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Thank god for the IPL,Sanjay Manjrekar
I believe the IPL should be given a special window in the ICC cricket calendar for just one reason and one reason only: because the players benefit from it greatly.
Some of us today, who in some capacity or the other are connected with the game and are making a living from it, should be grateful to the players who are performing in the sun. "Just imagine if tomorrow, for some reason, the players stopped playing. We will all be out of jobs," a fellow commentator said. It is a remark I will never forget.
It is actually the simple reality of our professions. And it is a reality that we in media, sports management or administration should never forget. By allowing current players to play in the IPL, without having to choose between country and club, the administrators have a great chance to show the players gratitude, which is something they don't get enough of.
A cricketer spends the prime of his life, starting from about age 10, on the cricket field, training to become a top-class player. When he finally becomes one of the rare few to make it to the top, he discovers he has only a short time there to make the most of his acquired skills. Other performing artists are more fortunate than cricketers in this regard, and yes, I don't have to say this, you know it well: a 21-year cricket career is possible only for the chosen ones.
Of course, cricketers who can build around their core cricket skills are able to carve out careers in media, coaching and other related occupations, and thus sustain themselves after their cricket careers are over.
But there are many who are incapable of developing other skills, and feel completely lost in the world outside cricket. It's a horrible feeling when the cricketer starts to realise that the skills he acquired with great effort over the years, the skills he was so proud of and which people paid good money to watch, are slowly beginning to desert him with age. And then that day comes when it dawns on him that the world has no use for him anymore. I guess that is a fact of life that hits everyone at some point of their lives, but cricketers are less prepared for it than most.
For a man who has largely lived an uncommon life, it's not easy to merge into the common world. This situation is frightening, to say the least, and there are numerous cricketers who are trying to make a go of it. I meet such players quite often, and it distresses me to see that many are not doing a great job. The IPL is a boon for such cricketers, who find life after cricket tough. It is one way of making sure we have fewer players like this in future.
I know international cricket makes money for players, but it does not even come close to matching what one IPL season can put in their pockets. Maybe we need to find out why international cricket, the highest level of our sport, is not making the most money for players.
Take the example of Lasith Malinga. He didn't have the fitness to be a regular member of the Sri Lanka Test side - from which he has just announced his retirement - and he perhaps doesn't know how long his international career will last. It's difficult to see him making a career in the media. So should he be grudged if he wants to secure his future with a few IPL seasons? Taking this argument forward, should he be placed in a position where he has to choose between his own future and playing for his country?
Increasingly players from countries like
The other advantage of the IPL is that you don't have to be a truly extraordinary player to make the big bucks. If you have decent Twenty20 skills, and the franchisee feels you are well-behaved and not going to give them too much trouble, your life is made.
I wonder if you have noticed a dramatic change on the Indian cricket stage recently. At the World Cup final, for instance, apart from the hundreds of screaming fans in the stands, who were the people the cameras constantly panned to? They were mostly politicians, Bollywood celebrities, rich businessmen and cricket officials. The couple or so cricketers you may have seen during the coverage were former players who are now involved in administration and thus were able to get prime seats.
Where were the other former
Whether we like it or not, we have come to accept that fame, power and money open most doors in the world. The IPLs may, if not anything else, ensure that the average retired cricketer has at least the last of those three attributes to find a VIP seat at a World Cup final.
The IPL has its flaws, but no other cricket event in history has created so much wealth for such a large number of players. As a former
Back with a bang after a dismal start to the season, the Delhi Daredevils would look to carry on with their newly-gained confidence when they take on Deccan Chargers on home turf on Tuesday.
The Virender Sehwag-led outfit, which was completely off-colour in its first two outings against Mumbai Indians and Rajasthan Royals, silenced critics on MOnday night in Mumbai by chasing down an imposing target of 188 for a three-wicket victory. David Warner (46), Sehwag (37) Venugopal Rao (31) and Aaron Finch (25) finally shone with the bat to power
Going into the game against Deccan Chargers on Tuesday at the Ferozshah Kotla ground,
Apart from the openers, the
They would also require expensive buy Irfan Pathan, back to cricket after injury, to fire with both the bat and ball.
In the bowling department, however,
Other than Morne Morkel, no one else seemed to have troubled the opponents so far in the tournament and if the injured South African speedster fails to make it to the playing XI tomorrow, the team would be desperately looking at Ashok Dinda, Shahbaz Nadeem and Pathan to prove their worth.
Delhi would also be keen to make a strong comeback in front of their home crowd here, having suffered a humiliating defeat at the hands of Mumbai Indians by eight wickets in their inaugural game when they got bundled out of a mere 95.
Besides their 33-run victory over Royal Challengers Bangalore, Deccan Chargers have been far from impressive in this edition of the IPL so far. However, they are aware of their potential and hence, would be desperate to get into the rhythm at the earliest.
The batting that boasts of players such as Sangakkara, Duminy, Daniel Christian, Shikhar Dhawan, Ishank Jaggi and Chipli just need to click as a unit and peak at the right time.
As far as their bowling is concerned, the team would be hoping that South African pacer Dale Steyn and Manpreet Gony, who claimed three wickets each against Royal Challengers, would chip in with some useful contributions tomorrow as well, while Ishant Sharma, Christian and Amit Mishra will also get into the rhythm.
Deccan Chargers: 50 runs in 7 overs
Deccan Chargers: 100 runs in 13.1 overs
Deccan Chargers: 150 runs in 17.4 overs
Deccan Chargers – 175/5 in 20.0 overs
Highest Scorer – B Chipli: 61 off 35balls (5 x 4, 3 x 6)
Royal Challengers Bangalore: 100 runs in 15.3 overs
Highest Scorer – Virat Kohli 71 runs off 51 balls (5 x 4, 3 x 6)
Australia led by Mike Hussey's first ODI century in four years posted 361 for 8 after opting to bat first.
But Bangladesh provided Australia a scare by reaching 152 for 1 in 25 overs.
Imrul Kayes (93 off 95 balls) led the charge for th hosts with the experienced Shahriar Nafees (60).
Debutant paceman James Pattinson turned the match in Australia's favour in which he claimed the wicket of Kayes. Later Mitchell Johnson, who had gone for 36 runs off his first four overs, replaced Pattinson and claimed Nafees.
All-rounder Shane Watson then scalped two victims in the 39th over. The hosts slipped to 223 for 5 needing almost 13 runs an over. In the end the hosts ended at 295 for 6.
Earlier, Australia was well served by Hussey (108 off 91 balls), Watson (72 off 40 balls), Ricky Ponting (47 off 50 balls), Clarke (47 off 62 balls) and Johnson (41 off 24 balls).
Tendulkar and Rayudu added 110 runs for the second wicket as Mumbai chased down the 141-run target in 18.3 overs. Tendulkar hit 7 fours in his 46-ball 55 and Rayudu's 50-ball 63 was studded with 9 fours. Davy Jacobs gave the Mumbai Indians run chase a good start by hitting a 16-ball 22 before he was clean bowled by Dirk Nannes. Jacobs hit 2 sixes and 2 fours before falling to Nannes.
Earlier, Lasith Malinga and Kieron Pollard took two wickets each as Mumbai Indians restricted Royal Challengers Bangalore to 140/4 despite Tillakartne Dilshan's unbeaten 59. Dilshan hit 2 sixes and 4 fours in his 52-ball knock. Dilshan and AB de Villiers added 91 runs for the third wicket but could not really get after the Mumbai bowlers due to their tight line and length.
de Villiers hit a six and 3 fours in his 36-ball 38 before he hit a Pollard delivery high up in the air for the tall West Indian all-rounder to complete the catch to put RCB at 110/3 in 16.5 overs. In the next over, Malinga clean bowled Asad Pathan to reduce the hosts to 112/4.
RCB got off to a poor start as Malinga clean bowled Mayank Agarwal on the first ball of the match with a beauty of a delivery. Mumbai Indians' wicket-keeper Davy Jacobs took a good high catch to dismiss Virat Kohli off Pollard to reduce RCB to 19/2 in 4.3 overs. The breakthroughs came after Mumbai Indians captain Sachin Tendulkar won the toss and chose to bowl.
Both the teams are unchanged from the last match. After winning the toss, Tendulkar said that the dew factor is the one reason why they are bowling first. Bangalore captain Daniel Vettori said that they would have batted any ways as he expected that the wicket will remain true through out the match and the outfield will also remain the same.
Mumbai Indians, only one of two teams to retain the full complement of four players allowed by the IPL rules, will, after the rolling over of the Delhi Daredevils on Sunday evening, be pleased as punch that three among them delivered in game one itself, with the fourth one's services barely needed.
After restricting Delhi to 151 for six, Rajasthan overhauled the target with nine balls to spare at the floodlit Sawai Man Singh stadium, to hand over the Daredevils their second consecutive defeat in the league.
Dravid (38) hit six fours and a six in his 31-ball stay while Botha produced an unbeaten 39 off 32 deliveries. With 11 runs required from the last two overs, New Zealander Ross Taylor (18) cracked a four off Ashok Dinda and then hit him for a huge six over midwicket boundary. The hosts made 152 for four in 18.3 overs. Chasing a stiff 152-run target, Dravid (38) started proceeding on an aggressive note as 26 runs came in the first three overs.
Dravid hit two fours off Dinda in the third over to make his intention clear. But Dinda soon got his act together and disturbed Paunikar's stumps with a full length delivery. Sehwag introduced Irfan Pathan in the fourth over and Dravid took him for special treatment, clobbering him for two fours and a six to accumulate 15 runs.
Next change van der Merwe also got the same treatment as both Dravid and Botha, who came to the crease after the dismissal of Paunikar, hit him for three fours to take the home team's score past 50 in 5.3 overs. But ven der Merwe soon took his revenge in the form of Dravid's wicket, who was caught by wicketkeeper Naman Ojha while trying to slice the ball towards point.
Local boy Ashok Maneria (22) teamed up with Botha as both kept the scoreboard tickling with occasional boundaries. Maneria was more aggressive of the two as he clobbered van der Merwe for two sixes in the 10th over to bring the asking rate under eight runs per over.
Pathan, who hardly looked threatening in his first spell, was again bought back into the attack by Sehwag, and he responded by accounting for Maneria's wicket. It was a short of length delivery outside off and Menaria punched it straight to Sehwag at short extra cover.
Ajinkya Rahane (18), who was included in the playing eleven in place of Stuart Binny, hit Pathan for a six to take the team's total past 100-run mark in 12.1 overs. Morkel accounted for Rahane's wicket in the 16th over as the right-hander went for an ugly across-the-line hook. Botha and Taylor then took Rajasthan home without any further damage. For Delhi Dinda, Morkel, Pathan, Merwe got one wicket apiece.
Earlier, electing to bat after winning the toss, opener David Warner and Venugopal Rao struck brisk half-centuries to rescue Daredevils from a dismal start and steer them to a fighting 151 for six. Warner (54) and Rao (60) put on a 83-run partnership for the fifth wicket as Daredevils, from 29 for two in five overs and 36 for four in eight, rallied to cross the 100-run mark. Warner struck six fours and a six in his 44-ball innings, while Rao hit four fours and as many sixes during his 40-ball stay to lift Delhi from a precarious situation. The visitors were off to a dismal start losing two wickets in the form of skipper Virender Sehwag (4) and Aaron Finch (11) inside the first six overs.
Sehwag's decision to bat on a placid Jaipur track backfired as Rajasthan's Australian import Shaun Tait struck early to leave the visitors reeling at 30 for 2 in six overs. Tait, who replaced injured New Zealander Jacob Oram in the side, dismissed the dangerous Sehwag in his first over. The India opener, who hit Tait for four through cover point off his second ball, created room for himself on the very next delivery only to edge the ball, which Dravid pouched effortlessly at first slip. Next man-in, Finch, hit the first six of Delhi innings when he clobbered South African spinner Johan Botha over wide midwicket in the third over to somewhat break the deadlock. But his exploits soon came to an end when the Australian responded late to a bouncer from Tait, lobbying a simple catch to Botha at mid-on.
The experienced speedster mixed aggression with pace as he used the windy conditions to devastating effect. Skipper Warne introduced himself in the eighth over and spun a web around Delhi's batsmen as he dismissed Unmukt Chand (2) and Naman Ojha (0) in quick succession. Warner and Rao then came together and did the repair work as they took the score past 50-run mark in 10.4 overs. They steadied the ship for the Delhi team, which had started the tournament with a big defeat to Mumbai Indians. Warner reached his half century off 40 balls, while Rao a little quicker, at 37 balls.
After Warner departed, caught by Abhishek Raut off pacer Amit Singh in the 18th over, Rao punished the Rajasthan bowlers, especially Siddharth Trivedi, clobbering him for two huge sixes. But Trivedi had the last laugh as Rao was caught by Warne at deep midwicket off Trivedi's slower one. Irfan Pathan (9) hit Tait for two consecutive fours in the last over to take Delhi past the 150 mark. Besides Tait and Warne, Amit Singh and Siddharth Trivedi bagged a wicket each.