Barinder Saluja/Gaurav Saini, Chandigarh/Mohali,April 7 : The cricket mania is not here to fade out sooner. The ICC World Cup fever has not even rescinded yet and the country is all geared up to witness yet another cricket extravaganza in the form of IPL Season 4 commencing this Friday, April 8th, 2011. A nation high on the ecstasy of elusive world cup win after 28 long years will shed its national fervors now, to witness a war of wholesome entertainment.
The cricket craze is full throttles across the nation and the memories of flamboyant fans dancing with tricolor over the hood of their sedans, is still afresh in everyone’s memory lanes. “If the World Cup was a box-office hit, IPL season 4 is set to be a blockbuster. The more glamorous cricketing extravaganza is expected to match, if not exceed the just concluded World Cup,” says an enthralled fan.IPL has grown bigger since inception. The first three seasons of the gala event are already read as great success stories and the event has caught more fan-fare across the years. With money pondering, the shorter version of the game has proved many cricket pundits wrong with its un-predictable results. Being a power punched event it has managed to squeeze highest levels of perfection and consistency out of players. The inclusion of two new teams in the name of Sahara Pune Warriors and Kochi Tuskers are surely going to add more drama, fun and stiff competition in season 4 of IPL. With a streamlined format this season 74 matches will be played across 13 venues, 4 out of which will be hosted by PCA Stadium at Mohali. The new auctions have though changed the combinations of the playing teams to quite an extent with many world class players switching between the clubs, but this is just going to make cricket curry all the more hot.
Alike whole nation, Tricity is no exception when it comes to cricket. The lively crowd, rocking atmosphere and the Punjabi tadka makes cricket all the more watchful at PCA Stadium Mohali. Cricket maniacs who cherished the moments of India’s dream run to lift the world cup can not afford to take this mega-event on a lighter note. With PCA hosting 4 league matches the people of tricity are all excited to grab the tickets and re-live the experience. The fans who witnessed India defeat arch rivals Pakistan on the same ground expect replication of some unforgettable innings on the same pitch once again. The home team Kings XI Punjab would not leave any stones unturned to come up to the expectations of the home crowd. The team though has got a complete makeover is hopeful of turning the tables of fortune to their vantage.
Sans local lad and World Cup 2011’s ace performer Yuvraj Singh, the team though rich on International players like Adam Gilchrist, David Hussey and Shaun Marsh seems novice when it comes to local players, with many un-heard names like Nitin Saini, Bipul Sharma and Love Ablish making the camp. However it will be no wonders still if this team lifts the IPL Season 4 trophy, in sync with the legacy of Indian Premier League where minnows like Rajasthan Royals in Season 1 and Deccan Chargers in season 2 proved to be the winners.
The natives of tricity are enthusiastic and all geared to witness the event. Though a majority will cheer for the home team but there remains a large clog which has strong fascination for the other franchisees. PCA Mohali holds as lush a grass mat as during the World Cup and destined to live up to the anticipations of its organizers and spectators. The stadium with unconventional low raised lights is famous for providing incredible cricketing experience. With the cosmo Chandigarhites and flamboyant Punjabis comprising the crowd, the cricketing experience is going to rise to higher altitudes of exhilaration.
The controversy of Lalit Modi though raised a few eyebrows has literally failed to mar the spirit of cricket loving nation who are prepared to witness the coming season with all the zeal and enthusiasm. Talking about the city hotels and other accommodations many of the hotels already house world class facilities to comfort the visiting players and officials. Numerous others promise budget and hygienic lodging facilities are also prepared to welcome the cricket fans. Just after coping with the heavy rush of visitors during the Indo-Pak contest the places are almost as prepared as they were about a week back, though the city is not expecting as much rush this time.
The peaceful conduct of ICC World Cup matches including the Indo-Pak semi-final has brought a sigh of relief for Mohali and Chandigarh administrations. The two have now started preparing for four IPL matches. Sources confirmed that Deputy Commissioner Parveen Kumar chaired a special meeting of senior officials last week to ensure adequate traffic and parking arrangements as well as other facilities for the locals and those who will come to watch the matches on April 13, 21, May 8 and 10.
Team of The India Post happens to talk to some of the cricket enthusiasts, who said :
Gurdeep Singh, Chartered Accountant, Chandigarh – “I am too excited to watch IPL especially after the emphatic win of Indian cricket team. It will be great fun to see those team mates now rubbing shoulders against each other which will prove true test of their nerves. I will support and cheer for Kings XI Punjab. Though we will miss Yuvraj Singh from team Punjab but I am confident that Adam will lead the team to lift the trophy. On inclusion of new faces I feel that IPL is a wonderful platform to skim the budding talent. Matured players have already proven their metal its now the time for new guns to go blazing.”
Vijay Singal, Author, Sparkling Punjab – “I am a true IPL Fan and watched all the matches held at Wankhede Mumbai last season, as I was there. Though Mumbai Indians are my favourite but my heart goes all for Kings XI Punjab. I wish Yuvraj was a part of new team too. He would have done wonders under the expertise of Micheal Bevan, the team coach . Fingers crossed !
Sharmita Bhinder, Soft Skills and Personality trainer– “I missed freaking on the roads after Indian team’s victory in the World Cup and wish the home team brings back the opportunity to Chandigarhites. The team would have been much stronger with in-form Yuvraj whose innings brought the World Cup home after 28 long years. However, I am confident about the youngsters’ inclusion in the team. This is to remember that no one expected wonders from 1983 world cup team and Kings XI is going to repeat the history this time. This change has come for better. I have strong bonding with Kings XI for the other reason that even my kids back the same team.
Atul Bhardwaj, Photographer, Sparkling Punjab – “I am a hardcore Delhi fan though my wishes go for Punjab team too. Punjab is virtually my second mother land and I wish Punjabi Kings go blazing in this season of IPL. Gilchrist, my all time favourite and sixer king will definitely do wonders with this young Punjabi team. The team will definitely touch new milestones under his leadership.”
Dakksh Ajit Singh, Actor – “My wishes go equally for Kings XI Punjab & Mumbai Indians. Being a Punjabi by blood makes me die for Kings XI but Sachin distracts me in favour of Mumbai Indians. A final match between KXIP and MIs is all I want. It would have been wonderful to see Yuvraj Singh leading the kings. Apart IPL, my heartiest congratulations go to the Indian team for bringing the cup home.”