Former India cricketer Aakash Chopra has said that Hardik Pandya is the most matured captain, as the all-rounder gears up for his first tour as skipper.Hardik has been in some sensational form both with the bat and ball and was the highest run-getter for Gujarat Titans in the recently-concluded IPL.BCCI has named Pandya as the captain of the Indian side for Ireland T20Is as it picked a 17-member squad on Wednesday.All-rounder Pandya will lead the side during the tour while pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar will be his deputy. Team India will play two T20Is in Dublin on June 26 and June 28.”Rise and rise of Hardik Pandya. Even though he’s captained only one season…I feel that he’s the most matured captain amongst the younger lot of contenders. Here’s wishing him all the very best for the first assignment for Team India,” Aakash Chopra said exclusively on the Koo app.Meanwhile, batter Rahul Tripathi, who represented Sunrisers Hyderabad in IPL 2022 has earned his maiden national side call-up.Batters Suryakumar Yadav and Sanju Samson will also make a return to the side.India’s T20I squad: Hardik Pandya (captain), Bhuvneshwar Kumar (vice-captain), Ishan Kishan, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Sanju Samson, Suryakumar Yadav, Venkatesh Iyer, Deepak Hooda, Rahul Tripathi, Dinesh Karthik (wicket-keeper), Yuzvendra Chahal, Axar Patel, Ravi Bishnoi, Harshal Patel, Avesh Khan, Arshdeep Singh, Umran Malik.
THE THREE-DAY e-auction of media rights for the IPL’s 2023-2027 cycle has fetched the BCCI Rs 48,390 crore, with Disney-Star bagging TV rights for the Indian subcontinent and Viacom18/ Reliance sweeping the digital segment.The bidding was done on a per-game basis, which means the rights holders will collectively pay the cricket board Rs 118.02 crore per match for the next five-year cycle. Currently, there are 74 matches in every IPL season, and the number is likely to go up. Over a five-year period, the total number is going to be 410.Disney-Star bagged Package A – TV rights for the Indian subcontinent – for Rs 23,575 crore.Since its inception, the IPL has been synonymous with growth & today is a red-letter day for India Cricket, with Brand IPLtouching a new high with e-auction resulting in INR 48,390 cr value. IPL is now the 2nd most valued sporting league in the world in terms of permatch value!— Jay Shah (@JayShah) June 14, 2022Viacom18/ Reliance, which picked up Packages B and C, will pay the board Rs 23,758 crore — B covers digital rights for the Indian subcontinent and C a special bouquet of 18 matches per season with non-exclusive digital rights for the same region.Viacom18 and Times shared Package D — world rights for TV and digital — for Rs 1,057 crore. To put these numbers in perspective, Star India had won the IPL media rights for the 2018-2022 cycle with a composite bid of Rs 16,347.5 crore that included both TV and digital, paying Rs 54.5 crore per match.This time, the IPL media rights value saw a three-fold increase with digital turning out to be the key component. After setting the combined base price at Rs 32,890 crore, the BCCI expected a windfall in excess of Rs 45,000 crore — and it wasn’t off the mark. Doing away with composite bids, with an eye on higher bids in the digital segment, marked the highlight of its business strategy.“India has seen a digital revolution & the sector has endless potential. The digital landscape has changed the way cricket is watched. It has been a big factor in the growth of the game & the Digital India vision,” BCCI secretary Jay Shah tweeted after the e-auction.The fourth edition of the Indian Over-the-Top (OTT) Platforms Report 2021 (post-pandemic consumption), published by MICA Ahmedabad this year, showed that digital subscriptions grew by 49 per cent. Consumption was highest among viewers aged 15-34 — an age-group that caters to the IPL’s die-hard fan base.Then again, Disney-Star’s digital platform Hotstar was instrumental in bringing about the change, taking the game to consumers’ mobile phones. The move was masterminded by Uday Shankar, the erstwhile chairman-cum-CEO of Star India, who had pulled off a Packer-like coup in cricket broadcasting in 2017. Five years down the line, Shankar was on Viacom18/Reliance’s side as the company staved off Star’s aggressive bidding, it is learnt. “The BCCI will utilise the revenue generated from IPL to strengthen our domestic cricket structure starting from grassroots, to boost infrastructure and spruce up facilities across India and enrich the overall cricket-watching experience,” Shah posted.Thank you, @StarSportsIndia for renewing the partnership! Welcome on-board @viacom18 and @TimesInternet. This is just the start of a promising 5-year journey. We can't wait to get going. #TATAIPL— IndianPremierLeague (@IPL) June 14, 2022“Now, it’s time for state associations, IPL franchises to work together with the IPL to enhance the fan experience and ensure that our biggest stakeholder — ‘the cricket fan’ is well looked after and enjoys high quality cricket in world-class facilities,” he wrote.The BCCI has already announced a substantial hike in monthly pensions of former cricketers and umpires, benefiting around 900 personnel, with effect from June 1.The Indian Express had reported before the auction that the IPL’s per-game value for the next cycle would trump the English Premier League and make it the No. 2 sports league in the world behind the National Football League (NFL). At $15.1 million per game (converted to US dollars), the IPL comfortably leapt past the Premier League, where the broadcasters pay around $11 million per match. Shah called it a “red-letter day for Indian cricket”.But with cricket taken seriously as a commercial proposition in just about 10 countries, the big question is: will recouping the money be a problem?“With 60 per cent of the current advertisers being start-ups and with the muted global funding mood, it will not be easy for broadcasters to recover the investment for at least an initial couple of years of the contract period…(They) may have to go through a rough period,” Himanshu Arora, co-founder of marketing and advertising agency Social Panga, told The Indian Express.As for cricket, according to an IPL franchise executive, an exponential growth in media rights revenue is likely to increase the team purse also. At the moment, it has been set at Rs 95 crore and Rs 100 crore for the next two years.
Good morning,In today’s edition: Uttar Pradesh government sends in bulldozers again; Sri Lankan official claims PM Modi pressured President Rajapaksa to give power project to Adani; IPL media rights cross Rs 100 cr bid on day 1 of e-auction and moreLater today: Congress leaders, including the party’s two Chief Ministers Ashok Gehlot and Bhupesh Baghel, will take out a solidarity march to the ED headquarters as former party president Rahul Gandhi is set to appear before the agency.🚨 The Big StoryThe bulldozers were out on Sunday again, after demolishing properties of the accused in Kanpur and Saharanpur, this time to bring down the house of Mohammad Javed, a political activist and businessman arrested for his alleged role in Friday’s violence in Prayagraj. Just a day’s notice was served to vacate the house despite claims by the administration that Javed was served earlier on May 10.🔴 Police claimed recovery of country-made pistols, several cartridges and objectionable posters during a search operation at Javed’s residence. 🔴 Javed’s younger daughter Sumaiyya Fatima, 19, however, said all this was “fabricated and made up” and it was done to “frame us”. 🔴 Javed’s family counsel said the house was in the name of Javed’s wife. As per Muslim law, he said, the wife’s property does not belong to the husband. Meanwhile, cases challenging the bulldozing of houses, under the pretext of alleged violations of the state’s municipal and urban planning laws, are in limbo. In many cases, notices are issued but the demolition is timed with a protest and a particular section is targeted giving the subject no time to appeal. Former Allahabad High Court Chief Justice Govind Mathur told The Indian Express: “This is totally illegal. Even if you assume for a moment that the construction was illegal… it is impermissible that you demolish a house on a Sunday when the residents are in custody…”Bangladesh’s Information and Broadcasting Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud refused to be drawn into the controversy around the derogatory references to the Prophet, saying this is India’s internal matter and the government in Dhaka need not respond to it. ⚡ Only in the ExpressThe newly appointed Chief Election Commission has renewed the commission’s proposals for banning opinion polls and exit polls as well as limiting the seats from which a candidate can contest to just one, The Indian Express has learnt.📰 From the Front PageA senior Sri Lanka official claimed before a Lankan parliamentary panel that Prime Minister Narendra Modi allegedly pressured President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to award a power project to the Adani Group, but retracted the statement a day later as the controversy spiralled. Sri Lanka President Rajapaksa “vehemently” denied the allegation.Amid mounting uncertainties over the civil nuclear partnership with Russia in the wake of the Ukraine war, there are indications of fresh progress on the much-delayed deal with French power utility EDF for the supply of six EPR (European Pressurised Water Reactors) nuclear reactors. If the deal takes off, it would be the largest nuclear power generating site in the country with a total capacity of 9,900 MWe and one of the biggest-ever export deals for the French side.👩💻 Must ReadAt stumps on Day 1, the scorecard looked healthy. The TV rights bid had reached Rs 57 crore per game and digital rights Rs 48 crore per game at the e-auction. Taken together, the IPL 2023-2027 cycle’s per-game media rights value stood at Rs 105 crore — and Rs 43,050 crore for the five-year period, an increase of Rs 10,160 crore from the BCCI’s base price of Rs 32,890 crore.With Ahmedabad’s own rath yatra around the corner, and tensions simmering in the wake of protests over remarks against the Prophet made by BJP’s Nupur Sharma, the city’s police are moving to secure the procession’s route using a popular “glue”: cricket.⌛ And Finally…🤐 Ahead of the Presidential polls, activities in the Opposition camp to field a joint consensus candidate are gaining pace. On Sunday, AAP Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh flew down to Mumbai to meet NCP supremo Sharad Pawar. Sources said while the AAP was open to the possibility of supporting Pawar as the joint candidate, it was not averse to further deliberations on the issue.🎧 Indian Express’s Sukrita Baruah spent 5 weeks in a fifth-grade maths classroom in Delhi to observe one teacher as she tried to bridge the learning gap that occurred due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Here is what we learned. Until tomorrow,Leela Prasad
The media rights auction of a T20 league could be played out like a Test match. It’s going to be a long drawn out process.The e-auction for the IPL media rights – linear and digital – for the 2023-2027 cycle commences at 11 am on Sunday in Mumbai. There’s no end date and the entire process could spill over to the next few days. So the winner might not be announced on Sunday. Bids will be conducted per match basis, not for the entire season or the entire five-year cycle. The minimum bid increment (MBI) value is Rs 50 lakh and to maintain complete transparency, all the parties concerned, including the BCCI, will not get to see the bids until the highest bids are flashed on the monitor.Four-pack offeringsThere are four packages – A, B, C and D. Package A is the TV rights for the Indian subcontinent only. Package B deals with the digital rights for the Indian subcontinent. Package C has a special bouquet of matches, with non-exclusive digital rights for the Indian subcontinent. This includes tournament openers and playoffs. At the moment, the number is 18, with a total of 74 games to be played in the tournament. In the future, if the total number of matches increases, the number of games in Package C will rise in a ratio of two for every 10 games. For example, if the total number of matches rises to 84, Package C will offer a bouquet of 10 games. This has been introduced to attract companies who are willing to get a small share of the cricket pie, fetching the cricket board big money in the process. Package D contains the world rights for TV and digital.Getting to the businessPackage A and B will be rolled out upfront. The bidding commences from the base price of Rs 49 crore per game for the TV rights and Rs 33 crore per game for the digital rights. The competing parties will place their bids through an online portal. Once a bid is placed, the auctioneer will wait for 30 minutes for the next bid to come in. With the MIB being Rs 50 lakh, the auction will go on until the bids are exhausted.Going digitalDigital viewership’s fast-growing popularity is a reason why the BCCI has done away with composite bids and gone for separate bidding this term. Currently 30 per cent of Hotstar’s global revenue comes from India, with the IPL being the determining factor. Reliance’s Jio, meanwhile, has grown to be the country’s largest telecommunications company.With digital viewing expected to be the name of the game in the near future, an intense battle between Disney-Star, Viacom18/Reliance, Sony and Zee could be on the cards. Five years ago, Facebook was the highest bidder in the digital rights segment, with a bid of Rs 3,900 crore, which amounted to around Rs 54.6 crore per game. Star India won the media rights with a composite bid of Rs 16,347.5 crore.This time, with Rs 33 crore being the base price per game for the digital rights in the subcontinent only, the BCCI is expecting an unprecedented windfall from this segment. The fourth edition of the Indian Over-the-Top (OTT) Platforms Report 2021 (post-pandemic consumption), published by MICA Ahmedabad this year showed that digital subscriptions grew by 49 per cent. Consumption was highest among viewers aged 15-34; an age-group that caters to the IPL’s die-hard fan base.Financial obligationGiven that the base prices per game in the four packages are Rs 49 crore, Rs 33 crore, Rs 11 crore and Rs 3 crore respectively, and 74 matches are to be played in a season, increasing the bid by Rs 50 lakh, a participant increases its bid value by Rs 37 crore extra (74 X 50 lakh) per season and five times more for the entire five-year package.Financial obligation grows staggeringly in hundreds of crores with every MBI of Rs 50 lakh.Enjoy the differenceAt the e-auction, a company can separately put in bids for all the packages. The winner of Package A will get an automatic choice to offer five per cent more than the highest bid for Package B. Similarly, the winner of Package B will have the leeway to offer five per cent more than the highest bids in Package C and D. This, though, will have to be done within a stipulated time.High transparency quotientCirca 2017 saw closed-bidding. This time, the names of the bidders will not be revealed to ensure that rivals don’t get any inkling and inflate the whole process. Even the BCCI officials won’t get to see the bids until the highest bids across categories are shown live on the screen. The BCCI has roped in Mjunction to provide the platform for the e-auction.Big guns firingSeven companies have submitted their technical bids, but watch out for Disney-Star, the incumbent rights holder, and Viacom18/Reliance. Star under Uday Shankar had paid 158 per cent more than the previous rights cycle to acquire the IPL media rights five years ago. Five years down the line, Shankar is on Viacom18/Reliance’s side, while Sony – it held the rights from 2008 to 2017 – and Zee could be the other two main players.Package offerPackage ATV rights for the Indian subcontinentBase price ` 49 crore per gamePackage B Digital rights for the Indian subcontinentBase price ` 33 crore per gamePackage CA bouquet of 18 matches with non-exclusive digital rightsBase price ` 11 crore per gamePackage DWorld rights for TV and digital – Base price ` 3 croreTotal base price all combined is set at 32,890 crore
On the eve of the e-auction for Indian Premier League’s (IPL) five-year media rights, the Indian cricket board is bullish: currently at No. 4 behind National Football League (NFL), English Premier League (EPL), and Major League Baseball (MLB), in terms of “per match broadcasting fees” the board expects IPL to jump to the second spot.Unperturbed by the late withdrawal of e-commerce giant Amazon from the high-profile race that still has old-hand sports broadcasters Disney Star, Sony, Zee, along with the new entrant Viacom-Reliance, Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) secretary Jay Shah said that even if the rights go at base price, the valuation of cricket’s biggest tournament would have taken a giant leap.“At present, an National Football League game costs a broadcaster about $17 million, which is the highest for any sports league. That’s followed by English Premier League, at $11 million and the Major League Baseball figure, too, is roughly the same. In the last five-year cycle, we got $9 million from one IPL game. This time, going by the present minimum base price that we have set, BCCI will get paid $12 million per IPL match. That’s a giant leap for Indian cricket on the world stage. We will be just behind NFL,” Shah told The Indian Express quoting a BCCI study on global sports leagues.For the BCCI, this will be the second successive broadcasting windfall from their five-year cycles. Back in 2017, the overall IPL rights went to Star India for around $3 billion, an unheard amount for a cricket deal back then.With IPL now a 10-team tournament and the duration of the league expected to be further stretched, the 2023-27 media rights deal is expected to break new ground.An early indicator of Brand IPL growing despite the pandemic lull was the sale of two new teams earlier this year: BCCI earned a total of $1.7 billion, with the Lucknow franchise going for 250 per cent more than the base price.According to Shah, the BCCI opted for an e-auction for “better price discovery”. By this process, the bidders will be following the auction online, with each bid displayed on their screens simultaneously. Only after a winner is decided, will the name of the bidder be revealed. “This also keeps the process transparent,” said Shah.The media rights this time are divided into four categories: Package A: Indian subcontinent television; Package B: Digital space; Package C: Special bouquet of important matches; Package D: Overseas rights.The special bouquet that includes weekend games, playoffs and final, is expected to undermine the exclusivity of Package A and B. Shah said this was done so that IPL has more broadcasting partners.Top Sports News Now$12 mn per match, IPL set to be No. 2 most lucrative global sports leagueWhile You Were Asleep: Sahal wins it for India, England hit rock bottom in Nations League & Kyrgios faces racist abuseIPL Media rights auction: No quick winners in this long-drawn TestClick here for more “If we had done this conventionally, we would have only a limited number of participants. We introduced Package C because we wanted many players to participate in the tendering process. This helps cricket grow, we need to expand the game and this will help. If more players are in the fray, it will be good for the game,” he said. Citing NFL’s example he said, “They have seven broadcasting partners, we are looking at just three or four.”With Reliance’s Voot, Disney’s Hotstar, along with Zee and Sony’s OTT platforms, already involved in an intense battle to win eyeballs, this time around the digital rights amount may even outdo television bid.Shah is aware of it. “By 2024, India will have 900 million internet users. That’s the reason digital rights become very important for the growth of cricket,” he said.Since IPL isn’t a year-long affair, the total broadcast contract value of the league is far less than the other premier sports leagues. NFL with $43 billion and NBA with $23 billion are head and shoulders above the rest.“We are committed to the ICC FTP (Future Tours Programme). The Indian cricket team is our primary responsibility. By playing away games, other cricketing nations earn revenue. We have a responsibility to let the game grow around the world,” Shah said.
Ahmedabad: An engineer of Vadodara, who came to the city to watch the final match of the IPL on May 29, on Monday filed a complaint of theft alleging that his gold chain worth Rs 72,000 was stolen during the cricket match held in Narendra Modi Stadium in Motera.Devanshu Chaudhary, a resident of Adinath society on VIP Road in Karelibaug of Vadodara, said that he works as deputy engineer with a company in Halol.He had come to Ahmedabad to watch the cricket match for which he booked a ticket in the B block in the stadium. Chaudhary said that he went to a water stall near ramp number-1 in the B block which was a crowded place.He said that someone took advantage of the crowd and took away his gold chain. Chaudhary went to Vadodara and found out the bill of that gold chain. He again came to the city on Monday and filed a complaint of theft against unknown persons. TNN
Ahmedabad: The cybercell of the Ahmedabad range on Tuesday caught a Vasna resident for allegedly duping a man from Vahelal of Rs 2.56 lakh by promising him 139 tickets of the final match of Indian Premier League (IPL) played between Gujarat Titans and Rajasthan Royals on May 29.Tarang Patel, 23, an MBA student with a private university of Dholka, said in his FIR with Cybercell police of Ahmedabad range that the accused Jay Shah, a resident of Shantivila Apartment of Vasna, called him up on May 26 and asked if he needed tickets of the IPL final match.Sources in the police said that Shah told Patel that he worked in the ticket distribution section of the Narendra Modi Stadium and he could provide him as many tickets as he required.A police officer said that as Shah was introduced to Patel earlier by a deputy mamlatdar, Patel trusted him.Convinced with Shah, Patel first sought tickets for his 18 friends for which he paid Rs 42,500 to him through a UPI payment on May 26.Later, he told Shah to arrange 121 more tickets and booked a premium box in the stadium.Patel ended up paying Rs 2.56 lakh to Shah. Patel was told that he would get all the tickets by May 27 afternoon, but he did not get a single ticket.Patel told the cops that he waited for the tickets till the match started and Shah kept telling him that he would arrange the tickets somehow.Cops said that Patel had filed an application to register a complaint against Shah. The police officers inquired into the case and nabbed Shah, who does not do any job or business according to the cops, and mainly depends on petty jobs.On a query about seeking the tickets in bulk by the MBA student, police officers said that he only wanted to take his friends and family members to watch that match.
A 23-year-old MBA student from Vahelal in Daskroi lost Rs2.56 lakh to fraudsters after he tried to buy tickets for the IPL final match between Gujarat Titans and Rajasthan Royals. A complaint filed with the Cybercrime Cell states that Tarang Patel, an MBA student of Rai University got a phone call from a person selling IPL tickets. Patel got the call a day before the IPL finals. Patel initially refused but later decided to buy tickets after consulting friends. He then called the number and bought 139 tickets. In all, he paid Rs 2.56 lakh online via UPI. The caller asked Patel to collect the tickets in the evening however he did not get any. AM
South Africa skipper Temba Bavuma feels that the upcoming five-match T20I series against India will certainly be important for his team to play together for the first time since the conclusion of ICC Men’s T20 World Cup last year in the UAE.Both India and South Africa had exited the mega event in the Super 10 stage. But the Proteas had a better tournament, winning four out of five matches and narrowly missed out on semifinals due to net run rate.The upcoming T20I series, starting from June 9 and ending on June 19, serves as resumption of preparations for both South Africa and India towards the Men’s T20 World Cup in Australia later in the year.This will be the third time South Africa will be playing bilateral T20I series in India after October 2015 (won 2-0 by the Proteas) and September 2019 (drawn 1-1).”These games (five matches against India) are definitely important. As a T20 squad, It’s the first time we’ll be together since the World Cup. I guess just that experience of being together, us reminding ourselves of the good things that we did, how we go about playing cricket and also seeing the new faces that are within the squad, to see how those guys can come in and add value. That’s an exciting prospect,” Bavuma was quoted as saying by The Cricket Monthly.Bavuma pointed out that South Africa has to improve its batting order if they were to go all the way to the trophy.”If we can get better from our previous showing, we can achieve anything. But realistically there is stuff that we need to do. If I look at our bowling attack, it can be seen as one of the best around. Probably with the batting there’s a bit more we need to add in terms of competing with the best.”A bit more consistency at the top. The guys in the middle played quite well. Guys stepped up at different moments within games, within series. From a batting point of view, we need more at the top.”Bavuma admitted that he hadn’t seen much of IPL 2022 but was happy to see his team-mates get a chance to play in the tournament.”It’s nice to see some of our guys doing well. KG (Kagiso Rabada) en route to being the quickest to 100 wickets. Quicker than (Lasith) Malinga. That’s something to be proud of. And Marco Jansen — how he has gone and performed. Or Aiden (Markram).”And even the younger guys who have showed their ability. There is a lot of talk about Dewald Brevis. He is an exciting prospect for our cricket. And Tristan Stubbs, getting a go. It’s been nice to see those guys.”Asked about his expectation to play in IPL, Bavuma signed off by saying he would like to experience life in the extravagant T20 league.”I’d like to play there. The stronger my performances, the more realistic the opportunity becomes. I’ve also developed this fantasy of captaining a team. I don’t know where that comes from. I’d like to get that experience as well. But I kinda need to get into a team before that happens!”
Gujarat Titans’ triumph in the 2022 edition in their debut season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) has catapulted their skipper and India allrounder Hardik Pandya into the top echelons of Indian cricket with many predicting him as a future captain of the national team.Taking into account the way Pandya led Gujarat Titans throughout IPL 2022, former India star Sanjay Manjrekar sees shades of former India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni in his leadership.In the final, Pandya claimed the best figures of his IPL career so far, taking 3/17 in four overs to help restrict Rajasthan Royals to 130/9 in 20 overs. He did well with the bat too, scoring 34 off 30 balls as the Titans successfully chased the”Hardik Pandya bowled well. In batting too, he batted in all gears while playing at the crucial No.4 spot. He captained the team like MS Dhoni. R Sai Kishore bowled the 16th and 18th overs in the final,” Manjrekar told ESPNcricinfo.”His captaincy was similar to MS Dhoni’s, as he made the decisions according to match situations. He seems to be enjoying the captaincy and looks very relaxed,” he further added.Manjrekar and many others noticed the similarities with Dhoni in field placings and bowling changes made by Pandya, who has now figured in five IPL-winning campaigns. While MSD led Chennai Super Kings to four titles, Pandya was part of the Mumbai Indians’ team that won the titles in 2015, 2017, 2019 and 2020. Gujarat Titans’ triumph in 2022 takes his IPL titles count to five.Rohit Sharma leads the list of players with the most IPL titles with six, with Kieron Pollard and Ambati Rayudu with five titles each alongside Pandya. Pollard won all his titles with Mumbai Indians while Rayudu won three with MI and two with CSK.
India’s batting legend Sachin Tendulkar has omitted the likes of Royal Challengers Bangalore cricketer Virat Kohli and Mumbai Indians skipper Rohit Sharma from his list of the “Best Playing XI” from the just-concluded IPL 2022 season.While Gujarat Titans, led by all-rounder Hardik Pandya, went on to lift the trophy at the Narendra Modi Stadium on Sunday night defeating Rajasthan Royals by seven wickets, the Rohit Sharma-led MI had the worst season this year, finishing 10th and last.Tendulkar said his list was based purely on the performance of this IPL season and had nothing to do with previous editions. And, in this edition of the IPL, both Sharma and Kohli performed miserably, even though the latter’s side made it to the playoffs stage.”It’s got nothing to do with players’ reputation or their past performances. It is purely based on their performances this season and what they have been able to achieve this season,” Tendulkar said on his YouTube channel.Tendulkar’s team, led by Hardik Pandya, has the likes of charismatic England batter Jos Buttler — who scored a whopping 863 runs for the Royals —, Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, David Miller, Liam Livingstone, Dinesh Karthik, Rashid Khan, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah and Yuzvendra Chahal.”Hardik was the standout captain this season. He was clear in his mind, proactive. I always say that don’t regret, celebrate. If you are able to celebrate, it means the captain is outsmarting the opposition and that is what Hardik did,” opined the legend.Tendulkar said that he would pick a left-right combination at the top of the batting order, and that Buttler and Dhawan were the best this season. With Buttler emerging the second-highest run-getter ever in a single IPL season and Dhawan also scoring 460 runs in 14 matches, the choice was easy to make for the former cricketer.Tendulkar then picked Lucknow Super Gianst skipper KL Rahul at No.3. The hot-shot batter scored 616 runs in 15 innings and was only surpassed by Buttler this season. “I really like his stability and consistency. He is a player who can pick singles and when he wants to hit sixes he has the ability to do that as well,” said Tendulkar.Tendulkar’s logic behind bringing Pandya at No. 4 and his teammate David Miller at No. 5 was that a left-right combination lent solidity in the middle overs.”Bringing another left hander here because the left-right combination is important. There are a number of names who were there but I am going to play David Miller. He showed tremendous form, very good consistency and played some crucial knocks. What I observed this season was that he was able to hit towards all sides of the ground. It was proper cricketing shots and it was a treat to watch.”At No. 6, Tendulkar had hard-hitter Liam Livingstone, followed by RCB’s slog-ver specialist Dinesh Karthik.”(Livingston) has the ability to hit sixes, dangerous player. He is very clear in his mind and backs himself. Dinesh Karthik showed extraordinary consistency this season. I felt he looked calm and composed. He looked in control,” Tendulkar said.
A19-year-old BCom student who thought of cashing in on the IPL final in the city was stopped in his tracks by the Cyber Crime cell before he could sell the tickets in black through social media. Based on the IP address, the police detained the teenager for black-marketing 10 tickets of IPL final to be played between Gujarat Titans and Rajasthan Royals at Narendra Modi Stadium on Sunday.The teen was nabbed as part of the city police and Cyber Cell’s effort to prevent black-marketing of IPL tickets. DCP Zone-2 has formed 17 teams to keep a watch on people selling IPL tickets illegally.Police said the Cybercrime Cell while surfing the internet to check for potential black marketeers found a person selling IPL tickets for Rs 90,000 on a social media platform. “The cops identified the IP log address of the device from which the teenager was trying to sell the ticket and picked him up,” said a police source.The teen told the cops that he lived as a paying guest and often visited a restaurant for dinner where he met a person who wanted to sell 10 IPL tickets each worth Rs 3,500 for Rs 80,000.“The teenager who is studying for his BCom degree bought the tickets and tried to sell them for Rs 90,000 through Facebook,” said the cops. The teen has also appeared for his IELTS exams and plans to go abroad for his studies. “He told us that he only wanted to make quick bucks and pleaded that an offence against him would ruin his career. Given his age and that he was planning to go abroad for further studies, we let him off with a warning as filing an FIR would have ruined his career prospects,” said a cop. However, we are keeping an eye on his movement, said the cops.So far, apart from the teen, two others Anurag Galiya of Gota and Ashish Makhija of Sardarnagar were nabbed for black-marketing of IPL tickets.The two were caught trying to resell tickets for the match between RCB and RR, which was held on Friday.Another person, Yashraj Maheshwari of Satellite was arrested with liquor bottles, while several others were arrested across the city for pickpocketing and stealing of mobile phones of spectators who came to watch the match.
Ahmedabad: The three consecutive sixes that he smashed off Prasidh Krishna to seal the first Qualifier against the Rajasthan Royals, when his team needed 16 off the final over, at the Eden Gardens reflected how devastating David Miller can be when he’s on song.Enjoying by far the best of his nine IPL seasons so far, the 32-year-old South African has scored 449 runs in 15 email@example.com to become the top run-scorer for his team. Playing at No 5, he’s looked far more dangerous than when he turned out for the Rajasthan Royals or Punjab Kings. His solid blows at the crunch have been a massive factor in GT’s superb run to the final. It’s difficult to believe that this left-hander is the same batsman who was struggling to prove his worth in IPL-2021 for the Royals-all he managed to score was 124 runs in nine matches. He played just a solitary game in IPL-2020, in which he got a duck. In IPL-2019, he put together 213 runs in 10 games for Kings XI Punjab. It wasn’t a surprise when he went unsold in the first round of this year’s IPL auction, before Gujarat Titans picked him up for Rs 3 cr. So far, that buy has proved to be a steal! Thanks to his captain Hardik Pandya, Miller has finally had ‘job security’ and ‘role clarity’ in IPL, and is making the most of it. “Definitely something that has changed this season is that I am playing every game. The last four-five years in the IPL, I had a bad season in 2016 and since then haven’t really felt that (good) at all. It is the nature of the IPL, that there are a lot of overseas players and only four can play. I had to go back and work on my game and just try to find a way to get it going. I have been backed all the way through, playing all the games and it allows you as a player to settle and really not worry about the selection, more so (on) winning games. That has been a standout to me this season,” explained Miller.Batting a spot higher at No 5, instead of his usual spot at No 6, has allowed him more time to get in, and the promotion also reflects the confidence that the team management has in his abilities to steer the team’s ship in the middle overs. “This season, I’ve been batting a bit higher. I have managed to bat from the start of the season and play all the games, so it has been enjoyable that I am not in and out and I have managed to build something the whole season and keep my confidence growing,” said the Proteas left-hander.The solid backing of the GT team management has helped him stay relaxed. “The environment has a big part to play in all our performances. As a player, if you are well-looked off the field, you feel comfortable and be yourself,” he said.
In all their 15 matches before Qualifier 2, Royal Challengers Bangalore had strong finishes with the bat which played a vital role in their successful campaign but it wasn’t the case against Rajasthan Royals, who knocked out the Faf du Plessis-led side from the IPL 2022.On Friday, it was only for the first time RCB failed to score 50 runs in the last five overs batting first in the IPL 2022 season.RCB were 123/3 at the end of the 15 overs and looked set to reach at least 170, with Rajat Patidar and Mahipal Lomror at the crease.However, Patidar couldn’t carry longer and departed soon after scoring a crucial fifty (58 off 42) as Jos Buttler took an excellent catch near the ropes in the bowling of Ravichandran Ashwin.Dinesh Karthik then joined Mahipal Lomror in the middle as Bangalore were eyeing a strong finish in the last four overs. But Lomror failed to deliver and got out to Obed McCoy after scoring just 8 runs.Thereafter, Prasidh Krishna, who gave away 16 in the last over that put Gujarat Titans in the final in the first Qualifier, on Friday dented RCB at the death.Off the first ball of the 19th over, the pacer got rid of RCB’s finisher Dinesh Karthik (6), who holed out to long on and bowled a searing yorker to knock out Wanindu Hasaranga’s stumps on the next delivery, stunning the RCB dugout.Harshal survived the hat-trick ball but the damage was done as Prasidh ended with figures of 3 for 22 — his joint second-best figures in T20 cricket. Obed McCoy, who finished with 3 for 23, came to bowl the last over where he conceded just three runs to leave RCB with a sub-par total of 157 for 8.Chasing a modest target, Jos Buttler smashed a superb unbeaten century (106 not out off 60) and led Rajasthan Royals to a convincing 7-wicket win over RCB in 18.1 overs. Apart from Buttler, the likes of Sanju Samson (23 off 21) and Yashasvi Jaiswal (21 off 13) also made vital contributions with the bat for RR.Speaking after the match, Rajasthan skipper Sanju Samson said belief and composure in their skills helped his bowlers deliver in the slog overs.”The wicket was a bit sticky and was helping the fast bowlers a bit, it had a really good bounce and was easier to play the spinners. We closed the innings really well, having DK and Maxi at the end we knew what they could do but having belief and composure in our skills is what got us through,” Samson said.It will be Rajasthan Royals’ first IPL final since 2008, when they won the title under the captaincy of legendary Shane Warne. Sanju Samson-led Rajasthan will now face Hardik Pandya’s Gujarat Titans in the final at the same stadium in front of a huge crowd on Sunday.
Ahmedabad: A team of local crime branch of zone-2 DCP squad of the city police on Friday nabbed a man from Gota for allegedly selling the tickets of the Indian Premier League (IPL) matches in black.According to the police officers, Anurag Galiya, 29, a resident of Shayona Tilak apartment in Gota, was selling the tickets of the eliminator match held on Friday in the Narendra Modi Stadium and for the final match on Sunday which will be held on the same venue. The police swung into action after a video showing Galiya purportedly selling the tickets near the cricket stadium went viral. When a police team caught him, they found four IPL tickets worth of Rs 2,500 each from him. He told the cops that he had obtained the tickets in bulk and used to sell them for double the price. Police sources said that there was another man selling the tickets of the IPL matches who succeeded to flee. tnn
Ahmedabad: An enthusiastic fan breached security at the stadium here to touch Virat Kohli in the IPL qualifier on Friday.Kohli was at the crease when the young man ran on to the field and attempted to shake hands with the superstar cricketer.But the fan, it seemed, could only touch the glove of Kohli who reluctantly put his hand forward to avoid the intrusion after the first ball of the match. A group of ground officials gave chase and eventually overpowered the man in yellow t-shirt before hauling him off the field as the crowd roared and clapped.This is the second straight instance of pitch invasion in the IPL with Wednesday's eliminator in Kolkata also witnessing a man running towards Kohli in the outfield before police carried the fan away much to the amusement of the Indian star. afp
It was cricket mania at the Narendra Modi Stadium where all roads converged on Friday for the second qualifier of the Indian Premier League (IPL) between Rajasthan Royals and Royal Challengers Bangalore. The venue will also host the IPL final.On Friday, cricket fans thronged the stadium in large numbers to watch their favourites in action. Spectators arrived as early as 3 pm waiting patiently for the stadium gates to open for the 7.30pm match.Though it was not the Gujarat Titans that were playing, Amdavadis came to the venue with their faces painted and dressed in the jerseys of RCB and RR.The face painters and hawkers selling the team merchandise did some brisk business thanks to the enthusiasm of the spectators.Not just Amdavadis, cricket fans from Surat, Rajasthan and Mumbai also arrived for the high octane second semifinal match.To control the flow of spectators, cops put up barricades on both ends of the road leading to the stadium. Only residents of the area were allowed to ply their vehicles on the stretch.Rahul (12) and his cousin made good the opportunity of the hot weather to sell bottled water to the spectators and made some quick bucks.Among the enthusiasts was a group of four friends who came from Banswara in Rajasthan to cheer for RR. Rakesh Patidar, a teacher who came with three of his friends, said they are here to cheer for RR. “We have only won the IPL once in 2008 when Shane Warne led the team. This year we are in the qualifier and will cheer at the top of our voice for our team,” said Patidar.His friend Vikas said this year the team is playing well and as a tribute to the late Shane Warne, they should win the trophy for him.Three other friends from Mumbai were in queue to watch the IPL match. One of them is an RCB fan, another backed the RR and the third was here to enjoy some good cricket.Ketan Devda (50), who came to watch the match with his friends Chetan Katira, an RCB fan, and Manoj Solanki, an RR fan, said his friends are here are backing the opposing teams, but he is here for cricket. “I am a big fan of cricket and it is like a festival for me,” said Devda.Isanpur resident Jignesh Patel took a day off from work to watch the match live. He was accompanied by his brother and children.“All of us are big fans of Virat Kohli and we came here to cheer for RCB. The children are excited too as this is the first time we get to watch a cricket match in the stadium without any restrictions since the Covid pandemic,” said Patel.Meanwhile, others used the crowd and the opportunity to spread some message of unity and brotherhood.Members of the Dharma Ekta Trust were seen distributing pamphlets with the message “Garv se kahiye hum Bharatiya hai’ written on it.Rajeshwar Brahmbhatt, a businessman who is part of the trust said their motto was to promote Bharatiya among Indians.“There is no better place to promote brotherhood than a cricket stadium as it is the biggest festival celebrated by all irrespective of caste, creed or religion,” said Brahmbhatt.
The IPL second qualifier match at the Narendra Modi Stadium not only attracted cricket fans but also entrepreneurs from far and wide who tried to cash in on the fervour for the game. Take the case of Dilip Kondari, 55, from Mumbai who has been selling cricket merchandise for 20 years.On Friday, he put up a stall outside the stadium and was among a group of 30 people who came from the Maximum City to sell cricket merchandise during the IPL game.Kondari said, unlike earlier, this year IPL matches are taking place at limited venues. “Earlier during the IPL we would visit different cities like Delhi, Kolkata, Bangalore to do business but this year we have set up a stall in Mumbai and have now come to Ahmedabad for the two matches,” he said. While he sells jerseys that mention Samson, Virat and Hardik, Kondari says every year the hot favourite changes.“When the IPL started in 2008, Sachin Tendulkar was in demand followed by Dhoni and this was irrespective of match venue. But this time, Virat Kohli and Hardik Pandya are the most in-demand with the former being the most sought after,” he said.Kondari has been to most cities where cricket is played, selling his wares outside stadiums.Rahul Pawar (17), another merchandise seller said he has so far sold two T-shirts both of Virat Kohli.“Kohli is the favourite this year,” said Pawar.The craze for Kohli was also evident outside the stadium with several fans wearing RCB T-shirts mentioning Kohli. Cousins Hussein and Ibrahim from Banswara in Rajasthan were spotted wearing RCB T-shirts that said their blood group is ‘Kohli positive’.Hussein told Mirror that though they are from Rajasthan and the match is between RCB and RR, they are here to cheer for Virat Kohli.“He is our favourite player and today he is unmatchable. We are excited to see Kohli play.”Ankit Majiwala and his six friends from Surat carried a banner with a quirky message mentioning ‘#virsuhka’. “This message was created by my friends and I as all of us are Kohli fans. We have come from Surat to watch Kohli play and want RCB to be in the finals.”
Qualifier 2 of IPL will be played between Rajasthan Royals and Royal Challengers Bangalore on May 27 at Narendra Modi Stadium at Motera. To avoid last minute hassles for spectators to park their vehicles, about 31 parking slots have been created, of which eight are for two-wheelers and 23 for cars. About 12,000 two-wheelers and 15,000 cars can be accommodated.Spectators coming with vehicles have to book their parking slots in advance using the ‘Show my parking’ mobile application.On Android download app fromhttps://tinyurl.com/smpandroid and on IOS it can be downloaded from https://tinyurl.com/smpios.
Even as the ‘Laal Singh Chaddha’ trailer is set for launch during the IPL final, Aamir Khan is going ahead with preperations for the big night seriously for his role as event host.While the much anticipated movie trailer will be launched during the first innings in the second timeout of the IPL final on May 29, it appears that Aamir Khan who stars in ‘Laal Singh Chaddha’ will also be anchoring the event.The videos shared by the makers of ‘Laal Singh Chaddha’, indicate Aamir Khan is also hosting the event where he will have a dialogue with world renowned cricketers including Harbhajan Singh.Aamir can be seen taking tips from a crew member of the TV channel, as to what kind of questions he should be asking of Harbhajan. Aamir then decides to go ahead and test his interviewing skills, resulting in a hilarious situation.This is for the first time that a trailer of an upcoming movie is being unveiled at a mega cricketing event on Indian television. The excitement amongst cricket and cinema lovers has made ‘Laal Singh Chaddha’ the most talked about topic on the Internet.The event is to be hosted by Aamir Khan from 6 p.m. onwards on May 29 on the Star Sports network and Disney+ Hotstar.
The grand finale of IPL 2022 on May 29 will be held for the first time at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad, the biggest cricket stadium in the world with a capacity of 1.25 lakh spectators. The celebrations won’t be a single-day affair as Ahmedabad will also be hosting Qualifier-2 on May 27.Fans will be treated to a heady cocktail of Bollywood and cricket, with the 50-minute closing ceremony — a cultural extravaganza including 300 folk dancers — being presided over by the likes of A R Rahman and Ranveer Singh. Aamir Khan is also expected to be at the stadium to promote his upcoming film besides a host of other Bollywood stars. A R Rahman will paymusical tribute to 75 years of Indian cricket to mark 75 years of Independence. Ranveer Singh will give a dance performance that has been choreographed by Shiamak Davar.To top it all, Gujarat Titans, the home team that made the debut in the 2022 season of the marquee T20 tournament, will be playing in the finals as favourites.The tickets ranging from Rs 500 to 20,000 for the two matches were sold online in just 36 hours. The tempo is already building up with fans from all over India arriving in Ahmedabad to collect physical tickets from the Motera stadium (despite online booking, one needs to collect physical tickets for entry into the stadium).Surendra Pal Singh, a businessman from Baroda, came to the Motera stadium on Wednesday to collect six tickets. “It’s better to collect the tickets in advance instead of wasting time on the match day. I had booked tickets for myself and six friends,” he told Mirror.Yashi Goyal from Indore, Aditya Bhojwani from Kota and Salman Patel and Kuran Khan from Dahod were also among the fans who arrived early in the city to collect their tickets.Parth Raval, who collected five tickets of Rs 1,000 each, said, “I came to collect tickets for my friends. I won’t be able to witness the finals but five of my friends will be lucky to attend it.”Aditya Bhojwani, who collected four tickets worth Rs 7,500 each, said, “My siblings have come all the way from Kota in Rajasthan. I study here and we will be watching IPL finals for the first time and that too at biggest cricket stadium in world.”I am from Indore but study here. I will be enjoying the Qualifier 2 match with my friends. This is the first time I will watching the match in a stadium–Yashi Goyal from Indore
BySarfaraz Shaikh & Brendan DadbhiWith IPL Qualifier-2 and the final of IPL to be played at Narendra Modi Cricket Stadium at Motera, along with high profile visits of PM Narendra Modi on May 28, and Union home minister also during the weekend, Gujarat police have turned the city into a fortress.About 5,210 police officers and personnel will be deployed for security arrangements of all three high-voltage events.About the bandobast, senior officials said one DIG rank police officer, 47 SP rank police offices, 84 DSP rank officers, 222 inspectors, 686 PSIs, 3,346 constables and 824 women police officers will be deployed for all three events — PM Modi visit and Amit Shah’s visit to the city.Police said apart from the bandobast, three Quick Response Teams (QRT), five hit teams of Chetak Commandos, 9 companies of SRPF and 28 teams of Bomb Detection and Disposal Squad will be deployed at the locations for the IPL matches, Rajkot and Gandhinagar where PM Modi will visit, and at Naranpura were the Union minister will visit.DGP Ashish Bhatia said all officers have been instructed to be on alert for all the high-profile events.Chief Fire Officer (CFO) Jayesh Khadia said two firefighters will be deployed in the parking area near the Motera stadium and two at the ground. “In case PM Narendra Modi arrives at the stadium, one more firefighter will be deployed at the ground. We have checked all fire-fighting systems at the stadium and found them to be fully operational,” he said.A top official said a special team has been formed to keep an eye on cricket betting activity during the matches. “We have even learnt that bookies have shown Gujarat Titans as favourites to win the title, have shifted their base from Gujarat and Mumbai and to another coastal tourist state. We are in touch with counterparts in that state,” the official said.City police sources said the rehearsals for security arrangements have started even as SPG officials, entrusted with the security of the PM, have already arrived in the city.
This weekend will be a hectic one for Gujarat police, and especially for the city police. With IPL Qualifier-2 to be played at Narendra Modi Cricket Stadium at Motera on May 27 and the final scheduled for May 29, police will be on their toes as Prime Minister Narendra Modi is to arrive on May 28. During his state visit, Modi will visit Rajkot and later go to Gandhinagar for a programme of the cooperatives department.An additional task on police’s hands is to rein in cricket bookies and keep an eagle eye on their activities. “We have deployed several teams that will be on the move to track bookies operating from isolated areas, farm houses, vehicles and rented homes. Another aspect is about ticket sales. While ticket bookingis done online which reduces chances of black-marketing, we are keeping a vigil for individuals and groups who buy tickets online and sell them at higher rates,” said a senior cop.City police commissioner Sanjay Srivastava said they are working on the security plan and it would be a very busy weekend for them. “We have to conduct two security rehearsals with Advance Security Liasoning (ASL) with officials of Special Protection Group (SPG) as PM Modi would be in the state. Union Home Minister Amit Shah will also be in the city to lay a foundation stone for a huge sports complex in Naranpura,” said Srivastava.Meanwhile, the traffic department has been tasked with parking arrangements for the two IPL matches at the stadium in Motera as huge crowds are expected to arrive for the matches. “Deputy Commissioner of Police (traffic) Aakash Patel has been given the responsibility to chalk out a parking arrangement plan to avoid chaos at the last moment,” said JCP(traffic) Mayanksinh Chavda.DCP Patel said they have put in place a traffic and parking arrangement plan. “Parking facilities will start about 200 metres from the cricket stadium. There will be separate spaces for two-wheelers and cars. Ten parking slots have been set aside for two-wheelers and 21 for cars,” Patel said.The traffic police have been allotted five officers of the rank of DCP, seven officers of the rank of ACP, 10 police Inspectors and 15 PSIs. The law and order bandobast is yet to be chalked out but officials said more than 5,000 personnel will be deployed on bandobast duty.
Inaugural IPL champions Rajasthan Royals on Saturday paid tribute to Australia leg-spin great and ‘first Royal’ Shane Warne in a heartwarming video ahead of their match against Mumbai Indians at the DY Patil Stadium on Saturday evening, which will be dedicated to the Australia leg-spin great.Warne left the cricketing world in mourning when he passed away due to a sudden heart attack at the age of 52 on March 4 at the Koh Samui Island in Thailand. Warne had coached and captained Rajasthan to victory in the inaugural edition of the IPL in 2008. After his playing days for Rajasthan were over, Warne took over as the mentor of the side for every edition of the IPL till 2021.”I think he was a very special individual, a very special cricketer for almost every cricketer in the world and it was the same for me! Players genuinely do feel let’s do it for Warnie this time,” said skipper Sanju Samson.Celebrating Warnie at our team hotel, made possible with our friends at @GrandHyattMum. 💗#ForWarnie | #RoyalsFamily pic.twitter.com/kRkLyUBxmLRajasthan will sport a special jersey with SW23 written on the leading collar against the Mumbai Indians as a tribute to Warne. The match against Mumbai will be played at the venue where Warne inspired Rajasthan to win IPL 2008 with a three-wicket victory against Chennai Super Kings.A special area at the DY Patil Stadium has also been turned into a Shane Warne Tribute Gallery apart from #ForWarnie kept as a hashtag for the special tribute on the franchise’s social media handles. Warne’s brother Jason will be flying to Mumbai to watch the match and be a part of the tribute. Wicketkeeper Jos Buttler, currently the leading run-scorer of the tournament, pointed out what made Warne special. “The belief he could instill in others I think it was the biggest thing I took away. Think he made you feel 10 feet tall when you were around him. Without really realizing I think we are all just obviously playing for something bigger than ourselves.”Leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal, the leading wicket-taker in the tournament, never got the chance to interact with Warne in the Rajasthan colours but felt that Warne’s best wishes were with him since the time he joined the team.”I got my first hattrick after coming here, so I think his wishes have and will always remain with me. So, I think his wishes have and will always stay with me. And if we win the IPL then, that trophy will obviously be for him.”Rajasthan are at second place in the points table of this year’s IPL, with 12 points from eight matches. Rajasthan CEO Jake Lush McCrum felt Warne would have been proud of team’s performance in the tournament.”I think he would have been proud of the way the guys have played this year. He would have been proud of the way we have approached the game. His last game for RR was against Mumbai. We won the IPL in the DY Patil Stadium which is where this match is being held. So, I think it’s going to be a great celebration of sport and celebration of him to be on such a game.”Team Manager Romi Bhinder recalled an incident where everyone felt Warne’s presence was still in the side. “We have put up a picture of him where his hand is outstretched and a few days ago, I saw Jos giving him a high five and saying ‘Legend’! These are the small things like this where the team feels his presence.”The video ended with a throwback clipping of Warne saying, “The key to IPL, what I found out and thought about was the first thing, you have to win people’s hearts.”
In the ongoing edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), Gujarat Titans have turned out to be the surprise package. Many had felt that Gujarat hadn’t got a decent side after the mega auction ended. But to everyone’s surprise, Gujarat have been a force to reckon with, winning six of their seven matches and sitting pretty on top of points table.One of the big factors for Gujarat’s success has been the performance of Hardik Pandya as captain and player. With the bat, he is the leading run-getter for the side while batting at three and four, scoring 295 runs at an average of 73.75 and strike-rate of 136.6. With his right-arm pace, he has picked four wickets at an economy rate of 7.6. As a captain, Pandya has marshalled his side into becoming a winning force.Now, with Gujarat set to face Sunrisers Hyderabad at the Wankhede Stadium on Wednesday, former England off-spinner Graeme Swann feels that Pandya is thriving on being a senior player and leader of the side while showing calmness. Pandya is entering the match against Hyderabad on the back of a hat-trick of fifties, including a fifty against the same opposition.”Hardik’s great. He’s calm, he’s cool and is doing a really great job. Captaincy brings out the best in some people and the worst in others either performance-wise or character flaws. With Hardik, it’s brought out the best in him,” Swann was quoted as saying by cricket.com.”He’s someone, who thrives on being the senior player, the leader and he exudes calmness His team are helping him out. As a leader, if your team aren’t performing and winning you games, everyone will say you’re rubbish. Look at Jadeja, I think he is a good captain but CSK aren’t winning games,” added Swann.Wednesday’s match between the two teams promises to be a showdown between two strong bowling attacks, especially in terms of pace bowling. Swann feels that Hyderabad’s bowling attack has got the upper hand over Gujarat due to presence of left-arm pacer Marco Jansen and tearaway pacer Umran Malik.”On the way to the ground, I’m genuinely excited to watch SRH bowl. Not only have they got 8 foot 15 Jansen bowling good pace left-arm, but Umran Malik, he has brought to the IPL something that we have not seen for a few years. A fresh fast bowler, out-and-out pace.”“Dale Steyn had said to him, ‘I don’t want you to worry about line and length, get the seam up, bowl as quick as you can. That’s your strongest suit.’ But he’s got good control, he’s got good areas and he is rapid. I love that. For me to say that straight away, Sunrisers over Gujarat, shows how good they are. Gujarat’s bowling has been phenomenal. On paper, they (Sunrisers) are the best bowling unit.”
Former England captain Kevin Pietersen said that he is running out of adjectives and superlatives to describe the swashbuckling performances of Rajasthan Royals opener Jos Buttler in the ongoing IPL 2022.Buttler has been in blazing form, slamming three tons against Mumbai Indians, Kolkata Knight Riders and Delhi Capitals to make 491 runs in seven innings at an average of 81.83 and strike rate of 161.51 to be the leading run-scorer of the tournament.”We are running out of adjectives and superlatives. The TATA IPL is made incredible by the innings like these. The spectators love this, we love this, everybody in the studio loved this. I mean some of the shots he played you can’t buy them. You can’t practice that (because) no one sells it,” said Pietersen on Cricket Live show on Star Sports.”You either have it or you don’t. He’s (Buttler) such a fine talent and in such a sublime form. When he starts to strike like that sometimes you’ve just got to say you know what, this guy is so good. He took his time and capitalised,” added Pietersen.In Rajasthan’s last match against Delhi Capitals at Wankhede Stadium, Buttler yet again set the stage on fire, slamming nine fours and as many sixes in a 65-ball 116 to take Rajasthan to 222/2. With Rajasthan set to face Royal Challengers Bangalore at MCA Stadium in Pune on Tuesday, Pietersen has backed Buttler to produce more swashbuckling performances in the tournament.”Jos did an unbelievable job against Delhi Capitals (in the previous game). I am sure he’ll continue to do so because when you’re in this kind of form in the tournament, you’ll just bat and bat and bat, especially when the wickets are this good. So, I don’t expect him to change the way he plays.”India leg-spinner Piyush Chawla was in agreement with what Pietersen said of Buttler’s belligerent run with the bat.”We are only halfway through the tournament and he’s already scored 490-odd runs. Generally, people score that many runs in an entire season. He’s batting extremely well this season.”