Yes, you read that headline right.
Beards were a big part of this IPL, but let's talk about the broken hearts first: Pune had the maximum number as their team failed to chase down a fairly easy target by just one run in the final. Records? There were plenty of those too. First Mumbai Indians broke a three-way tie with Kolkata Knight Riders and Chennai Super Kings to become the first team to win three IPL titles. There were other records too that went down.
The really standout record breaker at this year’s IPL, however, was actually the beard. Or to be more accurate, the disappearing beard. Cricketer after cricketer took the #breakthebeard challenge and altered their looks almost completely. While it is difficult to pinpoint where it all started, Team India members were very much at the forefront of the trend. So much so, that even the venerable Sunil Gavaskar commented on Ajinkya Rahane’s new look during one of Pune’s league matches.
Mumbai Indians too had their #breakthebread moment, when commentators couldn't get enough of Mitchell McClenaghan's clean-shaven look.
Yes, it is the same guy. We checked the name at the back of his jersey!
So big was #breakthebeard that cricketers happily took to social media to share their 'before and after' looks. One of them even managed to impress his fiancée: We're talking about Zaheer Khan, who took the challenge much to Sagarika Ghatge's approval.
— zaheer khan (@ImZaheer) May 18, 2017
Zaheer wasn't the only one though, to get rid of the facial fuzz. Here are the others who took the challenge:
— Ravindrasinh jadeja (@imjadeja) April 18, 2017
Jaddu, this one's for you.We got no dressing room confusions here now. #BreakTheBeard #MIGotStyle #newlook #KKRvGL #OneMoreSurpriseComing A post shared by Hardik Pandya (@hardikpandya_official) on
From hashtags to emojis
On or off the field you can’t keep MS Dhoni down. The man took the #breakthebeard challenge. Elsewhere, he created a record by playing his seventh IPL final. Yes, Dhoni has been in seven out of the 10 IPL finals. By far the most for any cricketer. His fans know he is special, so there’s the man — enjoying his status as the most successful emoji on Twitter.
Coming in at number two is his successor as captain of Team India and another player who has not had a good season — Virat Kohli (#viratkohli). Fans don’t seem to care about his performance in a single season — rather, they understand that Kohli and Dhoni are legends, and deserve their numero uno and dos positions. The dashing AB De Villiers (#abdelilliers) comes in at number three and Kolkata’s astute captain Gautam Gambhir (#gambhir) is number four. Rounding out the top five is Yuvraj Singh (#yuvi).
This IPL too had its fair share of gems from the commentary team.
"He reminds me of a newly born giraffe" — that was Matthew Hayden after Ishant Sharma repeatedly slipped during his run-up.
"Can you imagine Pollard playing the Dilscoop…showing his r.a.n.g.e, range?" — Sanjay Manjrekar making sure Pollard does not mistake 'range' for 'brains' like he did on a previous occasion.
Frequent flyer miles
Crisscrossing the country is pretty much the norm for all the IPL teams. This year too, the teams racked up some serious mileage by the time the group stages ended. KKR heads the list with 15,223 km, while Delhi Daredevils just had to cover 7,952 km.
Having your cake and eating it too
Birthdays and victory celebrations inevitably involve cake. Lots of it. The most watched cake moment of IPL 10, had to be the cake presented to the master blaster, Sachin Tendulkar, on his birthday — 24 April.
The other celebrations were not as sedate:
All in all, this IPL has been as much about what happened off-field, as it has been about the on field action. As for what IPL 11 has in store — we can't wait to find out!
Updated Date: May 23, 2017 15:21:26 IST