As we move close towards the 3rd edition of IPL, lets take this opportunity to get a quick recap of the historic first edition which some of us had spent sleepless nights dreaming about. Sanath Jayasuriya and Sachin Tendulkar, opening the innings together is as close to getting our fantasies fulfilled as we’ll ever get.
Along the lines of English Premier League no think tank could had thought cricket would take – almost an entire u-turn. Lalit Modi, Vice-President of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), re-wrote history and got Indians enraptured with cricket like never before. For the first time in cricketing history, players from different countries would freely mingle and form teams not based on country or creed, but just teams of capable cricketers engaged to destroy the opposition, pitching them against even their own country’s teammates. Thus, April 18, 2008 has been duly noted in global history as the first premier league in India and the very first on its kind for the gentleman’s game. The season saw a mixed bad of quality cricket and entertainment, furthermore with some Bollywood jatkaas, it was quite the spectacle.
Players were auctioned like objects of desire and esteem; which undoubtedly they are in India. India post emerging victorious from the World T20, Mahendra Singh Dhoni stole the show with a whooping USD 1.5 million and Chennai Super Kings begged, borrowed and steeled to who rope him. In a country of cricket fanatics with Sachin “officially” a God, one cannot but feel bad for the tinsel town glitterati who are now reduced to mere demi-god status.
With a Bengali touch of “Korbo Lodbo Jeetbo Re” Shahrukh Khan ruled the cricketing arena as he purchased Kolkata Knight Riders. Local hero Saurav Ganguly was the skipper and John Buchanan, Australia’s most successful coach, their wingman. The team had made lots of promises which eventually didn’t work out favourably for all parties involved. Preity Zinta went back to here roots and announced her presence with the Punjabis and owned Kings XI Punjab with Yuvraj Singh as the skipper. Mumbai Indians showed how deep their pockets go with Sachin Tendulkar leading from the front.
The commentary was passionate and expressed excitement at the mere idea of having such a novel form of their favourite game. McCullum started with a bash by scoring a record century and from there RCB were never in the show. Deccan Chargers served the same menu, with the last place as their dessert. Mumbai, Mohali and Delhi entertained the audience with some close ties, but it was Chennai and Rajasthan that made to the finals and the Royals stole the show.
It was Shane Warne’s magic spells coupled with outstanding team effort, which enabled them to steal the glory and thus the Champions of 2008 were pure-bred ‘Rajasthan Royals’.
Season 1 Of The Faster Game For Younger Gentlemen
Things were at best for cricket, but not for the country. Following the disturbing Mumbai attacks, frequent terror threats, and elections – the second season of IPL was flown to South Africa where tables turned for many. The momentum was subdued when compared to IPL1, and so as the bat swing. Given the 20-20 format, the Indian subcontinent is suited to indulge their overwhelming love and passion for the game that is now a religion followed by one and all.