Thursday, 27 November 2008

Champions League T20 Postponed

Considering the issues rising because of India's worst terrorist attack, BCCI has postponed Champions T20 League. Considering the schedule for the next few months, we may get to see the Champions T20 League next year only. 

Monday, 24 November 2008

Chennai Super Kings Launches Kings Club

With only ten days left for the start of Champions Twenty20 League, Chennai Super Kings management team is slowly springing into action. They have started with a bang by launching the official membership programme -  “Kings Club”. The fan club was launched  today at Chennai by Mr. T. S. Raghupathy, Executive President, The India Cements Limited in the presence of Mr. K. V. P. Baskar, Operations Director, South, Aircel Cellular Limited. Adding to the excitement was percussionist par excellence, Mr. Sivamani. 

The KINGS CLUB membership programme consists of two membership levels, Senior and Junior. Membership is for a year which can be renewed subsequently and is priced at Rs. 500 for School Children(Junior) and Rs 1,000 for others(Senior). The KINGS CLUB offers its members, unique incentives designed to satisfy their priorities: 

  •  Home ticket priority access & Discounts for IPL home Matches
  • Invites to practice sessions
  •  Welcome gift hamper with a host of goodies
  • Participation in special events
  • Newsletters
  • Discounts on team merchandise available on the E-Store
  • Photo opportunities with the cricket stars

With the Kings Club, Chennai Super Kings has extended its relationship with its fans and has provided them with an opportunity to belong to the extended family of the Chennai Super Kings. Also it makes much more sense in these days of credit crunch to bring in cash into the company by using Chennai Super Kings' Brand Name.

Enrolling in the KINGS CLUB is easy. Membership forms will be available from Friday November 28, 2008 at select outlets of Café Coffee Day and Aircel. Filled in forms with cheques attached can be dropped off at various collection centres. Within a week, membership cards will be dispatched and a welcome kit with gift hamper in 3 to 4 weeks time. There is also the option of joining the fan club by visiting to register their payments and details. 

My Take on Kings Club
Though the benefits of Kings Club is not yet clear, i think it is worth the money to buy one (I am buying one), if you plan to go to the stadium during IPL or CL T20.

News Source: Official Website

News Snippets

  1. Co-Branded Credit Cards: Chennai Super Kings may soon add 3 more tie-ups to its already existing relationships with five leading brands (Peter England, Café Coffee Day, Camlin, Aircel & Reebok). As a part of these tie-ups, we may expect a co-branded credit card & CSK Branded cards, soft toys and calendar. [Source: TelevisionPoint]
  2. Chennai Super Kings are favorites: South African Star Herschelle Gibbs has said barring miracles, either Rajasthan Royals or Chennai Super Kings would clinch next month's Champions League Twenty20. But I highly doubt his judgement considering the amount of time that each team has devoted for the Champions League. [News Source:  PTI]
  3. Murali available for CL T20: After the recent misunderstandings between BCCI and Sri Lankan Cricket Board, there were doubts on whether Srilankan Cricket Board would allow Murali and Kapugedara to play in Champions League. Thankfully better sense has prevailed and it has been confirmed that Murali and Kapugedara would be available for the Champions League T20. Great News since he would be our major weapon against the foreign teams. [News Source: DNA]

Thursday, 20 November 2008

News Snippets

  1. Balaji is back: The Hindu writes about Balaji's astonishing recovery from the stress fracture of his lower back, his mental resilience, the advancement of sports science, and the effort of a dedicated coach. Read the whole story - Balaji is well and truly back
  2. CSK Merchandise: Live Mint reports that most of the Chennai Super Kings merchandise(Peter England, Reebok, CCD, Camlin) will be hitting the stores in the first week of December. So all the fans out there, get your wallets ready.

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Squad for Champions League

Chennai Super Kings Squad for Champions T20 League
  1. M S Dhoni(Captain)
  2. Matthew Hayden
  3. Michael Hussey
  4. Suresh Raina
  5. Albie Morkel
  6. S Badrinath
  7. Chamara Kapugedara
  8. K B Arun Karthik
  9. Parthiv Patel
  10. R Ashwin
  11. Muttiah Muralitharan
  12. Makhaya Ntini
  13. L Balaji
  14. Manpreet Gony
  15. Sudeep Tyagi
Coach: Stephen Fleming

Overall a very strong team. Certain nuggets that V B Chandrasekar revealed,
"There is hardly any chance of having a camp"
"If Parthiv (Patel) plays as an opener, he will keep the wickets"
"In this scenario unlike in IPL, we have to make sure that we get to the semi-final"
If I am given the responsibility of picking the team for the Champions T20 League, this would be my playing eleven. [Remember there is no restriction on the team to choose only four foreign players for the playing eleven]
  1. M Hayden
  2. Parthiv Patel[Chamara Kapugedara is neither a batsman nor a bowler. So why play him? Arun Karthik is just a back up player. But Parthiv could provide a much needed relief from wicketkeeping to Dhoni. But if Dhoni insists on wicket keeping, we may see Chamara playing]
  3. M Hussey
  4. Suresh Raina
  5. Dhoni
  6. S Badrinath
  7. Albie Morkel
  8. S Tyagi [Though Gony showed his potential with bat and ball in IPL, don't forget Gony entered the team only as a replacement to Tyagi and I don't think any of the foreign players would have answers to Tyagi's inswing]
  9. Balaji [Though Gony impressed me during IPL, I prefer Balaji's cool attitude and his slow balls]
  10. Makhaya Ntini [If he performs badly, bring Gony on]
  11. Muttiah Muralitharan
As you can see there is going to be a huge selection problem regarding the choice of medium pacers/fast bowlers and the opener. Hope Dhoni and Fleming are able to take a clear cut call on this. Expect Sudeep Tyagi to miss out the earier matches of the tournament since nobody would have seen his bowling before that. 

Though Dhoni may prefer Chamara Kapugedara's all round abilities, I am sure Chandrasekar's preference would be playing Parthiv Patel as an opener cum wicket keeper. Though Sudeep Tyagi may be a better bowler than Balaji and Gony, expect both of them to play ahead of Sudeep Tyagi because of their reputation(Balaji) and their earlier performances(Gony in IPL). I am sure Arun Karthik and R Ashwin are 'just' back ups to cover the important slots (opener and spinner).

With no camp (i.e.) no chance for the team to get together before the league, it would be a hell of a job for Dhoni-Fleming combo to pull off this successfully. So Special 'All the best' to them and CSK Management.. 

And don't forget to write about your choice for the playing eleven in the comments... Also voice your opinion on who will be the key player for Chennai Super Kings Squad here

Monday, 17 November 2008

BCCI on our side

Cricinfo reports that BCCI has requested ECB to postpone the start of India-England Test series by a day. What it means is that Dhoni will play the finals if Chennai Super Kings makes the cut.

Though BCCI has suggested logical difficulties (of having a test match immediately after an important tournament) as one of the reasons, don't have any doubt on the person who is pulling the strings on this issue. I have to admit that it is great to have a team owner who doubles up as the secretary of all powerful BCCI. Now my sincere hope is that N. Srinivasan becomes the next BCCI President. :-) [So that we get much more favours like this]

Update: The BCCI and ECB have confirmed that the first Test between England and India in Ahmedabad will get underway as scheduled on December 11, despite a request from the Indian board to delay the start by a day to avoid a potential clash of dates with the final of the inaugural Champions League in Chennai. Hmmm... Expect Dhoni to miss the finals if Chennai Super Kings qualifies for the match... :)

Key Players for Champions T20 League thinks Jacob Oram, Dhoni and Raina would be the key players for Chennai Super Kings. Who are your choices?

Saturday, 15 November 2008

Hayden in the midst of a storm

In an open letter to Chennai Super Kings, Gaurav Sabnis - one of the reputed Indian Bloggers, has requested Chennai Super Kings to terminate the employment of Hayden based on his  comments associating India with third world countries.

All the hue and cry were for this following comment.. 
"Often we find ourselves waiting with hands on hips for someone to face up or someone on the sight board to move away or some of those little frustrations happening with Third World countries," Hayden said.
Yeah! I accept that the words used by Hayden, to express his feelings, might not be entirely right. But that does not mean he was wrong too. He was merely expressing his feelings here and he has every right to do so. Moreover he did not call India a third world country but merely associated the few things happening on the cricket field to those happening in a third world country.. [Remember he didn't comment about the economy or our space mission... ] Though India might be one of the fastest growing economies of the world, even today few places in India are very similiar to any third world country. [If you disagree to this, you are surely a hypocrite]

Rather than taking this remark in our own stride, we the Indians are making a hue and cry. This rather shows our immaturity and not our patriotic feelings. 

But what hit me the most was the fact that a reputed blogger like Gaurav Sabnis could take this remark to the extreme by calling Chennai Super Kings to terminate the employment of Hayden. In this days of globalization, India Cements and for that matter, Chennai Super Kings are global companies/global brands. So Why the heck should they care about this remark?

Yeah! I accept that Hayden could have shown more restraint and could have used better words. But that does not mean he committed an unforgivable sin. Anyway! I sincerely hope and believe that Chennai Super Kings won't do any foolishness by making a fuss of this silly remark. 

Albie Morkel to play for Chennai Super Kings

The controversy about the team that Albie Morkel would be representing for Champions T20 League has been settled. Cricinfo informs that Albie Morkel would be representing Chennai Super Kings in this series. But Titans Chairman Jesse Chellan, has said in no uncertain terms that this is an one-off exception and the same favor won't be given to Chennai Super Kings again. 

Oram Out, Albie in
With Jacob Oram expected to miss Champions T20 League due to his injury, this is a great news for Chennai Super Kings fans. So get ready to see sixes flying from the bat of Albie Morkel during December. 

Personal Demons
But Albie Morkel is also facing a personal battle on which side to support during Chennai Super Kings Vs Titans Match on December 7. [See the whole schedule here]. Read in his own words about the things going through his mind regarding December 7 clash...
  "[The] Titans is my home team and I have been and remain a committed and loyal team member. The IPL and its follow on, the Champions League will create an interesting dynamic for me while on the field in India and it is going to be difficult for me to face my team mates who know my secrets and the way I play."
With the inclusion of Morkel, Chennai Super Kings is one of the strongest team in the Champions T20 League. With the appointment of a coach, all the issues regarding to team composition would have been sorted out. 

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Fleming - Player-cum-coach???

I have already written in my earlier post about Fleming becoming the coach for Chennai Super Kings. But with the success of Warne as a player-cum-coach in the first IPL season, it seems Fleming also wants to emulate the same. In his recent interview, he expresses his wish to become "Player-Coach" for Chennai Super Kings. 

Though his wish did not strike me as odd when i read it first time, subsequent readings revealed the enormity of the mistake. Simple because of the fact that Warne (Rajasthan Royals) and Fleming (Chennai Super Kings) are not in the same league. 
  • Warne was the captain of his team while I don't see Fleming taking over the captaincy from Dhoni (Though he may become the captain if Dhoni miss any of the Champions League matches)
  • Thanks to his stellar performances with the bat and the ball, Warne's place in Rajasthan Royals was never in doubt. With Hussey, Hayden, Oram, Albie Morkel and Ntini coming up with at least one match winning performance, Fleming is expected to warm up the bench for the whole series. 
But if Fleming becomes a coach, he would like to play himself ahead of the team. But more important than all these factors is that Warne assembled a great support team to help in his daily routines of a coach. But Fleming did not have that luxury in the short period of time left for the Champions T20 League. 

But the good news is we can be assured that CSK management team won't commit such a big mistake. So wait to see Fleming as the coach (not player-cum-coach) for CSK Team or some other person taking up as the coach for Chennai Super Kings.

Thursday, 6 November 2008

Hindustan Times! Get your news right!!!

Hindustan Times in its article - 'Hussey, Morkel to play for Chennai' has claimed that Chennai IPL Team sacked Kepler Wessels. This news would have come as a surprise to any loyal CSK fan since Kepler Wessels has already expressed his unwillingness to continue for future IPL seasons. [Read the story @ Cricinfo]. And it does not make any sense to sack the coach who led the team to Champions Twenty20 League.

Kepler Wessels himself decided to put an end to this false story by HT. He has shared the real version of the story with 'The Herald Online'.

Hmm.. Thanks to Wessels' revelations, now we have to wait to find the truth about the other story of Albie Morkel playing for Chennai in Champions Twenty20 League.

P.S: Considering Vijay's composed 33 on his surprise debut for Indian Team, I hope that Chennai Super Kings opener problems' would be solved pretty soon.

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Fleming to Coach CSK @ Champions League

With the end of Kepler Wessels' one year tenure with Chennai Super Kings, there was a huge speculation about the next coach for Chennai Super Kings. Especially since there is less than 30 Days for the start of Champions League Tournament.  Cricinfo reports that this issue might have been resolved and Fleming is likely to take over as the coach of Chennai Super Kings.

Though Fleming might have deceived us with his batting during the first season of IPL, I am sure about his ability as a coach for CSK. Even during the run up to IPL, I have repeated again and again that Fleming's value to the team lies in his understanding of the game and his strategic thinking. Now CSK Management has done the right thing by finding the right job for his abilities. Now I have no doubt that Fleming-Dhoni combo would scale new heights for Chennai Super Kings.

Hussey Picks Chennai Super Kings

Hurrah! None of the CSK Fans could ignore the huge positive impact that Hussey had during his brief stint at Chennai Super Kings(four matches). While he blasted the opposition bowlers in the field, he helped his young team members in the dressing room.. [Remember Badri recalling how Hussey's experience and tips inspired him] So his decision to play for Chennai Super Kings in the Champions League would surely boost our chances of winning the Champions League Final @ Chennai..

Michael Hussey! Welcome On Board!... Once again you have delighted all the Chennai Super King Fans... 

You can read the whole news @ Hindu