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Monday, May 23, 2011

IPL 2011: Lessons and Ideas

IPL 2011 has been a colossal disappointment for cricket fans all over the world. One of my friends rightly pointed out to me the other day that the first and the last league matches were unbelievably close encounters where as all the matches that happened in between super duper duds. This IPL has witnessed some amazing individual performances but in terms of nail biting finishes and edge-of-the-seat thrillers, it has been thoroughly dissatisfactory.

The latest edition of the IPL was definitely not devoid of outstanding individual performances and “WTF?” moments though: Chris gayle’s blitzkrieg, Gilly’s answer to the same, Tendulkar’s hundred festooned with his own version of the helicopter shot, the emergence of Valthaty as a noteworthy T20 player, Lasith Malinga’s toe crushers, Ishant’s five for, THE RETURN OF DHONI OF THE OLD, inspiring performances from Badrinath and Rayudu, Amit Mishra and Ravindra Jadeja’s performances, Rahul Sharma raising a few eyebrows with his unorthodoxy, Aravind and Wagh troubling the best in business, Iqbal Abdulla and Shaun Marsh among others.

The big problem for this year’s IPL has been the fact that all the individual brilliance that this edition witnessed was seldom counter-balanced by an equally motivating rendition from the opposition. Gayle and gilchrist got sensational hundreds in different matches. Had they scored hundreds in the same match, had Gayle’s hundred set up a mammoth chase against the Gilly army, cricket enthusiasts all over the world wouldn’t be complaining now.

Decisively, the heroic acts in this IPL reminded me of the protagonists in masala flicks: the villains simply couldn’t decipher a way to strike back. Sehwag and Gayle simply shut the door on the opposition before they got out in their respective innings; Gilly started celebrating on his way back from the centre as he had already made up his mind that the match was over, Ishant was found memorizing the lines to be spoken in the presentation ceremony after his first spell against Kochi.

According to me, the biggest problem with this year’s IPL is the devolution and the decentralization of the resources. The addition of two teams has lead to dilution in the concentration of quality players in a single team. This problem could be addressed by allowing an extra foreign player to feature in the playing eleven. It’s just not acceptable to bench a world class spinner like Murali.

Questions maybe raised regarding the subsidized chances of an Indian talent featuring in the eleven. I think this is where the BCCI will be doing itself a favour by adopting the EPL model. The number of teams can be significantly increased and the system of divisions and relegation can be brought into the picture. For example, we can have an IPL team for all cities in India with serious cricketing talent and put each of these teams in divisions according to their potential (The best 8 teams play in the 1st division and the next 8 in the second division and so on.) At the end of the league, the bottom two of the 1st division gets relegated to the 2nd division and the top two of the second get promoted to the first. The same logic applies to the subsequent divisions. This way, all the cricketing talent in India can be unearthed and the viewers will also get to watch the best cricket at the highest level. This system will also encourage the participation of county cricketers of non-Indian origin in our league and cricketers from non-associate teams like Dockrell, the Brian brothers and Peter Seelar can dream of pursuing cricket full time. The chances of them making it to the big league< read first division> will also increase>

P.s: inputs from my friends< Chris sud Nolan and Adarsh Ganesan> helped me improvise this article. Thank you guys.


  1. Interesting man... gotta say u followed this year's IPL carefully.... try to publish this in a daily or something...

  2. Dei what about McCullum and Jayawardene's reply to Sachin's ton?