Cricket news from ESPN

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Going, going, Swann? Three things to watch out for at the IPL

The Indian Premier League is back on the menu so roll up for some, give me strength, Delhicious T20 action. That won't be for a few months yet, though, but we have just had the whoring d'ouerves of the IPL player auction where the well-lunched, sweaty-browed executives of the ten franchises all waggled rolled up wads of dollar bills at dead-eyed international cricketers as they sauntered up and down a diamond encrusted catwalk wearing nothing but a box in a satin thong and a saucy pout. Well, I didn't actually seen the coverage so I'm not absolutely sure that's how it works, but it is basically a human trade where the world's big-hitters (and a couple of bowlers, though not yet Jimmy or Swanny who went unsold) can become instant millionaires if invited to a private booth represent one of the teams.

Although I always love the final stages, I usually get a bit big-bashed out by the IPL's first few weeks - there's only so many times you can see Kieron Pollard lump a young Indian seamer to cow corner before the novelty wears off - and it's not a tournament I can claim to offer any great insight into. So on the basis that it's therefore akin to all forms of the game, here's my top three IPL things to watch out for:

-Harbhajan Singh and Andrew Symonds together at last (Mumbai Indians). There's a bit of bile under the bridge here after India's acrimonious tour of Oz in 2007-8 when Harbi allegedly called Symonds a rotten, simeon-based racial epithet.  It was a horrid incident, made worse by the fact I was forced to feel genuine warmth towards Matthew Hayden who interjected on behalf of his fishing buddy, although he then reverted to type by going on air to gleefully call India's favourite Prince Harry impersonator "an obnoxious weed". Sachin Tendulkar will also be at Mumbai, which further livens things up because he gave evidence in Harbhajan's defence at a subsequent disciplinary hearing. After an initial three-match ban, the fearlessly realpolitik ICC fined the culprit a meagre $3000 on appeal and quite possibly sent every member of the BCCI a lovely box of fudge to apologise for the trouble caused. Anyway, with all this in the not-too-distant past, IPL 4 will  be the biggest test yet for Harbhajan's innovative slap-round-the-chops teambuilding methods. If only Sreesanth was there too...

-Ryan Ten Doeschate's chance to show some Dutch courage (Kolkata Knight Riders). The leading Netherlands ODI player also happens to have the world's leading batting average in ODIs so it's a little surprising it's taken till now for him to be snapped up by the IPL. This is especially so given that his hurrying medium-fast seamers snapped up five prize Indian wickets in run up to the 2007 World Cup - Ganguly, Sehwag, Yuvraj Singh, Dhoni, and Harbi (whose wicket has gained prize status in retrospection) - and that he's long been a leading light in English domestic T20 and something of a bat for hire around the globe. He went for three times his reserve price, but, at only $150,000, still looks the best value buy and, with Gambhir and Pathan also heading to Kolkata, it's clear that the Knight Riders will be very well kitted out indeed.

 -Scandal! Scandal! Danger! Scandal! (All teams). From the hilarious fake blogger fandango to the current corruption scandal engulfing its disgraced founder, Lalit Modi, the IPL has attracted the most India-related negative publicity since the late Jade Goody flapped her Harbi-esque kebab at Shilpa Shetty on Celebrity Big Brother. Add in that it also had to up sticks to South Africa in 2009 due to civil unrest and you've got a powder keg of a tournament...which, to the delight of its owners, is now valued at an  eye-watering $4.13bn dollars. It will be a major surprise if there's not some sort of kerfuffle during this year's outing.

The IPL4 will be live on youtube in April. Get involved...


  1. Live on youtube eh? Immense. I might well get involved in some of that.

  2. Can I please know how you concluded BCCI and Harbhajan as culprit? Harbhajan patted in Brett Lee's back friendly and Symmo got into verbal abuse with Harbhajan. Why cannot be Harbhajan's story be true? Why cannot be australians culprits anyway? Why should BCCI always be wrong? With all the bullying BCCI did in that acrimonious series, the bullying was started by australians on the field and they were doing it for ages till they have been snubbed once for all now. Justice is done to Australia now, no matter whoever you would like to call as culprits!

  3. Hi Jim. I know Harbi didn't initiate the incident and Symonds is a long way from being an angel but it just seemed odd to me how the charge and punishment was altered. He was still charged at the appeal with using abusive language, but I guess we'll never 100% know what is it was. I've drawn my conclusions from all I've read. If you read other posts here you'll see I'm in no way anti-India - I would probably marry Sachin or VVS if they asked me - and I know the BCCI is a great force for good in many instances. I'm more than happy to admit that everybody involved on all sides were culprits in what was horrible series. Thanks for your comments. It's nice to hear a passionate response!

  4. After IPL4 Symonds might dump "b*****d" in favour of "Teri Maa Ki..."!!!

  5. Pav -

    Training camp should be fun with the weed and symmo together.

  6. Hi Vidoo, Mumbai only need to sign Botham and Ian Chappell as well and they'll have the perfect team dynamics...;)
    We'll see what happens. Bhaji and Sreesanth seem friends again so maybe, maybe it might work....



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...