IPL Season ’24 a Rousing Start with Bollywood Stars

We capture some high moments in a photo-essay.

It was a high voltage inaugural. Ushering in the almost two-month long cricket festival. IPL’s 17th edition kicked off with the expected fanfare and provided entertainment that got the audience hooked up; possibly, during the event, cricket itself may have got forgotten.  Iconic and the most boisterous and equally loved Bollywood stars and music artistes joined hundreds of performers to launch this season. The scene was Chennai’s MA Chidambaram Stadium, ahead of the opening game between CSK and RCB.

Bringing in Bollywood star power with an energetic and electrifying performance were Akshay Kumar and Tiger Shroff, giving fans a glimpse into their upcoming movie Bade Miyan Chote Miyan. Akshay also enthralled audiences with popular renditions of his songs from movies like ‘Bhool Bullaiya’ and ‘Desi Boyz’.

AR Rahman, the Grammy Award-winning music composer, popularly referred to as the ‘Mozart of Madras’, sang his signature songs such as ‘Maa Tujhe Salaam’.

Popular Bollywood singers Sonu Nigam and Mohit Chauhan also joined the line-up of performers with their classics. Sonu Nigam also sung the national anthem.

An enormous replica of the Indian Premier League trophy was also an interesting eye-catching highlight, right in the middle of the public gaze.

Typical and representative of the fireworks that are to follow on the cricket ground, was this opening carnival, a much-broadcasted extravaganza that left the audiences enthralled.

IPL So Far!

by Ashwin zutshi

It’s that time of the year again when cricket enthusiasts around the globe, not just in India, eagerly anticipate tuning in to cricket’s most extravagant carnival – the Indian Premier League. This spectacular event brings together the brightest stars of cricket, both from India and overseas, converging on the grandest stage where rivals become teammates and teammates become rivals in electrifying matches amid the deafening roar of enthusiastic crowds. The IPL is synonymous with thrilling action-packed encounters, where fans are treated to a spectacle of their favourite players assuming different roles and representing various franchises. It is a platform where established stars showcase their skills alongside emerging talents from domestic circuits, making it a breeding ground for future cricketing sensations. Over the years, the IPL has witnessed the rise of Indian cricketing stalwarts like Jasprit Bumrah and the resurgence of international icons such as Shane Watson. These success stories serve as a testament to the league’s ability to unearth and nurture talent, providing a platform for players to shine on the global stage. As we eagerly go through the upcoming season, cricket enthusiasts worldwide remain poised to act as scouts, keeping a keen eye on promising talents who could potentially make a significant impact. While the pool of talent is vast and diverse, we have identified a few names that stand out as potential game-changers this season. Whether they create a buzz for the right reasons or otherwise remains to be seen, but one thing is for certain – the IPL never fails to deliver excitement and drama, leaving fans on the edge of their seats.

Once the season has started, there is no saying who will come up next? Every day brings a new name up on the scoreboard. And, that is the beauty of IPL!

This year, while quite a few new comers have risen, we bring just two names, for different reasons, to see what they have accomplished so far, and what can be expected of them as the season progresses.


Mayank Yadav

In the contemporary cricket landscape, particularly in its shorter formats, batters tend to dominate the spotlight. Yet, the emergence of an electrifying bowler has captivated the audience’s attention this season. The spotlight has shone on the debut of Mayank Yadav, a lightning-fast bowler hailing from Delhi, who was acquired by Lucknow for his base price of 20L. Mayank’s journey began when he caught the eye of Lucknow’s assistant coach during a practice session for a Vijay Hazare Trophy game in 2021. Impressed, the assistant coach brought him to the attention of Gautam Gambhir, who was then serving as the franchise’s director. Gambhir wasted no time in securing Mayank for the team.

Unfortunately, injuries sidelined Mayank, preventing him from making his IPL debut last season and participating in the Ranji Trophy. However, he has made a triumphant return, showcasing his fiery pace by registering the fastest IPL delivery at 155.8kph during his debut match against Punjab. His stellar performance, which included claiming three crucial wickets, earned him the title of Player of the Match. Mayank continued to dazzle in his second game against Bangalore, where he surpassed his own record by bowling at an astonishing 156.7kph. His consistent delivery speeds of over 150kph have not gone unnoticed, stirring whispers of fast-tracking him into the Indian team.

Praise from cricketing legends such as Brett Lee and Dale Steyn further underscores Mayank’s potential. The question now lingers: could Mayank Yadav be the elusive fast bowler that India has long sought?

Riyan Parag

Among the roster of cricketers who have borne the brunt of relentless criticism since their debut, few have weathered the storm as consistently as Rajasthan’s Riyan Parag. From enduring a barrage of critiques for his string of lacklustre performances to facing scrutiny over his demeanour and public remarks, Parag has been a perennial target of trolls. Since his IPL debut in 2019, only Rahul Tewatia has surpassed Parag in appearances, clocking in at 55 games in the tournament among uncapped Indian players. However, the ‘uncapped’ label may soon be a thing of the past, according to Rajasthan’s head coach, Kumara Sangakkara.

Parag’s narrative took a notable turn with his standout performances in domestic cricket. He emerged as the highest run-scorer and six-hitter in the 50-over Deodhar Trophy last year, amassing two centuries and nearly another in just five innings. His explosive batting continued in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy T20s, where he amassed 510 runs at a blistering strike rate of 182.79, including a remarkable streak of seven consecutive fifty-plus scores. Recognizing his potential, the BCCI’s National Cricket Academy extended an invitation to Parag, including him in a select pool of targeted players.

Recent developments suggest a newfound maturity in Parag’s approach, particularly in his adjusted role at number four this season for Rajasthan. He has demonstrated a patient demeanour, meticulously setting up his innings before unleashing havoc in his last three outings. Notably, his aggregate score in his first two innings eclipsed his entire tally from IPL 2023, underscoring a resurgence in form. Moreover, he now finds himself in close proximity to Virat Kohli, the current Orange Cap holder. Could this signify a genuine fresh start for Riyan Parag?

There are a few others on the rising star brigade. The next few weeks are sure to unfold yet more stars. Watch for more action on the small screen, there is much action ahead.

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