IPL 2019: BCCI Donates Opening Ceremony Funds to CRPF & Armed Forces

Chennai: The BCCI contributed Rs 20 crore – the budget earmarked for the IPL opening ceremony – to the funds of the Armed forces and CRPF.

The Committee of Administrators (CoA), running the BCCI, had decided to cancel the glitzy opening ceremony in the wake of the Pulwama terror attack in which 40 CRPF personnel were killed.

“It was unanimously decided that a sum of Rs 11 crore be contributed to the Indian Army, Rs 7 crore to the CRPF and Rs 1 crore each to the Navy and Air Force respectively,” a BCCI release said. 

The 12th editions of the popular league is beginning on Saturday with a clash between defending champions Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Royals Challengers Banaglore (RCB) in Chennai.

CoA Chairman, Mr. Vinod Rai said, “As a federation, we felt it was best not to hold a regular IPL opening ceremony. Instead, we decided to contribute the amount towards a cause that is so important and close to everyone’s heart.”

Rai’s CoA colleague Diana Edulji said, “This comes as a welcome move and as a mark of respect to the ones who lost their lives in the terror attack. The BCCI has always been sensitive towards issues of national interest and will continue to make contributions whenever the need arises.”

Lieutenant General Ravindra Thodge, member of CoA, said, “The national interest is of utmost importance to us. We understand the sentiments of the people and the families that have been affected by the Pulwama attack and martyred in operations in J&K, Northeast and anti Naxal operations or otherwise during the course of their Duty. 

“We respect and admire our Armed Forces and Central Armed Police Forces. This move was our way of showing solidarity and making a contribution in whatever capacity possible.”

IPL 2019 | Playing at No. 3 Gives License to Attack – Raina After Scaling 5000-run Peak

Rightly known as Mr. IPL, Suresh Raina said batting at No. 3 has given him that “freedom” to play his natural game after the left-hander became the first batsman in the history of the tournament to complete 5000 runs. 

Needing 15 runs before the match, Raina managed 19 runs to achieve the landmark as Chennai Super Kings defeated Royal Challengers Bangalore by seven wickets in the season opener. Apart from playing two seasons for now-defunct Gujarat Lions, Raina has been associated with Chennai since the inception of the competition and has been their most consistent batsman.

“I have been playing at No. 3 from the start and it allows you to play a lot of overs. My batting style is quite attacking. Batting at that spot gives me a lot of freedom and it also allows me to bat according to the conditions,” Raina told his teammate Harbhajan Singh in an interview for IPL’s official website.

“I have played with so many players and have taken the responsibility of scoring runs for my team. I also get that license of attacking inside first six overs. 

“It’s not always easy and you have to live in the present. I am really happy that I went past 5000 IPL runs and we got a good win the very first game of this season.”

However, it was Harbhajan who emerged as the true star for Chennai and was named Man of the Match for his performance. The off-spinner got rid of Virat Kohli, Moeen Ali and AB de Villiers in his spell and broke the back of Bangalore’s batting. 

Having been out of match practice for the last 12 months, the 38-year-old admitted that he was under a bit of pressure but now feels like he still belongs here.

“I am really happy. Yes, I was under a bit of pressure because I didn’t play a lot of cricket before this match. I only played three games for Punjab but it was good to come here and practice, get my rhythm back,” he said.

“I was called to bowl just in the second over and once I bowled a couple of deliveries, I realised “sher budha hua hai but shikar karna nahi bhula (this old lion can still hunt)”. We got help from the surface, not much with the new ball but the old ball was turning a lot.

“It was a challenge for me to perform for my team and getting Virat, AB and Moeen was very satisfying. Hopefully, I can keep contributing with ball and bat, if needed.”

IPL 2019 Live Streaming: When and Where to Watch CSK vs RCB On Live TV Online

CSK vs RCB in IPL 2019 will be broadcast on Saturday (March 23) from 8:00 PM onwards. CSK vs RCB live streaming will be available on Hotstar. You can follow all the ball-by-ball updates and live commentary with analysis on our live blog. 

What better way to get the tournament started than the ‘cauvery battle’? Actually, let’s not use that term, for political outfits could use that as an excuse to target the match/tournament, as they did last year in Chennai.

So, Dhoni v Kohli is a better way to build up to the game. Two big guns of Indian cricket going head to head in a marquee clash is just the kind of start the tournament needs. Dhoni will go into the game as the captain of the defending champions, while Kohli will want to change perceptions about Royal Challengers Bangalore. They always seem to have the stars, but somehow the title keeps evading them.

CSK perhaps go into the game with a slight edge for two main reasons. They’re playing at home – where their barrage of spinners could come into play. The other factor is their recent head-to-head record against RCB: they’ve won each of their last six matches against Kohli’s side.

Yet, you obviously can’t take a side that has Kohli and AB de Villiers for granted. RCB have also strengthened their middle order bringing in Shimron Hetmyer. If either of the three get going, Chepauk could be in for some entertainment.

Chennai too have a strong batting unit with the likes of Shane Watson, Ambati Rayudu, Suresh Raina and MS Dhoni. Their spin attack is their strength, but the pace unit is a worry. Lungi Ngidi’s injury means they’ll have to rely on Deepak Chahar, Shardul Thakur and Mohit Sharma, with the only foreign pace option apart from Dwayne Bravo being David Willey.

PLAYERS TO WATCH OUT FOR

Well, it’s Dhoni vs Kohli, so why look beyond them?

Dhoni: A lot of people think Kohli’s leadership is affected badly if MS Dhoni isn’t around, but when it comes to the IPL, Dhoni is Kohli’s biggest nemesis. The CSK captain brings out his best against RCB; he has scored more runs against Bangalore (709) than any other IPL team. In the last season too, he smashed an unbeaten 34-ball 70 to help CSK chase 206 and followed it up with an unbeaten 31 in a tricky low-scoring chase. Can he keep up the good record?

Kohli: In turn, Kohli is the most successful batsman against CSK and has often returned the favour to his former captain. Kohli has 732 runs against CSK in just 21 innings. Well, he’s one of the most successful batsmen against any franchise! Kohli is second in the list of IPL run getters with 4948 runs, needing just 52 to the 5000 mark. Who’s on top of the list? Suresh Raina, who too is a part of Saturday’s blockbuster clash. Raina needs just 15 to get to 5000 – who will win the race?

TEAM NEWS/AVAILABILITY UPDATES

CSK: Lungi Ngidi has been ruled out of the tournament with a side strain.

RCB: Marcus Stoinis and Nathan Coulter-Nile will not be available till the Australia-Pakistan ODIs end on March 31.

Probable XI:

CSK: Shane Watson, Ambati Rayudu, Suresh Raina, Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni, Dwayne Bravo, Ravindra Jadeja, Mitchell Santner/Imran Tahir, Deepak Chahar, Harbhajan Singh, Mohit Sharma/Shardul Thakur.

RCB: Virat Kohli, Parthiv Patel, AB de Villiers, Shimron Hetmyer, Colin de Grandhomme, Washington Sundar, Shivam Dube, Tim Southee/Moeen Ali, Yuzvendra Chahal, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Siraj.

Full Squads

CSK: MS Dhoni(capt), Suresh Raina, Faf du Plessis, Murali Vijay, Sam Billings, Ambati Rayudu, Dhruv Shorey, N Jagadeesan, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shane Watson, Ravindra Jadeja, Dwayne Bravo, David Willey, Kedar Jadhav, Chaitanya Bishnoi, Harbhajan Singh, Karn Sharma, Imran Tahir, Mitchell Santner, Shardul Thakur, Deepak Chahar, Lungi Ngidi, Mohit Sharma, KM Asif, Monu Kumar.

RCB: Virat Kohli(capt), AB de Villiers, Parthiv Patel, Shimron Hetmyer, Devdutt Padikkal, Heinrich Klaasen, Himmat Singh, Yuzvendra Chahal, Marcus Stoinis, Colin de Grandhomme, Moeen Ali, Pawan Negi, Washington Sundar, Shivam Dube, Milind Kumar, Gurkeerat Singh Mann, Prayas Barman, Akshdeep Nath, Umesh Yadav, Navdeep Saini, Kulwant Khejroliya, Tim Southee, Mohammed Siraj, Nathan Coulter-Nile.

IPL 2019 | Don’t Care if I’m Judged on Not Winning the IPL: Kohli

Virat Kohli on Friday said he would be “sitting at home if he thinks like people from outside”, responding, in his trademark combative style, to Gautam Gambhir’s recent jibe at him, but without taking the former opener’s name.

Gambhir, who led Kolkata Knight Riders to two IPL trophies in 2012 and 2014, recently said that in a result-oriented franchise environment, Kohli has been “lucky” to have survived despite Royal Challengers Bangalore never winning the coveted title in his eight years as skipper.

Asked about it, the batting maestro said, “Obviously, you want to win the IPL. I am doing what I am supposed to do. I don’t care whether I am going to be judged on this (not winning IPL) or not. There is no real, sort of, parameters you set. I try to perform wherever I can. I try to win all the possible titles, but sometimes it just doesn’t happen.

“We have to be practical about why we haven’t won one. That boils down to bad decision making in pressure situations. If I think like people from outside, I can’t even sustain five games. I would be sitting at home,” Kohli said.

According to Gambhir, one can’t say Kohli and Mahendra Singh Dhoni in the same breath, as India’s current captain has not won the IPL even once in comparison to his predecessor’s three. Gambhir also compared Kohli with his national team deputy Rohit Sharma, who too has three IPL titles to his credit.

“I know people talk about it a lot and they like to grab opportunities to talk about these things. But I have a responsibility here and given a chance, as a captain, I would love to win the IPL for my team.

“We all are motivated to do so. It has not happened and that’s the reality. No excuses for that. Only acceptance of the faults that we made in the past. The fact that we played six semifinals means that we have been a side who are always in contention. If we make better decisions, we can go further than that. That’s how I see things,” Kohli added.

The Indian captain was speaking on the eve of the IPL 12 opener between his team and Chennai Super Kings.

To a question if he felt RCB were the underdogs against CSK at home, he said every team that comes here has to be considered so, with the home team being led by Dhoni.

“MS knows exactly what he wants from his team in these conditions. We all have seen that and are aware of it. We are going to be backing our skills and then find ways to come out on top.

“It’s very easy to be overawed by the support that CSK are going to get. In the IPL, people can get carried away by the support that a team like CSK gets at home but we have to focus on our basics.”

Kohli also said RCB’s focus this year would be on being consistent and scratching their way to wins.

“It again boils down to how much composure you have in crunch situations. If you see all the teams that have won, they have had players who have stood up and done the job.

“In the past, when we have been close to winning the title, we have just expected things to go our way instead of standing up. That is something we want to correct this season. If we look ugly, we look ugly. It doesn’t matter. We don’t want to be a side just playing flamboyant cricket. We want to be a consistent side,” Kohli said.