I was thinking about writing this article for sometime. Now, with all the latest developments in Indian Premier League (IPL) from bowlers, I can’t delay this post any further.
IPL from its start was pitted as a game for batsmen. That should be the very reason why there were awards like ‘Max. No. of Sixes per Game’ and ‘Orange Cap’ instituted for batsmen. There was nothing like this for the bowlers.
But all that was bound to change. There were 2 hat-tricks in this IPL till date. The significance of ‘2’ can be understood from the fact that there were not many hat-tricks in the whole history of cricket (in over 100 years) before the start of IPL. Details of all the hat-tricks till the start of IPL are as follows.
- Test – 37 hat-tricks (First one was in 1879)
- One Day International – 24 hat-tricks (First one was in 1982)
- Twenty20 International – 1 (By Brett Lee in T20 World Cup 2008)
All these might have forced the BCCI and IPL governing body to come out with Purple Cap. This would be awarded to the bowler with the most number of cumulative wickets to his name at the end of every match.
Yes! This is better than nothing. But then, think of the awards which a batsman can entitle to. If the batsman performs well, he is all set for two awards (One is that of the 'Man of the Match' and the second is that of 'Maximum no. of Sixes per Match'!) whereas a bowler can get only one. Yes, here there is an assumption. But then, if you go through the match results of IPL, we can see that it is the fact. Is this double recognition required? If yes, why not for the bowlers?
As every coin has, this issue has a second face too. Most of the crowd that flow into the stadiums for watching the IPL matches just want to see likes of Veru, Yuvi and Afridi firing. The stadium roars whenever a six or four is hit. They pray for runs to rain and don’t want to see the wickets fall. So, it is not just IPL or the BCCI whom are to be blamed, for the institution of such double awards for batsmen. The crowd, of which, you and me are a part, played an important role. Alteast by now, BCCI and IPL have understood their mistake and have come out with the Purple Cap. We are not!
So are bowlers just not worth to be treated alongside batsmen? I feel bowlers should be given a better stature than the present... in cricket as a whole and T20 in particular. And for this to happen, atleast for the time being, many more hat-tricks are necessary..!