Tag Archives: IPL

Rahul, de Kock are the biggest strengths of LSG: Finch

Former Australia skipper Aaron Finch has reckoned that the opening pair of captain K.L Rahul and wicketkeeper-batter Quinton de Kock are the biggest strengths of Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) in the run-up to 2023 season of the Indian Premier League (IPL).

In their maiden IPL season last year, LSG had finished third in the league stage with nine wins and five defeats and had crashed out of the tournament after losing to Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the eliminator at Kolkata.

This upcoming season, de Kock will miss LSG’s first two matches against Delhi Capitals (DC) and Chennai Super Kings (CSK) on April 1 and 3 respectively as South Africa will be engaged in an ODI series against the Netherlands.

“The big strength of the Lucknow Super Giants is their opening combination, K.L Rahul and Quinton de Kock. They complement each other so well. They are very different players, and their strengths and weaknesses offset each other. So, I think if they are going to have a big season,” Finch said on the ‘Know Your Team’ show on Star Sports.

“I think the home ground advantage for the Lucknow Super Giants this year, although their wicket has been a little unpredictable at times, they’ve got a class opening combination in KL Rahul and Quinton de Kock, their middle order power of Stoinis, Nicholas Pooran, and they’ve got a lot of bowling options, Krunal Pandya with the ball, who can also be versatile with the bat. So, I think they have got a lot of options to be able to exploit whatever the wicket produces,” added Finch, who led Australia to the 2021 Men’s T20 World Cup title.

He also felt that West Indies’ left-handed batter Nicholas Pooran will be a game-changer for the side in the tournament while calling Deepak Hooda an x-factor player.

Notably, Pooran was picked by LSG for a whopping Rs 16 crore in the mini-auction.

“They’ve spent a lot of money to get him in the auction. He wasn’t at his best last season, but we know how destructive he can be. He’s someone who strikes it at such a high strike rate, particularly early in his innings. So, for me, he is the player to watch out for.”

“The X-factor for me this season for Lucknow I see being Deepak Hooda. He’s someone who has taken the responsibility of batting at number 3. He’s someone who strikes at a good strike rate, particularly in the first 10 balls. He continues to keep being aggressive. If he can bat for longer periods while being aggressive, that will set up that middle and lower order to be at their destructive best,” he added.

Asked about the weakness in the team, Finch pointed towards their death-bowling options. “I see a potential weakness in the Lucknow Super Giants, being their death bowling. I think they’ve got a lot of options throughout the middle, they’ve got some good all-rounders. But I think, when you look at the combinations, finding good quality four overs of death bowling will be a real challenge for them.”

While terming de Kock, Marcus Stoinis, Nicholas Pooran, and Mark Wood as his overseas picks in Lucknow’s playing eleven, Finch signed off by saying that Lucknow may make the finals.

“My season performance prediction, for the Lucknow Super Giants is they will finish around fifth. Could sneak into the finals, I’m just a little worried about their death bowling under pressure. But all in all, they are a very dangerous side with a lot of match-winners throughout.”

Nitish Rana to lead KKR in absence of injured Shreyas Iyer

Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), the two-time Indian Premier League (IPL) champions, on Monday announced that left-handed batter Nitish Rana will lead the side in the upcoming 2023 season of the cash-rich league in the absence of Shreyas Iyer, who is recovering from a back injury.

Issuing a statement, KKR said that they are hopeful of Iyer recovering and participating in IPL 2023 at some stage.

Rana had previously led his domestic cricket team Delhi in 12 T20 matches of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, with the side having eight wins and four losses.

“We feel fortunate that Nitish, with the captaincy experience having led his state side in white ball cricket and the IPL experience he has had with KKR since 2018, will do a great job,” KKR said in the statement.

“We are also confident that under Head Coach Chandrakant Pandit and the support staff, he will get all the support needed off the field, and the highly experienced leaders in the squad will provide all support that Nitish may need on the field. We wish him the best in his new role and Shreyas a full and speedy recovery,” added the franchise.

Rana, 29, has been a vital cog in the wheel of KKR’s batting order since 2018 as the left-gander has amassed 450 runs from 14 innings at the Eden Gardens, averaging 34.62 at a decent strike-rate of 140.19.

Overall, Rana has scored 2181 runs in 91 matches of the IPL at an average of 28.32 and strike-rate of 134.22, including 15 fifties.

On the other side, Iyer had been doubtful to participate in upcoming season. He suffered a recurrence of lower back injury during the fourth Border-Gavaskar Trophy Test against Australia at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad recently.

He had also missed the home ODIs against New Zealand as well as the first Test against Australia due to the lower back injury.

KKR will play their first match of the upcoming season on April 1, against Shikhar Dhawan-led Punjab Kings at the PCA Stadium in Mohali. The Rana-led side will play their first home game at the Eden Gardens on April 6 against the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB).

IPL 2023: Ampere Electric 2 wheelers collaborates with RCB as their Official EV Partner

Ampere the flagship electric two-wheeler brand from Greaves Electric Mobility Private Limited, (“GEMPL”) has collaborated with Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) as their Official EV Partner for the upcoming season of IPL.

Issuing a statement, the company said: “With RCB being the world’s first Carbon Positive Cricket Franchise, this collaboration is in perfect sync with Ampere’s commitment to lead India towards smart and sustainable mobility through electric mobility.”

As a part of the collaboration, the Cheerleader Squad of RCB will showcase a distinctive Jersey Integration and will be referred to as the ‘Ampere Take Charge Squad.’ Their outfits and the musical instruments will be made of 100% sustainable materials and upcycled scrap, thereby reflecting our shared commitment towards creating a greener future. Ampere Electric Vehicles will also launch a limited edition RCB themed Primus electric scooter, and each home match will feature an Ampere Electrifying Player of the Match who will receive the Limited-edition Primus as an award. Additionally, the collaboration will involve giving away of special signed team merchandise and memorabilia to winners of contests run by the brand.

The collaboration will extend Ampere’s Har Gully Electric campaign to the Har Gully Cricket theme, featuring star RCB players, evoking nostalgia about gully cricket that the country is known to enjoy. Ampere customers will get an enhanced T20 experience, with cricket-themed retail experiences, interesting on-ground activations, and more. Overall, the collaboration ensures the brand engages with the cricket crazy fans and stays true to sustainability.

Commenting on this collaboration, Sanjay Behl, CEO & Executive Director, Greaves Electric Mobility Private Ltd, said: “We are excited to announce our collaboration with the Royal Challengers Bangalore, as our values and purpose for sustainability are perfectly aligned. Cricket is a democratic game and is a religion in India. Collaboration with cricket helps us to connect with our customer’s at large, while we continue to democratise smart & sustainable mobility solutions, through our range of electric 2 wheelers for the masses.”

”Our anthem to make Har Gully Electric, and inspire the community towards building a better planet is intimately tied to the culture of Har Gully Cricket,” he added.

Rajesh Menon, Head & Vice President, Royal Challengers Bangalore, said: “At RCB we firmly believe that progress towards a sustainable future requires collaboration and shared values. We are proud to join hands with Ampere and create a series of sustainable, exciting, and unique touchpoints for the RCB fans and Ampere consumers alike.”

The philosophy adopted by RCB is reflected in their approach both on and off the field, with the mantra “Defeats don’t defeat us, the Challenger Spirit keeps us alive.” Meanwhile, Ampere’s clarion call is to Take Charge and contribute towards a more sustainable future. By collaborating together, they aim to convey the message that impact is created only when we Take Charge, emphasizing the importance of both a bold attitude and charging towards sustainability.

Jonny Bairstow ruled out of IPL 2023, Punjab Kings name Matthew Short as replacement

In a massive blow for Punjab Kings (PBKS), England wicketkeeper-batter Jonny Bairstow has been ruled out of the upcoming IPL 2023 season after failing to recover from his injury, the franchise confirmed on Saturday.

PBKS also named uncapped Australian batter Matthew Short as Bairstow’s replacement for the 2023 season.

“We regret to inform you that Jonny Bairstow will not be a part of the IPL this season because of his injury. We wish him the best and look forward to seeing him next season,” PBKS said in a tweet.

“We are pleased to welcome Matthew Short as his replacement,” it added.

Notably, after sustaining multiple fractures following a freak slip on the golf course in September 2022, Bairstow has missed England’s T20 World Cup-winning campaign and the following Test tours of Pakistan and New Zealand and others as well.

Considered as one of the all-format batters, Bairstow’s absence will have a massive impact on Kings’ strategy. However, Bairstow had a poor outing last season after he managed to score 253 runs from 11 innings, averaging 23.00 with a strike rate of 144.57, with two half-centuries.

On the other hand, Short featured for Adelaide Strikers in the Big Bash League (BBL) recently, and was the second-highest run-getter in the tournament with 458 runs at an average of 35.23 while striking at 144.47.

An all-format player, Short scored three centuries across first-class and List A cricket during the second half of Australia’s domestic season where he plays for his home state of Victoria.

Warner will have a point to prove in upcoming IPL season: Watson

Former Australia all-rounder Shane Watson gave his take on key strengths of the Delhi Capitals (DC) squad in upcoming forthcoming Indian Premier League (IPL) season and also picked Australia opener David Warner on top of the order adding that the left-hander will continue to have a point to prove.

Warner, who will be leading the franchise in the absence of Rishabh Pant, has been one of the top scorer of the league after amassing 5881 IPL runs in his career which started in 2009 with the Delhi franchise and is the third highest-run scorer in the history of the tournament.

“Well, there’s a lot of very talented players, I think, yeah, David Warner for me is just at the top of the order. He’s going to continue to have a point to prove and everyone’s going to be like riding off the back of him. He’s always scored so many runs in the IPL. And to be an opening batter, and set the platform as he does is going to be very important,” Watson told Star Sports.

Watson further expressed that another Australian Mitchell March will also play a really huge part for the Delhi-based franchise with the current form with a bat. “I think Mitchell Marsh, this is going to be another really big season for him. He’s got incredible skills with the bat alone and how he’s batting and takes the game on is going to play a really big part,” Watson expressed.

“And then we’ve got some youngsters with the ball, fast bowlers, we’ve got Nagarkoti and Chetan Sakariya. And then we’ve got our spinners as well, like Axar and Kuldeep Yadav. Those two guys, to be able to have world-class spinners bowling especially through the middle, to be able to try and get wickets and also keep the runs down, that’s so critically important,” the former Australian all-rounder added.

Watson also spoke about who will be the trump card for the Capitals saying: “Well, one, in particular, is Rilee Rossouw, he’s someone you know, I’ve played with him in the Pakistan Super League for Quetta Gladiators. And to see how he has come back into international cricket and he’s a world-class hitter of the ball. He can take down any bowler at any stage, in any conditions. So if he gets on a roll, he can just take the game away from the opposition.”

Watson further spoke on the home advantage that Delhi Capitals have this season, he said “For sure, Delhi’s normally, conventionally a lower, turning sort of wicket and we’ve got the bowlers to exploit that with our spinners alone. With Axarand also Kuldeep Yadav, but also with the batters that we’ve got, can really make the most of those conditions. It’s a smaller ground as well. So, but in any IPL, you do have to make your home ground a fortress.”

Speaking on the biggest challenge for the Delhi Capitals squad, Watson added that the capitals have a skilled squad but not having Pant be a part of the tournament this season will be a huge miss for the Delhi-based franchise.

“The biggest challenge for Delhi is just to be able to consistently put good performances together. You know, the Delhi Capitals have got a really, really skilful squad, and we do again this year. Obviously, Rishabh Pant not being a part of, not playing this tournament is going to be a huge, huge miss,” said Watson.

“Delhi’s normally, conventionally a lower, turning sort of wicket and we’ve got the bowlers to exploit that with our spinners alone. With Axar and also Kuldeep Yadav, but also with the batters that we’ve got, can really make the most of those conditions. It’s a smaller ground as well. So, but in any IPL, you do have to make your home ground a fortress,” Watson said on the home advantage that Delhi Capitals have this season.

Notably, DC will kick-off their IPL 2023 campaign against Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) on April 1 at the Bharat Ratna Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ekana Cricket Stadium in Lucknow.

CSK onboards MS Dhoni backed drone tech startup Garuda Aerospace as Official Partner

Garuda Aerospace, one of the most valuable Indian drone startup has announced a historic partnership with Chennai Super Kings (CSK), one of the most successful franchises in the world.

As part of the agreement, Garuda Aerospace will be the official drone partner for the 2023 IPL season, marking the first-ever drone partnership for a team.

Garuda Aerospace is the first-ever dual DGCA approved drone startup that manufactures Make in India drones and trains young professionals in the field of drone technology. The startup recently raised $22 million, which is the largest ever Series A fund raise in the drone sector. Former Indian cricket team captain and brand ambassador Mahendra Singh Dhoni is also a shareholder in the company.

Speaking on the sponsorship, Agnishwar Jayaprakash, Founder and CEO, Garuda Aerospace, said: “We are extremely excited to partner with Chennai Super Kings, one of the most iconic teams in the competition. As a long-time fan of Chennai Super Kings, it is a dream come true for us to partner with the team we love the most. This partnership represents a perfect synergy of two organizations that share a common vision of leveraging technology and innovation to achieve success. Although our company colors are blue, we will bleed yellow this season.”

“We are delighted to have Garuda Aerospace as our official drone partner. As a team that considers innovation an important part of our success and growth, we are thrilled to partner with a company like Garuda Aerospace that shares our values and commitment to excellence. Their focus on innovation and youth training align perfectly with our values at Chennai Super Kings.” said Kasi Viswanathan, CEO, Chennai Super Kings Cricket Limited.

The upcoming season is set to be an exciting one with Chennai Super Kings and Garuda Aerospace teaming up to bring the best of cricket and technology to fans across the world.

Shreyas Iyer likely to miss first half of IPL 2023

Team India’s middle-order batter Shreyas Iyer, who suffered a recurrence of lower back injury during the Ahmedabad Test against Australia, is likely to miss at least the first half of the upcoming 2023 season of the Indian Premier League (IPL).

A report by ESPNCricinfo on Wednesday said Iyer, who was pulled out mid-way from India’s fourth Test against Australia at Ahmedabad, has opted out of surgery for injury and has been advised to rest as he continues his rehab.

He was forced to miss the ODI series against New Zealand as well as the first Test against Australia in Nagpur due to the injury.

Although Iyer did play in the second and third Tests against Australia, he suffered a relapse of the lower back injury after day three’s play and was taken for scans and he did not come out to bat in India’s only innings of the drawn Test match and was subsequently ruled out of ODIs against Australia.

The report also said Iyer experienced discomfort in back just after the tour of Bangladesh ended last year in December. “Iyer’s issues, it is learned, concern a bulge in one of the discs in his spine, which has resulted in an impinged nerve.”

“The nerve runs along the right leg and has caused shooting pain in Iyer’s calf, which is compounded by mobility issues. It is understood that Iyer has been given six injections in the recent past to help numb the pain in his back,” it added.

The report further said Iyer consulted a spine surgeon in Mumbai and was presented with two options: first was to take rest, rehab and wait for the pain to subside before resuming strength and conditioning as well as mobility exercises, followed by the second option being surgery.

“It is understood that the BCCI medical staff even consulted a London-based specialist, who had carried out Hardik Pandya’s back surgery, for a second opinion. The London expert, too, advised to stick the first option.”

“Iyer has told the BCCI medical staff that he wants to explore options before taking the final call on surgery. He has also received full support from the Knight Riders management who helped him consult an Ayurveda specialist for a non-intrusive alternative medicine,” added the report.

“It is understood that there is no definitive date of return earmarked for Iyer, who will continue to be supervised by the BCCI’s medical staff at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru through the near future. Knight Riders, though, have not given up hope, and expect their captain to be back before the halfway stage of the IPL,” further said the report.

In the absence of Iyer, Iyer’s IPL side — Knight Riders (KKR) will need a new skipper at helm, especially with their first match of the tournament to be held on April 1, against Shikhar Dhawan-led Punjab Kings in Mohali.

The report said Sunil Narine and Nitish Rana are understood to be among the frontrunners for the leadership role. Narine had led Abu Dhabi Knight Riders in the ILT20, but the side finished at the bottom of the six-team tournament. Rana has captained Delhi in 12 T20s in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, with his captaincy record being of eight wins and four defeats.

“But Knight Riders are deliberating hard on who could be a better choice as an overall package: man-manger, good communicator, leading team-mates and getting the best out of them under pressure in a match situation,” it concluded.

IPL 2023: Faf du Plessis joins RCB camp in Bengaluru

Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) skipper Faf du Plessis on Wednesday joined the team camp in Bengaluru ahead of the upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 season, starting on March 31.

du Plessis, who took over the captaincy from Virat Kohli in the 2022 season, was last seen in action during the inaugural edition of SA20, where he led the Joburg Super Kings to the semifinals.

After reaching Bengaluru, he spoke on his personal form and also said that he is excited for playing in front of the packed home stadium.

“It’s great to be back in Bangalore. I didn’t really get to experience the home crowd last season. Really really excited for this year, because I will be playing in front of a packed stadium. I am really looking forward to that,” Faf said in a video posted by RCB on their social media.

“SA League was the last competition that we played. Hopefully, I can hit the ground running again,” he added.

du Plessis further said that he had been in touch with the key players and the coaches.

“I think it’s important just to touch base with some of the overseas players, especially where they are in the world, how are they doing and how are their bodies doing? Obviously, the coaching staff as well-being in touch with them,” he said.

“A couple of young niggles in the team, we’re just trying to make sure we work our way through that. We’ve been joining nice and early so it’s nice for everyone to spend some time together as a team before the competition starts,” du Plessis added.

Notably, RCB had a brilliant IPL season last year after finishing fourth with eight wins in 14 matches. Coming for his second stint with RCB, du Plessis will be hoping to help his side get their hands on the elusive IPL trophy this time.

The three-time finalist will open their campaign against the five-time champion Mumbai Indians (MI) on April 2 at the Chinnaswamy Stadium.

IPL 2023: Lucknow Super Giants names Shyam Steel as its Principal Sponsors

Shyam Steel, one of the leading producers and manufacturers of primary TMT bars, was on Wednesday announced as the principal sponsor of Lucknow Super Giants (LSG).

The association will help Shyam Steel to enhance its brand and business presence across the HSM markets and nationally. The sixteenth edition of Indian Premier League is set to begin from 31st March 2023 at Narendra Modi Stadium, Ahmedabad.

Aligned to the association, the players and official members of Lucknow Super Giants team will be sporting the Shyam Steel logo on the back of the official match day jersey. The logo will also be prominently visible during the on-ground matches of the franchise. The brand will have the right to use player images and team logo for internal use and promotional purposes. The association will also be amplified across, print, outdoor, television, digital and social media platforms which will run through entire duration of the tournament. The duration of the association is three years.

Commenting on the association Mr Lalit Beriwala, Director, Shyam Steel Industries Ltd said, “We are very proud to associate ourselves with one of the most popular franchise, Lucknow Super Giants. The team is the perfect amalgamation of talent, experience and enthusiasm. India is a cricket frenzy nation, and this partnership will help us to build a high brand recall amongst our target audience nationally. Uttar Pradesh is a key market for us as it serves as our gateway to the North Indian markets, and we hope this association creates a positive impact in the region. We look forward to a very successful season for both the brands.”

Colonel Vinod Bisht, CEO RPSG Sports said “We are absolutely delighted to be entering into a long-term partnership with an esteemed brand like Shyam Steel. There is a lot of positive synergy between the brand and the franchise, and we look forward to working with them in this prestigious tournament.”

Shyam Steel will leverage the association to enhance its brand awareness, build relevance and engage with the target audience. The partnership with Lucknow Super Giants will help brand Shyam Steel to instantly connect with the millions of viewers watching the event across India and abroad. The brand has also planned a series of activations across digital and traditional platforms to grow stakeholder engagement and brand recall.

Shyam Steel with an annual turnover of Rs 5,000 crores is now on a steady expansion mode braving the disruptions caused by COVID-19 pandemic. The Company, an integral partner of building new India, is committed to meaningfully contribute to the realization of the target of 300 million tonnes steel production by 2030-31. The brand is associated with Virat Kohli and Anushka Sharma as the face of the company in addition to having Sonu Sood as one of its brand ambassadors. Shyam Steel has also have recently added Vijay Devarakonda to the pantheon of famous endorsers.

Bairstow likely to miss entire IPL 2023

Wicketkeeper-batter Jonny Bairstow could miss the entire upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 as England wants him to play for his county side Yorkshire as a preparation for the Ashes starting from June 16.

“When it became clear that he would not be fully fit for the start of Punjab Kings’ season on April 1, the franchise decided he would miss the campaign. A formal announcement is expected in the coming days,” a report in The Telegraph said.

Bairstow didn’t had a great IPL 2022 season with the Punjab Kings (PBKS) as he could only manage 253 runs from 11 innings, averaging just 23 at a strike rate of 144.57. Later, on September 2 last year, he broke his left leg, suffered multiple fractures in left fibula and dislocated his ankle in a freak accident on a golf course which  to miss England’s victorious T20 World Cup campaign in Australia as well as the Test tours of Pakistan and New Zealand.

Before suffering the freak injury in 2022, Bairstow had slammed six centuries in 10 Tests, averaging 66.31 while batting at number five and six, including smashing twin centuries against India in the Edgbaston Test in July last year.

The report further mentioned that Bairstow will return to playing competitive cricket for Yorkshire through Division Two of the County Championship, though a date is not yet clear.

“He is likely to play County Championship cricket before England take on Ireland in a four-day Test at Lord’s on June 1.

Yorkshire have fixtures on May 4 and 11, before a block of matches in the Vitality Blast. Appearing in at least one of these championship fixtures – preferably both – is viewed as crucial to Bairstow building up his fitness for the first-class game,” it said..

Whenever Bairstow is fit, the England think-tank is keen on him taking over wicket-keeping duties for Yorkshire, so that he can don the same role for the Test team during the Ashes. In his absence, Ben Foakes had been majorly doing wicket-keeping duties.

“He seems set to bat in the middle order, not as an opener, where Zak Crawley is under pressure in the Test team. It is possible that Bairstow could begin his return for Yorkshire as a specialist batsman, before then taking on the gloves too,” the report further said.

“Any decision on whether he takes the gloves for his county will depend on Yorkshire and the player. But Bairstow has always been keen on keeping wicket,” it concluded.