Cricket Betting

Are The Selectors Biased When Selecting U-19 Players?

The only celebrities that are bigger than Bollywood celebrities in India are cricket players. They not only hog the limelight but also make loads of money once they start playing for India and get a good IPL contract.

This is one of the reasons why parents all over India encourage their sons and now even their daughters to play cricket when it comes to choosing a post. However, with over 1.3 billion people in the land, making it through the district level and representing your state team can be quite a daunting task.

A recent debate has surged on social media as to whether nepotism is prevalent in Indian cricket. For many years there have been suggestions that nepotism is present in the Bollywood industry as certain families who have a famous last name appear to get preferential treatment. Their children seem to get more opportunities to break into the movie industry solely based on their last name rather than their acting abilities.

There is a large section of Indian cricket fans who feel that nepotism is prevalent in Indian cricket as well, as the selectors are showing favoritism to young cricketers who have a famous last name.

Fans Question The Selection Of Arjun Tendulkar

Sachin Tendulkar changed the face of Indian cricket as he dominated the sport for nearly two decades. He was, and could still probably be, the best batsman that India produced and was worshipped by Indian cricket fans when he was at his peak.

Tendulkar, who was fondly referred to as the Master Blaster, has since retired and generally makes an appearance when the IPL is being played as he mentors the Mumbai Indians franchise. Sachin’s son Arjun Tendulkar also decided to play cricket but unlike his father who was a pure batsmen who could bowl a few overs, Arjun is primarily a bowler who can also bat.

Arjun Tendulkar’s selection for Mumbai has now come under close scrutiny, probably because there is no cricket action happening and journalists have the time to do some in-depth research. A debate has raged on social media over the past few days claiming that Arjun Tendulkar should not have been selected over other individuals who had performed and had better stats that Tendulkar.

The debate mentioned a young man named Pranav Dhanwade who was the son of an auto-rickshaw driver. Dhanwade created quite a few records when he notched up a massive 1009 runs in 327 balls as he took the opposition apart. However, he was ignored by the selectors even after such an impressive knock. On the other hand, Arjun, who does not have any outstanding stats, was selected.

This has given rise to the nepotism debate as fans have claimed that Arjun is getting special treatment because he the son of Sachin Tendulkar.

Aakash Chopra Plays Down Nepotism Angle

Former cricketer turned commentator Aakash Chopra played down the nepotism factor claiming that fans shouldn’t get emotional just by looking at a few stats but should take the big picture into consideration.

Chopra said that Arjun Tendulkar had a lot more exposure at international level as he has bowled to the England cricket team in the nets on a few occasions. He also bowled in the nets to the Indian women’s cricket team when they were preparing for the 2017 World Cup final.

Chopra pointed out that while Pranav Dhanwade’s knock on paper did look very impressive; it came against a very weak bowling attack. Chopra also pointed out that if nepotism was so prevalent in India cricket, then Rohan Gavaskar would have played a lot more for India as he was the son of the great Sunil Gavaskar.

Nepotism Angle Will Not Go Away Soon

Chopra makes a good argument but most Indian fans are not buying it as they realize how powerful the BCCI is and that big names do carry weight in the selection committee. There are some fans who believe that players like Rohan Gavaskar and Stuart Binny should not have represented India for as many games as they did but they got a few more chances because of their last name and what their father’s did for Indian cricket.

It will be interesting to see if Arjun Tendulkar secures as IPL contract in the next couple of years as that will certain ignite the nepotism debate in Indian cricket even further.

Cricket Franchise

Factors That Determine Which Is IPL’s Most Popular Franchise

The Indian Premier League (IPL) has been around for the last 12 years and has established itself as the richest T20 domestic premier league in the world. The IPL has a massive fan following both in India and overseas as the IPL features a mix of domestic players, rising stars and some of the top international cricket stars.

The IPL always has packed stadiums as fans show up in the thousands to support their franchises. There are 8 IPL franchises that take part every season and some of them are more popular than their counterparts. We take a look at the different factors that determine the popularity of each IPL franchise.

Championship Record  

The IPL is a closely contested T20 competition but over the years, a few teams have emerged as favorites because of their ability to win regularly and win under pressure. The IPL franchises that have won most IPL championships tend to be very popular because Indian fans love to support a winning team.

When we look at the 12 year history of the IPL, we find that the Mumbai Indians have won 4 IPL championships, Chennai Super Kings (CSK) come in second with 3 IPL championships and the Kolkata Knight Riders have won 2 IPL championships. However, CSK has made it to the IPL finals more often than any other team as they have ended up losing as 5 IPL championship finals. That really puts CSK ahead as they have been the more dominant team in terms of beating the rest of the IPL teams.

Star Power

Cricket stars are as big as movie stars in India and some might argue that they are even more popular that film stars. The IPL franchises that tend to draw a huge fan following tend to be franchises that have a lot of star power. The Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) is a good example of this. RCB have never won an IPL championship and in most IPL editions have played rather poorly.

However, they continue to be a fan favorite because they have always had a great line-up of stars. RCB is currently led by Indian captain Virat Kohli who is the biggest star in Indian cricket. Chris Gayle, AB Devilliers, Dale Steyn, Mitchell Starc and Muttiah Muralitharan have all represented the franchise.

CSK and Mumbai Indians outmuscle the rest of the teams as they have spent huge money to get the very best in the business. CSK has always had MS Dhoni as their captain and have had the likes of Matthew Hayden, Michael Hussey, Dwayne Bravo, Faf du Plessis, Suresh Raina and R Ashwin over the years.

The Mumbai Indians had Sachin Tendulkar first as a player and then as a coach. They are captained by Indian vice-captain Rohit Sharma and have had the likes of L Malinga, Kieron Pollard, H Pandya and Mitchell Johnson represent them.

The smaller franchises may not have huge star power in their players but their owners bring in the fans. Bollywood divas Preity Zinta and Shilpa Shetty own Kings XI Punjab and Rajasthan Royals while superstar Shah Rukh Khan owns KKR.

Social Media Following

Indian fans cannot get enough of the IPL and the players on the field and TV screens. They follow their favorite IPL franchises and players on social media which include Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. IPL franchise and IPL players have focused on growing their social media following with every edition of the IPL.

The Mumbai Indians and CSK once again dominate social media following with the Mumbai Indians showing 13.2 million Facebook fans, 4.4 million Instagram fans and 5.4 million Twitter fans while CSK has 12.5 million Facebook fans, 4.3 million Instagram fans and 5.4 million Twitter fans. KKR and RCB come in third and fourth while Rajasthan Royals is at the bottom of the list in terms of social media followings.

Market Size

One of the reasons why teams like Mumbai Indians and CSK tend to be at the top of the list in terms of popularity is because of market size. Smaller teams like the Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab have less of a fan following than metro cities like Mumbai, Chennai and Bengaluru.

Conclusion: The two most popular IPL franchise based on these factors are CSK and Mumbai Indians with CSK have a slight edge over Mumbai for now. However, Mumbai could very well surge ahead once MS Dhoni retires from IPL cricket.

Cricket Batter

We Analyse Whether The Extended Rest Will Help or Hurt India’s Top Cricketers

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is the richest cricketing body in the world because the Indian market is very lucrative and it is also why the Indian cricket team has been playing non-stop cricket for so many years.

Rest Good For Mental Health

The hectic cricketing schedule has taken its toll on the mental health of a number of cricketers over the years. English cricketers Marcus Trescothick and Jonathan Trott could not cope with the stress of playing so many games away from home. Australian cricketer Glenn Maxwell came out in 2019 and asked for a break from cricket citing mental health issues.

However, you will not find any Indian players complaining about mental health issues. This is not because Indian players do not have any mental health issues but because of the stigma and consequences associated with taking a break from the game. Indian players know that if they decide to take a break, there is always another player ready to take their place and they know that it will be very difficult to get back into the thick of things!

Players also have a complex that they will be viewed as mentally weak and not being able to cope with the pressures of being a cricketer. This is why they prefer to suck it up, keep silent and continue to play a hectic schedule.

With the 2020 IPL being postponed, Indian cricketers have not played any cricket for over 5 weeks. Since India continues to be in lockdown mode, players have not been able to go to the gym or have a practice session in the nets. The extended break should benefit the core group of players that play ODIs, T20s and Test cricket.

However, the extended break may not be good for all Indian cricketers especially those on the fringes and domestic cricketers in general. This is because many of these cricketers were looking forward to the 2020 IPL to bring in a decent pay check and also impress the selectors.

With no confirmation on whether the IPL will take place this year, many cricketers will be anxious about their cricketing future and also their finances as the IPL tends to pay young talent fantastically well!

Rest Not So Good For Fast Bowlers

There is a common belief amongst fast bowlers from yesteryears that fast bowlers must bowl even during the offseason to keep themselves like a well-oiled machine. The extended rest has made it impossible for Indian fast bowlers to even exercise, let alone send down a few overs in the nets.

The spinners will not be impacted as much as the fast bowlers because there is a greater demand placed on the body and rhythm of a fast bowler. Fast bowling is all about rhythm and the extended rest will make it difficult for the likes of Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav to hit their straps when cricket resumes.

When a fast bowler does not have enough overs sent down during the off season and is rushed back into international cricket, they tend to break down quicker and suffer serious injuries. It will be up to head coach Ravi Shastri and the Indian think tank to work out a proper schedule of how to get the fast bowlers back to speed!

Rest Should Benefit The Batsmen

While the extended rest will hurt the fast bowlers, it should benefit the batsmen – at least most batsmen. The reason we cannot generalize is because some batsmen prefer to spend a lot of time in the nets to get their hand-eye coordination going. The lack of net practice will hurt batsmen who fall into this mould.

However, there are a few batsmen who need a break from cricket to get over that poor patch of form. Some of these batsmen include young Rishabh Pant, test vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane and Indian captain Virat Kohli. The break from cricket will help them start with a clean slate and will also have them hungry to score more runs!

Fitness Concerns

One of the biggest concerns that the Indian management will have to address is measuring the fitness of the core group of players. A lack of exercise, no access to the gym, no net sessions and being locked at home with access to home cooked food 24×7 might have gotten the better of some cricketers who might have let their fitness standards drop.

If cricket can resume in the next couple of weeks, the rest will have more benefits than harm in general. However, if cricket is pushed back for another month or two, then the rest will do more harm than good for India’s cricketers!

Cricket Field

MS Dhoni Might Be Forced Into Retirement If 2020 IPL Does Not Take Place

MS Dhoni was the center of Indian cricket for over a decade as he captained India to a T20 World Cup championship and an ICC ODI World Cup championship. Captain Marvel slowly started fading from the limelight once he relinquished the captaincy to Virat Kohli and has now been out of the public domain for close to a year.

MS Dhoni Disappears From International Cricket

When India lost the semi-final of the ICC World Cup in May 2019, MS Dhoni was expected to announce his retirement from the ODI game and play only T20s going forward. Dhoni has achieved everything there is to achieve in the ODI format. His fans expected him to keep going and play the T20 World Cup in October 2020 and then say goodbye.

MS Dhoni did not announce his retirement after the World Cup loss in 2019 nor did he divulge any of his plans to the public even though the media kept hounding him about his cricketing future. Instead, MS Dhoni asked the BCCI for a break from cricket and just went off the grid. He stopped playing both ODI and T20 cricket and made himself unavailable for selection.

The pressure to find out what MS Dhoni was going to do next got so intense that the Sourav Ganguly who was not yet BCCI President at that time said it was up to the BCCI to have a chit-chat with Dhoni and find out what his plans for the future was.

Ganguly is now the BCCI President but there has still been no confirmation as to what MS Dhoni’s plans to do next.

IPL 2020 Was Dhoni’s Chance To Shine

Head coach Ravi Shastri told the media that MS Dhoni was still part of the team’s T20 World Cup plans in Australia as they could not afford to overlook a player with his experience and caliber. Shastri said that although MS Dhoni has not played any international cricket, the 2020 IPL would be a great platform for Dhoni to show the selectors that he still has what it takes to play in the World Cup.

MS Dhoni has captained the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) franchise from the first edition of the IPL and has had massive success with CSK winning three IPL tournaments. CSK along with the Mumbai Indians are considered to be two of the most successful IPL franchises.

MS Dhoni was in the news in early March when he once again surfaced in Chennai to be a part of the CSK IPL camp. However, the COVID-19 pandemic brought things to an abrupt halt as the BCCI decided to postpone the IPL and CSK decided to dis-band their camp. MS Dhoni went back to his hometown of Ranchi and once again vanished from the public’s eye.

Will The Selectors Back MSD?

The BCCI is yet to make a decision on whether the 2020 IPL will be cancelled. They will wait till the end of April before making a decision. Should the 2020 IPL be cancelled, MS Dhoni will then not have any role to play in swaying the selectors over his selection for the T20 World Cup later this year.

The decision to select or drop MS Dhoni will be left up to chief selector Sunil Joshi and his panel. This will be a key decision for the selectors as the BCCI has now made the selectors accountable for the performance of the Indian team. What this means is that the selectors can no longer afford to let their emotions or MS Dhoni’s past achievements dictate whether he makes the team or not.

The selectors will have to look at the candidates vying for the wicket-keeper role and decide if MS Dhoni is their first choice or second choice. Rishabh Pant has had the most of the opportunities in MS Dhoni’s absence and will clearly be a front runner for the position given the fact that he is young and is a dynamic player in the T20 format. MS Dhoni should be the number 2 option as Sanju Samson hasn’t really done enough to push Dhoni out of contention. However, Virat Kohli has preferred having KL Rahul keep wicket in recent months and if Kohli decides to back KL Rahul, it could close the door on MS Dhoni and force him into retirement!

Ipl

India Bettors Will Be Disappointed With 2020 IPL Cancellation

The Indian Premier League (IPL) is the biggest and richest T20 domestic cricketing league in the world. The IPL has taken place every season for the last decade even through adverse circumstances and situations as the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has always found a way to host this lucrative T20 competition.

The IPL usually runs for a period of 6 weeks and features the most exciting international and domestic T20 specialists from all over the world. The 2020 IPL was expected to commence at the end of this month and Indian cricket fans were looking forward to supporting their favorite IPL franchise while punters were eager to place their bets and see if they can come out on the winning side.

Will The IPL Start on April 15?

The BCCI and IPL governing committee made the decision earlier this month to postpone the start of the IPL due to the on-going concerns and restrictions brought about by COVID-19. A meeting was called with IPL franchise owners who made a decision to postpone the tournament and not take a risk on the health and safety of the players.

BCCI President Sourav Ganguly stated that the IPL will be postponed to April 15 and that his team will carefully monitor the situation and provide updates on a weekly basis. As of now, the IPL is still scheduled to start on April 15 but that appears highly unlikely as all the IPL franchises have cancelled their training camps and their overseas players are yet to travel to India.

Indian sports bettors remain hopeful that the 2020 IPL will take place even if it is a mini version of the tournament. The global situation will have to improve significantly in the next week, if the IPL is to commence on April 15 as the organizers and players will have just about a week to prepare themselves.

The BCCI confirmed earlier that the plan is to have the 2020 IPL take place in empty stadiums in order to protect players and fans. A number of IPL foreign players including Ben Stokes and Jos Butler continue to practice in England as they believe that a shortened version of the IPL will take place!

How Long Can The IPL Be Delayed?   

Indian cricket fans remain hopeful because a member of the BCCI who preferred to remain anonymous said that the IPL body can delay things till May 1 and still get into a mini-version of the tournament. The two most likely scenarios in this case will be to schedule double header matches each day. The earlier IPL schedule only had matches taking place in the evening due to the heat and humidity in India.

To get in as many matches as possible, the organizers will have to schedule 2 matches per day. The first will start around 2.30 pm IST and the second match will start at the usual 8 pm IST schedule time. The IPL teams will have to agree to play in difficult conditions in order to get the tournament underway.

The second scenario is for the IPL to reduce the number of games and still stick to the schedule of having just one game per day – during the evening. The usual IPL schedule has each IPL franchise playing the other franchise two times during the season and then the top four teams on the points table advance to the playoffs.

A shortened version will see the IPL make the decision to host a mini-tournament where each IPL franchise plays the other team just once. The points table will still be followed and the top four teams will go into the playoffs. Rumours suggest that the latest that the IPL championship final can be held in June 5.

Will The 2020 IPL Be Cancelled?

The big question is whether all of this will be possible or whether the 2020 IPL will be cancelled. As of now, India is on a completely lockdown till April 14 and it seems highly unlikely that we will get any cricket action in April. The BCCI and IPL governing body will wait till the last minute before taking a final call on the 2020 IPL. However, as of now it looks like the 2020 IPL will be cancelled and Indian bettors will not be able to place any bets on the 2020 IPL.