IPL- The Indian Pleasurable League

Yajurvindra Singh

By: Yajurvindra Singh

Email: sunnybilkha@hotmail.com

March 22nd 2024:

The Indian Pleasurable League:

The 17th edition of the most popular Indian cricket tournament, the Indian Premier League (IPL), will take place in Chennai on March 22, 2024. The match between the Chennai Super Kings and Royal Challengers Bengaluru should be just the required start of pleasurable cricket entertainment that will be enjoyed by millions of cricket lovers around the world.

In India, the IPL has become a digital and television serial that engrosses families every evening and one that will finish on May 26, 2024. Over two months of cricketing bliss will make unknown cricketers into stars and superstars of the existing ones.

With the presence of Mahendra Singh Dhoni, considered today to be at the top of the chart in popularity, along with Virat Kohli, nicknamed the “King” of Indian cricket, the opening match should be a humdinger. The two greats of the game have been absent from the cricket arena for a while and to see them back will itself bring a feeling of joy and unfound pleasure. Dhoni has been away for a year and he has gone through knee surgery, however, it is his cricketing mind that has made him into a legend and for which he is revered by one and all.

Virat Kohli on the other hand, is back after taking time off for the delivery of his second child. With his spouse, daughter and his baby boy tucked comfortably in his abode, he will definitely be ready to fire on all cylinders from the onset.

Played amid India’s elections and election campaigns, the IPL will have 10 franchise teams battling to win the prestigious and glamour-driven Trophy. The BCCI will need to schedule the next stage of matches considering the election dates, a task which would maybe add a hint of uncertainty for the franchise teams, as venues and matches may need to be changed.

This IPL’24 will have that extra bit of interest and seriousness to it. On its completion, the next big cricket tournament is the ICC T20 World Cup to be played in the Caribbean Islands and the United States of America in June’24. The Indian players will be vying to find slots in the National side, whereas, for the overseas players, it will be an ideal platform for preparation to get their game tuned before the World Cup.

The T20 is a format that requires continuous change, adaptation and experimentation for both batters and bowlers and the IPL will be just the platform to get all the concerned cricketers ready for the fray.

Cricket is not the only reason for the success of the Indian Premier League. The franchise-based ownership brings forth innovative marketing and eye-catching ideas. The screen and events both on and off the field bring in hordes of loyal supporters. The gaming and betting sites have drawn every segment of society into selecting players and team combinations to strike a win and a possible huge monetary gain for them.

The uncertainty of cricket is the bug that has bitten millions, all believing that their cricketing research as well as acumen will make them into winners. In the end, it is the sport that will win and one has to thank the IPL for creating such a wonderful attraction.

Mumbai Indians and the Chennai Super Kings are two teams who have dominated the IPL in the past. Both of them have won the title five times each. However, predicting the winner is like finding a needle in a haystack. All the 10 teams have match-winning international and domestic players.

Each of the teams also has professional support staff, analysts, fitness coaches, and physical and mental trainers. With 250 cricketers all trying their very best to showcase their skill and talent, one feels in the end it is the domestic players that finally differentiate as to how a team performs.

This is exactly why the IPL is an important goal for a domestic cricketer, as in the past Indian cricket has unearthed unknown cricketers through this route who have gone on and played for their country. Several of them have become household names and superstars with rags-to-riches tales to add to the glamour.

The IPL’24 will have some interesting cricketers to follow. The two Australians, Pat Cummings and Mitchell Starc have a heavy price on their head. They will need to showcase their worth. In the past, the burden of being the highest-paid cricketer seems to weigh heavily on a player’s shoulder and the returns have been abysmal at the end.

The recovery and fitness of Rishabh Pant, the captain of Delhi Capitals will be one to follow. The pleasure and thrill of seeing him back on the cricket field after such a horrific accident shows the remarkable character and tenacity that Pant possesses. He has been a true match-winner for India in the past and with such zest and enthusiasm for the game he will definitely be the darling of the crowd. A cricketer admired for the way he has stood up after being floored.

The Mumbai Indians have also created a stir which they must be regretting by now. For them to have replaced the present successful Indian captain, Rohit Sharma, with Hardik Pandya, who led the Gujarat Titans to the title in 20211 and the final last year, may have been acceptable a few months ago but in the present situation, it seems to be a bit of a question mark. Hardik has been on the injury list till recently and in the past as well. For MI to disrupt the man at the head is something to ponder over. Rohit may play far freer, however, the hurt of being replaced is never an easy one to endure.

The Indian young guns performed brilliantly in the last Test series against England. Their success has brought about a sea of change as to how the Indian selectors will be looking at selecting the Indian squad from now on.

The battle between the young and the old established Indian cricketers will be interesting as the fight will be for a place in the Indian T20 World Cup squad. One to look forward to.

(Yajurvindra Singh is a former India cricketer. The views expressed are personal)

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