Life has come a full circle for the red and gold brigade from Bangalore. They say the best time to stumble in any venture is during the start, and who better than RCB can explain that. The initial season was full of hiccups for RCB; it was a time when nothing went right, team was in shambles, they were dubbed as a test team out to play T20. But a wave that goes backward surely comes forward with much more intensity. That’s what RCB did – a transformation of a so called Test team into a formidable unit has been nothing short of phenomenal!
During these three years, IPL has grown into a known global brand, though its popularity is still very much short of its big brother English Premier League (EPL). But that is understandable as Football is the most followed sport and Cricket does not find its reach as good as Football.
They say for things to happen which has never happened before, you must do things which has never been done before. During the last three years, RCB has exactly done that. But the due credit must be given to the players, the management, the support staff, the marketing team and most important – the fans. I will explain each of these in a detailed manner.
The Players – Many players in RCB are not typical T20 players. They have played conventional cricket all through their life. So when the IPL was formed, question marks were raised on whether these players could perform in the shortest form of game. But these players took the challenge head-on and went ahead to set the benchmark. Rahul Dravid’s transformation was phenomenal, Anil Kumble showed his miser side in economy rate, but that did not stop his wickets column from swelling. Kallis was exceptional at the top of the batting and then as a first change bowler. These veterans were ably supported by the young blood like Manish Pandey, Robin Uthappa, and Praveen Kumar. Also the foreign players who made their presence felt were Ross Taylor, Dale Steyn, Roelof Merwe, etc
Management and the Support Staff: Under the watchful eyes of Ray Jennings, RCB began its dream run. The management under the CEO Mr. Brijesh Patel was able to guide the team out of its rough patch. Though there were tough times like Sacking of Charu Sharma, Removal of Rahul Dravid from captaincy, and Confusion over appointment of new captain, difference between Mr. Vijay Mallya and Rahul Dravid after the drubbing in first season, not retaining Kumble and Dravid for auctions, etc. But all is well that ends well.
The Marketing Team: Well, they say, no matter how good is your product, it is of no use unless you market it properly. The Marketing team headed by Mr. Sidhartha Mallya has done a tremendous job to increase the fan base. The online marketing plans and execution has been near perfect with the help of digital agency- Experience Commerce. The Fanatic Fan Challenge, The Fan Summit and now the IPL Auction Challenge, marketing team has been instrumental in keeping the fans engaged.
The Fans: Do I really need to say anything? Oh Yeah…I need to…AAARRR CEEEE BEEE….AAAAARRR CCCEEEE BEEEEE.
Looking forward, I see brighter times for RCB. The way in which Karnataka Ranji Team Is playing at the moment, I can assure that there are couple of exciting talents who can be drafted in the team. I hope lot of homework has been done for the coming season and I hope we don’t take a whole season to get our team combination right like we did in the first season. Also considering Kumble’s age and now that he has taken interest in Cricket administration, RCB should start grooming their probable next skipper.