The IPL is designed to create fan loyalties even if the clubs have very little of the corresponding cities in them, whether by way of culture, spirit or personnel.
Unsurprisingly, all teams have a bunch of players - youngsters, promising or otherwise - from the region they are named after, but hardly a few of them actually get a hit, and if they do, it's not for more than a couple of matches in a row. Usually, you'll find one or two locals in the playing XIs, not more. Offhand, I'd say Chennai scores best on this count with Murali Vijay, S Badrinath and R Ashwin featuring regularly, year after year.
The buzz around Vijender Singh's 'hero-to-heroin' journey refuses to die down. A drug bust by the cops found a link to India's best-known boxer, and since then there have been allegations that Vijender regularly consumed the drug, that he was even part of a huge cartel. The truth, as always, remains shrouded in secrecy.
In the IPL context, the stories of Yusuf Pathan and Ravindra Jadeja are legend, especially among the young cricketers - how they created a big splash in the IPL and became internationals soon after.
Standing at just over six feet, Durrani had good reach and tremendous power, and he used both to great effect.
Unless Australia can find real, bonafide options for positions four to seven – minus wherever Clarke bats – it's all looking rather Down Under for them, at least for the time being.
This was in stark contrast with India. Yuvraj and Mohammad Kaif, as well as Virender Sehwag and Harbhajan Singh, or even Laxmi Ratan Shukla, had all been fast-tracked into the Indian team after their Under-19 success – as Irfan Pathan, Virat Kohli and others would be later. Part of my job as an Indian cricket journalist, obviously, was to spot future stars. Needless to say, with his headline-grabbing performances, Dhawan topped that list.
Elsewhere, out on social media – at once a brilliant forum for exchange of thoughts and ideas, and a playground for the flippant and the crass – Sehwag has been the target of a fair bit of name-calling. There have been a fair few jokes about his abilities, his attitude, his waistline and his new specs, not to mention snide remarks about his priorities.
Has anything changed between 1-2 against England and now? Not really, unless Gautam Gambhir's presence in the playing XI instead of M Vijay or Shikhar Dhawan was the only thing that prevented India from beating England. Or is the chest-thumping in anticipation of beating a team that, perceptibly at least, is not up to the challenge?
Maybe it's just the times we live in. No one's quite sure where cricket will go in the next ten years. Will T20 leagues become widespread enough for players to ignore international cricket completely? Will Test cricket survive? Will ODIs die away? Where will most of the money be?
Shamya has done the rounds of pretty much every medium that journalism has to offer: the web, newspapers, radio, magazines and, for the last seven years, news television. Among other places, he has worked with Encyclopaedia Britannica, Tehelka, ESPN, The Indian Express and TV Today. His last engagement was as Editor - Sports with television channel NewsX, and he writes regular columns for the magazines Man's World and Sahara Time and occasionally for international journals like Sport in Society. His book on Indian boxing - Bhiwani Junction (HarperCollins India) - should be out in time for the London Olympics.
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