IPL Teams and Bollywood ownership – Jinxed

 Things just don’t seem to be working out for IPL teams owned by Bollywood actors, a fact very noticeable in the 3rd edition of the Indian Premier League. Is it just a coincidence that all the 3 teams languishing at the bottom of the points table have Bollywood stars as owners/stake holders or are such teams jinxed? Sure, the stars have added glitz and glamour to the tournament. But they have not succeeded in ensuring positive results. One cannot dismiss this as a one-off case which has occurred only in IPL-3. Shahrukh Khan's Kolkata Knight Riders has never been a contender for the top four slots in any IPL season. The deepening worry lines on his face when the team loses makes one feel sorry for him. In the case of team Kings XI Punjab, actor Preity Zinta may have become a co-owner by virtue of being the beau of industrialist, Ness Wadia. In the first season of IPL, they ranked 2nd in the points table. In IPL-2, when there were rumours of a split between Preity and Ness, they slipped to 5th position. And in the current season, the official split seems to have affected the team's morale and the results are there for all to see. The team is at the bottom of the score ladder notwithstanding Preity Zinta’s cheering and her dip in the holy Ganga at Hardwar. The Rajasthan Royals, remember, won the cup in the 1st edition ; and then Shilpa Shetty (who suddenly was in the limelight due to the 'Big Brother' show ) purchased a stake along with business partner, Raj Kundra. Things have been going steadily downhill for the team since then. Last year they were at number 6 and as of now they are but one step away from the bottom. Being brand ambassadors for teams is a better way of association with the IPL with no risk involved. This has … [Read more...]

IPL Preview: Kolkata Vs King XI Punjab

 Author: Mona Gupta (New Delhi) Back to winning ways courtesy an inspiring innings from Ganguly in their last match against title-holders Deccan Chargers, Kolkata Knight Riders suddenly find themselves in reckoning for a last-four berth as their 24-run victory improved their position to fifth on the table. Kolkata Knight Riders will be high on confidence when they take on a battered and bruised Kings XI Punjab in their return match of the Indian Premier League match in Kolkata on Sunday. Venue and Conditions: The troubled Kings XI Punjab will visit the cricketing Mecca of Eden Gardens to take on Sourav Ganguly's Kolkata Knight Riders in match 34 of the IPL. Punjab are in disarray after losing a game they should have won to Bangalore last time out and they are now four points adrift at the bottom of the table. Kolkata are in fifth and need to win to maintain their challenge for the semis. The pitches at Eden Gardens tend to get slower as the game progresses so batting first tends to be the preferred choice for the captain that wins the toss. Any score over 160 here is a potentially defendable total. The Kolkata: Kolkata will have been delighted with their last performance against Deccan and may field virtually the same team. There will be pressure on Angelo Mathews and more importantly Chris Gayle to start delivering with the bat, but they have compensated somewhat by producing handy performances with the ball, so should be safe. Kolkata tend to run hot then cold, a good performance followed by a bad one. This lack of consistency needs to be addressed especially in their batting where they need more than one player to contribute a decent score each innings. So Chris Gayle needs to step up to the plate … [Read more...]

Yuvraj Singh: The angry prince

 Anger, when channelized properly can be turned to an advantage; else it only causes harm. The best example for this can be seen in IPL-3 in the form of Yuvraj Singh. How can one forget the 6 sixes he blasted, to avenge the treatment meted out to his bowling by England’s Dimitri Mascarenhas in a one-dayer in England? One could only feel sorry for the bowler Stuart Broad. And everybody said that the way to get the best out of ‘the crown prince’ is to get him angry. Woe to the opposition who meddles with him. But now in IPL-3 Yuvraj seems a shadow of his former self. Stripped of his captaincy of Kings XI Punjab, one can sense the umbrage he has taken. But one would expect the proud young man to play his best and show that he is an asset to the team as captain or otherwise. Instead we see him sulking, glaring…..everything but playing well. Right now one doesn’t see much of a future Indian captain in the former vice-captain. A good leader accepts his own loss gracefully. How will one who has no control over his own emotions manage a team comprising of different personalities? Though he is said to have suffered a wrist injury in Bangladesh, the cause of his current poor form looks more psychological than physical. Or, are issues other than cricket occupying his mind? Whatever, one likes to see Yuvraj Singh angrily smashing sixes and fours all over the place. Hopefully he gets back to his former self soon. Author: Pratibha Shenoy (Basavanagudi, Bangalore) Inspirational comment by Shahrukh Khan. … [Read more...]

Match Preview: Kings Punjab Vs Mumbai Indians

 It's top versus bottom in the Indian Premier League on Tuesday as the Mumbai Indians welcome a beleaguered Kings XI Punjab side to the Brabourne Stadium. The Mumbai Indians are top of the IPL log whilst Kings XI Punjab are bottom and home side are favorites. The Kings XI have won just 1 game from 6, and find themselves all alone at the bottom of the league with just 2 points to their name, that too coming from a game where they were outplayed for 30 of the 40 overs. Mumbai in contrast are the complete opposites of Punjab, winning 5 of their 6 games so far and sitting pretty on their lonesome at the top of the league with 10 points. They will be hoping to hit the half-way stage of the tournament with the added cushion of another two points, and the knowledge that a semi-final spot is pretty much in the bag. The Hosts: Tendulkar is leading from the front and he is just behind Jacques Kallis in the leading run scorer chart, averaging 60.60 at a strike rate of 145. The 303 runs Tendulkar has scored so far puts him way ahead of his team mates, Tiwary is second on the Mumbai batting list and has looked very useful at times but although Harbhajan Singh crashed a rapid 49 at the weekend, Tendulkar is the glue that holds the batting together. Sachin’s two lowest scores were 17 against the Royals (where Mumbai scraped home) and 25 against RCB (where they suffered their only defeat). If teams are to beat Mumbai in the IPL this year, they will need to adopt the Douglas Jardine style of thinking where his sole point of attack was how to counter Don Bradman. With the exception of Saurabh Tiwary, the rest of the Mumbai batting has failed to fire, however, such has been Sachin's contribution that they have not yet really needed to. … [Read more...]

Sangakkara banned for slow over-rate

 By: Meenal Johari (Agra) The already languishing team of Kings XI Punjab was dealt with a further blow after their fifth loss in the tournament on Saturday when the captain Kumar Sangakkara received a ban for one match due to the slow over-rate of his side. The declaration regarding the ban was made by IPL chief executive Sundar Raman on his Twitter page as "KXIP slow on over rate again tonight. Sanga (Sangakkara) banned for 1 game" shortly after Kolkata Knight Riders’ thumped a comprehensive victory over Kings XI Punjab in Mohali. This was the third time round in just six matches of the tournament when Sangakkara was found guilty of not completing the overs on time. The captain was earlier found guilty for falling short of the completion of overs on time along with three other captains Sourav Ganguly, Sachin Tendulkar and Gautam Gambhir after the first three games of the third edition of IPL where each of the captains faced a fine of $20,000. The second offense brought a fine of $40,000 for Sangakkara, being a repeat-offender, on March 24 following the clash against the Rajasthan Royals where each of the Punjab team-members also received a fine of $10,000 for the same reason. Falling at the hands of the IPL’s strict policy in dealing with the captains for slow over-rates for the third time invited a harsh punishment for Sangakkara which resulted in a ban for one match. For a team seated at the bottom of the points table with five defeats in six games and struggling hard to climb the rungs of the points table, this one-match ban for their captain shall definitely add to Punjab's woes which is all set to face the table-toppers Mumbai Indians in their next IPL encounter this season on March 30. … [Read more...]

Match Preview: Punjab Vs Kolkata

 Match Preview: King XI Punjab v Kolkata Knight Rider Venue and Conditions: On Saturday, two bollywood stars Preety Zinta and Shahrukh Khan will face each other on cricket ground. Preety's Kings XI Punjab will play Shahrukh's Kolkata Knight Kolkata Knight Riders at the Mohali ground in Chandigarh. Both the sides are struggling to get into the top four in the points table, with Punjab having won only one game out of the five matches they have played while Kolkata won two. Team performance: Kolkata had had a good start to the tournament with two upset victories against defending champions Deccan Chargers and last edition runners-up Royal Challengers Bangalore. KKR’s sudden batting woes at the top means that they have lost three successive games. However, it has been worse for the Kings XI Punjab, who lost three matches to start their campaign before scraping through one and that too via a one-over eliminator against Chennai Super Kings and then going down in another one. For Kings, nothing seemed to be going right and they are now at the bottom of the points table. Kolkata had a reasonable start in their previous game against Mumbai, but the surprising bit was that despite the presence of Sourav Ganguly and Chris Gayle as openers, the run-rate was pretty low. Ganguly looks like a pale shadow of himself and it would make sense for him to promote a right-handed batsman up the order instead of himself. He may also consider the Brad Hodge and Owais Shah swap, with Hodge having had shown signs of good form. In the bowling department, left-arm spinner Murali Kartik has been the most consistent while New Zealand pacer Shane Bond has also done a decent job so far. Pacer Ishant Sharma though has been expensive. … [Read more...]

Stake sale in Punjab Kings eleven?

 With two new teams, Kochi and Pune, attracting well over $300 million at Sunday’s auction, existing eight team owners can look forward to similar valuations when they sell part of their stakes. While there have been talks of Kings XI selling stake for some time, this is the first time that Mr Wadia has accepted the intent of the franchise owners to sell part of the company. The Kings XI team is currently co-owned by Ness Wadia of Bombay Dyeing, actor Preity Zinta, Mohit Burman of Dabur and Karan Paul of the Apeejay Surendera Group. “We are open to selling stake if we feel that there are investors who can bring in not only financial but also strategic value to the business,” Ness Wadia said, after weeks of denying stake sale talks. For him, a good valuation is close to $300 million.  “I would say a good value to be somewhere around $250-300 million and it (stake sale) also depends on who the investor would be,” the Bombay Dyeing group heir told ET in Mohali. At least three Indian Premier League teams are reportedly considering stake sale to cash in on the enormous marketing success of the twenty20 tournament, now that their three-year lock-in period is close to get over.  Mr Wadia also says that the franchise may look at trading high-performance players at a premium to get return on investments. “Apart from enhancing raw talent from the grass roots to a level they can be traded, we will also look at trading players that we own now at a higher value to generate monetary returns to the franchise,” says Mr Wadia. Shortly after the high bidding for Pune and Kochi last week, there had been speculation that promoters of Kings XI Punjab were seeking to exit. Kings XI Punjab had gone under the hammer three years ago for $76 … [Read more...]

Team analysis: Kings Eleven Punjab

  Kings XI Punjab is a cricket franchise based in Mohali. The team is currently captained by Sri Lanka's captain-wicket keeper Kumar Sangakkara who replaced Yuvraj Singh after the 2009 season. For the IPL3, an additional venue has been chosen at Dharamsala. The first owners of the franchise included Preity Zinta, Ness Wadia (Bombay Dyeing), Karan Paul (Apeejay Surendera Group) and Mohit Burman (Dabur). The group paid a total of $76 million to acquire the franchise. There was rumor during 10 Feb that India’s premium manufacturer of 2-wheeled motorised vehicles – Hero Honda bought Indian Premier League Kings XI Punjab for a whopping US $ 260 million. However, no independent confirmation of this deal has been received from both the parties. Later on it was confirmed that the Hero Group had not acquired Kings XI Punjab. Performance: 2008 Season: The tournament got off to a slow start for the Kings XI, with the team losing their first two games. However, despite losing Australians Brett Lee and Simon Katich, the team found its groove. Powered by their balanced bowling lineup and effective top order, the team won 9 of its next 10 matches, clinching a birth in the semi-final. In the semi-final, their run in the tournament came to an end with a comprehensive 9 wicket loss to the Chennai Super Kings. 2009 Season: Finishing as semi-finalists during 2008, The Kings XI Punjab started with enormous ambitions to win the trophy. Their ambitions were supported by their new sponsors Emirates Airlines. With two available slots to fill The Punjab Kings made bids on Jerome Taylor and Yusuf Abdulla at the second IPL auctions. The team took a hit as most of their Australian cricketers were not available. … [Read more...]

IPL Preview: Chennai Super Kings Vs Punjab Kings

 Chennai Super Kings vs King XI Punjab: Suresh Raina's merry band of boys take on the struggling Kings XI Punjab in their second home game of the season and the young captain would be hopeful of a repeat performance from his boys which led to a crucial win in a tight contest with the Daredevils. The left-handed opener’s mangoose-bat demolition of Delhi Daredevils’ bowling made compelling viewing. The Australian opener’s 43-ball 93 was high on octane and low on respite for the opposition. Hayden striking form – with whichever bat – is good news for Chennai Super Kings (CSK). He is still influential and can still strike the ball with immense power. With skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni out with an elbow injury till CSK’s away game against Mumbai Indians on March 25, CSK needs this Australian’s solidity. Hayden will be a clear and present danger to the struggling Kings XI Punjab in the IPL game here at Chepauk on Sunday night. While the Super Kings have shrugged off their initial lethargy and also managed to bounce back after losing their first-choice captain MS Dhoni, the Kings XI have struggled to get going as a unit failing in all three of their games. While the tournament is still in its early stages, time is fast running out for Kumar Sangakkara's men and they would need to stop relying on individual performances and collectively fire in order to get back to winning ways In Dhoni’s absence, Suresh Raina has skippered the side well and batted with both responsibility and flair. While Raina and Hayden are in good form with the bat, they would definitely look for better support from Badrinath and Justin Kemp. Parthiv Patel too finds his way back into the side with Dhoni out, and it would be a crucial time for … [Read more...]