Kochi Indi Commandos – What ???

The 10th IPL Team Kochi has finally come up with a name. Wish they had remained as ‘Kochi IPL Team’ instead or ‘Rendezvous Team’ as called by the owners. But now they are called ‘Kochi Indi Commandos‘ !!!

What does that even mean ?? What kind of silly name is Indi Commando. The team has been making all kinds of mistakes and errors and controversial things. Their team selection involving Sreesanth, Ravindra Jadeja was bad enough. Then they wanted Ganguly which they couldn’t get. They have all the discarded KKR players and now this.

Here is their Team Logo

This looks like an amateur Powerpoint Work. What a silly design !!

This team  has no future !!

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IPL – Final Format & Draw

Finally the format of 10 team IPL 4 has been decided and its well quite different from what was being speculated earlier. Each team gets to play 14 matches. 7 home and 7 away. Each team plays 5 other teams on home-away basis, plays 2 teams only at home and 2 teams away. Thus totaling 70 matches. The top 4 teams would go through the semi finals. Thus 74 matches would be played over a period of 7 weeks or so. Final schedule will be out soon, meanwhile here is the draw for each team.

The IPL 2011 draw
Team Home and away Home Away
Pune DD, DC, KXIP, MI, CSK Kochi, KKR RCB, RR
DD DC, KXIP, MI, Pune, Kochi KKR, RCB RR, CSK
DC KXIP, MI, Pune, DD, KKR RCB, RR CSK, Kochi
KXIP MI, Pune, DD, DC, RCB RR, CSK Kochi, KKR
MI Pune, DD, DC, KXIP, RR CSK, Kochi KKR, RCB
CSK Kochi, KKR, RCB, RR, Pune DD, DC KXIP, MI
Kochi KKR, RCB, RR, CSK, DD DC, KXIP MI, Pune
KKR RCB, RR, CSK, Kochi, DC KXIP, MI Pune, DD
RCB RR, CSK, Kochi, KKR, KXIP MI, Pune DD, DC
RR CSK, Kochi, KKR, RCB, MI Pune, DD DC, KXIP

IPL 4 – Mega Auction – Round 1

IPL 4 Mega Auction  First Round was held on 8th January 2011 at Bangalore.

Post the first round here are the core of all the squads.

Bangalore Royal Challengers
Retained –  Virat Kohli
Round 1 – Cheteshwar Pujara Dirk Nannes Zaheer Khan Saurabh Tiwary  Daniel Vettori AB De Villiers Tillakaratne Dilshan

Chennai Superkings
Retained – M S Dhoni, Suresh Raina, Murali Vijay, Albie Morkel
Round 1 – Michael Hussey Doug Bollinger Wriddhiman Saha Ravichandran Ashwin Subramaniam Badrinath Dwayne Bravo

Deccan Chargers
Round 1 – Cameron White Kevin Pietersen Shikhar Dhawan Ishant Sharma Pragyan Ojha Amit Mishra JP Duminy Dale Steyn Kumar Sangakkara

Delhi Daredevils
Retained  –  Virendra Sehwag
Round 1 – James Hopes David Warner Aaron Finch Irfan Pathan Naman Ojha Morne Morkel

Kings XI Punjab
Round 1 – Adam Gilchrist Shaun Marsh David Hussey Ryan Harris Stuart Broad Dinesh Karthik Abhishek Nayar Praveen Kumar Piyush Chawla

Kochi Team
Round 1 – Steven Smith Brad Hodge VVS Laxman Rudra Pratap Singh S Sreesanth  Ravindra Jadeja Parthiv Patel Ramesh Powar Brendon McCullum Mahela Jayawardene Muttiah Muralitharan

Kolkata Knightriders
Round 1 – Brad  Haddin Brett Lee Shakib Al Hasan Eoin Morgan Yusuf Pathan Gautam Gambhir Manoj Tiwary Jacques Kallis

Mumbai Indians
Retained – Sachin Tendulkar, Harbhajan Singh, Lasith Malinga, Keiron Pollard
Round 1 – Andrew Symonds Rohit Sharma James Franklin David Johan Jacobs

Pune Sahara Warriors
Round 1 – Tim Paine Callum Ferguson Yuvraj Singh Robin Uthappa Ashish Nehra Nathan  McCullum Graeme Smith Angelo Mathews

Rajasthan Royals
Retained – Shane Warne, Shane Watson
Round 1 – Paul Collingwood Rahul Dravid Ross Taylor Johan Botha

2nd Round of auction will be held on 9th January 2011.

IPL4 – Format & Auctions

Finally, After all the long litigations and hours of meetings it almost seems final that IPL 4 would have 10 teams and 74 matches. There would 2 groups of 5 each which would play matches on Home and Away basis thus producing 40 matches. The next round will have top 6 teams playing against each other in home- away basis and thus producing another 30 matches. 2 semi finals, 1 3rd place match and the mega final would make it 74 matches over a period of 6 weeks.

The players auction has been finalized for 8th and 9th January 2011. There are 416 players available for the first round of auction. This list includes heavyweights like Rahul Dravid, YuvRaj Singh, Zaheer Khan from India and International stars like Brian Lara, Micheal Hussey and Kevin Peterson.  Out of these the list will be pruned down to a more reasonable number by December 24,2010 based on the interests shown by the 10 franchises. The base prices for the players are fixed but that is of course not indicative of the actual prices. Notable absentees in the list are Ricky Ponting, Mitchell Johnson and Micheal Clarke who have resisted IPL’s money in favor of longer International career. Pakistani players are also not part of the list.

12 players have been retained by various franchises. Mumbai Indians have retained Sachin, Harbhajan Singh, Malinga and Pollard while Chennai have put faith in Dhoni, Raina, Vijay and Albie Morkel. Delhi have retained Sehwag while Bangalore are happy with Virat Kohli. Rajasthan have retained Shane Warne and Shane Watson. The other 3 teams namely Deccan, Knightriders and Kings XI Punjab and the 2 new teams of Pune and Kochi go with empty roster in the auction and the full 9 Million $ to spend.

Apart from the auctions the team will be entitled to sign the Indian domestic players which will make the backbone of any team. BCCI is yet to decide upon the final date from which this signing can happen.

The auctions would surely be as keenly followed as the actual IPL Matches.

IPL 4 – Status Update

IPL 4 is set to be played 6 days after the conclusion of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011. The tournament is now about 4 months away, however due to the various controversies neither the no. of teams, the players, no. of matches, format anything is known to the public and not even to the players and team owners. It was supposed to be a 10 Team event when 2 new teams Pune and Kochi were added last year in much publicized team auction.

Later due to the ownership issues and various non-cricketing reasons Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab were suspended from the IPL and the Kochi team was always on the brink of suspension due to its various ownership issues. At one stage it looked there would be just 7 teams and an eighth team would be added after a fresh round of auction. However as things stand today Kochi is back in the fold and so is Rajasthan Royals based on the court order. Punjab team is likely to be there as well as their case is similar to the Royals. Thus it would be a 10 team affair.

Player auction which was supposed to be held in November had been postponed to January and now it seems may further gets postponed to March, i.e. during the ICC World Cup. As the BCCI is yet to clear off the court cases.

No one is sure about the format, the no. of matches either and would a round robin home-away format will be followed or a changed format of 2 groups would be followed is yet to be decided. The teams are not sure about the exact playing dates as well. The Player retention rules are even more controversial with teams having a choice of up to 4 players to retain from their existing team, but then they lose half their auction limit of 9 Million $. It seems not all teams are in favor of retention however Mumbai Indians and Chennai Superkings are quite keen on it.

As of now it seems Mumbai have decided to retain Sachin Tendulkar, Harbhajan Singh, Lasith Malinga  and either of Keiron Pollard and J P Duminy. Chennai have decided to retain Dhoni, Raina, Murali Vijay and Albie Morkel while Bangalore are keen only on Virat Kohli and Kolkata are keen only on Chris Gayle and not even their very own Ganguly. Delhi are sure to keep Sehwag with them and possibly Ashish Nehra, Dirk Nannes and maybe Gautam Gambhir too. Rajasthan have opted for Shane Warne, Watson and possibly Yusuf Pathan. Deccan Chargers have decided not to retain anybody while Kings XI Punjab are still awaiting for court ruling to decide anything. There are clearly no takers for veteran players such as Dravid, Ganguly, Laxman, Kumble and so on. The teams also do not have a fixed strategy and things are quite muddled at the moment.

Unless and until clarity comes from the court regarding status of various teams and BCCI decided upon the format of the game and auction dates and rules nothing can be sure.

Although one thing is sure, BCCI is hell bent on hosting the IPL 4 by hook or crook.

IPL 4 – New Format is here…

So finally we have new format for the next 3 IPLs at least beginning from 2011. IPL governing council has done away with all teams playing each other home and away and have come up with a composite format which is a combination of home-away matches along with division of teams into groups and a slightly complex playoff formula.

There are 10 teams now, there would be 2 groups of 5 each. Teams in same group would play each other on home-away basis. The teams would also play other 5 teams from the 2nd group on either home or away basis and would play an additional game against 1 of the team from 2nd group. Thus each team would get to play 14 games, 7 at home and 7 away. The groups and the schedules would be decided by a random draw. These would lead to 70 games of group stages. This will be followed by 4 Playoff games deciding the winner. The top 2 teams from group stage would play in the 1st semi final. The 3rd and 4th team from the group stage would play in a knockout match. The winner of this knockout match and the loser of 1st semi final would play the 2nd semi final. The winners of 2 semi finals would then play the big final. Thus there would be 74 games in total. This format gives lot more importance of qualifying higher i.e. in top 2  in the group stage. The top 3 teams of course also qualify for the Champions League.

The teams would also retain upto 4 players from their existing squad and can retain maximum 2 foreign players. The teams also have salary cap for the entire squad of 30 and have newly defined catchment area for Indian domestic talent. Also the Indian domestic players have salaries predefined based on their experience.

Thus IPL’s new format looks complex to begin with but satisfies everybody. The franchises get at least 14 games. There are totally 74 games so squeezing the entire tournament within 6 weeks is feasible. The no. of matches remaining almost the same as earlier seasons also means similar revenues for broadcasters and same exposure to advertisers. The random draw for groups and home and away matches would make it more exciting. The group stages match would be more important.

The complex playoff format is being tried for the first time in IPL but has been already tried successfully in New Zealand domestic cricket.

Welcome Pune and Kochi, Sorry Ahmedabad !!

Pune and Kochi were the chosen cities for the 2 new IPL teams to be added to the existing eight from the next season in 2011. The entire bidding process was earlier cancelled and bids were re-invited and winners were declared today in a much hyped press conference in Chennai.

When the bids were yet to be opened, cities like Ahmedabad, Kanpur, Nagpur, Pune, Vizag, Indore, Kochi etc. were in the fray and it was learnt that 5 proper bids were received. It was widely thought that bids from Videocon group, Sahara Group, Adani group etc. would be the winners and most people expected Ahmedabad and perhaps Pune to be the host cities of the new franchises.

Sahara Group turned out to be the highest bidder with 370 Million $ and they chose Pune as their host city. The next highest bidder was a consortium of 5 companies named Rendezvous Sports World who bid 333.33 million $ for the franchise to be hosted in Kochi. The other bidders bid close to 320 million $ each but of course only 2 teams were to be chosen and they lost out. The losers included Videocon group, Adani Group etc.

Sahara Group opting for Pune over Ahmedabad and Nagpur was perhaps more a business decision than a cricketing decision. Pune being a city on par with Ahmedabad in most ways is almost a twin city of Mumbai, who already have a powerful franchise in Mumbai Indians, thus their cricketing catchment area would most certainly overlap. In Ahmedabad you had a huge catchment area comprising of 3 Ranji teams of Gujarat, Baroda and Saurashtra, waiting to be tapped. Sahara surely had other reasons to select Pune over Ahmedabad.

Kochi was a complete surprise, even for the IPL head honcho Lalit Modi himself. Post the announcement he struggled to name the winning group and its leading person and later when asked about who the actual owners were of the team, had to refer to his notes and finally had to take help of the winning team head to declare who actually the owners were. It turned out that owners of Rendezvous Sports World are a group of builders, real estate developers based in Kerala. Kochi at present, does not even have a proper cricket stadium and uses a football stadium to host international matches,  however the real estate developers in the winning team would certainly be licking their lips at the thought of building a brand new stadium.

Ahmedabad is perhaps unlucky to lose out on a lucrative offer of hosting an IPL franchise. The 2 new franchises gave the IPL an amount close to Rs. 3200 crores which is more than selling of previous 8 franchises put togather, Rs. 2,800 crores. Lalit Modi announced that there would be no further expansion of IPL, atleast in near future. But with the kind of money available and the interest shown by leading coroporate houses in hosting an IPL franchise one can never say, never to the idea of more teams say in 3 years time. Ahmedabad can perhaps try their luck that time.

Any guesses for the names of the 2 new teams. My guesses would be Pune Panthers and Kochi Cobras.