Aava De! Hardik Pandya captaincy debut- A buzz in town

DELHI, India - May 31, 2022 - PRLog -- Starting with a disclaimer is a definite no, no. Having said that, I have to state one, right up front. The views expressed herein are those that come out of the (cricketing) mind of someone who still lives in the 70s or 80s (give or take the first half of the 90s). For me and my generation, the shortest format of the game (which has a few remnants of nobility) is akin to watching a David Dhawan flick where we won't know what will last longer – the salted popcorn or our patience!

Now that the Indian Premier League (IPL) is over, hardcore fans will probably satiate their withdrawal symptoms by going back to the various OTT platforms that dot the home page of their computers and television screens. A few may find solace in the French Open, that's currently on but generally, they will be picking players for future India games purely on their performances in the IPL (an all-time favorite pastime, change in formats be damned…).

So, what are the views of this old fossil on the recently concluded extravaganza which concluded at Ahmedabad over the weekend? The first is that Mumbai has the best cricket pitches in the country. The megacity that was once the lifeline of Indian cricket and which is now gasping for one hosted the entire league phase of the tournament without a single hiccup.  The constantly used 22-yards just didn't show any indicators of wear and tear, thanks to the superhuman efforts of the ground staff at all venues (including Pune) of the league phase.

Now before I get plastered for raving about the city I was born in, learnt and played cricket and lived most of my life in, I will remind folks of how the ICC T20 World Cup panned out in the UAE where the spin of the coin decided the fate of almost all teams. Most matches turn out to be dead bores.

The way the pitches behaved makes a solid case for red soil surfaces that dot the sylvan maidans of Mumbai not to forget the stadiums. Polly Umrigar, the legend who was the first real 'curator' of Wankhede Stadium must be chuckling up there saying "Tamune Kidhu Hatoon, Dikra" (I told you so, son). Polly 'Kaka' as he was known by cricketers across the cricket-crazy nation, would have been very happy to know that the BCCI has awarded Rs 1.25 crore as prize money to those who tended the grounds. One assumes the amount will be distributed based on the number of games played in each of the six venues.

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Hemant Kenkre
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