IPL III is in its third week and with the race for semi-final spot heating up every game seems like a knockout for the teams. Even though IPL as a competition has been interesting this year, the length is still a worry. It already feels like too long and I am not sure how we will feel next year with 94 games.
But the length of the tournament aside the major concern for me this year has been the team composition of the franchises. The teams have basically ignored the local talents in the team in search of glory. I thought that IPL was going to be used as a ground for nurturing and finding young talents but as the years passed by the franchises have gotten greedy. For example Ranji champions Mumbai are unable to find players from the Mumbai team to represent their IPL franchise Mumbai Indians and Rajasthan is even worse as they don’t even have a single local player representing them.
Rajasthan has been the worst offender off all the IPL teams. The franchise is been completely made up with Rest of India and the mandatory foreign players but there is no sign of any home grown talent. This I feel is ridiculous and shows how much money hungry the franchises have become. Mumbai Indians play just 2 players out of 8 in their team from the Mumbai team and Deccan Chargers somehow manage to play just one or sometimes 2 local players in their team. How do they expect locals to relate with the team if the entire team is made up of players from different teams? I am not against young Indian players getting a chance but ignoring local players takes away the charm of a city based rivalry.
This is the exact reason the IPL teams will find less success in the champion’s league. If you take Rajasthan for example, except for the 4 weeks of IPL none of their team members play together in any form of cricket unless they represent India. Entire year they play against each other and they are suddenly thrown together and are expected to gel as a team immediately. They will be playing teams in the CLT20 who play an entire year together and are more cohesive units in comparison to the IPL teams. The locals who play for team Rajasthan in Ranji trophy might actually feel little hard done by this situation. Teams like them who compete in the plate championship of the Ranji trophy hardly get any visibility with the selectors and a global tournament like the IPL should be used to showcase their talents.
The other issue is the curious case of Deccan Chargers. Due to the political issues in Andhra currently the Deccan Chargers are playing at other venues which are currently proving to be a disadvantage for them. While rest of the teams has received excellent local support for their home games Deccan have struggled in that regard. Deccan have played both their games against Mumbai Indians in Mumbai which is ridiculous I feel as whom do you think the Mumbai crowd will support in a matchup between these two teams? I feel that Deccan have received a pretty raw deal with the fixtures.
Even though the tournament has been a success and is here to stay, the organizers need to look to correct the above glaring anomalies.