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Friday, April 20, 2018

CSK train chugs off ~ CSKku Punela visil podu !!

It is ten years  since the first match in IPL was played  in 2008. Ten full years since Brendon McCullum smashed 158* for Kolkata Knight Riders – between and more so, much has changed since Chennai Super Kings last played Rajasthan Royals in 2015. Shane Watson has switched camps. Suresh Raina has missed an IPL game in yellow jersey  ~  MA Chidambaram Stadium will not host CSK's home matches this season. This isn't the first time that CSK have had to move to a new home - MS Dhoni's hometown of Ranchi hosted them in 2014 and 2015. But with 34 wins in 48 IPL matches, the MA Chidambaram Stadium has for long been a stronghold, and how they adapt to a forced change of venue will be key to the remainder of their season.

Namma ooru Chennai ku periya whistle adinga..!!   Namma thala Dhoni ku periya whistle adinga..!!

Don’t worry fans – CSK is there to win ! – as somebody wrote – IPL is the game where other teams battle out to meet CSK in the finals  - today’s venue Pune is  around 1100 kms away from Chennai Chepauk – there are many trains – passing through Arakonam, Renigunta, Guntakkal, Raichur, Daund .. to the destination Pune.

Yesterday, the person who went unsold in first 2 rounds of the auction, Chris Gayle lit up the IS Bindra Stadium in Mohali scoring  the first hundred of VIVO IPL 2018 and powered his team, Kings XI Punjab, to a big first innings total. Riding on the Jamaican’s knock, KXIP posted 193-3, after which the home team’s bowlers restricted the visiting Sunrisers Hyderabad to 178-4.   Earlier,  Kings XI Punjab captain Ravichandran Ashwin broke the trend of all the captains winning the toss and opting to field so far in the tournament. The hosts got off to a slow start, scoring just 13 runs off the first three overs.  Chris Gayle broke the shackles when he launched into Chris Jordan in the fourth over, and there was no stopping him thereafter; the Jamaican, 3 from 8 after the first three overs, would score 97 off the following 50 balls, to register his sixth hundred in the IPL. He would bat through the twenty overs and walk back to the dressing room unbeaten on 104, made from 63 balls.

Was infuriated hearing a commentator stating – Chris Gayle is hitting International bowler Rashid Khan to all parts of the ground .. .. .. dear man, please have your facts rechecked – the so called bowling sensation Rashid Khan is an Afghan yet to play against big teams at International and the giant Chris Gayle has scored 7214 test runs with 333 as highest; 9585 ODI runs  (23 tons) – 215 as highest and 1589  T20 International runs with 2 centuries.

The game of Cricket has seen many drastic changes – in Melbourne in 1971 when the 3rd Test was washed out due to rain, it was thought fit to have a single match day – a limited over version and thus the popular ODI was born. Years later in 2005, the first T20 match was played.  Now ECB is mulling a  new city-based competition set to be a 100-balls-a-side affair ! The concept proposes two eight-team competitions - for men's and women's teams - consisting of 15 traditional six-ball overs, and a final 10-ball over, a 20-delivery shortfall on traditional T20 matches.

The proposed approach was presented by the ECB to the chairmen and chief executives of the first-class counties and MCC on Thursday, and has been unanimously supported by the board of the new competition. The ECB have also confirmed that Southampton, Birmingham, Leeds, London, Manchester, Cardiff and Nottingham will be the host cities for the five-week competition, with Lord's and The Oval each playing host to a London-based team. The loss of 20 balls per innings will help to ensure that the competition fits comfortably into a three-hour window, with all matches expected to finish by 9pm. However, the proposed 10-ball final over may require buy-in from MCC's law-makers, seeing as Law 17.1 currently states: "The ball shall be bowled from each end alternately in overs of 6 balls."~ are they trying to shake something off from the popularity of Indian Premier League.

Even as the matches of CSK had to be moved out of Chepauk due to political reasons, Chennai Central station witnessed a celebration of sorts on Thursday as hundreds of cheering fans boarded the Whistle Podu Express, a fans-only special train to Pune. A sea of yellow jerseys took over platform number 2,  dancing and waving Chennai Super Kings banners and whistling their way to the train.

The special train was organised by the CSK management board to cheer up their fans who were dejected after the team decided to host its home games in Pune.  Close to 1,000 CSK fans from across all age groups started their journey to Pune in a special train — Whitlsepodu Express — to cheer for MS Dhoni's men during their "home game" against Rajasthan Royals at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium on Friday, April 20.  "We were initially disappointed over the decision to shift matches to Pune. We were expecting a venue in Kerala as we believed it would be easier to travel to the neighboring state and support the team. But this is an unprecedented move from Chennai Super Kings' management, we are extremely happy," a spokesperson of the  franchise's official fan club is quoted as saying.

So even Chennai Super Kings' home matches in IPL 2018 have been moved out of Chennai, they won't be lacking in support in Pune/  The arrangements have been made only for the game against Rajasthan Royals on Friday, but CSK officials are keen to bring the fans back for the remaining 'home' matches in Pune too.

Come one namma CsKku oru visil podu !

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
20th Apr 2018.

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