Controversies and IPL are like “twins separated at birth”. We were assured and made to believe that the current edition of IPL would be clean and fair, but apparently the ‘Rain Gods’ were not pleased and the controversies continued to bog the IPL for no valid reasons related to the game, the venues were changed and once again IPL went through a media trial. As an advocate’s devil, I would like to draw a different insight to the current edition of the IPL.
I feel the IPL is the best thing to happen in Indian sport since Independence. The IPL format stands tall as a ‘Big Brother’. In fact it has paved the way for all other games especially in terms of commercial benefits to all professionals involved in the game. To me, the IPL is a pioneer league which has led all ‘sleeping minds with a sporty heart’ to come together and make sports as an industry mainly for players and officials who would have otherwise had a very limited platform to showcase their talents.
The IPL has inspired almost all other sports in the country to organize a professional league starting from indigenous sports like kabaddi and wrestling to tennis, badminton, football and hockey. The appetite for more such leagues is yet to be fulfilled as the Indian public is still hungry for more leagues to come up in sports like table tennis, basketball, cycling, volley ball, karate and many more. Thank you IPL for giving us the brand name (without mention of cricket in the name). In this edition two teams were ‘retired hurt’ with two new substitutes coming in for 2 years. The players of the retired hurt teams were get into the substitute teams.
The new franchisees of the event have had very unexpected results. Has ‘MSD’ lost his sheen or we could say that his magic cards were snatched from his coffers by his young friends – Suresh Raina, Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, all of whom are leading their respective teams from the front.
In this edition of IPL, I am having lots of fun with my predictions, in this column I would like to predict the Big 4 of IPL 2016. I must admit that even at this stage, the league looks open with some unexpected losses and surprising wins, yet I would like to reveal the Big 4 of the current edition.
Has ‘MSD’ lost his sheen or we could say that his magic cards were snatched from his coffers by his young friends – Suresh Raina, Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, all of whom are leading their respective teams from the front.
Delhi Daredevils – This team has changed the perception of IPL from being a batsman’s team to a bowler’s dominated team. Delhi team has to play 6 more matches with Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) being the main opponent as both the teams have not played against each other so far. I would give both teams equal marks with 1 win each. Mumbai Indians and Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) would stand tall for the playoff. I would give them 3 to 4 wins to take them 16 to 18 points.
Kolkata Knight Riders – The Knight Riders still have 5 matches to play out of which 2 will be played against the Gujarat Lions. The success of Knight Riders would largely rest in verdict of these 2 matches against the Lions. SRH & MI are also tough opponents for KKR. I hope to see KKR wining 2 to 3 matches and reaching 16 to 18 in points tally.
Sunrisers Hyderabad – Sunrisers are coming back very well into the league by winning back to back matches after a 5 day rest. Warner is hungry for more wins and is leading like a skipper. I feel that if he has to create history in this IPL, he has to do very well against the Daredevils as they have not yet faced each other. MI and KKR are also tough contenders. I see SRH winning 3 to 4 matches to bring them to a tally of 16 to 18 points which would make them one of the top runners for the playoffs.
Gujarat Lions – Gujarat is surviving presently on their earlier wins, else they would have been out of the competition. Being my favorite team, I felt bad seeing them play with loads of ‘over confidence’ which cost them dearly and they lost matches which otherwise they could have won. Their head to head clash with KKR is yet to begin and that will sum up their future in this IPL. With Mumbai Indians sitting as night watchmen to push them out of the contest. The Lions having played maximum number of matches and are in a real tight spot, so I will only give them 2 wins with only 4 points to make them survive to 16 for the playoffs.
Mumbai Indians – I would not be surprised if Mumbai Indians rally with some outstanding performance against Gujarat Lions, Sunrisers Hyderabad or Delhi Daredevils to keep them in the race for the play offs. I would still give Mumbai 3 wins with 6 points to have a tug-of-war with Gujarat Lions for the lay offs.
This IPL, 2016 I see cricket winning over controversies.