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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Remembering Rajiv Gandhi ~ IPL - CSK meets MI today....


In a Nation, where you need not have to travel to find poor, some hoard currencies in bags and boxes…. As you travel on Mathura road from Delhi, comes the sleepy small place called Palwal, which is also in news….

Before that today, is May 21……… it was on this day in 1991 the religious town of Sriperumpudur had blood stains… yes, the brutal assassination of Rajiv Gandhi while on a campaign trail took place and the Nation pays homage to the leader who was brutally eliminated …

Palwal is known for its cotton trade and for long cotton gambling has been part of life of punters……… The local tradition identifies Palwal with the Apelava town mentioned in the Mahabharata, which was later restored by Vikramaditya. Today, TOI reports that IPL scandal moneytrail led to recovery of  Rs.20 lakhs from the kit bag at the house of Chandila’s aunt….. Ajit Chandila was little known prior to his hattrick last season and now his infamous act has made him hit the headlines.  The psyche of real follower of Indian cricket is damaged ~ but does anybody including the administrators really care for that poor spectator… !!!!

Today, after 72 league matches ~ some mismatches, IPL 6 has moved to the next leve…….  CSK plays MI today… CSK have been there before in fact all the 5 earlier occasions ~ have had more success than failure…….   they're the only team to progress past the league stage in every edition of the IPL so far, losing once in the semis, finishing runners-up twice (including last year), and winning the title in 2010 and 2011. Of the 10 playoff matches they've contested, they've won seven. They will go into the first qualifier knowing just how to win these big games, and with the cushion of having a second chance at making the final should they need it - both huge pluses. MSD is an icon, has still some players who have not played thus far but can make a huge impact, if given a chance – foremost being Faf du Plessis.

For MI, sling Malinga has not been the threat he used to be… Mitchell Johnson swung and bowled great in a couple of matches; Bhani, Ojha, Dhawal Kulkarni have all been steady… They  demolished Super Kings' line-up once this season, rolling them for 79 - the tournament's lowest total - at the Wankhede; but will that really hike their psyche ?  Rohit Sharma will continue to be most appreciated ~ will he ever perform at the hour of need while Dwayne Smith has struggled to make runs. Their most valuable purchase Glenn Maxwell was given a couple of chances but has come a cropper and is most unlikely to leave any impression. If Tendulkar is fit, Mumbai will have to take a tough call - his replacement, Aditya Tare, has made two handy contributions, scoring rapidly as opener for a team that has got off to slow starts more often than not. On Saturday, Malinga became the first bowler to 100 IPL wickets.

Meantime, RR has suspended the contracts of all three of their players who were arrested on allegations of spot-fixing. The three players had already been suspended by the BCCI soon after the controversy came to light. The franchise has also filed a complaint against the players with the Delhi Police, and said that additional security has been allotted for the team for the playoff stage of the IPL. Aakash Chopra, the former India batsman, writes lot of sense and has now said that any player found guilty of spot-fixing should have his records expunged completely, an idea that is believed to have been raised at Sunday's BCCI working committee meeting in Chennai where it received a favourable response.

Meanwhile, a public interest litigation was filed in the Supreme Court seeking a stay on the four remaining IPL matches and an investigation into spot-fixing and other alleged irregularities. The petition, by Lucknow resident Sudarsh Awasthi, has made all IPL franchises and the BCCI party in the case, along with the federal government.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
21st May 2013.

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