A New Era of T20 Cricket
Shakib Al Hasan sold to Kolkata Knight Riders for $425,000.
Photo Courtesy: cricinfo.com
2008, Rajasthan Royals took the cup followed by the Hyderabadi team, Deccan Chargers taking it away in 2009. And now the defending champions are the Chennai Super Kings who won the cup last year. Who is going to win the Indian Premier League (IPL) cup this year? With the World Cup on its way right before the IPL, we can say, without a doubt, that 2011 is nothing less than the year of cricket.
IPL starts from April 8, just a few days after the World Cup, and will end on May 22. The BCCI has also declared via press statement that the fourth edition of the Indian Premier League will feature 10 teams participating in the auction which includes two new teams, 'Team Kochi' and the 'Pune Warriors', but the teams will play only 14 games each, 7 at home and 7 away. There will be 70 League matches in all. The fixtures of IPL will soon be announced.
The auction was filled with surprises as players like Chris Gayle, Brian Lara, Saurav Ganguly, Herschelle Gibbs, Mark Boucher and our own golden tiger, Tamim Iqbal, were unsold.
A lot of players have been left disappointed, while others were seen happy, like Shakib Al Hasan, current number one all-rounder and the captain of Bangladesh, was sold to the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) for an outstanding fee of $425,000. Shakib will be more than happy not with only the payment but to play alongside Gautam Gambhir, currently the highest earning player who was bought by KKR for 2.4 million dollars. Alongside Gambhir, there are other great players like Yusuf Pathan, Jacques Kallis, Bret Lee, Eoin Morgan and Brad Haddin.
Anowar Hossain Shobuj, Event Co-ordinator of Mattra, and also a huge cricket enthusiast, tells us about his expectations of the IPL, "I'm expecting more entertainment like bigger scores, atleast above 150. I want every match to have a thrilling ending due to power imbalance; no more one-sided games! Since the teams have changed, and a lot of teams are balanced with big hitting players, I'm expecting adrenaline packed matches throughout the tournament." He adds, "I'm expecting teams like Pune and Kochi to keep up a fighting spirit within themselves since they are new. They're entering the tournament at a stage where every team is as competitive as the other and they need to keep the show going." When asked about how excited he is about Shakib Al Hasan joining the IPL, he says, "I am really excited. He's in a big team and hopefully, he will shine. He'll be playing with big players like Gautam Gambhir, Brett Lee and more and it will help him gain a lot of experience too. This also shows that a Bangladeshi player has the same class as a player that big which is really something to be proud of. As long as he is in a team where he gets to play with hard hitting legends, I'm happy. I want to see his sportsmanship with Yousuf Pathan and in KKR he'll get that chance. Another thing I want is to see him play against Murali, no matter which team he is in. I want to compare their spin capability and see him shine." Shobuj also mentions how disappointing it is that no team bought Tamim Iqbal, "It's very unfortunate. I consider him to be just as dangerous as Yousuf Pathan and if any team can't see that, it's their loss completely. He is being underestimated because he is a Bangladeshi player, but he also has some match winning innings that the teams of the IPL failed to consider. It's sad, because he truely deserves every chance he gets to show off his skills." Despite the competition, the one thing this year IPL will not have is the spark and glamour due to the absence of legendary players like Chris Gayle, Brain Lara, Herschelle Gibbs and many more. As the fan points out, "These players have their off-days but are generally known to create a base for whoever comes after them. They are known to be essential in entertaining matches like what the IPL offers and, sadly, due to them being unsold, we're going to miss out on some great action.”
Bangladesh has a lot of cricket fans just like Shobuj, and all have different perspectives of the T20 game but then again when it comes to Shakib Al Hasan, our hopes are always high. So let's get ready to see a great tournament ahead filled with a lot of adrenaline, action and hopefully, some sixes that will blow our minds!