For six seasons, if yellow has been Chennai Super Kings’ favoured colour, Aussie Michael Hussey has been one of their favourites. The 38-year-old Hussey, who retired from the national team, was the pick of picks for the Chennai team and had been hugely successful at the top of the order for Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s team. Not anymore.
For some reason, the biggest gainers at the IPL-7 auction were the discards. Battler Yuvraj Singh, him of the flamboyance and unshakeable belief, walked away the richest man yet as Royal Challengers Banga-lore pinned their faith in the all-rounder, while Dinesh Karthik, diminutive in stature but big on deeds, went back to his alma-mater, if you could say that, as Delhi Daredevils rolled out the red carpet for their biggest buy in many seasons.
Six years ago when the idea of an auction for the cricketers was mooted, it was scoffed at. Taking it in stride, the cricket board went ahead with the bold ‘concept’ as players were freely traded and bought.
If IPL-6 ended in a scandalous fashion with the lid on spot-fixing being blown open following the involvement of several cricketers and ‘team officials’ last May, IPL-7 has exploded on to the scene as a sequel.
Going into the fourth leg of the Asia Pacific Rally Championship 2013, Team MRF’s youngest recruit, Esapekka Lappi — the raciest in current times in the eyes of none other than India’s top rallyist, Gaurav Gill — will come up against the strongest challenge in his fledgling, yet supremely successful stint in rallying.