It's been an eventful IPL II until the halfway mark of the league stage and one can be sure that the excitement and non-stop action will continue till the final on May 24.
The focal point of discussions around this season is still the dismal failure of the Kolkata Knight Riders, one of the most hyped-up teams in the competition.
On the face of it, the team has everything going for them. A charismatic owner in Bollywood Badshah Shah Rukh Khan. A highly successful coach in John Buchanan. A captain in Brendon McCullum who has the ideal record to lead from the front in the abridged format.
And the team consists of some of the finest cricketers with a proven record in limited overs cricket like Sourav Ganguly, Ajit Agarkar, Chris Gayle, Murali Kartik, Ishant Sharma, Ashok Dinda, Brad Hodge, Ajantha Mendis, Laxmi Shukla and Morne van Wyk.
Why, then, have they not performed in keeping with their lofty reputation? At the halfway mark, why are they the only team languishing far behind at the bottom while the seven other competitors are involved in a scramble for the four semifinal berths?
In Image: Bollywood actor, businessman, film producer and owner of the IPL cricket team Kolkata Knight Riders, Shah Rukh Khan gives the thumb up as he and part of the team parade in the street of Cape Town on a open bus on April 16, 2009.
Text: Partab Ramchand
Images: AFP (Unauthorised reproduction prohibited)