Sporting wickets take away home advantage from hosts on home turfs in IPL-V

Teams in IPL-5, including the favourites, failed to deliver consistently on their home turf, writes Hindustan Times. “Gone are the days when the Chidambaram Stadium was considered the fortress of holders Chennai Super Kings that could not be breached. The MS Dhoni-led side, unbeaten at the venue last season, started their campaign in IPL V with a loss against the Mumbai Indians, and went on to lose two more matches out of the eight at home,” says the HT article, adding that the situation was worse for some of the other franchises, who lost more matches at home than away.

“Out of their eight home matches, the Mumbai Indians, Kings XI Punjab and Deccan Chargers lost five each while Pune Warriors lost six. The Kolkata Knight Riders, Royal Challengers Bangalore and Rajasthan Royals lost half of their home games. The number could have been higher for KKR and RCB but for a rain abandoned game each at home,” adds HT.

According to a report in The Times Of India, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) may have bought plenty of goodwill by shelling out around Rs 100 crore as one-time payment to former Indian cricketers who missed out when the game wasn’t as rich and monetarily rewarding as it is today, but it seems to have ruffled a few feathers even with its noble intentions.

On Wednesday, it emerged that Kirti Azad, part of India’s World Cup-winning team in 1983, won’t get the benefit because of speaking out against the Board publicly. Azad joined his World Cup-winning captain Kapil Dev and Mohammad Azharuddin, who find themselves out of this benefit — derived from the India Premier League (IPL) coffers — due to various reasons.

Some other top cricketers too have been kept out of the list of beneficiaries. Former India skipper Dilip Vengsakar, batting star Gundappa Vishwanath, ex-India stumper Syed Kirmani and the gutsy Mohinder Amarnath will not get the booty — which is up to Rs 1.5 crore for cricketers who have played more than 100 Tests for India — because the board says it has already organized benefit matches for them.

Meanwhile according to a report in The Hindu, though Kapil Dev took a calm stand even as Kirti Azad maintained his ballistic posture at the Board regarding the one-time payment made to cricketers from the surplus amount earned from the Indian Premier League (IPL) pay-offs.

Even though he had not received any intimation from the Board regarding cancellation of the payment to be made to him, Azad, who played seven Tests and 25 One-Day Internationals, asserted he would continue his fight against the ills that had come to impact the game.

Azad had irked the Board by going on a token fast at the Ferozeshah Kotla on Sunday to protest the off-the-field happenings in the IPL and blamed the Board for the falling image of cricket and cricketers.

According to Board sources, no decision had been taken on stopping the payment to Azad. “There was no invitation for him to come and collect the cheque but that did not mean the BCCI was stopping his payment,” said the Board official.