A couple of years back, Kevin Pietersen was the best batsman in the world. Then, he got side-tracked but the occasional spectacular knock convinced everyone that the genius was still there, somewhere sleeping, lying dormant and waiting for a wake-up call.
The controversy involving Andrew Strauss and the South African team might have been just the wake-up call that Pietersen needed to focus completely on cricket once again. That’s good news for England and bad news for India.
“It is a kind of an alert for India — for the players, the selectors, the public. Things are not going to be as easy as they thought they would be. India will have to be wary of preparing rank turners because Kevin is a batsman who can not only play out the spinners but he can maul them. He can give England the kind of runs they need to give India a good fight. But we’ll have to wait and see how the English dressing room adjusts to his comeback.”
The rank turners that Indian skipper M S Dhoni has been demanding might just back-fire given the quality that England has at it’s disposal. Graeme Swann is sheer quality and he has some good back-up. So how will that go?
On a different tangent, the Champions League T20 is a big tournament — it has the best domestic teams from around the world. The quality of cricket should be better than the India Premier League and perhaps it is. But still no one seems to care about the tournament — indeed it seems like a tournament whose time may never come.
And it’s sad. But what’s the difference between the IPL and the CLT20 — why did one prosper while the other never even took off?
“I think the tournaments have been marketed very differently. Right from it’s very first moment, the IPL was marketed as if it was a big brand. It was fantastic and the IPL has become a mega brand. Just to give you a parallel, the EPL is far bigger is terms of value than the other footballing leagues,” said Ayaz Memon.
“The IPL has a lot more razzmatazz to it. Probably because it started earlier, it also has that much more momentum. The CLT20 has also been handicapped by the fact that sometimes the timing of the tournament is just bad. Immediately after the World T20, you have the CLT20 and there is obviously some kind of fatigue, you have the same players playing in the same format — in different condition and different countries no doubt but there might just be a case of overkill. And also in the case of the IPL, the thing that excites viewers apart from the action on the field is whats happening off the field as well. The major battle of ego between the big businesses that are the owners of the franchisees has it’s own attraction.”
Cricket writer Ayaz Memon and Ashish Magotra discuss that and other cricketing matter in the video above.