NEWSWIRE

FITTING CLIMAX TO GREAT IPL SEASON

DRAWS RECORD CANADIAN VIEWERSHIP
IPL 5 SEASON
Nigel Reed | Sportsnet.ca
May 29, 2012
Players and support staff of Kolkata Knight Riders celebrate with the trophy after their win against Chennai Super Kings. (Photo: AP/Aijaz Rahi)

I'm giving the couch a break. It needs one. It has provided sterling service over the last seven weeks but it is time to remove my posterior, poke my head outside the front door and reacquaint myself with natural daylight and fresh air.

The Indian Premier League is dangerous. It can become seriously addictive and once you're hooked it's tough to quit. Leaving the couch -- other than for a strategic time out -- becomes a daily battle. Everyday chores are delayed or ignored, and lame excuses are offered in the hope of placating loved ones.

The fifth edition of IPL was tortuous. The plot contained more twists and turns than a theme park rollercoaster. Opting to ignore the drama merely led to a feeling of negligence, an urge to catch up and a resolution that this would not happen again.

It was compelling stuff from beginning to end. Before a ball was bowled the owners of the Pune Warriors kicked up a stink over sponsorship and threatened not to take part at all. In the event, the franchise would hardly have been missed. Its expensively assembled squad failed to launch and limped in at the bottom of the standings.

The best batsman in Twenty20 cricket also missed out. Chris Gayle is a danger to bowlers and spectators alike. He sent a little girl to hospital with a broken nose after clobbering one of his mighty sixes into the crowd. She forgave him when he visited her but probably not the Bangalore franchise. Not even Gayle's monumental efforts were enough to hoist the Royal Challengers into the playoffs.

Mumbai got there but the search for success goes on. For a team so deep in talent, it was another campaign which promised much but ultimately fell flat. History will remember 2012 as the year in which Sachin Tendulkar finally completed a lifetime's work by reaching 100 international centuries, not the one in which he helped his hometown Indians to the IPL title.

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