After a crazy one and a half months packed with cricketainment, Monday saw the hangover of the IPL season. City pubs enjoying consistent patronage from fans, celebrations with flags across the city during SRH matches and those jubilant moments of a wicket or a killer six evincing a unanimous roar, all came to a close with Mumbai Indians stealing a sweet debut victory from Chennai Super Kings on Sunday night. TV moments like the noisy crowds, the peppy cheer leaders breaking a leg, the Mexican wave, the ‘Oh yes abhi’ moment, expert commentaries and a little ‘balle balle’ by Siddhu paji at the studio will all be missed.
But before we settle down to a routine, here are some of the best (and worst) moments of this year’s IPL.
The famous IPL ‘Gangnam style’
It may be the Gentleman’s game, but cricket has come a long way from where it started. If players earlier showed their excitement of taking an opponent down by a huddle with their teammates, our players have taken to breaking into jigs.
As soon as a wicket falls or after a six, fans are eager to see their favourite players like Sammy, Gayle, Virat, Pollard and Harbhajan mimic the now-famous Korean pop artist. The entertainment factor lies in such acts and the spectators enjoy every part of it. “Some people might call showing-off but I absolutely love watching cricketers celebrate on field. The more expressive they are, the more the play interests us. My favourite moment was Darren Sammy’s dance after the Sunrisers team qualified to the play-offs post a nail-biting match with KKR,” says Sahaja Nelakanti, a Fine Arts student who did not miss a single match in Hyderabad.
The verbal chaos
This season was riddled with controversies, starting from Gambhir exchanging harsh words with Dravid, captain of Rajasthan Royals to Virat Kohli who slammed the Mumbai crowd who booed him. With Mumbaikers taking IPL too seriously, the former under-19 Indian cricket captain and current captain of the Bangalore team got upset with the local crowd’s sport spirit. “Firstly it is not a great sight to see two Indian players get verbal on field. The last person you would want to hear harsh words from would be Rahul Dravid. But Pollard’s aggressive send-off to RR’s player Rahane and Watson did shake ‘the Wall’,” says engineering graduate Anurag Venkata.
It’s Gilchrist’s day
With this being Gilly’s last IPL season, smiles were wiped away from the faces of fans across the world. The former Deccan Chargers’ captain etched himself a permanent spot in the hearts of Hyderabadis. As he was and will never be regarded as a foreign player in India, it was a disappointment to see him go. “The way he ended his career is amazing. Who would have thought that he would bowl and take a wicket off the last ball? The fact that he ended it in India is overwhelming. Loved Gilly’s ‘Gangnam Style’ too. It was great to see the cricketing genius dance and have fun on the field. Sad that it is the last time though,” says Kubra Fatima, a head over heels fan of the captain of Kings XI Punjab.
‘On spot’ fixing
On the fine morning of May 17, IPL lovers faced the ugly truth of the sport. The recent episode of spot fixing which named and shamed Sreesanth Nair, shook fans across the country. An engineering graduate Sahil Kaul says, “Many people in the past have always wondered if IPL was untainted and this was brought into question by a number of incidents in a lot of matches, both this season and before. The news did come as a shocker to me, but it was something I half expected as well. This may lead to a trial of more people involved in spot fixing.”
Pune team quit IPL
The news of Sahara quitting IPL added to the ongoing drama. The team announced its withdrawl from the Indian Premier League with the Board of Control of Cricket in India (BCCI) not fulfilling their financial commitments towards the team. It remains unclear as to what the real issue between the two could be. “It’s sad the way Sahara has pulled out of IPL. But being a national cricket team sponsor, BCCI’s problems have just begun as the national team will bear the brunt of the fallout between Sahara and the IPL council, considering BCCI’s earlier attempts to look out for new sponsors were in vain,” says Rashmi Shastry who is a huge cricket buff.
Either ways, on the whole, this year’s IPL had a bit everything. From the women commentators being ribbed about their lack of sporting knowledge (really, who’s fault is that if they were hired anyway?), to Sachin Tendulkar announcing as well that this would be his last IPL, viewers were on a ride.
While the sixth Indian Premier League season recorded a growth of 52 per cent in viewership on the Internet as compared to the previous season, we’ll have to see if it continues the good streak next IPL. Until the, we have the Champions Trophy coming up in the first week of June to tide us over.