IPL 7 — when the blades and balls took the cake!

So, the curtains have come down on the the blitz form of cricket and successfully at that. Kolkata Knight Riders bagged the crown one more time, to end this year’s cricket carnival in India. The Indian Premier League was already under the scanner, even before the first ball was bowled. The reasons are an open secret. Corruption, fixing, scams and nothing good to save it from the ditches.

Even before the tourney began, there were speculations on whether we would have this tournament this year or not. The reason were simple — the many problems plaguing the game had nibbled into teams and their owners and the Supreme Court’s verdict on whether they will be allowed to play or not took away half of the charm in the run-up. Rajasthan Royals and Chennai Super Kings, two of the biggest names in this version of cricket, were hanging in the balance, on the brink of losing their status as an eligible team. Apart from that, Srinivasan and his antics were not helping either. His son-in-law couldn’t brush things under the carpet anymore, finally succumbing to investigations.

When everything looked bleak for the IPL, there came the Justice Mudgal Report, that nailed all the accusations and put the tournament in what looked liked a limbo. Finally, Sunil Gavaskar was given the reins, and for the sake of avoiding a logistical nightmare, the Supreme Court decided that CSK and RR would participate. While there were a few curses muttered under the breath, fans and critics alike thought this edition of the IPL would lack the sheen it is well known for.

With the elections clashing with the beginning of the tournament, it was decided that UAE would co-host the series with India. So, while one part of the edition was played on foreign soil, the last half took place on home turf. The one big revelation in this entire edition was the emergence of Kings XI Punjab, who, for all this while, never really featured in the top teams. This time around, however, the Kings conquered and how! They not just remained the team to watch out for throughout the tourney, leading the points table throughout, but also made their maiden final appearance. It’s a tad sad that they didn’t eventually win, but great that they managed to turn things around, this time.

There were good performances, and there were better performances. There were the massive sixes, clean as whistles shots and splendid catches. If this IPL goes down in history, it is only because of the fact that it was predominantly clean and because at the end, it was not a team that took the cake — it was because players performed to their potential and fought for their places, without giving it away for freebies. This IPL was different because the blades and the cherries were the heroes!


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