• Strip away the sequined glamour. Take away the money sufficient for a king's ransom. Even without the hype and the hoopla, the IPL would still be a godsend for many. A planeload of Aussies may have been running away with the praise and monopolised the match awards.

    Even so, the Indians have not been all that far behind.

    Would a clean striking Abhishek Nayar have been known to the cricket world if not for the exposure that the IPL has given him? Who would have heard of the opener Swapnil Asnodkar if not for the flashy innings or two that he has played for the Rajasthan Royals on prime time television?

    The pace bowler Ashok Dinda, who is said to come from a nondescript village in Bengal, has been so impressive that international stars have been praising him.

    Wicket-keeper Wriddhiman Saha may never have got close to the Bengal Ranji squad if not for Deep Dasgupta throwing in his lot with ICL. Within a season, Saha has stepped up to the plate and struck the best IPL bowlers around.

    Read More »from IPL godsend for domestic players
  • The IPL schedule leaves no time for thought. Teams have to rework strategies quickly as otherwise their approach will become so well known that opponents will be better prepared with counter-strategies. Chennai Super Kings were forced to rethink their tactics after three successive losses and they came up with a winning formula in New Delhi in a thriller.

    It is pretty obvious that a flying start is a necessity in the format. But teams hitting from both ends have found themselves in a hole because they have lost too many wickets in too short a space.

    S. Vidyut, who has shaped a fantastic limited-overs career for himself, was the fire starter while Fleming played the foil superbly against the Daredevils. Vidyut gave Chennai the confidence that the chase was on after Gautam Gambhir had given the Daredevils a better than average total.

    Full credit to Dhoni for taking some hard decisions in what was a crunch match for Chennai by winning which they have returned to the top of the table. The

    Read More »from Teams have to think on their feet
  • The Rawalpindi Express never comes to a halt. The maverick fast bowler who is often referred to by the name of the train that speeds to and from his home town has had this extraordinary ability to change the lights from red to green at every turn. His latest escapade had all the ingredients of a Bollywood thriller with an Indian actor backing him while he fought the Pakistan establishment.

    Shoaib has to thank the international nature of the Indian Premier League and its embracing culture for the latest break he is getting. It may sound strange that while he cannot play cricket in his home country he is eligible to chug in for the Kolkata Knight Riders. If he does indeed play, his four overs for the Kolkatans on Thursday night will establish the extraordinary sweep of player power. 

    It may sound strange that while the Pakistan Cricket Board wishes to wash its hands off its temperamental fast bowler with an avowed behaviour problem against authority it still wishes he should be allowed

    Read More »from Shoaib’s career sees Bollywood resurrection

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