The Indian Premier League (IPL) is set to start on Saturday and the captains of the eight teams embarked in Chennai on Thursday for the captains’ meet and signing of the pledge to play the game in fair spirit.
The eight teams competing in the IPL include Chennai Super Kings (CSK), Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), Mumbai Indians (MI), Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), Rajasthan Royals (RR), Kings XI Punjab (KXIP), Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) and Delhi Capitals (DC).
Speaking to IANS, a senior official of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) said the pledge was being pre-recorded on the sidelines of the captains’ meet so that all of them can go back to their respective franchises well in time for their opening games of the season.
“The captains are in Chennai today for the captains’ meet as well as to sign the pledge so that all the leaders can go back to their respective teams before their opening games. They will head back to their respective franchises on Friday.
“With the opening ceremony being cancelled this year and the funds budgeted for the same to be handed to the families of the Pulwama martyrs, there will be a small screening wherein the pre-recorded signing of the pledge by the captains will be shown,” the official explained.
An official of one of the franchises applauded the move as it will give the teams playing on Sunday time to strategise with their captains.
“Had the signing of the pledge happened before the start of the IPL opener, all the captains would have flown back late on Saturday night or Sunday morning. This would have meant keeping the captains of KKR, SRH, MI and DC away from their teams on the eve of their opening match as all the four teams play on Sunday. Pre-recording the pledge on the sidelines of the captains’ meet is a decision taken keeping everyone’s interest in mind,” the official told IANS.
The pledge taken by the captains of the eight teams will be shown in the Spirit of Cricket segment. It will be the only time when all the captains will share the stage in the tournament.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni, captain of the defending champions CSK, is also expected to put the trophy back into play at that time.
(Baidurjo Bhose can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)