The tenth season of the IPL is now officially underway with Hyderabad hosting the first of the eight ‘opening ceremonies’ on Wednesday.
Eight teams and numerous stars in the league but there may be no applause louder than when Indian cricket’s ‘Fab Four’ entered the arena for a special felicitation by the BCCI. Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, Virender Sehwag and local favourite VVS Laxman each were given mementos by members of the COA before the fanfare started.
Virat Kohli and David Warner were ushered into the stadium on open jeeps with the captain of the defending champions’ side Warner carrying the trophy with him.
There was also a short Q and A session between MC Ravi Shastri and the ‘Fab Four’.
Sachin Tendulkar expressed his surprise at the success of the league:
Sachin TendulkarI cannot believe that the IPL has reached 10 years. This is a big achievement. When IPL was announced in 2007 I never thought the league would become so big, now it is a matter of pride that in India there is a tournament which the whole world has taken notice of. I thought it would not be as competitive as it is right now, I thought players would go out and play but ‘it doesn’t really matter’ but as the tournament has progressed, the competitiveness has seeped into all of us.
Local cricketer VVS Laxman shared some insights in the affect that the IPL has had, specially on young uncapped cricketers.
VVS Laxman, Assistant coach - Sunrisers HyderabadThe biggest gain from the IPL is for the uncapped players. The kind of exposure they get not just from Indian players but cricketers from around the globe. The kind of confidence they get, they are not overawed. You saw Kuldeep Yadav made his debut at Dharamsala, he was not overawed by the occasion. I feel the kind of exposure the IPL gives uncapped players, it is phenomenal.
Former India skipper Sourav Ganguly likened the court turn-out at IPL matches to FIFA World Cup events.
Sourav GangulyIt is phenomenal to see the effect IPL has had on cricket. I went to watch the FIFA World Cup some years back, and this is very close to that. The people it attracts is amazing. Playing in this atmosphere is great for young players. It takes your game, your confidence to a different level. We have seen Indian cricket go forward. It can’t get bigger than this.
Returning to an IPL match reminded Sehwag of his own playing days but donning the cap of Head of Cricket Operations of Kings XI Punjab he talked about his tips to youngsters.
Virender Sehwag, Head of Cricket Operations - KXIPI think I am the only cricketer who played all three formats in the same way. I never changed my mindset, I tried to play and hit every ball in Tests or T20. I believe in one thing - if you play cricket, you should play to entertain people. I have told the boys to play their game, play aggressive, play their shots. I have told them not to bother about getting out. It gives them confidence when your mentor or coach or captain gives you the freedom to play the way you want
For more IPL news, updates, stats and sideline chatter, visit The Quint’s IPL website.