Wednesday, October 12, 2011

NKP Salve Challenger Trophy... LOST THE CHARM!!!

Disclaimer: I’m keeping my hopes very low for somebody to read this article. Consciously i'm not even sharing this article in my personal Facebook wall, just to see if this post attract any audience by itself. 

A decade or so ago, when the concept was conceived, I was super impressed. The idea of national stars playing alongside fringe players and then their performances keenly debated for a place in the Indian team. Many new talents unearthed from this tournament. If any of the superstars pull out of an edition it demanded a serious explanation or invited public criticism. Further the tournament signified the dawn of new season for Indian Cricket. But today, it is hard to distinguish if the event symbols the start or middle or end of the season. With many of the stars choosing to stay away (don’t blame them here), then the empty stands & zero TV audience, a schedule squeezed in for formality, awful jerseys, irrelevant cricket gears, no photo coverage, NKP Salve Challenger Trophy lost its charm is a bitter truth.

Being a crazy fan (you have to be really crazy) hard to hold myself from following this Trophy. On paper Gambir’s Red appear strong while Bhajji’s Green look weak at the start of the tournament. Having won both their league matches convincingly Reds made it to the Finals awaiting their opposition. Much for the team on paper Bhajji’s Green delivered a miserable performance in the opener, but turned everything upside down in their last league game against Blues to book a place in the Finals. (The match is still in progress at the time of writing this article. I’m overconfident Greens will win)

Quick Highlights:
Abinav Mukund, Robin Uthappa, Anirudh Srikanth the out of favor candidates or unlikely contenders for a spot in the Indian Team delivered a magnificent century that tilted the balance in their sides favor. I’m sure their performances have raised the eyes brows of few. Pathan brothers are having an ordinary tournament thus far with respect to their expectation meter.

Though the tournament doesn’t matter too many, it’s still an intriguing faceoff between Bhajji and Gambir in the finale. Between, does the buildup even worth it? My hunches back Bhajji’s Green to win the title after which I will be convinced “Bhajji should be Dhoni’s deputy for India”.

At this time not sure even the players are motivated playing this tournament. You can certainly count me on this, for i'm sure it makes no difference in the life of Uthappa/Srikanth to come in terms of reckoning for the ODI's against England or the series against West Indies. I wish to include Mukund too as talented Rahane already sealed the spot for replacement opener in the absence of Gambir or Sehwag.

Bottom line: When there are no takers, why even sell it. With the heavy heart I say “SCRAP IT”.

Cricket Lover

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