“Korbo lorbo jeetbo re,” the anthem of Kolkota Knight Riders for once has been actualized despite people abhorring the camera happy, free air kisses and salute guy Sahrukh Khan, the owner of the side. This 5th edition, nine teams competed and 76 matches were held over 54 days where Kolkota beat the two time champion Chennai in the final. The IPL was bigger and better than before with players of all caliber, origin, nationality and intensity facing up against each other.
It’s amazing what money can do to a sport. There were teams so strong that they would beat any international side let alone clubs of the world thanks to generous owners and their bank accounts. The bigger franchises like Mumbai Indians, Kolkata Knight Riders, Deccan Chargers simply bought the hottest players like Sachin Tendulkar, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, around with whatever was required while the smaller ones had to settle with developing the lesser ones.
Even the auctions attract plenty of attention as teams play tug of war to get the best. It sometimes defies logic though when we see players like Muttiah Murilitharan sold for lot less than somebody like Ravindra Jadeja. Maybe they go to the astrologers first and then to the auction house. Jadeja, Vinay Kumar and Mahela Jayawardane were the highest bids crossing the million dollar mark. The day may not be far, heaven forbid, when players forsake their national side for the lucrative IPL.
Indian Premiere League is a melting pot for players, businessmen, media and fans from all over the world. The cheer ladies, the DJ’s, the drummers were all embodied by the tournament. There was a sense of celebration all around India. People applauded and shouted at the top of their voice in every game, every innings and every ball. Such was the intensity that even here the talk in the mornings and evenings at every tea shop always included the IPL and the immense talent and guile of the players. Even the grass in the stadiums was kept lush and green to give that freshness and life to the players and spectators alike.
The setting couldn’t have been any better. The country with its vastness and people following their sides in huge numbers made it grander. People just filled the stadiums in every game which helped fuel the hype, the media coverage and of course the collection of funds. This most certainly would not have been possible anywhere else in the world. People honked the pipes, mobbed the players, booed and then put their hands together for good cricket.
The competition was a hard contested one as well. Some leading the chart all the way and some picking pace at the end. Every ball was an event, everything was possible and nothing was safe. Batsmen threatened to hit every ball for a six and the bowlers threatened to bowl a Yorker every ball. The margin for error was miniscule while anticipation and experimentation was of the essence. The fielders skid, dived, relayed and threw themselves in every manner to save the boundaries. All this enthusiasm to proved their worth and see their team win and better their worth the next year.
Gautam Gambhir and Sunil Narine were the stand out players for KKR as well as the second highest run getter and second highest wicket taker in the IPL respectively. Gambhir’s controlled aggression and Narines accuracy mixed with some mystery deliveries made in roads for Kolkota throughout. They played as a unit all the way and it was a little known Bisla who played the innings of his life to bring them the victory in the final.
IPL 5 had numerous breathtaking moments, more so this time than the last 4 editions put together. Chris Gayle of Royal Challengers Bangalore cannoned sixes every time he went to the crease and made it look like child’s play. One of the best if not the best innings came from the charismatic MS Dhoni himself in the semifinal where he played a cameo that included the amazing “helicopter” shot to propel his side towards the final. Albie Morkel and Dale Steyn displayed why true fast bowlers can change the course of the game in any format.
The best thing to happen this IPL season for us Nepalis was that our long time national player Shakti Gauchan was summoned for a trial by Rajesthan Roayals which sadly did not materialized but yet has given a glimmer of hope of a prospect in the future that a brilliant young man might be playing for a club in IPL makes our diaphragm go wiggley which further reiterates the popularity and global presence of the Indian Premiere League and of course the wealth they are willing to splash out. The fact that it is bite sized and action packed; keeps people hooked and may be the future of cricket but It does endanger the fen ace and calmness of this gentlemen’s game.