The year 2008 brought a new revolution in the field of cricket with the commencement of Indian Premiere League (IPL) 2008. It was a huge success commercially and introduced many unknown talented faces, and had a fairytale where the underdog team – Rajasthan Royals – working under a charismatic captain Shane Warne took the trophy.
There is no doubt that IPL 2009 if nothing will be a better version of what we saw in last year.
The ongoing economic crisis may have tempered the enthusiasm a bit. But IPL title sponsor DLF assured that their commitment with the IPL is resolute for the next five years. DLF is a real estate major, an sector that has been hit hard by the economic slowdown. Rajeev Talwar, the group executive director of DLF said, “DLF will continue to play an integral part in helping develop the league into a truly world – class platform for showcasing and developing cricketing talent globally.”
As the league becomes older so do the teams. At least three franchisees have decided to pare their teams down to their essential requirements, and hence reduce the number of players they would have on their roster in 2009. What was it that made the teams take such measure? Recession would be an obvious answer, but no. With the second season of the IPL, teams have just become more mature and wiser. It seems these teams are working to a target, and know exactly what kind of team composition would help them achieve it.
With the player trade window open for one month, IPL teams are planning player transfers and new signings. The Bangalore Royal Challengers are eager to have the Karnataka captain Robin Uthappa in their team. In return, they are willing to give up the services of the left-arm seemer Zaheer Khan to the Mumbai Indians who would appreciate his inclusion in the team.
Sources say there could be a possible captaincy switch between Rahul Dravid to Robin Uthappa, if the later makes it into the Bangalore Royal Challengers.
Meanwhile Mumbai Indians have already made a trade by swapping left-arm seemer Ahish Nehra with the left handed opener Shikhar Dhawan of Delhi Daredevils with no money exchanged.
Deccan Chargers are all set to have a contract with the U P bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar after his amazing performance in the Ranji trophy, who also managed to take the wicket of Sachin Tendukar on a duck, the little master’s first in the Ranji trophy.
The IPL 2009 season might also see players from England taking part with different IPL franchisees. England Captain Andrew Strauss said that he and his players can afford to participate in the upcoming IPL season without having to compromise with their national duties. Negotiations are on between The ECB and PCA and players are eagerly waiting for things to get sorted out before the deadline of February 4 set by the IPL board. Meanwhile talks are going on between IPL and ECB for having a stable cricketing calendar. Chennai Super Kings have already started their talks with the flamboyant English all-rounder Andrew Flintoff. Reports say they are eager to buy him.
On the other hand, Cricket Australia has allowed the players to play in the IPL and will not ban any of the top players. However, they also made it clear that the players who are unfit or carry any injuries will be barred. The CA public affairs manager Peter Young thinks that the two month outing in India could be a good platform for the players to prepare for the upcoming Ashes series, despite the list of injured players they have that includes Brett Lee, Andrew Symonds, Peter Siddle and Shane Watson.
All together, the IPL 2009 tournament seems to be sumptuous and promises more breathtaking encounters. The IPL 2009 is scheduled to commence on April 10, for an absorbing two months of cricketing action till May 24.