Every year we associate the IPL with controversies. For a change, this IPL 2016 has given us new talent pool from not only India but from other countries as well.
According to traditional ‘Cricket Pundits’, this shorter format of the game is not a showcase of talent but is spoiling the technique and class of the game. But the fact is that all the new talent is emerging out of the IPL or similar formats of the game. Selectors are considering the performance of players in this high intensity league and we are seeing that the ‘new talent’ performing in the IPL have made a niche for themselves.
The statistics of this IPL 2016 have showcased both sides of talent i.e., bowlers and batsmen .In fact, some of the players have showcased outstanding fielding which at times can be a turning point in the shorter format of the game. The level of the game is going up in terms of quality and competition.
To pick out some exciting new talent in this edition of IPL one really has to work hard and I would like to stick my neck out and mention few names.-
As regards bowlers- Shivil Kaushik; Adam Zampa; Mustafizur Rehman; Murgan Ashwin;K C Cariappa; Jasprit Bumrah;Krunal Pandey; Chris Jordan; Marcus Stonis and Nitish Rana have impressed me a lot.
When it comes to batsmen- Rishabh Pant;Deepak Hooda; Sachin Baby; Sarfraz Khan;Jos Butler; Usman Khawja; Sam Billing; Carlos Brathwaite and Travis Head are quite good.
Cook mentioned that he has never seen a sporting match like the IPL and he also endorsed that cricket is big in India, and Apple plans are through another red Apple (cricket ball).
The popularity of the shorter format is gaining traction as despite back to back T20 World Cup and IPL league, yet the demand to watch matches live has not been affected. Why even the TRPs are going up. The success of IPL is spreading and soon we learn that USA will start a league of cricket and the association of sort was established by the presence and expression of none other than Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple. Cook mentioned that he has never seen a sporting match like the IPL and he also endorsed that cricket is big in India, and Apple plans are through another red Apple (cricket ball).
It seems that the war of two different ‘bats’ (baseball & cricket) is not far as the Americans may also soon get bitten by ‘cricket-bug’ and the game is added to the big Five of USA.
Cricket in America can be a very beneficial proposition for diplomacy and financial turnovers. The game already has a mix of nationalities and IPL popularity is largely by participation of foreign talent, the excitement to see our young players performing with confidence with big names is a real treat. The mental toughness and self-confidence of new talent is raised with each match.
If we correctly put the entire league together we find pool of talent at one place with no scouting.
The way forward to IPL is 10 teams, after the two ‘retired-hurt’ teams come back season IPL 2018. More talent will get a chance and more matches will be played. Who knows we may see new talent coming in from USA/China in these teams. This format of game is gaining popularity by cashing in on the regional fan following.
The selectors will have to accept the changes and change their perception and sail with the changed winds to be a part of the successful ‘cricketing of the future’.
Hemanshu Chaturvedi is a sports guru.