IPL, finally - GulfToday

IPL, finally


Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni. File

The usual glamour associated with the Indian Premier League, one the world’s biggest and richest cricket tournament, may have taken a beating due to the pandemic. But it’s a big win for the match-hungry cricketers, organisers and cricket fans alike (“No cheerleaders and no fans: IPL pares down glitz for coronavirus era,” Sept 18, Gulf Today).

Indian fans who have been starved of cricket since March, when the pandemic struck and India last played, have been waiting with baited breath for the tournament to get going. Finally it is here and millions will be glued to their TV sets for the next month and a half nourishing every moment of the epic tournament.

It is epic not only because of the tournament’s star cast but also because we have not seen our boys take to the field for the last seven months or so. The Men in Blue generally play almost all year round with international cricket being the highlight. This year though it was a completely different picture.

Bereft of fans and glamour, this year’s tournament will surely lack the punch. But I am sure the matches will be as gripping, considering that players, who have been cocooned for the last few months, will be braying for blood from the opening tie.

While team members of various teams have descended in the UAE well in advance, and have got acclimatised to the new normal — adhering to quarantine and the bio-bubble requirements — it will be good to see if the orgaisers have also lined up something unique for the TV audience.

It would be been ideal though if the tournament was hosted in India, but that was near impossible with the number of COVID-19 cases swelling in the country. The UAE needs credit in that respect. It can boast of a very low infection rate and coupled with the infrastructure on offer, BCCI could not have got a better host.

As for me I can’t wait to see Chennai Super Kings and M S Dhoni take to the field. Of course Virat Kholi will also be the man to watch as he would be gunning for the evasive title for his team. May the best team win.

Ralph R — By email

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