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Wednesday, April 8, 2015

IPL 8 (2015) has just begun ... mystery spinner Sunil Naraine back in action !!

From today starts another extravaganza ! IPL has just begun with KKR bowling  ~ Sunil Naraine back in action makes news !!! ...... rain played spoilsport in the  'City of Joy' as a dazzling Bollywood-style opening ceremony kick started the 8th  edition of Indian Premier League (IPL) after a one and a half hour delay at the decked-up Salt Lake stadium yesterday.   IPL is all glitz and lot of promotion !!  

 For a purist, the game starts when the 2 Umpires takes their strides to the middle but IPL is different – theatrics, glam and glitz – thy name; this session  too has some trouble.  ….  First at Chepauk, there will be empty stands (at least 3 of them) and like 2013, no Lankan player in Chennai matches ! 
The 2015 season of the Indian Premier League ( Pepsi IPL 2015 ) is the eighth season of the IPL. Kolkata Knight Riders are the defending champions having won the title in the 2014 season.   KKR play Mumbai Indians today and a  total of 60 T20 matches will be held in the entire tournament. No matches will be held in Kolkata between April 12 and April 25 due to Municipal Elections.

On field, KKR is playing the West Indies mystery spinner  Sunil Naraine, who was reported for suspect action in CLT20 and went on to miss the recently-concluded World Cup; he has since been given a clean chit by the BCCI after tests at Sri Ramachandra Hospitals, Chennai.  KKR has won the trophy twice  (2012 and 2014)  and  Narine's effectiveness with a re-modelled action is yet to be seen.  In case you thought, T20 is just slambang -  KKR is spinner’s haven –  besides Naraine, there is Piyush Chawla, Shakib al Hasan, Yusuf Pathan, playing today …… (they had Senanayake Mudiyanselage Sachithra Madhushanka Senanayake.. earlier) now have in their ranks -  Brad Hogg, chinaman bowler Kuldeep Yadav,  a rookie spinner KC Cariappa has been bought for 2.4 crore. ~ and if that is not enough their site lists two more : Aditya Garhwal (legbreak googly bowler !), Vaibhav Rawal (legbreak googly bowler !)

IPL is big fat wedding – grand, glamorous, glittering, noisy and garish.  On field there are so many cameras (including spider cam)  catching not only the game, but also movement of players, their reactions of team and its owners, of the cheerleaders, official tune makers and also the spectators.  Fans mostly are given flags and come in team colours.  There are so many support staff, there is player’s dug-out, gym sessions, sponsors, bat signings, media, shouting commentators on field, interview with players and many other non-game related arrangements of late night parties and more.

The 2nd game involves CSK at home ground Chennai after a year and this year too, there is news of Sri Lankan players not figuring – does that include the Umpire too ?  - it was not an issue as in the last version, Chennai did not host any game !  reportedly, Angelo Mathews, the Sri Lankan captain, has not arrived  with the Delhi Daredevils team here.   

IPL has had its share of controversies – an year before last, Shah Rukh Khan’s drunken brawl with Mumbai Cricket Authority security guards at the Wankhede Stadium made many feel sour.  Gabriella Pasqualotto, a cheer leader from South Africa, who became quite popular after writing about the dark intentions of certain Cricketers and was later sent back home for her revelations, exposed some cricketers in her blog. Aussie player  Luke Pomersbach was involved in a molestation case which the woman involved Zohal Hameed, settled outside. There was also the sting operation in which  five uncapped players[Amit Yadav, Mohnish Mishra, Abhinav Bali, TP Sudhindra and Shalabh Srivastava]  were accused for fixing matches during IPL season 5.  None of them were proven guilty though !!

To some regular Cricket fans, it is  no pleasure  but plain pain to be inside the stadium – hot days, made hotter by the lights – no facilities, one has to pass through make shift barricades and rude volunteers, no decent rest rooms, water starved toilets – nothing allowed inside including water bottles – one needs to buy everything at exorbitant prices  and once the match is over, getting out also is regulated -  reaching the road and finding means of transportation would pose more trouble.  Inside the stadiums loudspeakers would blare songs of all languages and there would be cacophony. 
             Amidst the melee, thousands of seats in the reconstructed galleries of M.A. Chidambaram Stadium are likely to remain vacant this IPL season too.  It is reported that the Municipal permission is yet to be obtained and hence there is still ban on using the stands !

Everything else will be forgotten as fans would get enthralled by six hitting madness – it is IPL and are going to whistle for CSK ?  My son continues his support for KKR for Ganguly played a few seasons ago !!

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

8th Apr 2015.

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