It’s the shortest version of the game. Maybe it’s meant to be a three hour cricket movie. Maybe entertainment is the driving force behind this. Maybe rules made here or not made are not in the spirit of the game. Maybe the cheerleaders, the glam girls and the cricket jockeys are all there to give you more than just bats and balls. But finally, what is being played out on the field continues to be cricket. And, cricket seems to have triumphed in Season 2 of the Indian Premier League (IPL) having a blast in South Africa, April-May 2009.
There have been hard fought matches, very close and exciting ones and the nail biting finishes going all the way to the last ball. There have been ups and downs in team rankings and performances. Out of the eight teams four go to the semi finals. Except for Delhi Daredevils the rest three positions are still up for grabs with just ten days left for the tournament as on 14th May 2009.
The 14th May match between Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) and Chennai Super Kings (CSK) was a fantastic result for IPL 2. All the essential cricket ingredients were there. The glorious uncertainties, the sudden slumps and bounce-backs and continuing to be anybody’s game till the last ball. Along with Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) RCB was almost written off. But along came Anil Kumble, a senior player with fighting spirit and positive aggression, to captain the team and there had been just wins since then. This win was more significant as it came against CSK, the runners-up of IPL last and the strongest contender for the title. CSK also had Mahendra Singh Dhoni as captain. Team opener Matthew Hayden had been playing tremendous cricket too. Thanks to this win RCB is now back in contention for the top four spots.
Cricket does not need the flavored toppings to be served. Basically a tournament that became a runaway hit in cricket crazy India and filled mostly with Indian cricketing icons and promising youngsters was shifted out to South Africa and even there it got lapped up by the crowds. This was for the spirit of cricket. Cricket will always triumph, be it the longest or the shortest versions, as long as it does not get reduced to a mockery.