IPL over, all eyes now on World Cup

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A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.

– Marcus Garvey

Rohit Sharma continued his golden run as captain of Mumbai Indians as he guided his team to a record 4th Indian Premiere League (IPL) title after his team edged Chennai Super Kings by 1 run in the final in Hyderabad on Sunday. The game see-sawed back and forth and went down to the wire in the final over which saw Mumbai emerge on top by a whisker. Since its inception in 2008, the IPL has been an attraction of every summer. There is no denying the IPL’s popularity and resilience. This year’s tournament has been no different and the final was thriller. Indian batting legend Sachin Tendulkar, an advisor to the Mumbai team, nervously watched the finale, frequently burying his head in his hands. Sri Lankan veteran Lasith Malinga kept his nerve with the final ball as Mumbai Indians clinched the title. After Shane Watson hit a blistering 80, Chennai needed two runs off the last ball to overtake Mumbai’s 149-8 but the Sri Lankan veteran bowled Shardul Thakur lbw to claim the landmark win. Jasprit Bumrah, who finished with 19 wickets and an incredible economy rate of 6.63 for the season, is the finest death-overs bowler in the world today.

This is the second time Mumbai Indians have won the final by a solitary run at Hyderabad. CSK captain and Indian veteran MS Dhoni has rightly said after the final that it was funny game in which the two teams kept passing trophy to each other. Mumbai won the IPL in 2013 and 2015 — both against Chennai — and again in 2017 when they beat Rising Pune Supergiant by one run. Despite the seven-phase general elections being held through seven phases during April-May, the Board of Control for Cricket in India has successfully given every franchise its rightful share of home and away matches. Yet, this 12 edition of the tournament did not a share of controversies. Ravi Ashwin of Punjab team was in news for wrong reasons — ‘mankading’ Jos Buttler. Kolkata Knight Riders’ Andre Russell with his ferocious hitting, two hat-tricks and six centuries and return of Australia’s David Warner and Steve Smith to competitive cricket some other highlights on this year’s tournament. Riyan Parag, the Rajasthan Royals all-rounder, became the youngest in IPL history to score a half-century. Riyan Parag, aged 17 years and 175 days, is no doubt the find of the tournament. Parag, who hails from Assam, is one of the most promising cricketers in the ongoing IPL and was a part of the India Under-19 side for the two youth Tests in England. This Assam boy has a big future ahead of him.

Now, the focus shifts on the biggest tournament in the International Cricket Council calendar — the World Cup starts on May 30, with host England taking on South Africa at the Oval. India will open its campaign with the game against South Africa at Southampton on June 5. England, Australia, Bangladesh, Pakistan and West Indies have already begun their preparations. There isn’t enough time for the Virat Kohli-led team to get ready for another cricket extravaganza.


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