by Deepanshu Srivastava
As with every good thing, IPL – 2022 also came to an end on May 29. This year’s IPL will be in the minds of sports – lovers because of several reasons. Some of them are as follows: –It was held only across four venues – three in Mumbai and one in Pune as against eight in the previous years. Out of the last four thrilling clashes, two were played in the iconic Eden Gardens of Kolkata, and the rest of the two including the final was played in the newly-built sprawling Narendra Modi cricket stadium in Ahmedabad. This stadium has a seating capacity of more than 1. 30 lakhs spectators and has surpassed the Melbourne Cricket Ground with its capacity of 90, 000. This is the largest cricket ground in the world. Mumbai Indians ‘ s dashing batter Ishan Kishan was the most expensive buy of the year. It was bought for ₹. 15. 25 crores. The most expensive overseas player was the Britisher Liam Livingstone who was bought by the Punjab Kings for ₹. 11. 50 crores to play for them in the IPL. A total of ten teams participated in the tournament including the two debutant teams – Gujarat Titans (GT) and Lucknow Super Giants (LSG). They have impressed with their superb cricketing skills while some of the powerhouse teams kept on struggling in the tournament. Out of the total 14 matches GT played, they won 10 and lost only 04 with a Net Run Rate (NRR) of + 0. 316 and ranked Number – 1 in the points table. The second newbie LSG won 09 matches from their 14 and was ranked at number three in the points table with an NRR of 0. 251. The team Rajasthan Royals (RR) sneaked between them with the second rank based on better its NRR than LSG. This year’s format was different than the previous years. Since several teams were, all the 10 teams were divided into two groups – Groups A and B, each having five teams. Round robin format was used till the last year. Five-time IPL champions with star-studded players, Mumbai Indians led by national team captain Rohit Sharma stood last in the rankings due to their overconfidence and casual approach. Rohit Sharma had his worst IPL season with a score of just 268 runs in 14 games and without a single half-century. Another disappointment came from all-time great smasher Virat Kohli who scored only 341 runs including three golden ducks. Team India’s s famed speedster Jasprit Bumrah could claim only 15 wickets from 14 games, without claiming any wickets in half of the games he played. Other shocking performances came from Rishabh Pant (340 runs in 14 games), Venkatesh Iyer (182 runs in 12 games), and Team India’s hope in its bowling attack Varun Chakravarthy (only 06 wickets in 11 games). The poor forms of the above players should be a cause of concern for the think-tank of Team India as the T-20 I World Cup is scheduled in October this year. BCCI for the first time awarded hefty incentives (₹. 1. 25 crores) to the IPL curators and groundsmen. This year’s closing ceremony was quite impressive and glittering in which Bollywood star Ranveer Singh and Oscar-winning music maestro A. R. Rahman mesmerized the house packed with cricket lovers. Out of 12 awards, half of them were taken away by the Britisher Jos Buttler of RR. These awards were given to felicitate the greatness of awardees. Earlier, the players used to come from some select regions such as Mumbai, Delhi, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and up to a certain extent Gujarat and Punjab. But this year players came from even remote places of the country such as Nagaur, Moga, Chhindwara, Barmer, and others. THE FINAL: – Gujarat Titans (GT), one of the two new franchises of this season, topped the league phase and entered the final played at their home – ground against the Rajasthan Royals (RR). GT aimed to win the final in their debut season, while RR had to take revenge for their thrashing defeat by GT in the first Qualifier match. GT’s s sharp bowling attack led by its captain Hardik Pandya (3 / 17) restricted the formidable RR to a meager score of 130 / 9 after RR elected to bat. Pandya led his team from the front with both – bat and ball and guided his team with the contribution and consistency of each player and lifted the coveted IPL Cup 2022 by defeating RR by seven wickets. The superb leadership quality shown by Hardik Pandya in the ten-team league made him a national hero. Most of the cricket greats are of the view that the reign of Team India is handed over to young Pandya. NEW FINDS: – This year’s IPL has given so many exciting talents to choose from for the playing squad of Team India. The list is long. Some of the promising players who emerged from this IPL are as under: – BATTERS: – Shivam Dube and Ruturaj Gaekwad (both from CSK), Rinku Singh (KKR), Deepak Hooda (LSG), Tilak Varma (MI, Yashasvi Jaiswal (RR), and Rajat Patidar (RCB). BOWLERS: – Mukesh Choudhary (CSK), Mohsin Khan, Ravi Bishnoi, and Avesh Khan (all from LSG), Arshdeep Singh (PBKS), Kuldeep Sen and Prasidh Krishna (both from RR).
About the Author:
Deepanshu Srivastava is a freelance sports writer and storyteller from Pune.