Posts Tagged balaji

Chennai the new nerve centre of T20 cricket in India.

The mushrooming of league cricket in India especially the Indian Sub continent in form of the ICL & IPL brings new dynamics the game is perceived and viewed by the fans.

Till now serious cricket was confined to only international matches or domestic competitions. Most other formats that were tried in form of super sixes tournaments or super 8s was confined to purely off-season entertainment cricket, therefore restricting the growth of cricket.

To its credit the ICL pioneered the city based format and stressed on the game being played with utmost seriousness by its players. The fact that they created 8 competitive sides with the right mix of domestic and international talent saw to it that level of cricket was at par with International standards.

One of the surprises emerging out of the league format of cricket is the dominance of Chennai across both leagues.

A UK based company (cricket 20.com), which has carried out a comprehensive study on all domestic cricket competitions across the globe has thrown up a few revelations.

And surprise-surprise, the two Chennai teams Chennai Super kings (IPL) and Chennai Superstars (ICL) stand in 5th and 6th position respectively in the top 10 world rankings for T20 teams around the world.

So does this mean a change in order as far as the nursery of Indian cricket is concerned; a shift from Mumbai to Chennai? I guess it would need more than year one to answer the question.

One glaring fact about both the Chennai teams is in the heavy Australian influence on both the teams. The Superstars has Michel Bevan (Coach) & Stuart Law (Captain) at the helm of affairs. On the other hand it is Kepler Wessels (former Australian& South African player, coach) & MS Dhoni (probably the most valuable player in India) at the helm of affairs.

The calming influence that Dhoni brings at the helm of the national team is what one of ICL’s main find R Sathish brings to the Chennai superstars stable, as deputy captain & captain of ICL-India.

While it has been a masterstroke by both Chennai teams to inculcate the Australian way of cricket into their respective city teams; the domestic players from both sides; Vignesh, Badani, Syed & Kumaran ( ICL ) & Ghoni, Balaji, Bhadrinath ( IPL) have raise their hand to be counted as proven performers at the big stage.

I guess the jury is out, the Chennai sides in both leagues have cracked the T20 code and set the bar in terms of performance level & success achieved, now it is for the other cities to follow suit.

Advertisements

Comments (2)

ICL important for Indian Cricket in the changing sporting scenario

The sporting environment in India is in for a robust change. The boom in the economy is seeing a change in the way sport is perceived and consumed by the general public. The mantra for sporting disciplines is globalization and it is a matter of time before other sporting disciplines making inroads to fight for its share of the pie (entertainment dollar). The world of soccer wants to tap the big Indian market and with clinics organized by the English premiere league teams & the visit of the global football chief to India; football authorities are making the right moves. Golf is also seeing a lot initiatives, Hockey with a change in guard may throw few surprises.

The above developments augurs well for Indian sport and also acts as a wake up call for Indian cricket to step on the pedal to maintain its no-1 position.

To maintain its commercial success it is important for cricket to maintain its sporting success and for this the most critical factor would be to produce an assembly line of domestic talents who receive the best of training & exposure; to complement the Indian national team.

The ICL was the first off the blocks in identifying this area of domestic Indian cricket. Investment in world class training, support staff & top of the drawer international coaches combined with top level cricket exposure has seen the ICL successful in unearthing cricket talent that otherwise would have been lost in the oblivion of an outdated domestic cricket structure (Ranji trophy).

The fact that today players like Ali Murtaza, R Sathish, Stuart Binny have become house hold names ; players like Rohan Gavaskar, Thiru Kumaran & Ambatti Rayudu have shown the world that they still possess the cricketing prowess to take on the best of the world, augurs well for the intentions & achievement of objectives of the ICL.

The IPL has taken a leaf out of ICL and launched its first tournament amongst a lot of hype & hoopla; to its credit & that of its promoters, IPL too has managed to unearth a few new stars in the likes of Ghoni, Ashok Dinda & Swapnil Asnodkar.

The fact that former international greats like Glenn Mcgrath & Shane Warne have out shone the regular icons reiterates the fact that former international greats have a significant role to play in harnessing new talents in this latest format of the game. This was again an area that should be credited to the ICL as they were the first of the blocks to identify the potential of using former international cricketers in building their city based teams. It also answers their critics who dubbed them as a league of wannbe domestic talents & retired cricketers!

The above makes it imperative for all associated with cricket to see the ICL in the same light as the IPL, after all how much one can differentiate in terms of performance between a Bret lee or a Shane Bond , Glen McGrath & Jason Gillespie or a Shane Watson & Ian Harvey.

It has now been identified by one & all that the T20 format of the game is one of the most transparent platforms for young domestic hopefuls to showcase their talents. The ICL has 124 domestic talents most of whom have played for India or first class cricket. On the other hand an IPL team roughly has 25 members out of which 8 are international cricketers making it 17 national Indian players per team. With 8 teams this figure reads approximately 136 Indian players at the IPL. Therefore the total number of Indian players plying their trade at the two leagues reads a humongous talent pool of 260 Indian players.

Now if according to the wisdom and wish of the BCCI only IPL was to exist then it means that nearly half of these 260 players would not have an opportunity to display their cricketing prowess on a city based T20 platform. This is the sole major reason why the ICL should be encouraged and seen as a synergistic initiative in the betterment of Indian cricket.

After all if the IPL has seen the comeback of the smiling assassin ( Balaji) on the IPL platform then the ICL has rediscovered the bald assassin ( Kumaran ), as one of the craftiest medium pacers in the limited over format of the game.

If IPL has thrown up a pint sized Asnodkar from the Rajasthan Royal stable drawing comaprision with sachin amongst his mates; the Mumbai Champs have discovered their very own Tendulkar in the pocket dynamo Raviraj Patil. If Ashok Dinda has impressed everyone with his pace at the IPL then one should not forget that the young Abu Nechim has been clocked bowling over 140kmps at the Edelweiss 20s Challenge.

In the final analysis it is in best interest of Indian cricket that both the leagues prosper.

Leave a Comment