scorers, including Frindall.
He applied many coded symbols
the scoreboard, to the three separate scoring
the commenta- sheets. He would note down
shots executed or attempted as
tors would not well as the response of the field-
hesitate in fol- ers.
It is now known as “Frindallgram”
lowing his ver- but requires quick input of a
sion. large amount of detail, especially
after a batsman is dismissed.
“The secret is to keep calm,” he
said when asked how he managed
it so effectively and without errors,
adding that it was his time in the RAF
that prepared him for the task.
He retailed his own score-sheets to
international, county, club and individ-
ual scorers throughout the world.
Dubbed the “taciturn rock around
which commentary ebbs and flows”,
Frindall was so accurate that if his tally
diverged from the one on the score-
board, the commentators would not
hesitate in following his version.
“He could get up from his desk, walk to
the back of the box and pour himself
coffee while three balls were bowled.
Jonathan Agnew became the BBC crick- a respected cricket writer and com- But he would always know exactly what
et correspondent, he never missed any mentator, was one of the lucky few had happened and record it. We trust-
opportunity to poke fun at Frindall’s who worked alongside Frindall. ed him to the extent that if he said
famous beard and his occasional “He brought scoring alive. This is what scoreboard was wrong, we would go
moments of pedantry, having built an Bill will always be remembered for. He with him,” said Baxter.
easy rapport with him. brought to life this weird and wonder- When the English off-spinner Graeme
Frindall was present at quite a few ful world of cricket scoring that other Swann took two wickets in his first
episodes that have gone down in the people might find tedious and boring. maiden over in Test cricket, against
TMS lore, notably the moment that He made scoring into an art form,” India at Chennai last December, the tel-
Agnew prompted corpsing in the box stressed Agnew. evision said it was the first time such a
by suggesting that Ian Botham, who “He had this incredible scoring system feat had been performed.
had trodden on his stumps, had “failed that made every ball an event. If you However, within minutes the “Bearded
to get his leg over”. referred back to something that had Wonder” pointed out that England’s
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In 1981, during the memo-


90
rable Ashes battle in
England, he declined to provide some
important statistical information to BBC
television that he had managed to
obtain “exclusively” for himself.
Poor Rosenwater had to read out incor-
rect information to the viewers and
consequently the BBC management
slapped Frindall with a strongly-worded
memo.
A career scorer and statistician and the
longest-serving member of the TMS
team, Frindall was always armed with his
trademark scorsheets, scoring pads,
books, stop watches and, of course,
computer while occupying a large pro-
portion of the front desk in the com-
mentary box.
Considering his own importance to the
smooth running of the programme, he
was least bothered about the commen-
tators and summariser who had to
squeeze into a tiny area.
Though he did not make them often
enough, his comments were well-timed,
matter-of-fact, sometimes witty and
occasionally censorious of a couple of
commentators in the box.
He would not hesitate to tell a col-
league that he had identified a fielder
incorrectly. Henry Blofeld in particular
was pulled up every time he got the
name of a fielder wrong.
“Frindall was stubborn, too, particularly
over records and what should be
judged as a Test or one-day
“Frindall was performance. Right to the end
he refused to recognise the
stubborn, too, Super Series encounter between
particularly Australia and the Rest of the
over records World in Sydney. In the Playfair
Cricket Annual, performances of
and what Andrew Flintoff , Stephen
should be Harmison and others are
ignored,” wrote Angus Fraser.
judged as a “He also became upset when
Test or one- the ICC decided to award one-
day per- day international caps once the
toss had taken place, not after
formance. the first ball of the game had
fast bowler Richard Johnson was the he produced to been bowled. His at times cur-
first to do so – against Zimbabwe at show where a batsman scored his runs mudgeonly approach to life will
Chester-le-Street in 2003. after playing a significant innings, was be hugely missed by those who
Frindall’s dedication to his job was such like a work of art. If someone in the worked with him and listened to him.”
that long before the computerised commentary box spilt anything on his A schoolmaster had introduced Frindall
scoring, he had taught himself to write work, he was in for trouble. to cricket scoring one rainy sports
left-handed, in case an injury or a Enthusiasm for excellence and perfec- afternoon when he was at Reigate
mishap prevented him from using his tion in his work led to a certain self- Grammar School in Surrey. He was a
right hand. obsession. It also triggered off competi- new-ball bowler with a high action in his
Always neat and clean in his writing, tiveness with fellow BBC scorers, partic- youth. Friends noted that he could
Frindall ensured that each page was ularly Irving Rosenwater and Wendy hardly bat and ran faster than he
beautifully laid out and easy to read. Wimbush, who was initially known as the bowled!
Every scorecard, like the wagon-wheels “Beardless Wonder”. Frindall played for a string of teams
Cricket
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91 Brown. “Debbie”, who survives him with


their daughter Alice and the children of
his first marriage, used to deliver his
lunch to the commentary box each day.
A consummate professional, Frindall
published a large number of books on
cricket statistics, including The Wisden
Book of Test Cricket, four editions of
The Wisden Book of Cricket Records,
and edited the highly-respected Playfair
Cricket Annual every year from 1986.
His autobiography, Bearders – My
Life in Cricket, was published in
2006. He provided statistics for
The Times as well as England and
Wales Cricket Board.
He wrote a regular column for
the BBC Sport website. He was also
the archivist to Sir Paul Getty’s
estate. He had a spell as
A consummate cricket corespondent of The
from Banstead in Surrey in his prime to Like many of his genera- professional, Mail on Sunday in the late
the Lord’s Taverners in his dotage. tion, Frindall was from Frindall published 1980s. But he realised it was
He ran Malta Maniacs, a touring side the old school and was a large number of not the happiest time of his
that usually completed its matches in convinced Test cricket books on cricket career.
Guernsey, and had its own tie with a was the “proper form” statistics, includ- Frindall was then inaugural
Maltese Cross on it. Among those who of the game. He ing The Wisden president of British Blind
once played for it was the Duchess of appeared in the first of Book of Test Sport, a charity co-ordinat-
York’s father, Major Ronald Ferguson. his 246 home Tests on
He also appeared for Hampshire Second June 2, 1966, when
Cricket, four edi- ing sport for the blind and
partially sighted, between
XI, MCC, Singapore, France and the England played West tions of The 1984 and 2004.
Clergy of Oxford and Salisbury; and also Indies at Old Trafford. Wisden Book of When Botham asked Frindall
Elvinos, a nomadic touring side set up He did not miss a single Cricket to help him in his famous
by that great sports journalist Reg Test in England there- Records. charity walks, his duties
Hayter. after. In all he covered included wheeling a barrow
Frindall was called “Hitler” by his team- 377 Tests, the last of which was at of champagne around London.
mates because of his “dictatorial ten- Mohali on England’s tour of India in the In 1998, he was awarded an hon-
dencies”. last 2008. In 1960, he maried Maureen orary doctorate by Staffordshire
He went on to study architecture at Wesson, with whom he had two sons University for his contribution to the
Kingston-upon-Thames School of Art in and a daughter. But the marriage was field of statistics.
south-west London. He joined the RAF dissolved in 1970. The same year he He was “immensely proud” of the MBE
as a National Serviceman in 1958. married Jacqueline Seager. It also ended bestowed upon him in 1994 for his
Frindall called it “training in advanced in divorce in 1980. services to cricket and broadcasting. He
shirking”. He married again, in 1992, to Deborah once won even the Beard of the Year
He rose to the rank of corporal and award, too!
was commissioned as an accountant Frindall was the Patron of German
officer in the secretarial branch in Cricket Board in 2005. Besides playing
November 1963. club cricket and deliverying after-dinner
Two of Frindall’s six years of service addresses in his free time, Frindall also
were spent at Nato headquarters at enjoyed sketching, painting, photogra-
Fontainebleau, outside Paris. phy and philately.
He left the RAF in 1965, developed his On May 16, 2001, he started the TMS
handlebar moustache into a full beard Blog and invited readers to “Stump the
and fired off a letter to the BBC to fill Bearded Wonder”. It became a smash-
up the vacancy left by the death of ing hit instantly.
Arthur Wrigley in the winter. Wrigley Readers bombarded the “Bearded
had been the BBC scorer since 1934. Wonder” with a phenomenal variety of
He was lucky. Instead of architecture or questions on cricket statistics, records,
accountancy, he began watching cricket Laws of the game and a number of
and started scoring for a living for the other more quirky incidents which
rest of his life. At 27, his association came in regularly until the TMS Blog
with the TMS began in an era when a finished 185 editions later in January
number of scorers of first-class cricket 2009. 
were of pensionable age.
Cricket
match GREATS OF THE GAME content news interview Today
April 2009

92
a
ustralia has a rich tradition
of producing outstanding
cricketers from time to
time. So crazy are the
Aussies about the willow
game and so well organised
is the cricket set-up down under that it
has never had to suffer from a dearth
of genuine talent. So much so, a num-
ber of champion teams have emerged
from down under. Australia is such an
ideal cricket nation that it has always
found itself bracketed with the top
sides of the world.
Warwick Windridge Armstrong was an
early Aussie cricketer who had achieved
greatness with his remarkable feats
despite being moderately talented. In
fact, he was Australia’s answer to W.G.
Grace. Not in deeds, of course, but in
bulk and in domination of the general
cricket scene. But the analogy must not
be stretched any further, considering
the two played their cricket in two dif-
ferent eras.
Armstrong did not do justice to his
name when he made his Test debut

Warwick Armstrong
Australia’s answer
to W.G. Grace
against England in the Old Country in from a great height, he did not turn
1901-02. Neither his arms nor his body the ball a lot, but his leg theory was so by Haresh Pandya
was strong. He was slim and tall and pronounced that on occasions he sent
loose-limbed at the time. However, down over after over wide of the leg tented, rich man at the age of 68.
when he stopped playing cricket 20 stump without being punished because In a first-class career spanning 24
years later, he weighed, lo and behold, he dropped the ball with what really years, Armstrong scored 16,158 runs in
22 stones! It was perhaps in the fitness was deceptive flight and usually very 406 innings at an average of 46.83,
of things that he was nicknamed The little break,” wrote Hubert Preston, the which included 45 three-figure knocks.
Big Ship. famous cricket historian, about He claimed 832 wickets at 19.71 apiece
Born on May 22, 1879, Armstrong was Armstrong’s bowling. and held 274 catches. The statistics
essentially a batsman who had a useful Everything about Armstrong was on suggest he was a very successful all-
role to play as a leg-break bowler. the grand scale. He had an enviable flair rounder. His figures in Tests are equally
Wielding the willow, he made good use for success: as a cricketer, as a captain, impressive. In 50 Tests and 84 visits to
of his physical gifts. He was very strong as a man, as a cricket writer and as a the crease, Armstrong made 2,863
on the front-foot from which his businessman. While playing in Glasgow runs at 38.68, including 6 centuries.
attack always sprang, using his massive on his last tour of England, he had a The Aussie took 87 wickets and
frame. But he was a joy to watch on chance meeting with a whisky tycoon. pouched 44 catches as well
the backfoot, especially when execut- It opened a new chapter in his life and a The Big Ship led Australia in 10 Tests, all
ing rasping square-cuts prosperous business career when his against England, and did not taste
“Bowling slows, usually round the wicket playing days were over. He died a con- defeat in any one of them. He crushed
Cricket
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April 2009

93 plinarian and a man of high principles. Cotter was killed in action by a sniper at
The Victorian, who was a “somewhat Gallipoli while serving in the Australian
dictatorial opponent”, could never steer Light Horse in 1917 aged 34. Ransford
himself clear of controversies, both as and Hill never donned Aussie colours
a player and as a captain. again. But Carter and Armstrong did,
On the eve of the 1912 tour of England though the latter had in store another
his forceful character led him to join row with officialdom.
the revolt – known as the Big Six dis- It so happened that in the early 1920s
pute of 1912 – of the players against Armstrong, slow in his movements
the Australian cricket officials. The owing to his huge body, was hit
authorities did not honour their prom- badly in a Sheffield Shield match
ise to the players that they could in Adelaide. Ignoring the injury
choose their manager for he went to Sydney to play
England. The players plumped against New South Wales. As ill
for Frank Laver, a man of luck would have it, a brick fell on
“breezy personality”, who his legs on the morning of the
had played for Australia game, causing so much
with some distinction. But pain and rendering him
the authorities just would Warwick hors de combat.
not agree. Consequently Armstrong led The matter did not end
the Big Six – Victor Australia in 10 just there. His enemies in
Trumper, Clem Hill, Albert Victoria, thanks to the
“Tibby” Cotter, Hanson Tests, all against rumpus of 1912, set their
“Sammy” (or “Sep”) England, and did guns against him, waiting
Carter, Vernon Ransford not taste defeat in as they had been for their
and Armstrong – refused any one of them. chance to sink The Big
to tour. He crushed Ship. “Armstrong should
The officials won the have notified of his condi-
struggle, although the England in all 5 tion earlier,” they crowed.
tour of England was a Tests in Australia in To add to the injury, literal-
disaster, “a horrible fias- 1920-21. ly and figuratively, the
co”. Trumper died 3 Victorian selectors dropped
years later aged 38. him from the State squad

England in all 5 Tests in Australia in


1920-21. He himself made a vital contri-
bution with the bat, scoring 3 centuries
in the rubber. Three more successive
Test wins followed in England, making it
8 triumphs in a row, before the Poms
could manage a couple of welcome
draws.
So much has already been written
about Armstrong’s “brilliant” leadership
qualities, particularly by the Australians.
But Armstrong, who neither lost a Test
nor a toss while captaining his country,
was fortunate in that he had at his
command a deadly pair of fast bowlers,
Jack Gregory and Ted McDonald, who
proved too good for England’s impov-
erished batting; and the batsmen of
the calibre of Charles Macartney, the
“Governor General”, and Warren
Bardsley. It is debatable whether he was
ever tested by grim adversity, consider-
ing the rich resources at his disposal as
a skipper.
He was said to be the stormy petrel of
Australian cricket in those years, one
who “spoke his mind and liked to get his
way regardless of sensitive feelings or
niceties”. Strong-willed, stubborn and
sensitive, Armstrong was a strict disci-
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players were pitchforked


94
into action in the series
with only Frank Woolley and Johnny
Duglas playing in all the five Tests. As
said earlier, so superior was this
Australian side that it had no problem
beating the Brits 3-0, winning the first
three Tests.
However, Armstrong was flayed by the
representatives of Fleet Street for not
making Kent follow-on after the county
finished almost 500 behind on the first
innings against the tourists. He was
thought to be over-bearing by his own
colleagues and they demurred in the
dressing-room. But he silenced them, if
not actually convinced, with an auto-
cratic wave of the hand. “Put ‘em on
and do as you are told,” he roared at his
openers. “There’s a Test coming on and
I’m not over-working my bowlers for
anybody.”
The decision nearly triggered a team
insurrection. But saner counsel pre-
vailed and, in the end, The Big Ship
weathered the storm. Compared to the
tempests still to break in the fourth
and fifth Tests at Old Trafford and The
Oval respectively, the drama at Kent
was only a zephyr.
At Manchester, Lionel Tennyson, the
descendant of England’s national poet
Alfred Tennyson, had replaced Douglas
as the captain. The first day’s play was
washed out and the home skipper made
a “forlorn” bid for victory by declaring
at 5.40 p.m. on the second day with
only 4 wickets falling. But Tennyson had
erred in taking such a decision since he
had overlooked the point that with no
play at all on the opening day, the
match was now only a two-day affair,
with a consequential change in the clo-

to play against England without call- national captaincy and massa-


ing him before them. As Jack cred the English 5-0. Ignoring
Fingleton remarked, “Here was a a severe bout of malaria, he
pretty how-d’ye-do – the performed a tour de force in a
Australian captain dropped Test in the same series.
from his State team!” Before going out to bat,
This triggered tremendous Armstrong was Armstrong sent for 2
popular uproar. Public meet- “stiff” whiskies and
ings were held and fierce
said to be the drank them without
polemic in favour of stormy petrel of water. He then ambled
Armstrong was launched by Australian cricket out and smashed a hun-
many in the press. The offi- in those years, dred! sure rule.
cials held a meeting in cam- one who “spoke More “seaworthy” than Tennyson led his players on to the field
era. Needless to say, it was a ever, Armstrong sailed and motioned the Australians in. But
stormy gathering but out of
his mind and liked on to England to weath- the visiting captain pointed out, guided
it came the vindication of to get his way er a few more by his wicketkeeper Carter, that the law,
Armstrong. So The Big Ship, regardless of sen- “cyclones” in 1921. The amended in 1914, showed that a clo-
unscarred, “sailed serenely sitive feelings or English team was in the sure in the circumstances of a lost first
again into home waters”. niceties”. doldrums that year; so day could not be made later than an
The huge man resumed the much that some 29 hour and 40 minutes before the time
Cricket
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April 2009

95

for drawing stumps. team – Clarence “Nip”


It was surprising that no Pellew, Johnny Taylor,
England official or player Tommy Andrews and Herbie
in the pavilion knew “Horseshoe” Collins
enough to prevent such Armstrong was – and ordered them
a comic scenario. Many to share the bowling
Englishmen considered flayed by the among themselves
it a humiliating inci- representatives for the rest of the
dent in the sense that of Fleet Street for proceedings.
the home captain was not making Kent Then he himself
corrected by his follow-on after lumbered off to the
Australian counter- boundary which was
part. The umpires – the county fin- an unknown position
also at fault, no doubt ished almost for him. The specta-
– were so muddled 500 behind on tors did not like
that, when play was the first innings Armstrong’s pranks
resumed after delay against the and were furious
of 20 minutes, they that a Test was
allowed Armstrong to tourists. being treated like
commit an error by that. They yelled
bowling the next over, forgetting and booed the bulky
that he had bowled the over Aussie. But he was com-
before Tennyson made that pre- pletely unruffled; so much that he
mature declaration! Armstrong actually picked up and read a fully
thus became the first man in his- extended newspaper that was
tory to bowl two overs on the trot blown from the crowd!
in a Test innings. The Australian crossed swords in
In the final Test at The Oval, it was that same year with Lord Harris,
apparent long before the game said to be the autocrat of English
finished that it would end in a cricket. The two were engaged in a
draw. But after tea on the last day, conversation during the course of
the Australian captain rested his which betting in cricket was men-
regular bowlers and summoned tioned. While Armstrong was cer-
four non-bowling members of his tain that such a thing as betting
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April 2009

Bradman’s wings. Nor did


96
he rate Maurice Tate and
Bill O’Reilly as world-class bowlers. This
was, of course, all stuff and nonsense.
He did not endear himself to many by
making such foolish remarks. But he
himself was aware that many people
hated him.
The gruff and domineering Aussie was
a heavy smoker. He was almost insepa-
rable from a large, crooked-stemmed
pipe. He loved a challenge and did not
believe in caving in meekly. He was a
fighter who had the killer spirit well
developed as a competitor. Only a
shade above a decade stood between
Armstrong and Douglas Jardine, the
controversial English captain of the
Bodyline fame.
Fingleton made a fine observation
about the tit-for-tat approach of
Armstrong, both as a player and as a
captain. “Slow in movement, big in tar-

did exist in cricket, His Lordship pooh-


poohed the very idea of it. a human being. “Beneath get, Armstrong would have been beat-
“People just don’t bet on cricket. this hard exterior was a en black and blue by bodyline but he
Silly rot to say they do,” said the kind, generous heart which would have retaliated on the field very
Englishman. The next day, could, and did, send him trav- promptly and his attitude would have
Armstrong took up the subject elling miles to play an been so full of thunder that bodyline
again and said: “If you would like outlying school single- would have died in one Test, which, as I
a couple of hundred on our A truly great char- handed, to emerge, see it now, would have been a very,
next Test, I can arrange it for acter, Armstrong incidentally, once very good thing,” wrote Fingleton while
you!” The Brit was flabbergast- was regarded by more victorious,” said visualising Armstrong leading and not
ed and greatly offended by Ian Peebles. This Bill Woodfull in the infamous Bodyline
the temerity of the outspo- some of his about the man who series down under in 1932-33.
ken Aussie; to such an extent adversaries as an did not like to take Cricket has not seen too many remark-
that he did not speak to eccentric. But it dictation from any- able men and lively characters like
Armstrong for the rest of his body… Armstrong. The Big Ship had come on
life
was not true. He Armstrong did not the scene in the Golden Age of the
A truly great character, had many good think much of Don game which was not all that glittering
Armstrong was regarded by qualities as a Bradman. He was of in reality. But he had added colour and
some of his adversaries as an human the opinion that many lustre to the willow game with his fabu-
eccentric. But it was not true. bowlers in his team lous personality and dynamism. Indeed,
He had many good qualities as being. would have clipped he was a legend in his own right. 
Cricket
match WOMENS CRICKET trivia content news interview Today
April 2009

98
t
he Grameenphone Women’s Pakistan opener Nain Abidi, sparkled in had to work hard to get
Tri-nation Series was inaugu- this game and scored 65 runs fencing them out for 109 runs.
rated by Humayun Kabir, the the ball 11 times and steered her team Cricket is a very competitive game. We
deputy commissioner, Mr. to success in the 34th over. worked hard and fought our way back
Abdullah Redwan, Director & Bangladesh captain Salma Khatun said, since the Asia Cup”.
Chairman; Women’s wing, “Basically our promising batswomen SriLankan women won the second
Bangladesh Cricket Board, at Bogra dis- couldn’t play well, so we were all out match of the tournament against
trict Bangladesh. within very small score. We have to Pakistan by 3 wickets with 116 balls
SriLanka, Pakistan and Bangladesh were wait for the upcoming matches for our remaining. CR Seneviratna was the top
the three countries who participated in girls to do better. We should focus on wicket taker claiming 8 wickets and was
the tournament and the SriLankan eves our batting for staying longer on the declared the player of the match.
emerged as the winning team and the wicket to get a big score”. Pakistan could write only 103 runs on
Pakistani girls as runners-up. Urooj Mumtaz added, “Bangladesh is a the board confronting the SriLankan
Pakistan captain, Urooj Mumtaz, said, “ good side and they have played well in attack. Only a couple of Pakistan eves

WOMEN’S TRI-
NATION SERIES
by Radhika Karve the Asia Cup. The Bangladesh crowd is could reach a double figure score but
great, they come in large number and in reply Almas Akram and Javeria Khan
We took this tournament as a great cheers for all the teams. Their team is bowled well and bagged three SriLankan
rehearsal or warm- up before the coming up nicely and has shown great wickets each.
World Cup” addressing the press con- improvement in the bowling and the Sri Lanka won the toss and elected to
ference after the opening match of fielding department. Their bowlers bat first in the third game of the series
the tournament,played between bowled wicket to wicket with a perfect against Bangladesh and scored 211 runs
Pakistan and Bangladesh, where a much line and length. They should work more in their stipulated 50 overs. Eshan
experienced Pak side restricted on their batting”. Kaushalya was the star of the game
Bangladesh to 109 runs to win the When asked about how easy was their scoring an unbeaten 60 in 43 balls with
game comprehensively by 7 wickets. win, Urooj said, “No game is easy! We 7 boundaries and one six. Tithy Sarkar
Cricket
Today editor speaks contents letter book review interview market mania
April 2009

99 and Shohely Akhtar of Bangladesh their side.


claimed 4 wickets each in 10 overs giv- The fifth match of the tournament
ing away 45 & 23 runs respectively. was a memorable one for the
Ayesha Akhtar, Panna Ghosh and Tithy Bangladesh eves as they wrote their
Sarkar were the only Bangladeshi girls first victory defeating mighty
who reached a double figure score of SriLankan’s by 6 wickets. “This victory
33, 20 &16 respectively in their team’s is very special and a dream come true
reply of 135 runs. SriLanka women won for us! It has lifted the moral of my
by 76 runs with bowler Chamari team” said the Bangladeshi captain

Polagampola bagging three Bangladeshi Salma Khatun.


wickets for 26 runs. Sri Lanka were all out for just 67
The fourth match of the tour- runs in the 24th over. Bangladesh
nament, played between Sri bowlers turned the game miracu-
Lanka and Pakistan, was lously by sending five Sri Lankan
delayed due to rain and batters to the pavilion without let-
was limited to 31 overs. ting them open the account.
Sri Lanka won by 115 Bangladesh took only 31
runs with captain The overs to reach the target and
Shashikala Siriwardene
scoring 66 off 72 balls
Grameenphone wrote history.
The Grameenphone tri-nation
with 10 fours and a six. tri-nation series series was finally won by Sri
She was well support- was finally won Lanka. Pakistan were the run-
ed by Eshani Kaushalya by Sri Lanka. ners-up and their coach was
who hit 26 runs in 26 Pakistan were happy with the team’s per-
balls fencing the ball formance. Pakistan openers
four times. SriLanka
the runners-up put up a good show through-
scored 210 runs in 31 and their coach out the series and proved to
overs for the loss of 9 was happy with be the second best team of
wickets. In reply, the team’s per- the tournament.
Pakistani team were formance. The three teams certainly
bundled out with just picked up the weakness and
92 runs and their bat- the strong points of their
ters hardly showed any resistance to opponents and will utilize the
the SriLankan bowlers. H Fernando and knowledge and experience in the
C De Almis got three Pakistani girls out upcoming big event…THE WOMEN’S
each and marked an easy victory for WORLD CUP 2009!!! 
Cricket
match DOWN MEMORY LANE content news interview Today
April 2009

100
b
y April 1998 Tendulkar was
not only one of the two
best batsmen in the world
(the other being Brian Lara)
but was also the biggest
name in the game. And the many Indian
fans in Sharjah gave him a rapturous
welcome when he arrived with the
team to participate in the Coca Cola
Cup tri series with the other teams in
the fray being Australia and New
Zealand. Australia were the favourites
on form and reputation and things
moved according to predictions in the
first round of matches. Australia
defeated India by 58 runs and New
Zealand by six wickets while India got
the better of New Zealand by 15 runs.
According to the format of the tourna-
ment the contestants had to play each
other one more time and the two top
teams would contest the final. An
Australia - India final looked certain but
New Zealand threw a spanner in the
works by defeating India by four wick-
ets. Australia according to expectations
beat New Zealand by five wickets to
make sure of a berth in
the title clash. But their opponents
were not known when the final league
match between Australia and India
commenced. New Zealand’s surprise
victory had opened an avenue for

put on 38 runs and then Nayan Mongia

Sachin’s magical (35) helped the maestro add 69 runs


for the second wicket. But India fal-
tered when skipper Md Azharuddin and
Ajay Jadeja left in quick succession

show at Sharjah making the score 138 for four after 29


overs. Joined by VVS Laxman Tendulkar
now took complete charge. With breath
taking shots on both sides of the wick-
them and the pressure was on India. PARTAB RAMCHAND looks et he reached his hundred and finally
Much would depend on Tendulkar who the first objective – making the final –
had notched up scores of 40, 80 and back on when Sachin was reached. Tendulkar was finally out
38 in the three matches. But India’s Tendulkar virtually single at 242 to the last ball of the 43rd over
task became really tough when handedly won for India the after hitting 143 off just 131 balls with
Australia winning the toss posted 284 nine fours and five sixes. India ended
for seven in 50 overs thanks in the Coca Cola Cup tournament in with 250 for five and though the
main to a splendid unbeaten 101 by Sharjah match was lost by 26 runs the Indians
Michael Bevan. Now the calculators lived to fight another day thanks to the
were out as during the break there was Winning a match single hand- heroics of their best batsman.
a dust storm which hit the stadium edly is a great feat but when a The final was held two days later and it
resulting in a slight delay. The target player wins a tournament for turned out to be Tendulkar’s 25th
was now revised. It was no longer 285 birthday. Would he give a birthday gift
from 50 overs but 276 from 46 overs. his side virtually off his own to the nation? That hardly seemed pos-
To qualify for the final though it was bat it is an achievement unpar- sible when Australia put in to bat ended
enough if the Indians got 237 but that with 272 for nine in 50 overs. This time
was far from easy against an attack alleled. But perhaps it will not Tendulkar and Ganguly (23) put on 39
that included Damien Fleming, Michael come as a surprise when it is runs before the latter fell in the ninth
Kasprowicz, Tom Moody, Shane Warne pointed out that the cricketer over. Mongia (28) was happy playing a
and Steve Waugh. supporting role during his second wick-
Openers Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly involved was Sachin Tendulkar. et partnership of 89 runs with
Cricket
Today editor speaks contents letter book review interview market mania
April 2009

101 to be deployed by his brother Steve but Indian triumph in Sharjah


Tendulkar continued with his pyrotech- was a rare occurrence.
nics. When he was finally out at 248 in Only four months previ-
the 45th over victory was round ously the Indian team had
the corner. been jeered as they lost all
Tendulkar’s masterly 134 was their three matches in the
compiled off 131 balls and he hit Champions Trophy.
12 fours and three sixes. But the last word Tendulkar had been
Azharuddin left a couple of must come from the captain and the
overs later after playing a little Shane Warne. “I abuses must have
gem of an innings of 58 off 64 was hit by the best rankled. But this tri-
balls leaving Jadeja and batsman in the umph shaped almost
Hrishikesh Kanitkar to apply the world’’ said the entirely by one man
finishing touches. The winning was something to
stroke was made with nine
world’s best spin remember for long.
deliveries to spare. bowler and in a The stadium erupted
So Tendulkar did give a cricket touching gesture as Tendulkar stepped
crazy nation a gift to remem- he sought forward to receive
ber on his 25th birthday. An Tendulkar’s auto- his man of the match
graph on his
shirt.

Tendulkar who by now was in rip roar-


ing form, doing pretty much what he
liked with the bowling. Mongia’s depar-
ture brought in Azharuddin and even
the great touch artist was content
playing second fiddle to Tendulkar who
was simply unstoppable. He reached a
second successive hundred – his 15th
in ODIs – and now accelerated further.
Mark Waugh became the sixth bowler

and man of the series awards. The


crowd gave him a standing ovation as
he went around the venue in his brand
new Opel car given to him for his stu-
pendous performance with the team
members piling on to share the glory.
But the last word must come from
Shane Warne. “I was hit by the best
batsman in the world’’ said the world’s
best spin bowler and in a touching ges-
ture he sought Tendulkar’s autograph
on his shirt. In 19 overs in the two
matches Warne had conceded exactly
100 runs without taking a wicket and
could not bowl even a single maiden
over. His one sentence and gesture
conveyed the extent of Tendulkar’s
dominance and put the two match win-
ning hundreds in proper perspective.
Cricket
match THE LEGAL FIGHT content news interview Today
April 2009

102
f
eroze Shah Kotla has been wit- lawyer’s never had a chance to score amongst the lawyer’s
nessing some great encounters freely. It appeared that the Judges’ Meet Malhotra was strug-
and performances in the past. team had taken a leaf out of the book gling to find his rhythm as he was
Be it Anil Kumble’s world record of the Australian team, especially recovering from a back injury. At this
feat of acheiving 10 wickets or Justice Badar Ahmed, Justice Shakdhar stage I was missing certain players who
Sachin breaking Gavaskar’s record of and Justice Murlidhar, who were fling- would have been assets to our side but
scoring maximum centuries in Test ing themselves all over the field even to they opted to be at Chandigarh for a
cricket. Of recently, the stadium wit- save singles. Justice Mridul was out- legal fraternity Golf Tournament. The
nessed another exciting encounter on standing behind the stumps and later ones missed most were Jayant
21st February 2009 between Delhi with his left-hand batting, had people Bhushan, Arun Bharadwaj, J.P.Sengh
Chief Justice XI and Delhi High Court to remember of the great Adam and Rajiv Nanda. At the end of the 11th
Bar Association XI. This match takes
place every year between the Bar and
Bench of Delhi High Court for the Tara
Chand Mathur Memorial Cup. This year
the match was even more significant as
it was being revived after the gap of
five years. This particular encounter
was attended in large numbers by
members of the legal fraternity and
their families. The total turn-out was
even bigger than any of the Ranji tro-
phy matches.
The arrangements for the match were
immaculate. Starting in the morning
with an elaborate spread of breakfast,
the cuisine of “Delhi-6” was enjoyed by
all as a midmorning snack. So good was
the taste of the delicacies of Old Delhi
that Justice Kathju could not resist car-
rying his “Papri Chat” on to the field
and continued to savour the same even
while fielding. A special thanks to Sh. Sh. Shyam Sharma receiving the best bowler trophy from Justice AP Shah

Bench vs Bar
by Shyam Sharma Gilchrist.
In reply, the Judges’ team, led by
Justice Badar Ahmed, got off to a fly-
over the acting captain Sunil Mittal
asked me to start loosening up as he
wanted me to bowl the 13th over. I was
Ramesh Gupta, former Chairman Bar ing start with Justice Katju smashing apprehensive and told him that I hadn’t
Council of Delhi, for arranging the the first ball of the innings to the long bowled in over 15 years since I last
same. on boundary and looking ominous. It bowled for my club (Pelican) in the Delhi
The Lawyer’s Team led by Vinay Bhasin, took a low sharp catch on his follow A Division League. I told him in the
Sr. Advocate, won the toss and elected through by Balaji to dismiss him. The morning that I had not come to play
to bat as it appeared that their luck is innings was then held together by the match but had come only as a
better on the field than in the Courts. Justice Badar Ahmed and Justice spectator to watch the match as I was
The lawyer’s side couldn’t get to a fly- Murlidhar, who were scoring freely, as suffering from tennis elbow. However,
ing start as both their openers, Sunil the judges’ team remained ahead of after seeing the rebuilt stadium in the
Mittal and Anoop Bagai (their best bet), the asking run-rate till the dismissal of morning and succumbed to the temp-
got out cheaply. The team finally man- Justice Badar Ahmed by a googly from tation of being able to play on this
aged a respectable total of 194 in 25 Sunil Mittal, the vice-captain of the beautiful lush green ground which one
overs, thanks to a strokeful and elegant Lawyers’ team and the legal eagle of only dreamt of as a child, I agreed to
knock of 38 off 35 balls by Abhinav DDCA. The judges’s held a tight grip on bowl. Kudos to Mr. Arun Jaitely, the
Vashist. the proceedings as the submissions of president of DDCA and his team for
The Judges’ outfit was thoroughly pro- the lawyer were wayward since they making Kotla a wonderful Stadium. I
fessional in their approach on the field had already bowled sixteen illegitimate bowled straight and to be honest, luck
whether it was fielding or bowling. The deliveries in the form of no-balls and seemed to be on my side as my spell of
bowling was so disciplined that the wides. The most feared bowler 5-0-16-4 earned me the trophy for the
Cricket
Today editor speaks contents letter book review interview market mania
April 2009

103 best bowler. In fact the lawyer’s team


must thank the judges who decided to
call Justice Shakhdhar back as retired
hurt when he and Justice Murlidhar
were going great guns.
Justice Siddharth Mridul, who used to
score heavily for the Lawyer’s before
elevation, was caught at the boundary
just when he was looking dangerous.
Justice Sistani who chose to play this
match instead of a golf tournament in
Chandigarh was dismissed on the sec-
ond ball he faced. However he walked
back to pavilion with a smile on his face
which shows the spirit in which the
game was played.
There were valuable contribution from
various other Judges’ including Justice
Manmohan, Justice Nandrajog, Justice
Bhasin, Justice Kait, Justice Manmohan
(L to R) Justice AP Shah, Chief Justice of Delhi Highcourt with Justice Katju, Judge supremecourt of Singh and Justice V.K. Shali who dis-
India, and Sh. Arun Jaitly, President DDCA.
played the hidden talents much to
shock and dismay of the lawyer’s team
by showing great agility and fitness on
the field.
The match was followed by prize distri-
bution ceremony. The winner and run-
ners-up trophies were given away by
Justice Ajit Pasayat, Judge, Supreme
Court of India and the individual prizes
were presented by Sh. Arun Jaitley and
Sh. Ravinder Manchanda, the patron of
DDCA. The master of ceremonies at
the prizes distribution was the secre-
tary of the Delhi High Court Bar
Association Sh. D.K.Sharma who was at
his witty best on the mike. The live on
field commentary through-out the
match by Amit Chadda, Ashok Sethi,
Rajiv Saxena, Bedi and Dinesh Agnani
Photo: Ashutosh Sharma

deserves a special mention which kept


the audience in splits of laughter with
The Delhi High Court Chief Justice XI
humorous remarks. Justice Murlidhar
was declared “man of the match” for
his valuable 52 runs, Justice Sidharath
Mridul was adjusted the “Best Keeper”
and Justice Shakdhar was declared as
the most “egile player of the match”.
There was a tuff competition for the
most “dashing and handsome player”
but the unanimous choice was Justice
Manmohan. (everything official about
it)
The evening ended with special appre-
ciation to certain officials of the DDCA
namely Sh. Ravinder Manchanda, Sh.
Sneh Bansal, Sh. C.K.Khanna, Sh. Chetan
Chauhan, Sh. Sunil Jain, Sh. Ravi Jain
and Sh. Dinesh Sharma who helped in
making the match a great success. All
the players and the audience are
already looking forward for the next
edition of the Tara Chand Memorial
Standing (L to R) with the winners trophy Sh. Ramesh Gupta (Sr. Advocate), Sh. Sunil Mittal (Vice
Chairman, Bar Council of Delhi) and Sh. Shyam Sharma Trophy. 
Cricket
Today
news MARKET MANIA preview cover story interview April 2009

104
By Rakesh Pandey

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Cricket
Today
April 2009
editor speaks contents letter review interview match report
105
YAMAHA RX-V863
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Cricket
match CONTEST content news interview market mania Today
April 2009

106
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