Gavaskar hopes for controversy-free IPL
Sunil Gavaskar, the interim BCCI president for the IPL, said he hoped the UAE leg of the tournament had brought the attention back to cricket after spot-fixing controversies plagued the tournament last year. Gavaskar was a part of the IPL's governing council meeting on Saturday that was held to discuss the first leg of IPL 2014, which was held in the UAE from April 16 to April 30.
"The human nature being what it is, nobody can give any guarantees. We have put some measures in place and certainly the way the UAE leg went, it has given us some confidence," Gavaskar said. "If it carries on the same way we will have this India-leg also free from any off-field controversies."
Gavaskar also stressed that the IPL had educated all players to report suspicious approaches.
"I believe that the presence of the integrity officers is evidently a big plus. It is a big plus because earlier anybody could call in case there were any approaches but I don't think people were confident about it,now the integrity officer travels with every team. So the younger player or the most susceptible sometimes, is the uninitiated player. We have given them all the education that is necessary."
Tambe executes plans to perfection
While Karun Nair walked away with the Man-of-the-Match award for a 50-ball 73 which helped Rajasthan Royals chase down 153 against Delhi Daredevils, Pravin Tambe had just as big a part to play in the team's fourth win of the season, picking up the crucial wickets of Kevin Pietersen and Quinton de Kock to keep the score down.
Tambe lured Pietersen with a tossed-up delivery which the Daredevils captain ended up slicing to Steven Smith at long-on, before taking a smart return catch to send back de Kock for 42. The legspinner said that both scalps were a result of a well thought-out plan.
"Pietersen's wicket was very important because he is a big player and everyone knows that. And if he stays at the wicket, he can turn things around for his team," Tambe said. "We knew that he would target at least one bowler. I was the only spinner, so I thought he would target me. I knew the areas that I had to bowl in, and I bowled according to the plan and got his wicket.
"As for de Kock, I wanted to bowl stump-to-stump and I knew that he would take his chances. He had been at the wicket for a long time and I knew that there was a good possibility that he would get out if he took the chance by going after me."
Tare content after Mumbai win
After Mumbai finally broke their string of losses with a win against Kings XI Punjab at home, batsman Aditya Tare said that the last league game in the UAE, against Sunrisers Hyderabad, had lifted the side in spite of the result not going their way. Against Sunrisers, Kieron Pollard's 48-ball 78 nearly took Mumbai to victory but they were held back by good death bowling from their opponents.
"That was the best game of cricket we played in the UAE. That was our first performance this season that we were proud of as a team," Tare told iplt20.com. "It was unfortunate that the result didn't go our way and we lost narrowly. Also, that knock brought Polly back in form, which is very critical for us because we bank heavily on him when the chips are down and when we need to score heavily in the last crucial overs. It is great to have him back in form."
His dismissal against Sunrisers also spurred Tare to ensure that Mumbai finished the chase against Kings XI well. In Dubai, Tare had fallen with Mumbai needing 27 off 14 and Pollard still at the crease. At Wankhede on Saturday, the pair came together when Mumbai required 43 from 20 and smashed 44 runs in 2.3 overs.
"Yes, I played a few shots and got out, leaving Polly (Kieron Pollard) to do all the work. Had I not gotten out, the result might have been different. So, today when I remained unbeaten till the end, it meant a lot to me," Tare said.
Ashwin bowls an analogy
With five wins in six games, Chennai Super Kings have established themselves in the top half of the table and their performance is an indicator of the team having regrouped from the recent struggles - from the arrest of a team official for alleged betting, to the courts questioning the legitimacy of the team participating in the IPL.
With elections still being held in parts of India, R Ashwin drew on a pithy analogy to explain how the team had maintained its focus on cricket. "I think the off- field happenings have gone overboard. But like the happenings in Parliament don't affect people, it's similar to that; the controversies have not affected us," he said at an event in Delhi.