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sunilpal 12-25-2008 08:15 PM

IPL 2008 - The event of the year It was the event of the year as far as the cricketing world was concerned.
With the unbelievable build up, the innovative format of having franchisees and city based teams, the auctioning of players and the tremendous interest the project generated around the cricketing world, there was never any doubt that the inaugural edition of the Indian Premier League would have a favourable outcome.

The six-week extravaganza which had glitz and glamour and cricket of the rollicking variety in fact turned out to be a whopping success giving rise to a new phrase – cricketainment.

All this of course was a far cry from the staid world of Test cricket and there was enough in the new format to make the traditionalists wince.
But I suppose one has to move with the times.

It certainly was difficult to accept the dancing girls for example but then spectators in the stands were holding up placards that read ``I came only to see the dancing girls.’’

This was entertainment of a different kind and Bollywood’s bond with cricket grew stronger as a result of the IPL.

Image: Actor Emran Hashmi receives kisses from cheergirls before the start of the IPL T20 match between Deccan Chargers and Kings XI Punjab at Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium, Uppal in Hyderabad.

sunilpal 12-25-2008 08:16 PM

Top 10 events of 2008 Whichever way one examines the event there is little doubt that the IPL struck the right chords around the country.
The IPL was also closely followed by cricket fans all over the world what with the cash-rich tournament having a truly international touch.

Also keeping a tab on it were administrators who see Twenty20 as the game’s future.
On the eve of the tournament Sachin Tendulkar predicted that the IPL would be a super-hit and indeed the IPL caught the public fancy in this country like few events in the past.
Everywhere you went, the discussion among cricket enthusiasts – and even those having only a passing interest in the game – centered round various aspects of the IPL. The fact that film stars, prominent industrialists and media barons were among the franchisees added more than a touch of glamour while the astronomical amount of money involved was the subject of much debate.

Various opinion polls focused on the large number of women followers among the millions of TV viewers and also significant according to the pollsters was that the IPL scored over the soap operas as also Shah Rukh’s game show Kya Aap Panchvi Paas Se Tez Hai.

Image: Bollywood actress Preity Zinta (R) gestures while I.S Bindra looks on during the launch of the IPL`s Kings XI cricket team in Mohali.

sunilpal 12-25-2008 08:17 PM The IPL succeeded in exploding many myths about the Twenty20 game – that it is a batsman’s game, that it is a format of, by and for the youngsters and oldies have no place in it, and that it is all slam bang with little by way of strategic moves or tactical planning.

Describing the IPL as `a landmark time in cricket’ Adam Gilchrist was of the view that after 30 years when people look back they would say it is the most important thing to have happened in cricket.
``In time to come people will say IPL changed the direction of cricket,’’ he said and it is difficult to disagree with this view.

Image: Official Kings XI merchandise including mugs and fun badges were launched during the tournament. IndiaFM

sunilpal 12-25-2008 08:17 PM In a tournament lasting 45 days and involving 59 matches there was bound to be a glitch or two.

There was the odd incident and the hot-under-the-collar statements.
Admitting the glitches, IPL chairman Lalit Modi reminded everyone that it was the first year of a tournament run on a massive scale and he hoped that everything would be ironed out by the time of the next edition.
The eagerness with which Cricket fans are waiting for the second season to start underlines impact the IPL has created.

Image: Mumbai Indians’ Harbhajan slapping his Team India teammate Kings XI’s Sreesanth was the most controversial moment in IPL 2008. Also seen in this collage is Kings XI owner Priety Zinta.

sunilpal 12-25-2008 08:18 PM It seemed almost incidental that the least fancied side Rajasthan Royals led shrewdly by Shane Warne won the trophy defeating Chennai Super Kings captained by MS Dhoni in a pulsating final in Mumbai by seven wickets, the winning run being scored off the last ball of the match – a storybook finish to an eventful tournament.

Delhi Daredevils and King’s XI Punjab were the semifinalists while the more fancied teams Kolkata Knight Riders, Mumbai Indians, Deccan Chargers and Royal Challengers from Bangalore failed to qualify for the last four.

Image: Yusuf Pathan, Shane Warne celebrate after Rajasthan Royals clinched the crown.

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