A boon for local boys

Kolkata Knight Riders proved too good for Bangalore Royal Challengers in the lung-opener of the IPL T20 championship in Bangalore.-PTI

From the public point of view, a T20 will provide the excitement and thrills that they seek and most importantly, a result can be had in three hours.

The IPL got underway after an extravagant Opening Ceremony and though the first game petered out to be an anti-climax with the Royal Challengers losing meekly, the tournament promises a lot of entertainment.

The eight teams in the competition have a mix of some international heavyweights and their ability to turn it on at the right time will be crucial. However, with players from different nations thrown in together, how quickly the players gel into a sin gle unit will decide the eventual winners.

Besides, there will be quite a bit of player turnover as some players are joining their teams later in the competition while some leave during the tournament to do duty for their national sides. This will make a coach’s job even more challenging as it will be difficult to decide on a winning combination.

In terms of the line up on paper, the Deccan Chargers and the Chennai Super Kings have a formidable bunch of players but in a long drawn tournament wherein each team plays 14 games, there is no way one can decide on the script.

The T20 format is more of a batsman’s game and with the sun baked pitches unlikely to provide any assistance, the bowlers are in for a tough time. The top order batsmen will revel under conditions that are tailor-made for them and if the outfields become hard and dry due to the summer heat, then the fielding standards may not meet the expectations. In the event the fielding standards drop, it will be a sort of a let down as the public are used to witnessing superb athleticism and agility in the T20 format of the game.

The IPL will a boon to the local youngsters as they will have the opportunity of playing alongside some leading international stars in this tournament.

Obviously, one can hardly think of this format being the ideal breeding ground for youngsters, but they can always pick some vital tips from the outstanding cricketers and learn a lot in terms of work ethics, approach to the game, preparation and mental toughness. The youngsters would do well to get clarity on what exactly professionalism is all about as this term has been used loosely and vaguely over the years.

Professionalism to a few has meant charging money but unfortunately what has not registered is the fact that performing under any given situation is obligatory to anyone calling himself a professional. Indian cricket will be richer if youngsters make it a point to understand all aspects that constitute professionalism.

Talking of riches, there has been a lot of talk about players’ payments but it has to be remembered that it is the players who bring in the crowd and thereby the money.

The huge amounts can tempt some players to retire from international cricket prematurely but there have always been temptations of different kinds but many have sensibly stayed away from them. The international cricketers who have been around for a while will cherish achievements as that gets recorded in the history of the game rather than the money they earn in their lifetime. As such, the experienced ones can be expected to keep their wits about them and this is one aspect about which the leading stars should educate the younger lot.

From the public point of view, a T20 will provide the excitement and thrills that they seek and most importantly, a result can be had in three hours.

The IPL provides another option for the people during the holiday season and despite the heat that prevails in all parts of the country, the competition will be intense. After all, the franchisees will expect their players to deliver and win games for their teams. At the end of the day, all the franchisees want their team to win the competition and laxity is something that will not be tolerated by any of them. The heat is on for the players in more ways than one and the teams have to sustain their quality of cricket in order to bring the crowds to the venues.

As one casts his mind back to the same period a year ago, a few nations including India were reluctant to play in the T20 World Cup. But with the roaring success of the World T20, the member countries have accepted that the new avatar of cricket has come to stay.

None would have thought of a competition on a mega scale such as the IPL last September when Dhoni and his men lifted the World T20 championship.

As of today not only have things changed, but have skyrocketed beyond one’s wildest imagination. The razzmatazz and the glamour notwithstanding, it remains to be seen how good this format is to the larger interests of the game. The various Boards have voiced several concerns about the IPL but with the ICC willing to allot a timeframe for this enterprise, the players will be able to eat the cake and have it as well.