BCCI president Sourav Ganguly on Wednesday left for Dubai to oversee preparations for a bio-secure IPL beginning on September 19. Defending champions Mumbai Indians will face CSK in the opening match of the T20 event, which has been moved to the UAE due to the rising Covid-19 cases in India. IPL chairman Brijesh Patel is among the other key officials who are already in Dubai.
A successful Ranji Trophy season eight years ago earned Haryana medium-pacer Mohit Sharma the attention that fast-tracked him first into the IPL and then Team India, both times under talismanic skipper MS Dhoni in 2013. However, in the upcoming IPL season, Sharma’s tight line and length will benefit Delhi Capitals, who would look to pick up from their playoff-stage finish in the last season.
In analysing the phenomenon that MS Dhoni has become, there is an almost immediate attribution that the cricketer’s rise is indicative of a New India and the surge of the small town. However, cautions sociologist Shiv Visvanathan, there is a problem in locating Dhoni’s success wholly in his small-town origins. Because the small-town myth is dying out, he says.
Daren Sammy said that he didn’t hold any grudges against Ishant Sharma for calling him ‘Kalu,’ but felt it was important that he put it on record. “I don’t hold any grudges. I’ve spoken to Ishant, I consider him like a brother, just like I did back in 2014. But as a person, if I get to know that there are certain racial slurs being used to describe me or there is a possibility of any such comments, I think it is only wise to confront and clarify,” Sammy said.
Anil Kumble is back as a coach after three years. However, the assignment as the head coach with Kings XI Punjab is more demanding for reasons beyond cricket. This IPL will be India’s first taste of cricket in Covid times. So, keeping the squad in good spirits through this 80-day journey takes precedence before all the skills and game plans.
The irony of being the lone Indian head coach in an IPL franchise is not lost on Anil Kumble who firmly believes that the piece of statistics is not a “true reflection” of the country’s coaching resources. “It is not a true reflection of the Indian resources. I would want to see many Indians being part of IPL as head coaches,” Kings XI Punjab head coach Kumble said.