Well, after all the hype and hoopla, the Indian Premier League started off today with a resounding bang and from what little can be perceived after today's play, it's going to be a huge success.
It was really interesting to see the players from different countries playing in a team. Even though such matches have been played before (like Australia vs. Rest of the world and so on...), it felt very different this time. For a change, it's not an one off situation and hence you need to develop some sort of loyalty to a particular team and start rooting for them. I haven't decided which team I will go for (though Chennai Superkings makes for an obvious choice). The city-based franchise doesn't work that well in practice as most of the players who will end up playing may not be from that city and hence it's not that easy to identify oneself with a team. That doesn't deter one from enjoying high quality skill on display as was the case today.
Brendon Mccullum continued from where he left off during the NZ - England one day series and it was pure instinctive batting with nothing holding him back. Though the Bangalore-based Royal Challengers started off well with Praveen Kumar bowling a splendid first over, it was all downhill after that. Ball after ball kept disappearing out of the stadium and even Ponting was left to play fifth-fiddle.
I was really looking forward to the cheerleaders display but it was a trifle disappointing to say the least. I actually enjoyed the display during the Twenty-20 world cup more than the one today. Hopefully, it will get better and make it even interesting.
The IPL finally has it's own website (http://www.iplt20.com) and I was surprised to see live footage being shown on the website. The website is till being updated and there isn't much content available as yet. Even though the news media is boycotting the tournament, it's heartening to see Cricinfo covering these matches albeit with some delay. There are no photographs uploaded on Cricinfo. For photographs from the tournament, you will have to go to the official IPL website. The IPL matches are being telecast on Setanta channel and they also show extensive highlights later in the day. SO, I can come back home after work and enjoy the highlights.
The line up of matches offer a mouthwatering prospect of cricket at its best and I am really excited and looking forward to it.