After the high profile IPL the focus now shifts from Rainbow Nation to the Nation when it always Rains, yes ENGLAND and with attention shifting to international cricket, it would a nice change to see players don their national colors. Playing for your franchise is one thing and playing for your NATIONAL team is totally different affair. The talks about value of a player, runs / dollar or wickets / dollars won’t dominate every time a player performs. Rather than having a faked City Vs City rivalry we now will have the real Country Vs Country rivalry. Matches like IND Vs PAK or AUS Vs NZ would bring back the tension and hype that existed on the field.
The IPL in rainbow nation with the local drummers and bugles’ along with the bollywood music played in the background created a carnival environment. Cloud and gloomy weather conditions in England compounded with “decent” crowds, who would either clap hands or sip bear, hopefully won’t take away the festival atmosphere that T20 brings along with itself. Bigger capacity grounds would increase crowd count.
There neither would be DLF maximums or CITI moments of success nor would the commentators thank the sponsors every 10 mins. Neither would Lalit Modi been shown talking on the phone every 15 mins. With no strategic timeouts, we would miss the glamour that was attached with Miss Bollywood South Africa and also the HEAT (Health Educate And Teach) convention which funded a lot of local student in SA. Players will miss definitely the hugging and kissing from their team owners.
Two things the players would carry from IPL; MONEY and INJURY. Money was all talked about throughout the IPL; injuries would now be talked about. No sooner would a player miss a game due to injury; an anti-IPL of statement of cricket overkill would be made. Already talks about Flintoff, Zaheer and Sehwag‘s fitness is being talked.
One thing that T20 lacked was and that IPL has provided is statistics or numbers; with so less T20 played prior T20 WC 2007 teams entered with an uncluttered mind, played mostly with instincts. Now with so many games and different scenarios and many unexpected results in IPL even the minnows would fancy their chances. 60 required in 4 overs, batting team would still fancy it, because they now have the right statistics to back them up. A sense of belief would seep in. And the memories of Rohit scoring the required 26 in the last over against Mortaza will give nightmares to every fielding captain when they arrive at a similar situation.
As they say attaining the top spot is easy maintaining that is tough, INDIA now face the burden of defending the World Cup title probably first time since 1983; this is something new to this INDIAN team. And in the recently concluded IPL we saw how Royals failed to live upto the expectation of defending the title. Hope the INDIAN team would be unfazed by the hype and would live by its expectation. Also like how Bangalore and Deccan bounced back one wouldn't mind Dutch or even England clinching the cup.
Let the focus shift on Mere Desh Ki Dharti from my Mera Gaon ki Chori.