Indiscipline turns major headache for IPL

Indiscipline has become an integral part of the ongoing Indian Premier League Twenty20 matches. Within a few days of the tournament, more than six players and officials have been punished for their bad behavior on the field.

Latest in this list is Kolkata Knight Riders pace bowler Ishant Sharma. He has been fined 10 percent of match fee on Sunday for kicking down stumps during the Indian Premier League match against Punjab King’s XI at Mohali. IPL match referee Clive Lloyd found that Ishant was guilty of a Level 1 offence (clause 2) as per the International Cricket Council’s Code of Conduct which has been adopted by the Twenty20 League authorities. This is related to abusing the ground equipment.

Earlier, Indian off spinner and Mumbai India’s former captain Harbhajan Singh had been banned for nine matches for slapping King’s XI bowler S Sreesanth. This had occurred at the same venue. The Harbhajan – Sreesanth slapping row had catched up the attention of global media. The match referee had also warned Sreesanth for his hostile attitude on the field.

Harbhajan, allegedly slapped Sreesanth soon after Mumbai India’s defeat against Punjab King’s XI, leaving the young paceman seeing weep inconsolably in full view of television cameras. Harbhajan had later apologised to Sreesanth. But match referee Farokh Engineer had taken up the issue seriously after the Punjab team management lodged a formal complaint against Harbhajan to tournament officials. The BCCI had also appointed lawyer Sudhir Nanavati to probe the charges against Harbhajan, who is on its payroll as a centrally contracted player.

The IPL authorities had also fined 10 percent of match fee on captain of Rajasthan Royals Shane Warne and skipper of Knight Riders Sourav Ganguly for different breaches of the Code at Jaipur on May 1 during the two teams’ contest. The Match Referee in his recommendation to the IPL said that Ganguly’s act of prevailing upon Pratap Kumar, the on-field umpire, to refer a decision to the TV umpire, constituted a Level I offence as per the ICC’s Code of Conduct. Warne was found of violating Section 1.7 of the ICC’s Code of Conduct, which deals with ‘public criticism of, or inappropriate comment on a match-related incident or official,’ which constitutes a Level I offence.

IPL teams may head overseas, Canada trip possible

After the huge success of Twenty20 cricket series in India, Indian Premier League franchisees have been getting invitation from other parts of the world. It is learnt that Cricket Canada is discussing with Indian Premier League for a similar cricket tournament to be conducted in that country.

According to reports, the Indian Premier League teams could visit the country following “advanced” discussions. But Indian authorities have not given any commitment on the proposal. It is also learned that IPL officials and Indian Cricket Board are getting similar interest from other countries also. Sources said Atul Ahuja, Cricket Canada’s chief executive, had discussions with leading individuals in respect to possible visits to Canada by IPL teams. Now there is growing interest to the Twenty20 format across the country.

The overseas market has been turned tube a big crowd puller for the IPL especially when at the online streaming consumption. There had been huge response in the internet from overseas market for all the matches played. All the IPL teams have created their own sites and fan page and are using the online media and videos to lure fans to their teams. It is estimated that around eight million people from countries across the world are viewing the cricket extravaganza of India.

The Internet has proved to be a popular medium for non-resident Indians. According to WSG’s , IPL website received more than 3.5 million hits in the first weekend by users overseas. The international viewer ship of IPL mainly contributed from Asia, Middle East, the UK and the US.

World Sports Group (WSG), the sports marketing and management agency is the agency that has won the international media distribution rights of IPL from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). WSG has paid BCCI $1.026 billion for the next 10 years for these rights. According to available figures, most of the IPL matches has attracted up to around 3,50,000 viewers in Australia. IPL is also attracting huge viwership in Untied Kingdom also. In the US, IPL is being aired on the two leading direct-to-home platforms Dish Network and Direct TV for $59 a month

McCullum, Ponting other Aussie, Kiwi stars to depart, may hit Kolkata Knight riders, Chennai Superkings most

The days are soon getting over for the Australian and New Zealand bandwagon In the IPL led by Ricky Ponting, Matthew Hayden, Michael Hussey, Andrew Symonds and of course Brendan McCullum.

Chennai Super Kings will be the biggest losers as their top stars Matthew Hayden and Michael Hussey will depart on April 29.

The already battered Kings XI Punjab will not have the services of fast bowler Brett Lee and Simon Katich, while another struggling team, Deccan Chargers, would have to bid adieu to Andrew Symonds.
Kolkata Knight Riders would loose Ricky Ponting.

The players are leaving to take part in a team training programme ahead of the Carribean tour.
New Zealand stars Jacob Oram would also leave the Chennai Super Kings camp early next month, to be followed by his team mates Daniel Vettori (Delhi Daredevils), and big hitter Brendan McCullum (Kolkata Knight Riders)

With these departures there would be a perceived changes in the fortunes of the teams. South African big hitter Herschelle Gibbs would join the Deccan Chargers, while his skipper Graeme Smith will strengthen the ranks of the resurgent Rajasthan Royals.

Shane Warne will also have the services of Pakistan’s Younis Khan and Sohail Tanvir.

Chennai Superkings can take consolation from the fact that their bowling department will be strengthened with the arrival of Makaya Ntini this week.

Albie Morkel is also slated to join the Chennai Superkings. Will these changes affect the fortunes of the team? Only time will tell.

Shaun Pollock may lead Mumbai Indians in match vs Chennai Superkings

The media buzz is that Mumbai Indians may be captained by Shaun Pollock, instead of Harbhajan Singh, in the match against Chennai Super Kings. Mumbai Indians put up a pretty lacklustre performance against Bangalore Royal Challengers in their last match.

The speculation over captaincy was triggered after Shaun Pollock addressed the media. Shaun Pollock said the physio would take a decision on whether Sachin Tendulkar plays or not. Tendulkar’s absence was a big disappointment to Mumbai fans, and things look bad for them still.

Pollock also said the presence of all rounders was the strength of the Mumbai Indians, but added the presence of a number of left handers in the Chennai Super Kings team makes it a difficult proposition to bowl to them.

Shane Warne, Shane Watson all praise for youngsters Ravindra Jadeja, Dinesh Salunkhe

Youngsters Ravindra Jadeja and Dinesh Salunkhe are basking in the glory of praise showered on them by spin legend Shane Warne, who is the captain of the Rajasthan Royals IPL team.

Shane Warne told reporters after his team Rajasthan Royals’ comeback win against Kings XI Punjab that with the talent that these youngsters posses, they are poised to be superstars in future.

Ravindra Jadeja and Shane Watson put on a 69-run partnership in which the former scored 36 in 25 balls against an attack boasting of Brett Lee, Irfan Pathan, James Hopes and S Sreesanth. Shane Warne also put his stakes behind spinner Dinesh Salunkhe, who was hit for 20 runs but claimed Sri Lankan skipper Mahela Jayawadene. Ravindra Jadeja’s valiant effort came in for praise from Shane Watson too for his fearless hitting of Brett Lee.

Sachin Tendulkar unlikely for Mumbai Indians’ clash with Chennai Superkings, Dwayne Bravo joins team

Mumbai Indians may replace Pinal Shah with Saurabh Tiwari

Sachin Tendulkar is unlikely to play in Mumbai Indians’ clash against Chennai Super Kings on Wednesday, giving a slight edge to the host team. There are rumours that in the match of Mumbai Indians vs Chennai Super Kings captained by Dhoni, Shaun Pollock may lead the side instead of Harbhajan Singh.

For Mumbai Indians also there is some good news as West Indian al rounder Dwayne Bravo has joined the team. Dwayne Bravo will replace Dominic Thornley, who was hit by a Zaheer Khan delivery.

It also seems, Mumbai Indians may replace Pinal Shah with Under-19 sensation Saurabh Tiwary, but a final word is not out.

The pitch at the Chennai venue promises to have a truckload of runs.

Battered Deccan Chargers still favourites to beat Shane Warne’s resurgent Rajasthan Royals

The much touted Deccan Chargers seem to be on the verge of oblivion as they struggle to stay afloat in the twenty20 after two successive defeats in DLF IPL Twenty20 ahead of the encounter with Rajasthan Royals, who have come back in style after an initial setback. Nobody in the Deccan Chargers team seem to be performing up to their potential, and that will be a big worry for the captain VVS Laxman – who himself is not doing well.

Shane Warne’s Rajasthan Royals is not in any great shape either, despite their victory against Kings XI Punjab – but they seem to be getting better alright.

A 9-wicket mauling by Virender Sehwag-led Delhi Daredevils at home ground has raised serious concerns about the cohesiveness of VVS Laxman’s talented bunch, after an initial rap in a shocker of pitch in Eden Gardens by Kolkata Knight Riders.

Nothing has worked so far for the famed Deccan Chargers, who were touted as the most formidable side by bookies, who would have surely changed the odds.

In fact odds are changing fast as the tournament progresses. Chennai Super Kings now emerges as top contenders along with Kolkata Knight Riders, with Delhi Daredevils, Bangalore Royal Challengers and Rajasthan Royals inching forward and Kings XI and Deccan Chargers slipping.

Mumbai Indians would be rated on the basis of their performance against Chennai Super Kings on Wednesday.

Adam Gilchrist, Andrew Symonds, Venugopala Rao, VVS Laxman and big hitter Shahid Afridi were all failures so far for Deccan Chargers.

There were much expectations about the Aussies in particular in Deccan Chargers, with Andrew Symonds fetching the second highest bid of $1.35 million by the hyderabad franchise. Symonds went for 30 runs in an over in a Sehwag rampage and failed with the bat too. All of Adam Gilchrist’s experience did not help the Chargers either in their match against Delhi.

There was no devil in the Rajiv Gandhi stadium as Delhi Darevils captain Sehwag showed and hence Deccan Chargers have no one else to blame than their batting maestros for their abject failure to put up a big score.

While this may not necessarily be a verdict on the team, it requires tremendous grit to come back as a team, which the Deccan Chargers are capable of. Have the defeats affected the Hyderabad team for the worse, or do the battle-scarred veterans pull up their socks in the Deccan Chargers vs Rajasthan Royals match, we will know soon enough.

Shahid Afridi can be pardoned for the match against Delhi Daredevils was his first match, but the burden of expectations would weigh against him as Deccan Chargers take on Rajasthan Royals led by wizard of spin Shane Warne.

There are no demons in the Hyderabad wicket but Shane Warne can turn the ball and do all the tricks in any surface.

Deccan Chargers would have to earmark someone to have a go at him and turn his attention from the field to his own bowling and unsettle Rajasthan Royals. That is easier said than done, but Shahid Afridi might relish taking up that mammoth challenge.

Big hitting Aussie Shane Watson forced bookies to rewrite their priorities after an initial set back as he anchored an brilliant win for his team against the fancied Kings XI Punjab at Sawai Mansingh Stadium the other day.

Skipper Shane Warne would expect a repeat effort, but India discard Mohammad Kaif also has to fire for his team.

Afridi’s Pak team mate Kamran Akmal, now playing for Rajasthan Royals,  announced his intentions in his first match but needs to carry on and bring in some unorthodox shots to unsettle the Deccan Chargers.

Yusuf Pathan is another Rajasthan Royals batsman who has lived dangerously, but building partnerships also is vital in some match scenarios even if that means your strike rate dips. Playing all the 20 overs is vital as VVS Laxman himself admitted after the encounter with Kolkata Knight Riders.

Despite the scars of two successive defeats, Deccan Chargers are the better team in this tussle. Only that they have to bury their past shame, draw upon their collective experience and hit Rajasthan Royals hard. Deccan Chargers are still considered favourites purely on the merit of the treasure trove of talent on their ranks. Only that they have to fire.

Deccan Chargers Team
VVS Laxman, Andrew Symonds, RP Singh, Rohit Sharma, Adam Gilchrist, Shahid Afridi, Herschelle Gibbs, Chaminda Vaas, Scott Styris
Chamara Silva.
Rajasthan Royals Team
Mohammad Kaif,Yusuf Pathan,Shane Warne,Munaf Patel,Younis Khan, Justin Langer, Kamran Akmal, Shane Watson, Sohail Tanvir, Morne Morkel, Graeme Smith.

Sidhu counts Super Kings and Knight Riders as the strongest teams

Navjot Singh sidhu, the former Indian cricketer, believes the strongest and the most balanced teams in the DLF IPL are Chennai Super Kings and Kolkata Knight Riders.

Sidhu said, “Shah Rukh Khan’s Kolkata Knight Riders and the Chennai Super Kings team are the strongest if we compare the players on the paper. But I will put my money on the Mohali team to hold the championship trophy as I am a Punjabi.”

DLF IPL has taken the world by storm and is good for the betterment of players, Sidhu said. He also said that the premier league in India will change the face of world cricket.

“No one would have imagined that so many runs could be scored in a 40 over game. Nowadays, nobody wants to sit and watch cricket for five days. Mr Pawar is like (Formula One driver Michael) Schumacher who has taken the cricket in a fast lane,” Sidhu said.

When asked about the Indian Cricket League (ICL), Sidhu said ICL has been ruined completely. But Sidhu also had a word of caution for the Twenty20 format. He said that as time progresses, viewers could well lose interest in the game.

Considering the matches so far, I guess we can agree with Siddhu here. Kolkata Knight Riders definitely looked strong on the field too, not just on paper. And they seem to be the team that has gelled well – despite the presence of such rivals as Ricky Ponting and Sourav Ganguly in the same team.

Chennai Super Kings had a brilliant game – but they have had only one, and they meet Mumbai Indians who has already lost once against a pretty shoddy Bangalore Royal Challengers.

Who will be the IPL Twenty20 winner? Dhoni says its too early to say

Chennai Super Kings, the Chennai franchisee of DLF IPL that won their first match against Kings X1 Punjab, will lock horns with Mumbai Indians tomorrow. The match will be played in Chennai and the match will also mark Chennai Super Kings’ first home match. Playing in front of the home crowd is expected to be a big boost for the Chennai Super Kings team. Chennai Super Kings had easily defeated a the Kings XI Punjab team at Mohali on the second day of IPL matches.

Chennai Super Kings captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has said that its too early to predict which team would win the DLF IPL tournament. According to Dhoni, the team that gels well early would win the series.

MS Dhoni said, “The teams have played just one or two matches. You cannot make any assessment on this basis. There are lots of matches left. There will be ups and downs. The team which gels well throughout will be the winner.”

Dhoni has a point there. So far, the teams which looked like they were playing as a unit have won. Rajasthan Royals, Deccan Chargers have looked haphazard so far, despite the presence of some experienced players.

Chennai Super Kings vs Mumbai Indians

The main problem that worries Mumbai Indians is the fitness of their captain Sachin Tendulkar. He missed the team’s first match against Bangalore Royal Challengers because a groin injury. It is not known till now whether Sachin would be able to play in tomorrow’s game against the Chennai Superkings. Harbhajan Singh had captained Mumbai Indians in the absence of Sachin.

If Sachin Tendulkar is absent, then it would be Harbhajan Singh who would be leading the side just like the last game. All eyes would be on the ongoing rivalry between Matthew Hayden, the Chennai Super Kings batsman, and Harbhajan Singh, the Mumbai Indians spinner. Well, it is not as bad as the rivalry between Harbhajan SIngh and Andrew Symonds for sure.

According to Dhoni, the start of DLF IPL has been just perfect. “The start has been great, Brendan McCullum’s batting has been a solid one. Fans also got what they wanted. They saw some huge sixes, dance by cheerleaders, teams piling up huge scores and bowlers taking wickets. It provided excitement for the fans.”

The Chennai Super Kings captain also rubbished the possibility of him opening the innings in tomorrow’s match. On the other hand, if Sachin Tendulkar is available for play tomorrow, we may get to see tendulkar opening with Sanath Jayasuriya – that would be an explosive combination.

Matthew Hayden thinks IPL is the start of an incredible journey

Australian batsman Matthew Hayden is in India now to play for the DLF IPL.

Matthew Hayden is now playing in the The Chennai Super Kings IPL team, under Indian captain MS Dhoni is is captaining th Chennai side.

The veteran batsman said IPL was the start of an incredible journey and the initial matches of the DLF IPL tournament has set very high standards for the rest of the tournament.

DLF IPL has so far seen some high scoring matches, except the one match that was played at Kolkata’s Eden gardens between the Kolkata Knight Riders and Hyderabad Deccan Chargers.

Chennai Super Kings in its inaugural match defeated the Kings X1 Punjab, captained by Yuvraj Singh, for 33 runs.

Matthew Hayden, who was involved in some ugly on-field chats with Indian spinner harbhajan Singh during India’s tour down-under, said he always maintained a “soft corner for India”.  “I first visited Chennai in 1997 with the A team. Walking out to bat, I looked around at this stadium and dreamt of the day I will play for the Australian team. I have always had a soft corner for India and now, playing for Chennai Super Kings, my life has come a full circle as this city will be my base during the IPL.’

When asked about his bitter rival Harbhajan Singh and their ongoing rivalry, hayden said, “We have had a few fantastic battles in Australia, and now I am looking forward to renewing my rivalry with Harbhajan.’

Matthew Hayden described Mahendra Singh Dhoni, the captain of Chennai Superkings, as a fine thinker and a confident individual.