We are just less than 72 hours away from the start of the much-awaited cricketing spectacle of this year – the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL). On September 19, Saturday, the defending champions Mumbai Indians will lock horns against the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in Abu Dhabi to commence the league, which seemed quite impossible earlier this year when the world was hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.
For the former Indian cricketer Sunil Gavaskar, the upcoming edition of IPL will infuse positive energy into lives of millions of people amid the ongoing crisis.
“It’s an absolute delight to welcome back Indian cricket with the IPL and I hope this tournament can infuse positive energy into the lives of millions of people,” said Gavaskar.
“The Indian Premier League has been the perfect platform to unearth talent and I hope this year too, we get to see that. The teams are stacked up really well and all eyes will be on the opening game between Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings,” he added.
Much of the focus in the upcoming IPL will be on former India skipper MS Dhoni. Dhoni last played competitive cricket during the 2019 ICC World Cup where India reached the semifinals. On August 15, he announced his retirement from international cricket, thus bringing an end to a stellar career lasting more than 15 years.
“We will be watching MS Dhoni play after a year, and am sure everyone is waiting to see him back in action,” said Gavaskar.
Gavaskar is part of the Star Sports commentary panel for the upcoming tournament and would be joined by JP Duminy, Harsha Bhogle, Mark Nicholas, Simon Doull, Ian Bishop, Michael Slater, Danny Morrison, Deep Dasgupta, Rohan Gavaskar, Pommie Mbangwa, Darren Ganga, L Sivaramakrishnan, Murali Kartik, Kevin Pietersen, Anjum Chopra, Lisa Sthalekar, Kumar Sangakkara, Brian Lara, Brett Lee, Dean Jones, Scott Styris and Graeme Swann.
“The IPL has always been considered as the pinnacle of cricket leagues where the stars of the game converge on the biggest platform of them all,” said Duminy.
“I can’t wait for the opening match between Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings since I expect plenty of fireworks on the ground. I’m sure CSK and Dhoni fans all over the world will be ecstatic to watch MS Dhoni return to the playing field,” he added.
(With inputs from IANS)
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