It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.
The IPL has been copping stick from all quarters this last week. The whingeing has been growing louder and there have been some heated debates about its worth but if tonight’s superbly presented match between Deccan and Chennai is any indication of the future then perhaps all of the hype may be justified after all.
The Vidarbha Stadium in Nagpur was only half full, which was surprising considering it is a Saturday, but still the ground was vibrant and superbly presented. The outfield was uniformly green and quick, the stands appeared clean and comfortable and it was pleasing to see that the spectators weren’t caged in like animals at an alien zoo. The old manual scoreboard was a lovely sight too.
The cricket was of a reasonably high standard and even though Deccan won comfortably there was still plenty to satisfy.
Suresh Raina showed again why he is held in such high regard while his less decorated tongue-twisting contemporary Tirumalasetti Laxminarayana Suman played a wonderfully confident innings before the experienced Andrew Symonds and Dwayne Smith expertly led the home team to victory.
Unsurprisingly, Ryan Harris, in the best form of his career, bowled with pace and purpose, again making a mockery of the Australian selectors decision to overlook him in preference to the hapless and hopeless Brett Lee for the World T20.
Harmeet Singh, Pragyan Ohja and Symonds, ruthlessly rejected internationally and at 34 still the most dynamic T20 allrounder in Australia, bowled tight lines, clever lengths and took regular wickets while the fielding was tidy and neat without being overtly spectacular.
In the end Chennai were a tad disappointing but if you leave a man of Mutthiah Muralitharan’s talent and experience on the bench you’re giving the opposition a headstart before a ball is bowled!
If I may draw your attention once more to the quote from the 26th US President at the top of the page, and apologies for butchering a famous phrase from Liverpool’s trippy bard, but perhaps the critics should change their predictable tune, or the channel, and just give the IPL a chance?
As cheeky Australian IPL host Ryan Campbell loves to mangle, “It’s still early doors yet.”