Stars poised for war on the crease

2011-04-09 18:50

The latest incarnation of the Indian Premier League (IPL) started on Friday and the 20-over circus is bigger than ever.

This year will see 10 teams battling it out over 74 matches for the right to be crowned champions of IPL 4.

Two new teams make their appearance this year with the Pune Warriors and Kochi ­Tuskers entering the fray – which means that 14 more matches will be played this year than was the case last year.

South Africa is well represented in the tournament with 22 cricketers from the republic having been signed up by the various teams.

The Royal Challengers ­Bangalore, thanks no doubt to the influence of coach Ray ­Jennings, have no less than five South Africans on their books.

The likes of Albie Morkel, Jacques Kallis and Graeme Smith will be well used to the IPL grind, which sees the ­players involved in a whirlwind of matches, functions and media obligations.

But for the likes of Jonathan Vandier, Rilee Rossouw, Davy Jacobs and Robbie Frylinck, all men yet to represent the Proteas, the tournament provides an opportunity to display their skills on the ­biggest stage outside international cricket.

Jacobs, the current Chevrolet Warriors captain, was signed by the Mumbai Indians for ­$190 000 (about R1.27 million) and the aggressive wicketkeeper/batsman has already ­expressed his delight at the ­opportunity to open the batting with Sachin Tendulkar.

Another South African, Ryan McLaren was not sold in the auction but was picked up ­recently as cover for injured players.

No official price has been given for him but speculation is that it is in the region of $50 000.

The 10 teams involved in the IPL spent a combined US$62.8 million (about R420 million) signing up 127 top players from India and the rest of the world but spending big does not guarantee success in the IPL.

The tournament regulations stipulate that only four international players can partake in any one match.

It explains why a premium price was set on established India stars, with batsman Gautam Gambhir fetching an astonishing US$2.4 million at the auction, but it also means that the teams with the best young, uncapped Indian players have an advantage.

It is no good having four or five world-class players in your playing XI if the rest of your players are just there to make up the numbers.

The reigning IPL and ­Champions League Twenty20 champions, the Chennai Super Kings, will be hard to beat.

Captained by India’s World Cup-winning skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni and coached by the astute New Zealander Stephen Fleming, Chennai boast a strong line-up headed by Dhoni, but ­also including India’s Suresh Raina, Murali Vijay and ­Ravichandran Ashwin.

Morkel and Australia’s Michael Hussey are two of the finest Twenty20 players in the business and will provide plenty of fire power in the batting ­line-up.

Today sees two matches taking place with the Delhi Daredevils taking on the might of the Mumbai Indians while Pune Warriors test their skills clash against the Kings XI ­Punjab. – MWP Media 

Most expensive players in IPL auction

1. Gautam Gambhir – India - Kolkata Knight Riders - $2.4 million

2. Yusuf Pathan – India - Kolkata Knight Riders - $2.1 million

3. Robin Uthappa – India -Pune Warriors - $2.1 million

4. Rohit Sharma –India -Mumbai Indians - $2 million

5. Irfan Pathan – India -Delhi Daredevils - $1.9 million

6. Sachin Tendulkar (retained) – India - Mumbai Indians $1.8 million

7. MS Dhoni (retained) – India -Chennai Super Kings - $1.8 million

8. Shane Warne (retained) – Australia - Rajasthan Royals -$1.8 million

9. Virender Sehwag (retained) – India - Delhi Daredevils - $1.8 million

10. Virat Kohli (retained) India Royal Challengers Bangalore -$1.8 million and
Yuvraj Singh – India - Pune Warriors - $1.8 million

South Africans in the 2011 IPL

1. Dale Steyn – Deccan Chargers - $1.2 million

2. AB de Villiers – Royal Challengers Bangalore - $1.1 million

3. Jacques Kallis – Kolkata Knight Riders - $1.1 million

4. Johan Botha – Rajasthan Royals - $950 000

5. Albie Morkel (Retained) – Chennai Super Kings - $500 000

6. Graeme Smith – Pune Warriors - $500 000

7. Morne Morkel – Delhi Daredevils - $475 000

8. JP Duminy – Deccan Chargers - $300 000

9. Davy Jacobs – Mumbai Indians - $190 000

10. Wayne Parnell – Pune Warriors - $160 000

11. Charl Langeveldt – Royal Challengers Bangalore - $140 000

12. Faf du Plessis - Chennai Super Kings - $120 000

13. Colin Ingram - Delhi Daredevils - $100 000

14. Alfonso Thomas - Pune Warriors - $100 000

15. Rusty Theron - Deccan Chargers - $85 000

16. Roelof van der Merwe – Delhi Daredevils - $50 000

17. Johan van der Wath - Royal Challengers Bangalore -$50 000

18. Rilee Rossouw - Royal Challengers Bangalore - $20 000

19. Jonathan Vandiar -Royal Challengers Bangalore – $20 000

20. Robert Frylinck - Delhi Daredevils $20 000

21. Ryan McLaren – Was not signed during the auction but was signed as a replacement player for Kings XI Punjab after injuries to England’s Stuart Broad and Dmitri Mascarenhas.

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