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IPL has hooked the nation

April 20, 2008
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Kolkata Knight RidersIt was strange but on Friday evening I found myself glued to Sony Max, watching the Kolkata Knight Riders take on the Bangalore Royal Challengers. Strange because usually I don’t enjoy watching cricket. This time I enjoyed the match because there was no tension about whether India will win or lose! I know this means that I am not a true cricket fan and yeah, that’s true. I don’t see cricket in the right spirit, I get too emotional about India. And if India actually loses, I lose all interest in watching the game.

On the other hand, if there is one game I can bear to watch, its cricket. No other game interests me as much as cricket, for whatever reasons! And I have a feeling I am going to watch the IPL matches…why I have been watching them all weekend! And I think that even if I do get attached to any of these 8 IPL teams, I don’t think I will get so attached that I won’t be able to see them lose. I don’t doubt however that most other people are already emotionally attached to some team or the other and some are getting there. I see it around me already. People are swearing by their favourite teams and the tournament is barely under way!


And the crowds at the stadiums in Bangalore, Kolkata and Mumbai are mindboggling for cricket that’s not international. The chanting and cheering of the crowds for their home teams is quite thrilling and I regret not buying a ticket. Next time…

I wonder who said that we Indians will find it difficult to get attached to city teams. I remember reading it somewhere. Its clear that Indians in fact get easily attached. And where regional feelings are concerned I doubt that there is another country with such strong regional sentiment as in India. And don’t forget a craze for cricket. Perfect breeding ground for city-based cricket clubs to flourish.

Four very very obvious reasons for this initial great start to IPL:

  • Love and passion for cricket
  • Love, admiration and loyalty to a star cricketer/cricketers
  • Love and loyalty to one’s city or region
  • Love, admiration and loyalty towards the owners, be it Shah Rukh or Priety Zinta. Maybe even Vijay Mallya or the Ambanis!! Someone I know actually said that the Kolkata Knight Riders are winning because of SRK!

Saurav GangulyA potent combination eh!

There is the entertainment aspect…laser shows and firecracker displays and the cheerleaders thats being talked about, but to my mind, those are just the frills. Its cricket that everyone’s favourite entertainment.

Some favourite moments in these matches:

  • Seeing Indian cricketers hugging Andrew Symonds when he took a wicket for the Deccan Chargers.
  • Three Sri Lankan players, two from the Bangalore Challengers and one from the Mumbai Indians engrossed in a deep conversation before the match started on the field. An unusual sight to see players of rival teams chatting up in such a friendly manner.
  • Mumbai crowds chanting Indians Indians Indians when Jayasuriya was playing for his team, the Mumbai Indians.

Priyanka Gandhi

The 8 IPL teams – who owns them and who plays in them is given below. Reads like the Who’s Who list! And lets not forget the audience. We had a lot of Bollywood stars watching and Priyanka Gandhi as well.

The Kolkata Knight Riders is led by Sourav Ganguly (also Icon Player) and owned by Shah Rukh Khan, Juhi Chawla & Jai Mehta. Important Indian Players are Ishant Sharma and Murali Kartik. The international players are David Hussey and Ricky Ponting from Australia, Salman Butt from Pakistan, Tatenda Taibu from Zimbabwe, Brendon McCullum from New Zealand, Chris Gayle from Jamaica, Mohammad Hafeez, Umar Gul and Shoaib Akhtar (doubtful) from PakistanKaran Johar Vivek Oberoi

Mumbai Indians is led by Sachin Tendulkar (also the Icon Player) and owned by the Ambanis. Important Indian players are Robin Uthappa and Harbhajan Singh.
The international players are Sanath Jayasuriya, Lasith Malinga and Dilhara Fernando from Sri Lanka, Loots Bosman and Ashwell Prince and Shaun Pollock from South Africa and Luke Ronchi from Australia.

Rajasthan Royals is led by Shane Warne (from Australia) and he is the only foreigner who is a Captain of an IPL team. RR is owned by Emerging Media (Manoj Badale, Lachlan Murdoch, Suresh Chellaram). Important Indian players are Mohammad Kaif, Yusuf Pathan and Munaf Patel. The international players are Graeme Smith from South Africa, Younis Khan, Kamran Akmal, Dimitri Mascarenhas and Sohail Tanvir from Pakistan, Shane Watson and Justin Langer from Australia (update: Langer’s quit is what I read today!) and Morne Morkel from South Africa.

DravidRoyal challengers Bangalore is led by Rahul Dravid (also Icon Player) and owned by the liquor magnate Vijay Mallya. Important Indian players are Anil Kumble and Zaheer Khan. The international players are Shivnarine Chanderpaul from Guyana, Misbah-ul-Haq from Pakistan, Ross Taylor from New Zealand, Mark Boucher, Dale Steyn and Jacques Kallis from South Africa, Cameron White, Nathan Bracken and Ashley Noffke from Australia and Abdur Razzak from Bangla Desh.

Chennai Super Kings is led by Mahendra Singh Dhoni (not an Icon player) and is owned by India Cements Ltd. Important Indian players are Suresh Raina, Parthiv Patel and Joginder Sharma. The international players are Matthew Hayden and Michael Hussey from Australia, Stephen Fleming and Jacob Oram from New Zealand, Albie Morkel from South Africa, Muttiah Muralitharan from Sri Lanka, and Makhaya Ntini from South Africa.

Delhi DareDevils is led by Virender Sehwag (the Icon Player) and is owned by GMR Holdings. Important Indian players are Dinesh Karthik, Manoj Tiwary, and Gautam Gambhir. The international players are Sri Lanka’s Tillakaratne Dilshan and Farveez Maharoof, South Africa’s AB de Villiers, New Zealand’s Daniel Vettori, Pakistan’s Shoaib Malik and Mohammad Asif and Australia’s Glenn McGrath and Brett Geeves.

Deccan Chargers is led by V.V.S. Laxman (not an Icon Player) and owned by Deccan Chronicle. Important Indian players are Rohit Sharma and Rudra Pratap Singh. The international players are Herschelle Gibbs from South Africa, Chamara Silva, Chaminda Vaas and Nuwan Zoysa from Sri Lanka, Adam Gilchrist and Andrew Symonds from Australia, Shahid Afridi from Pakistan, and Scott Styris from New Zealand.

Kings XI Punjab is led by Yuvraj Singh (also Icon Player) and owned by Preity Zinta, Ness Wadia, Karan Paul & Mohit Burman. Important Indian players are Irfan Pathan, Ramesh Powar, Shanthakumaran Sreesanth and Piyush Chawla. The international players are Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara from Sri Lanka, Ramnaresh Sarwan from Guyana, Simon Katich, Shaun Marsh, James Hopes, Brett Lee and Luke Pomersbach from Australia and Kyle Mills from New Zealand.

Interestingly though IPL does not have that many corporate sponsors as yet, not as many as the World Cup and the T20 matches. This might change if IPL picks up.

I don’t know which team I will support though. I think the Deccan Chargers have potential and it may become my favourite team.

This chart shows the odds on the different teams placed by bookies. Got the screen shot from CNN IBN:


(Photographs are blurred as they are taken from live tv )

Related Reading: Rajasthan Royals win and their captain – Shane Warne – has a lot to do with it!

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23 Comments leave one →
  1. April 20, 2008 11:49 pm

    I love it because it won’t leave you feeling bad for “your” team at the end. I can easily switch sides because both sides are bound to have some favorite of mine 😀
    plus the half naked chicks of course.

  2. April 21, 2008 12:54 am

    I’m missing all the fun. 😦 I might be the only person who has no idea of IPL. I only knew the name of one team before reading your post- Kolkata Knight Riders, because Ish doesn’t stop talking about anything related to SRK.

    It’s a win win situation! Anybody can win. It doesn’t really matter. We are getting quality entertainment after all.

  3. April 21, 2008 12:56 am

    This IS an international event in every sense of the term.
    Justin Langer is an Australian, I would have thought.
    The IPL is great, but it would have been even better for us (and fairer) if the ICL were not proscribed by the monopolistic BCCI.
    The country will do no business after sunset in the coming days, I am sure.

  4. April 21, 2008 1:31 am

    It will be interesting to see how the viewers – who get hooked to watching IPL matches and cheering for a certain player – respond when the same player is on an opposing team when Indian team plays an international one-day. I’m sure there will be much hand-wringing as the boundaries between “us” and “them” are blurred.

    The other point is how the players themselves will respond after experiencing playing in an IPL game – more so when it comes to sharing with their IPL team-mates, certain strategies or tactics to get a rival player out or to handle a certain bowler, and then find that team-mate in an opposing team during international one-day, privy to that information. 🙂

    Of course it’s a two-way road for players.

    BTW, do Delhi Daredevils have two Dinesh Karthiks in the team? 😉 Has he been cloned? 😀

  5. April 21, 2008 7:54 am

    Aniche, that is the secret – switching sides! That will be my strategy. 🙂

    Ruhi, I too don’t think that I will get too hooked on to a team. For example yesterday the Mumbai Indians lost, but I didn’t feel anything. In fact I was happy for the Bangalore Challengers as I was feeling sorry for Dravid. It would have been so humiliating for him to lose to a team that was captained by Harbhajan Singh!

    Rdoc, Langer is Australian as you said. I have made the correction, thanks. In fact when I typed in his name in google I found that he quit IPL in February. So double thanks. I agree with you wholeheartedly about ICL. The way they were pushed out of the competition is shameful. In fact IPL wouldn’t even exist if it wasn’t for ICL. The BCCI however is a dictatorship and it will continue to be so.

    Amit, have corrected the duplicate entry. Thanks.
    Yep, boundaries are going to get blurred and some players will spill the beans about how to handle the rivals. But eventually everyone will who is in the IPL is equally disadvantaged and the best man and team will win. Overall though I think players will get along better. The ice will break. I think thats great for international cricket as well as we have seen the increasing nastiness on the field.

  6. April 21, 2008 11:50 am

    hmm…they are trying to make this IPl like BPL and other football leagues…but the thing is the time a blower takes to go back to his run up and dot balls and then ball coming back if it is hit for six and the time between the overs still make it a drag….but this is India and well even though cricket is thew game i like the least i think i will go with chennai 🙂

  7. April 21, 2008 12:50 pm

    it’s great you know that IPL has made people who earlier used to cringe even hearing interested in the game…..I never expected that to happen!!!!!

  8. April 21, 2008 1:01 pm

    some typos there…

    earlier used to cringe even hearing, talking about the game( females especially) have all of a sudden started taking interest..I suspect it’s not because of cricket..but due to the glamour, and the hype the filmstars bring with them

  9. April 21, 2008 2:20 pm

    The last twenty20 worldcup match brought my interest back in cricket! somehow not very excited about IPL. I guess Cricket lovers would enjoy it more…

  10. April 21, 2008 2:46 pm


    Thanks a lot for this post ! 🙂

    Yes,the IPL was started in order to bring more people (especially women) into the game 😉

    It’s good to see that more people follow cricket now 🙂

    I agree with you that the IPL would not exist,had it not been for the ICL.I whole-heartedly thank the organisers of the ICL for improving the game in the country !

    Anyway,the entire concept of city teams has been borrowed from the football leagues of Latin America and Europe 😀

    Though the Deccan Chargers are very strong because they have some big-hitters,there is no doubt in my mind about my team at all !

    May the Chennai Super Kings rule the IPL !!! (Super Kings is a name derived from the ancient Tamil and Malayalam Kingdoms-Chera,Chozha,Pandia and Pallava and since they are based in Chennai,they chose the Pallava Lion as their logo in place of the Chozha Tiger,and also because the Tiger was already chosen by the Bengalis) 🙂

    May the Chennai Superstars shine the brightest in the ICL !!!

    By the way,mind-reading is not the preserve of palmists,just as literature is not the preserve of writers,just as economics is not the preserve of economists and science is not the preserve of scientists 😉 😀

  11. Joss permalink
    April 21, 2008 4:01 pm

    Yes, well, I am a female who has no interest in cricket normally, but when I heard on the British radio news one morning last week about the opening IPl matches I pricked up my ears. Because? From reading wordpress blogs I knew that Shah Rukh Khan is one of the owners of the Kolkata Knight Riders (and was heckled during the making of an episode of his new TV series because he supposedly didn’t know enough about cricket to be leading such a high profile team). So now I am interested in cricket? Well, a little bit more than I used to be, I suppose!

  12. April 21, 2008 4:03 pm

    that was super. the best day of cricket in the history we all know that india is rock but mccullam rocks verry poor for the royal chalengers soory dravid for the loose better luck next time because i will support my hero sharukh khan CHAK DE KINGHT RIDERS I WILL BE WITH U BYE

  13. April 21, 2008 5:46 pm

    Nita, if you are gonna do like this then how will you tell your son/ daughter “Enough of cricket, go to study!!!” 😀

  14. April 21, 2008 6:14 pm

    Vishesh, thanks. As I don’t understand the intricacies of cricket, unable to respond to your comment! But hopefully IPL will teach me a few things.

    Rahul, yeah the film stars are certainly an attraction for many. But why not? Eventually its cricket that everyone has to watch…!

    Raj, the more people interested in the game, the better it is! And about your last lines:

    mind-reading is not the preserve of palmists,just as literature is not the preserve of writers,just as economics is not the preserve of economists and science is not the preserve of scientists

    Let me add…and cricket is not the preserve of cricketers! 🙂 Bollywood stars are in it too!

    Joss, welcome to Kolkata Knight Riders. And well, they just might win this tournament because Saurav Ganguly is an excellent captain. And well, we all know that SRK hates to lose. So two killers in one team…!

    Shahid, yeah Mccullum really took the game away from the Challengers didn’t he! Well, lets see if it was a fluke! Many more matches coming up.

    Suda, my elder daughter loves computer games and the younger loves the telephone, the internet chat and networking sites. I have given up telling them anything long ago…but luckily they are toppers both of them! I mean academically! Cricket is not on their horizon…but with IPL you never know. And my husband is a die-hard tennis fan. He frowns upon the 20 over cricket in any case. He only likes to watch test matches. That is if there is no tennis going on! I am usually hooked on to news sites and he to tennis and cars. I do my watching when he isn’t around as he owns the remote when he is! 🙂

  15. April 21, 2008 8:30 pm

    bloody nazis.. these guys have blocked my blog :(( ne idea what to do

  16. April 21, 2008 9:12 pm

    I just checked your url. It said its been suspended for violation of terms of service. what did you do Ankur? If you don’t know, write and ask them.

  17. April 21, 2008 9:20 pm

    i don’t know but in a way its good. now i can free a lot of my daily time and take a break

  18. April 21, 2008 9:32 pm

    I guess I am missing the fun too, but I guess the matches will go on for long, So will catch up soon. Somehow watching these matches won’t give you tension as it dosen’t matter who wins. Its good in a way, but I’ll be really sad if SRK looses. 😦

  19. Ravi permalink
    April 26, 2008 8:57 am

    Wow! Do people still watch cricket LOL!

  20. Vivek Khadpekar permalink
    April 26, 2008 10:53 pm


    Cricket? What’s that?

  21. Anil permalink
    April 30, 2008 6:14 pm

    This is entertainment and NOT cricket. It lasts aas long as a Hindi movie, Has lots of drama, lively item number (cheerleaders), and a bit of plot (cricket). It even has bollywood actors for free.
    as far as cricket the game is concerned I have seen some shots played by seasoned players that will make even a galli cricket player blush!
    Notice the advertising – Manoranjan ka baap. If I may say so this is a reality entertainment show and like all entertainment it will survive as long as boredom does not set in. Lets see how long the entertainment value lasts. My bet is that it will not last very long.

  22. February 13, 2010 2:39 pm

    hi knight rider. i am your big fan and i have seen your each and every match on the tv and my dreame is to see the match in the stadium may be i will lucky for your team


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