IPL 2013: Let the games begin

Kanishka Singh

The Indian Premier League 2013 has come about and the latest edition of the T20 cricket competition is about to kick in. The opening ceremony is scheduled to be held on April 2 and the first match between the Delhi Daredevils and the Kolkata Knight Riders, will be played on April 3 at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata.

The last five editions of the IPL have been a tale of fame, glory, setbacks and triumph. The next two months will witness a mania like no other. 76 games stretched over nearly 2 months; there is simply no dearth of excitement for any cricket lover.

Every team is going to return all guns blazing. The five editions have seen four different champions, and that in itself is a testament to the cut throat competition of the league. The Hyderabad Sunrisers team will be joining the party as the newest team on the block.

Every cricket lover now is certain to stay glued to the television set, or even go over to cheer their team in the stadium, totally captivated by the swift exchanges between the players. Twenty20 cricket definitely titillates the senses. IPL is indisputable and exceedingly dramatic.

The ‘auction’ of players – bizarre as the word may sound – saw 37 players being sold off, including 13 Australians. Glenn Maxwell emerged as the most expensive player from the auction. His services were bought for 1m USD by the Mumbai Indians. The other big money signings included:

Thisara Perera - Sunrisers Hyderabad- USD 675,000
Sachithra Senanayake - Kolkata Knight Riders – USD 625.000
Kane Richardson - Pune Warriors – USD 700,000
Dirk Nannes - Chennai Super Kings – USD 600,000
Chris Morris - Chennai Super Kings – USD 625,000
Abhishek Nayar - Pune Warriors – USD 675,000
Ajantha Mendis - Pune Warriors – USD 725,000

The ever-changing rosters may have disturbed the coherence of some teams, except for a team like double champions Chennai Super Kings. CSK’s may well be the most consistent squad from the lot.

The build-up to the competition hasn’t been suave to say the least; accompanied by attempts to raise conflicts, which are scarcely pragmatic, with perpetual politicking and prejudice of some, primarily resulting in a tainted image of the country. However, what one can take heart from is that the players and the teams have stood by each other in thick and thin, and that is the true spirit of the game, regardless of the format or nationality.

The IPL opening ceremony is set to entice the worldwide audience, with the essential filmi masala. The idea is nigh on the same, mix 4 parts sport, 6 parts glamour, 2 parts controversy and a dash of desire; what you have ready is a heady mix of full throttle IPL action. This probably is the new avatar of the once termed ‘gentleman’s game’. Times change and so do tastes. IPL however undertakes the noble task of entertaining people to the maximum.

With rapper Pitbull ready to rock the stage along-side Shah Rukh Khan, the tournament is all set for an exorbitant and glam sha•zam opening ceremony. The Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata will play host to the party on April 2.

The fervor crosses all boundaries and the effects are evident all around the world, as all wait anxiously for the magic of T20 cricket to take over. The sights of batsmen battering bowlers and sending the ball out of the park, bowlers knocking the stumps out, the crowd roaring as players run in with full fury, all are to be enjoyed and soaked in to the maximum.

Who might come on top this time, only time can tell, but the great battle is always one to look out for and the era of T20 is here to stay. Undisputedly, IPL has become a phenomenon and it unquestionably rules the interests of the masses.