The first edition of the IPL (Indian Premier League) T20 cricket tournament ended in a grand style. The title clash between the Rajasthan Royals and the Chennai Super Kings was a nail-biting finish. The Rajasthan Royals held their nerve and clinched the most expensive and coveted DLF IPL trophy, which was a well-deserved one for the true champions who performed brilliantly in all aspects of the game.
This victory can be attributed (if not 100%, at least 50%) to one person in the squad, Shane Warne, the coach and captain of Rajasthan Royals. The team, which was considered as underdogs at the beginning of the tournament, emerged as champions in the end. There were no Tendulkars, Gangulys, Pontings, Gilchrists, Dravids or Akhtars in the team; majority of the team consisted of local boys who outperformed the best and the most regarded players in the world. It was a great transformation and a tremendous job done by Shane Warne as a coach and captain. He proved that he is a great leader. He mingled with the players, communicated well, motivated them, helped them develop new skills and transformed very ordinary players into world-class players. They played as a unit, had a concrete goal in their mind, set aside personal interests and differences and gave everything they had to offer. Hats off Shane!
The ugly incident that took place in the ongoing DLF IPL 20-20 tournament has tarnished the image of Indian Cricket and Indian Cricketers worldwide. The Harbhajan-Sreesanth slapping case has brought disgrace to BCCI as well as India. Despite Harbhajan’s controversies in the past, the whole nation backed him during the recent Australian tour in which he was involved in a racial abuse case with Australian cricketer Andrew Symonds and luckily he had a narrow escape at that time with lack of concrete evidence. But now, he was caught red handed and the question arises about the integrity of Harbhajan and also as to what really happened in Australia. The rush of blood had made him forget that he was representing a country of more than 1.2 billion people and that the whole world is watching each and every move. It is very disappointing for the fans like me, and Harbhajan has now lost the respect, reputation and huge money. Nobody is born as a professional and everybody has to learn and unlearn certain things to transform into one. Harbhajan failed to do that or rather failed to realize that. Though Harbhajan is found guilty, I feel the 11-match ban is very harsh and adding to that he also has another inquiry by the BCCI, which will make things even worse. The Reliance Group, owner of Mumbai Indians, has strongly reacted to this incident and they have even removed hoardings featuring Harbhajan. My feeling is that Harbhajan would never play for Mumbai Indians again.