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Monday, September 20, 2021

IPL success stories ! ... .. 3 debuts today - RCB bundled for 92 !!!

You may not recognize him to be a Cricketer – he  has now  opened the innings with Shubman Gill and fearless striking Mohammad Siraj & Kyle Jamieson !! – someone who gave up his plan to study CA and let go a job offer by Deloitte!!!

The best thing about IPL besides entertainment, is its providing opportunities to many a youngsters !  .. .. some names earlier unheard of, performed well and got into National team .. .. and today in the match between KKR & RCB – there are 3 debutants : Venkatesh Iyer for KKR, Hasaranga and KS Bharat for RCB

A top Cricketer heading the board is good for the players .. ..  Sourav Ganguly had announced that the financial health of domestic cricketers would be his "biggest priority" as BCCI president, the board has now  announced sizeable hikes in match fees for men and women at the end of its apex council meeting. The new pay slabs, which will be in place 2021-22 onwards, will have the senior men earning between INR 40,000 and 60,000 per day while senior women will earn up to INR 20,000 per day. In another major update, the BCCI has also decided to allot 50% match fees "as compensation" for the Covid-19-affected 2019-20 season where the board could organise just the Syed Mushtaq Ali (T20) Trophy and the 50-over Vijay Hazare Trophy for the senior men.

Pinnaduwage Wanindu Hasaranga de Silva was in action when Shikhar Dhawan’s team toured Lanka recently.  The leg spinner has already made a mark .. .. and if you know or remember that MSK Prasad hailed from Andhra, played Test and One dayers and became a Selector, you may also know that Kona Srikar Bharat (KS Bharat) too is a wicket-keeper batsman from Andhra and was a standby for Wriddhiman Saha for India's tour of England.  Bharat reached Mumbai and was with the Indian contingent when they were quarantined in hotel before boarding flight to London.   

Yesterday after in awful situation, CSK won – and the hero was Ruturaj Gaikwad – who only last year was facing all criticism and was not at all doing well.   Gaikwad himself came down with Covid-19, and when he came back, he got off to a poor start: scores of 0, 5 and 0 in his first three matches. Super Kings' faith in Gaikwad is paying off, but it is no miracle. They have made the changes required - mainly in taking their batting deeper - to allow them to play quicker during the middle overs especially, which in turn lets Gaikwad be the anchor for them. Yesterday he  was sweeping Trent Bolt and Bumrah with gay abandon  in his well made 88 off 58 with9 fours and 4 sixers.  

-        and what a debacle today – a batting line up of Virat Kohli, Devudtt Padikkal,  Glenn Maxwell, AB de Villiers,  muster 92 folding before 20 overs !! 

Something on the 3rd debutant .. .. Venkatesh Rajasekaran Iyer  plays for Madhya Pradesh. He made his Twenty20 debut against Railways cricket team at Holkar Stadium in March, 2015.   He made his first-class debut for Madhya Pradesh in Ranji trophy in Dec 2018.  In Feb 2021, Iyer was bought by the Kolkata Knight Riders at the base price of Rs.20 lakhs and is playing today !

An interesting article in ESPN – he says - "I was a bright student, inclined towards academics. It's generally the other way round, especially in orthodox South Indian families, where parents push kids to focus on studies. In my case, my mother pushed me towards playing cricket."  Iyer enrolled for a B.Com degree, alongside a chartered accountancy degree. He even topped in the intermediate examinations in 2016, when he had a decision to make. Attempting the CA finals would mean giving up the game, or at least temporarily putting his cricket career on hold.

He had already made his T20 and 50-overs debuts for the Madhya Pradesh senior team and was captain of the state's Under-23 team. A first-class debut was imminent, and he let his instincts take over. "I decided to give up my CA and pursue an MBA in finance," Iyer says. "I gave a lot of entrance exams, had decent scores, and enrolled into a good college. I was fortunate the faculty liked cricket, and they saw I was doing well, and gave me the cushion by taking care of my attendance, preparing notes and rescheduling exams. Had there been no cricket, I would have landed in an IIT (Indian Institute of Technology) or IIM (Indian Institute of Management). Iyer landed a job with the "Big Four" accounting firm Deloitte, in their India headquarters in Bengaluru in 2018. It was decision time again, and Iyer let go the offer, which he eventually wouldn't regret, because he soon made his Ranji Trophy debut for Madhya Pradesh in December that year.

In the truncated 2020-21 season, he  topped the run-charts for his side in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, with 227 runs in five innings at an average of 75.66 and a strike rate of 149.34. Then in the one-day competition, the Vijay Hazare Trophy, he came into his own, hitting a blistering 146-ball 198 against Punjab that helped Madhya Pradesh amass 402 for 3… .. and he claims to be a huge Rajnikanth fan.   

Interesting !

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
20th Sept. 2021. 

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