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Ken Borland



IPL – a circus, a get-rich-quick scheme … and a jamboree of top-class cricketers 0

Posted on July 30, 2015 by Ken

 

The Indian Premier League is a circus, a jamboree, a get-rich-quick scheme and a money-laundering device according to some people, but it is also a gathering of top-class cricketers from the world over, a cacophony of entertainment and a two-month explosion of non-stop action.

Coming from South Africa (how many times a day do you hear a plaintive “only in Africa”?), we should understand that the IPL does things differently and just because the English don’t get it, it doesn’t mean we should turn our noses up at it either.

The best approach to the IPL is probably to just enjoy it for what it is – pretty mindless entertainment and a wonderful way for our marvellous cricketers to be financially rewarded – and not try to fathom how it all works, whether it is financially viable or whether good standards of corporate governance are being followed.

Because if you do probe beneath the garishly-coloured uniforms, skimpy cheerleader outfits and Shah Rukh Khan’s shiny suits, you are going to find controversies aplenty.

The IPL has tentacles that reach as high as the Indian government: When the Kochi Tuskers were dumped in 2011 for defaulting on payments to the governing body, it led to an Indian minister resigning from the cabinet because he had been using his influence improperly.

This year’s major controversy has been the banning of Sri Lankan players from Chennai, the home of the Super Kings, because the chief minister of Tamil Nadu has said she cannot guarantee their security in the wake of protests over the treatment of Tamils in the island just to the south of the mainland.

How a vote-seeking politician, pandering to populist interests, has been able to hold a multi-billion dollar international tournament to hostage has baffled many people. But then the president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India, who own the IPL, is Narayanaswami Srinivasan, whose cement company just happens to be based in Chennai and which owns the Super Kings.

The conflicts of interest are glaring, but that’s just how things operate in Indian cricket and the Super Kings are certainly not the only team to have stakeholders with interests in the administration as a whole.

Cricket South Africa have shown a tendency to believe this is how things can be run over here as well, but hopefully the public outrage that forced them to ditch former chief executive Gerald Majola, who was corrupted by the IPL millions, will keep the current board on the straight and narrow.

Although the IPL has attracted much more money than any other cricket tournament in the history of the game, there are strong indications that the current largesse is not financially sustainable.

The last two seasons have seen the lowest television viewership figures of the six years the event has been in existence, while the base price the new Hyderabad Sunrisers paid for the bankrupt Deccan Chargers was roughly half as much as the BCCI charged for the Pune and Kochi franchises in 2010.

And Venky Mysore, the chief executive of the Kolkata Knight Riders, admitted recently that, “Everybody has become conscious that player costs are going up and clearly it is not sustainable from a franchise point of view.”

Allegations of match-fixing and black money (unaccounted for) payments saw five players banned last year, but those in the know suggest there is much more malfeasance waiting to be uncovered.

In other embarrassments, Shah Rukh, the owner of the Knight Riders, was given a five-year ban from the Wankhede Stadium by the Mumbai Indians after he was involved in an unseemly altercation with security there last year, while Dale Steyn was threatened with a law suit by the Chargers for not fulfilling his contract, even though they no longer existed as a franchise!

This was also after Steyn, and Bangalore Royal Challengers star AB de Villiers, were both paid several months late by their franchises.

While Steyn and De Villiers are in the prime of their careers and obviously command top dollar, one of the charms of the IPL is that it allows international stars to keep entertaining their fans late in their careers.

Instead of sitting in their rocking chairs, the likes of Adam Gilchrist, Shane Warne, Ricky Ponting and Brett Lee are still out there performing for two months a year.

It was Lee who began IPL 6 on the perfect note by bowling India U19 star Unmukt Chand with a cracking first ball of the tournament; and was then clobbered for four by Mahela Jayawardene off the second delivery.

And who cannot be thrilled with the sight of Ponting and Sachin Tendulkar opening the batting together for the Mumbai Indians?

There are 76 matches in all, so there will no doubt be many more oohs and aahs to come.

South Africa is well-represented by Albie Morkel, Chris Morris and Faf du Plessis at the Chennai Super Kings; Johan Botha, Morné Morkel and Roelof van der Merwe at the Delhi Daredevils; David Miller (Punjab Kings XI), Jacques Kallis and Ryan McLaren at KKR, Wayne Parnell (Pune Warriors), De Villiers with the Royal Challengers and Steyn, JP Duminy and Quinton de Kock with rookies Hyderabad Sunrisers.

The Delhi Daredevils and Bangalore Royal Challengers, both consistent challengers for the title, are coached by South Africans in Eric Simons and Ray Jennings respectively, while Allan Donald is Pune’s bowling coach.

Interference by team owners – one coach famously had to field a player who could hardly walk – is a hardship they have to put up with. But if the dollars they are earning don’t compensate sufficiently, then they can always take a cue from the rest of us and just realise that it’s two months of cricket that doesn’t really mean a whole lot.

It’s more about entertainment than sporting excellence, and we can be thrilled by that too.

http://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2013-04-10-ipl-enjoy-it-while-it-lasts/#.VcH4hfmqqko

IPL changed Morris’s life, brought clarity 0

Posted on May 02, 2014 by Ken

Chris Morris ... just loving his cricket

Chris Morris says the contrast between the squalor on the pavements of India and the billionaire lifestyle of the IPL gave him clarity about what he wanted to do with his life.

“India made a massive impact on me and I learnt a huge amount, especially about lifestyle things. I realised how fortunate I was to be paid so well to play cricket, something I love doing. It was a humbling experience,” Morris says.

The way the Highveld Lions paceman ended up playing for the powerhouse Chennai Super Kings side in the IPL is the stuff of dreams. He literally bowled well enough in one spell for the Lions against the Chennai Super Kings in the 2012 Champions League for coach Stephen Fleming to convince the T20 team’s management that they had to sign the young bowling all-rounder. His fee was an astonishing $625 000, but word from the CSK camp is that they were willing to pay a million dollars for him.

But before his Indian adventure, Morris had already played a couple of T20 internationals for South Africa and he made his ODI debut for the Proteas after the IPL as he was called into the Champions League squad as a replacement for the injured Morne Morkel.

That’s because Morris’s passion for the game, his aggression and determination had already been clear to the South African selectors, even without any Indian epiphanies.

For Proteas bowling coach Allan Donald, attitude is Morris’s stand-out feature.

“What I really do like about Chris is that he gives it a crack, I like his attitude, he’s cocky, he’s got that arrogance towards what he does that all fast bowlers need. He gives so much on the field and it’s not put on, he wears his heart on his sleeve,” Donald says.

CHRISTOPHER HENRY MORRIS is the son of former Northerns left-arm spinner Willie Morris, who took 208 wickets in 74 first-class matches, and they are one of only three father-and-son pairs to have taken a first-class hat-trick anywhere in the world. Morris junior was born in Pretoria on 30 April 1987, attended Pretoria Boys’ High School and played for Northerns Schools in 2004, but he roamed in the relative wilderness of amateur provincial cricket for three years playing for North-West.

The Highveld Lions eventually contracted him for the 2011/12 season and he took the T20 competition by storm, but also showed the penetration needed to succeed in all formats as he claimed 23 wickets in five four-day matches.

The national selectors responded to the exciting talent he displayed by choosing him for the South Africa XI that played in a triangular T20 tournament with hosts Zimbabwe and Bangladesh in June 2012 and Morris then produced one of the most sensational spells of fast bowling seen at the Wanderers during the Lions’ first game there of the summer.

The Dolphins were chasing 241 for victory but Morris took eight for 44 in 21 overs – the best figures in the franchise’s history – to send the visitors crashing to 187 all out.

The Champions League was his next assignment and, in the Lions’ second match, he produced the spell – 4-1-24-1 – at Newlands against Chennai that changed his life.

Morris continued to be the spearhead of the powerful Lions attack in the Sunfoil Series, taking 32 wickets in six matches at an average of just 16, while he also shone in the Momentum One-Day Cup and the RamSlam T20 Challenge.

Having dreamt of being a professional cricketer, Morris has now been to the streets of India and back, but what lies ahead for the 26-year-old?

Donald is convinced Morris has a very exciting future and is the sort of attacking bowler who he wants to groom for Test cricket.

“He can certainly play Test cricket and it’s great that he’s not just focusing on T20 and thinks the IPL is the be-all and end-all for him. Chris has genuine pace and he swings the new ball away a bit, but bounce is his biggest asset. When he hits the right areas hard, then he’s very awkward to play.

“I spoke to Willie and told him what a lekker oke his son is to have in the team for what he brings to the group. I love his work, he’s a keen listener and eager to learn.

“I’m going to keep him tight on my shoulder and teach him how to think about his bowling and how to go about setting batsmen up. But he’s exciting,” Donald says.

 

 

CSA will deal with no IPL because it was not expected – Lorgat 0

Posted on March 14, 2014 by Ken

Chief executive Haroon Lorgat said on Thursday that hosting some of the 2014 Indian Premier League (IPL) would have been a “windfall” for Cricket South Africa, but the organisation had not catered for the tournament in their financial forecasts.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced on Wednesday that this year’s IPL would begin in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on April 16, before moving to India from May 1, with Bangladesh on standby should the elections in India not allow them to host it until later that month.

The announcement put to an end speculation that South Africa would host some of the tournament, having successfully staged the entire 2009 event.

“We weren’t surprised at all by the BCCI announcement, they want to play the tournament close to home. We were involved in discussions all along and we were informed of the decision before it went public. It made sense to have the first 16 games in the UAE, if they needed longer outside India then maybe we would have featured,” Lorgat said on Thursday.

“But we never had any plans for the IPL in our forecasts. It would have been a windfall, but it’s something we hadn’t bargained for. If it had come here, we would have embraced it, but equally we can deal with it not coming here. It’s their tournament and we respect their choice.”

With Lorgat and CSA having a well-publicised falling out with the BCCI last year and India, Australia and England staging a virtual coup to take control of the International Cricket Council (ICC), there have been fears that South African cricket would be sidelined.

But Lorgat revealed there has been a rush of activity in negotiations with other boards that would see more Test cricket being played here.

“We are very keen to play four-Test series against Australia and we’ve gone some way to agreeing to that, although it’s dependent on the calendar. If we can fit it in, then we will do that.

“And we are talking to England and have agreed in principle to play a five-Test series in 2015/16. So we’ve already achieved a lot working together since the original ICC proposal, which has already been changed considerably,” Lorgat said.

The CEO also denied reports from India that CSA had refused to stage only part of the IPL, wanting the whole tournament or nothing.

“To say we made demands like that is totally untrue and the amounts of money that we were reported to have wanted have also been exaggerated,” Lorgat said.

 

Kallis & Morkel the big IPL winners 0

Posted on May 30, 2012 by Ken

Jacques Kallis and Morne Morkel were the big winners as the fifth edition of the Indian Premier League concluded at the weekend with the Kolkata Knight Riders snatching the title from the Chennai Super Kings in a thrilling final.

The Knight Riders chased down the daunting target of 191 set by the Super Kings, the two-time champions, with Kallis playing the anchor role to near perfection as he scored 69 off 49 balls to add another crown to the awesome CV of the world’s greatest all-rounder.

Kallis scored 409 runs (the 11th most) and claimed 15 wickets (13th most) at an economy rate of just 7.46 to state his claim as the best all-rounder in the IPL.

Morkel won the Purple Cap for being the leading wicket-taker in the competition, taking 25 wickets in his 16 matches, at an average of just 18.12 and a more than useful economy rate of just 7.19, seeing off mystery spinner Sunil Narine (24 wkts), who was named as the Player of the Tournament for his heroics for Kolkata.

While Narine’s tournament ended with the trophy, Morkel’s finished with frustration as the tall fast bowler was inexplicably dropped by the Delhi Daredevils for their do-or-die semi-final against the Super Kings.

The extent of the hole left in Delhi’s attack was soon apparent as CSK opener Murali Vijay scored a sensational century and the log-leaders folded to an 86-run defeat.

While the performances of Kallis and Morkel were the highlight from a South African perspective, the form of countrymen AB de Villiers, Dale Steyn, Albie Morkel, Faf du Plessis and JP Duminy was also outstanding.

De Villiers produced what was judged to be the best individual performance of the tournament when he plundered 47 not out off just 17 balls to take the Bangalore Royal Challengers to a target of 182 against the Deccan Chargers. The fact that he took 23 runs off a Steyn over obviously tipped the vote in his favour.

South Africa’s limited-overs captain was one of the most destructive batsmen in the competition, plundering 319 runs at an average of 39.87 and a strike-rate of 161.11, the third best out of those batsmen who scored more than 200 runs.

The spectacular onslaught did little to damage Steyn’s reputation though, with the fast bowler delivering searing pace, accuracy and tremendous skill in practically every outing for the Chargers.

Steyn took 18 wickets in 12 matches and was sixth in the Purple Cap standings. He was third in the bowling averages for those who took at least 10 wickets with 15.83 and his economy rate of 6.10 was the second best of all bowlers who delivered more than 40 overs.

Albie Morkel chipped in throughout the Super Kings’ campaign with bat and ball and earned his pay with 13 wickets at an economy rate of 7.77 and a batting strike-rate of 157.35.

Du Plessis also shone for Chennai in his first IPL season, setting the early pace in the race for the Orange Cap as he scored 398 runs at an average of 33.16 and a strike-rate of 130.92.

But an untimely illness and the return of Australian veteran Mike Hussey put paid to Du Plessis’ season after 13 matches.

The left-handed Duminy was one of the best finishers in the competition, topping the averages as he was dismissed just three times in nine innings and scored 244 runs for an average of 81.33 and a strike-rate of 128.42. He was also superb in the field, but was probably under-bowled a bit by the Chargers.

David Miller struck the ball well when given the chance in six innings by the Punjab Kings XI, while off-spinner Johan Botha kept the runs down for the Rajasthan Royals.

Wayne Parnell only played six matches for the Pune Warriors, but was the third most economical bowler in the competition out of those who delivered at least 20 overs, conceding just 6.09 runs to the over.

SOUTH AFRICAN STATISTICS

Jacques Kallis (KKR) – 409 runs at 25.56, SR 106.51 2x50s; 15 wickets @ 26.86 ER 7.46

Morne Morkel (DD) – 25 wickets @ 18.12 ER 7.19

Albie Morkel (CSK) – 107 runs @ 15.28 SR 157.35; 13 wickets @ 29.61 ER 7.77

Faf du Plessis (CSK) – 398 runs @ 33.16 SR 130.92 3x50s

AB de Villiers (RCB) – 319 runs @ 39.87 SR 161.11 3x50s

JP Duminy (DC) – 244 runs @ 81.33 SR 128.42 2x50s; 12-104-1 ER 8.66

David Miller (PK) – 98 runs @ 32.66 SR 130.66

Dale Steyn (DC) – 18 wickets @ 15.83 ER 6.10

Johan Botha (RR) – 9 wickets @ 33.00 ER 7.24

Roelof van der Merwe (DD) – 2 wickets @ 30.00 ER 6.00

Wayne Parnell (PW) – 5 wickets @ 25.60 ER 6.09

Rusty Theron (DC) – 8-66-2 33.00 ER 8.25

Alfonso Thomas (PW) – 14-109-3 36.33 ER 7.78

Herschelle Gibbs (MI) – 81 runs @ 40.50 SR 92.04 1×50

Marchant de Lange (KKR) – 10-107-3 35.66 ER 10.70

Robin Peterson (MI) – 32 runs @ 10.66 SR 106.66; 8-70-3 23.33 ER 8.75

Richard Levi (MI) – 83 runs @ 13.83 SR 113.69 1×50

Davey Jacobs (MI) – 1 innings, 0 runs off 10 balls, 1 catch.

*Gulam Bodi (DD), Kyle Abbott (PK), Charl Langeveldt (RCB) & Rilee Rossouw (RCB) did not play a game in this year’s IPL.

http://www.supersport.com/cricket/indian-premier-league/news/120528/Kallis_and_Morkel_excel_at_IPL



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