Come 2011 and two new teams have been added to IPL bandwagon. Cochi tuskers and Pune warriors are the two new teams taking the total number to ten. While the bid for Cochi franchise was won by rendezvous sports. Pune was won by Sahara adventure sports group.
The bidding process to add two new teams was highly controversial and led to the removal of IPL commissioner Lalit Modi and resignation of Shashi Tharoor from the central government. There was further controversy in the auction of the players as well as the new teams of IPL wanted all the players to be put under auction pool while some of the older franchisees wanted to retain their marquee players.
Thankfully all the controversies have been settled and two new teams are ready to lock horns with the so called experienced ones. Actually to call Pune warriors a new team is only partially correct as Sahara group has a long association with Indian cricket team. That they knew their cricket was clearly visible in the way they picked their squad. It was hardly surprising then that their team is one of the more balanced at least on paper. Making Yuvraj Singh their skipper could turn out to be a masterstroke considering the amount of confidence the man poses currently after his stupendous performance in the just concluded world cup. with seasoned pros like Graeme Smith, Angelo Mathews, Ashish Nehra and Murali Karthik teaming up with youngsters like Manish Pandey, Robin Uthappa and a new exciting prospect in Harpreet Singh it does give the warriors at settled look. On the other hand the Tuskers had a shaky start to their debut season with issues like ownership and shifting of their base to Ahmadabad making more noises than their team composition. They couldn’t have chosen a better man at the helm than Mahela Jayawardene to bring some sanity and calmness as these are traits which makes the Sri-lankan one of the most dangerous and shrewd cricketers. It would be an interesting contest to see how the two new teams come up with the pressure and rigorous of one of the highly contested leagues. Whether they will go all the way or fall by the way side? Let’s hope the new teams enjoy every bit of their maiden season.