IPL DLF T20:Chennai Super Kings March into finals

The tame surrender of Delhi Daredevils in their semi final encounter with Shane Warne’s Rajasthan Royals team ensured that the final of IPL DLF T20 tourney would be a battle between the Royals and a king’s taem –either the Chennai Super Kings or King’s XI Punjab. But the 2nd semi final between the two teams with claims to Kingdom on Saturday evening was hardly the battle royale which one had expected . The CSK marched into finals rather effortlessly without any anxious moments.

King’s XI won the toss and decided to bat .The first ball of the match was posted to boundary   and the audience anticipated a thrilling encounter. The excitement was however short-   lived .Kings XI batsmen , soon started a march back to the pavilion with six wickets down for   45 .While Preity Zinta’s cheerful face slowly lost the smile as Yuvi returned to pavillion out for   3 caught by M’Daran of Gony there was a feeble sign of fightback till the seventh wicket was down for 63. The Maratha warrior Powar then took charge of the proceedings for the Punjab King .The highest partnership of the innings yielding 35 runs came off the bats of Mota and Pawar . Powar’s 28 off 21 balls which included one 6 and four boundaries was highest for the side. Lustily hitting round the wicket with a six and two fours of consecutive balls he helped the team to reach certain respectability at 112/8. Only two batsmen could get to double figures.

The bowling honours were shared between Natini, Morkel and Gony with two wickets each. M’Daran getting the wicket of Chawla. Irfan Pathan was run out when he failed to back up after an abortive run. The most economical bowling figures being that of Gony 2/14.

Set up the target of 113 runs CSK opened in stylish fashion with Parthiv and Vidyut who electrified the proceedings with 14 runs coming of the two opening overs from Irfan & Srisanth. In middle of     3rd over Vidyut parted ways with Parthiv returning to pavilion. Thereafter the Chennai     Jauggernaut rolled on effortlessly . The fifty came off 8 overs with the solitary loss of wicket.     Raina hit a brilliant six off Yuvi to push up the run rate. Midway down the street the CSK were     cruising at 66 at the end of tenth over.  While Sreesanth, Powar and Irfan sweated it out, Rain     and Patel continued regular hits to the boundary. After Raina ‘s massive six off Irfan 100 of the innings came in the 14th over and nothing much was thereafter left to be done. Patel reached his second fifty of the tournament shortly.I t was the last boundary from Raina in the next over which sealed the match in favour of CSK. The partnership between him and Patel for the 2nd wicket  yielding 102 runs.

While Raina with 58 runs  was the best bat for Dhoni’s side, Irfan was the lone wicket taker for the bowling side with most economical figures (24 runs in 4 overs).CSK won with 9 wkts and five overs to spare.

IPL DLF T 20:The highs and the lows of the tournament

IPL DLF League T 20 tournment will be at last reaching the last four stage with completion of 56 matches in next week. The league matches saw ups and downs in fortunes of teams and the men who gallantly fought for the respective sides .The march up to the semis has not been without some controversies as well as some hilarious developments. The first controversy interestingly related to a non sport event. The cheer girls from foreign soil hired at a huge cost were the first target of criticism for the outfits which some found against our cultural heritage. To add to their sorrow a famous film star dubbed them as “nachaniya” (dance babes). The girls however hardly lost any cheers and adorned some extra covers to their eye catching costumes to silence their critics.

A more eye catching incident followed in shape of teary eyed Sreesanth caught on camera. We learnt that the eye flue like condition was in fact the after effect of Harbhajan Singh’s slapping of young paceman after a match which his team Mumbi Indians lost to Sreesanth’s team. The slap cost Bhajji a five match ban and loss of match fees in approximation of Rs.2.5 Crs.

While the tournament was still recovering from the slap effect and baby Sreesanth’s tears had started drying up , the media started another whisper campaign about emotional response of a team franchisee about selective hugging of good performers based on their nativity. The allegedly class based welcome invited sarcastic responses. The bewildered franchisee thereafter had to contend the team members with a toned down welcome note on return to pavilion after a good knock.

And then came the booze baron’s bombshell. Vijay Mallya the franchisee of Royal Challengers a consistently losing team openly challenged the management potential of his CEO Charu Sharma and blamed him and captain Rahul Dravid for having instigated him into buying a vintage collection of players which turned out to be without any fizz. His choice of the second costliest team, appeared to be chasing victory like the elusive kingfisher as the team remained at second lowest place in the standing on match points. A volley of protests followed .

As the dust and din was settling, another dusty rider arrived in shape of Shohaib Akhtar the banned but bailed Pakistan pacer. While everyone thought as to why the guy was sweating so much, some Paki newspapers planted a story of 36 syringes allegedly seized by custom authorities from his bag. While the charge was not found to be correct yet it ushered in dope tests which were to be done randomly. Knight riders then found themselves mired in a controversy spun around their franchisee Shahrukh Khan’s mixing too much with his bunch of knight riders. When anti corruption staff (??) checked his intrusions in player’s area King Khan aggressively protested and also dispatched (leaked to media) an adieu SMS to his team announcing his withdrawal from the playfield till “he learnt rules of the game ” (completed bollywood commitments ???) . The organizers had to come down with systematization of the process. But by that time Dada’s gang already appeared to be riding into the sunset notwithstanding the support from the faulty and fading lighting system at Eden Gardens.

(With Thanks to IPL site for the Pics)

The T20 brand -elusive for Dr. Vijay Mallya

The recent entry of liquor baron Vijay Mallya in the field of Cricktainment known as DLF IPL League has generated some comic confusion, an activity which has been the hall mark of Mallya’s style of functioning. The business tycoon whose name figures two steps ahead of the magical figure of 666 in the Forbes list of billionaires is known for his eat drink and enjoy lifestyle (if you can afford it). Having inherited a conglomerate of motley companies at the age of 28 years Mallya’s fortunes climbed steeply in course of next two decade to make him owner of some of the most sought after territories in liquor trade. But it has also brought in public domain his confusing and contradictory approach to issues of consequence.

Dr. (?) Mallya true to his spend thrift image purchased ( or assembled) the second costliest team ($111.6 millions) of Indian cricketers in the IPL T20 tournament. The Ragged Mallya Challenge It seems that the business baron who proudly acclaims (when you board the Kingfisher aircraft and switch on the mini TV set) that every airhostess in his Kingfisher Airlines has been personally selected by him to treat the passengers as his personal guests was a bit indiscreet this time since his golden team did not display similar devotion to the cause of it’s master and seems to be gravitating towards the bottom of the pit under it’s weight . Mallya reacted promptly and sacked Charu Sharma “CEO” of the team- a commentator whose adornment with this corporate style assignment was decision of Vijay Bhai himself. Dr. Mallya as expected is trying salvage some part of his reputation as producer of world famous liquor brands and breeder of winner race horses with the information that he had left the selection to Chru and Rahul Dravid who selected a test team instead of a team suited for the abbreviated version of the game. Later when another team member Anil Kumble came out in defence of captain Rahul Dravid, Mallya further backtracked and came out to defend team coach.The team despite the changes and fire fighting efforts continues to loose.

Mallya watchers would however contest his contention and recall that he is a man who is inconsistent even while reporting his family roots .While the Wilkipedia reports his place of birth as some obscure town in Karnataka and Calcutta as his place of education, Mallya in an interview to journo Anjali Rao given at his Kingfisher Villa (is it not encroaching on Coastal Regulatory Zone ???) at Goa keenly painted himself as a Goan apparently to reinforce his colorful image. Mallya hardly known for any philanthropic projects, once reported to have spent Rs.1.5 Crs. to purchase a sword belonging to Karnataka warrior king Tipu Sultan in a Sotheby auction at London , for restoring the sword to the motherland. However strangely his wife and family contrary to his patriotic leanings remain ensconced in USA as their home place . About the doctorate which adorns his name, there are apprehensions that it is from a disputed source.

While the blogs promoted by his group rightly praise his genius as a business man , there is a only a subdued reference to his disastrous performance at another sunken ship -the long forgotten Janata Dal of which Mallya is president apparently even now. Having taken over the mantle of Janata Dal President from Subramaniam Swami in the year 2003 he fielded candidates for 20 (unlucky no. for him?) seats for Karntaka Assembly elections. Unfortunately his choice of candidates at that time was total failure since every one from his party lost.

What Dr. Mallya perhaps needs to understand is that while the selection of horses , hostesses and hot calendar models can be made on visual appreciation of certain features , selection of a sports team or political representatives for an election campaign requires tactical skills and intellectual proficiency of a different nature. There are other investors also whose teams are not that successful but they are not complaining because a good businessman should also have a good shock absorption mechanism and in difficult times should wait for the tide to turn.

Quitting the govt jobs :Is the grass really pale on this side

A few days back I came across a very beautiful post in Blogbharati on choice of civil services as a profession, articulating the reasons which make the services a continuing source of attraction for so many young men and women. Not long back there was another interesting article in a leading magazine on a similar subject which on the contrary indicated that a number of former civil servants were moving over to jobs in private sector since they found such jobs much more attractive and satisfying . The former civil servants now stylishly photographed in their Corporate environment were at pains to explain as to how they were now able to give output which was several times higher than what they could deliver in their previous assignments, which they found to be suffocating ( and managed to survive in the suffocation for several decades !). The two conflicting pictures need to be looked into carefully in order to ascertain as to which of the two is closer to reality.

One important information which one could make out from the article on exodus of civil servants was that the number of such senior officers was in the range of not more than two dozen in a year. Out of the massive strength of civil servants in various government jobs the departure of a handful of senior functionaries in a year hardly merits the type of sensational and glossy coverage which the media bestowed on these ex bureaucrats. Was it an impromptu attention of some serious journalist to this issue (which has little relevance or interest for majority of the readers) of social behaviour or something akin to behaviour of IPL cheer girls (who are paid for show of excitement irrespective of the stature or parentage of the players involved) will remain an issue to be pondered with.

Another important issue which calls for attention is whether the process for selection of these senior civil servants to private sector jobs was transparent and open to all others with similar experience and seniority. No doubt these civil servants while holding senior posts must have ensured that all recruitments to public services under respective departments were made through fair and transparent process .Can they say with certainity that their own exodus from civil services was preceeded by a similar exercise, or the selection process merely zeroed down on an officer who was earlier accquaintance of a corporate entity or business house.

Also, the information that substantial number of such bureaucrats were absorbed in infrastructure related companies , for which the ability to closely network with reltaed agencies including govt departments is a key job requirement , makes the situation a bit complex. Further if the challenges and opportunities to perform in Govt service are so limited and poor then what could make these officers who spent a lifetime in such inconsequential jobs , so valuable in the estimation of their new employers ? Is it their professional competence or their proximity to bureaucratic circles which constitute their ESP in the eyes of private sector employers ?

Perhaps these are uncomfortable questions which the ex bureaucrats would find unjustified on the ground that it is their personal life and career and others do not have a right to suspect their abilities or the compelling needs which prompted their new employer to call them to their service. Questions of this nature may also be considered as reflective of frustration on part of those who could not make to the Al dorado.

As civilized civil servants others may accept this argument in honour of departed senior colleagues. But one request that can be made to them is to not to belittle the civil services or present a gory picture of the scenario in order to justify their departure.

They know it well that the scenario is not as bleak , if we take into consideration the fact that we are still a nascent democracy and various social forces are still to come to a state of stable equilibrium in our management set up . The challenges before the administrators are complex, involving human beings and behavioral patterns with various conflicts within them. The country is struggling with modern administrative concepts like e governance and it will be some time before fruits of modern technology will be suitably harnessed to make the life better for common man.

We are ahead of many other countries but still have a long way to go. Till then we need pooled efforts of young and old in the civil, police and allied services to contribute in what ever humble way they can within this complex and sometimes oppressive structure. For every deserter there are thousands who know this truth and feel proud of their jobs. They may be allowed to continue without distraction and interference because the country needs their services.