2011 bought new challenges to IPL with Modi controversies and World Cup 2011 a bigger game in magnitude and a world audience. There was much higher expectations from the cricket fans and winning the world cup was the only way to go forward for team India.
With entire nation being occupied with WC fever, cricket fans across the nation and worldwide were cheering team India. We won the 2011 WC after a gap of 28 yrs we were so thrilled that we didn’t want to talk abt cricket for 4 more years. With this cricketing situation IPL 4 season was unwrapped with top 10 teams battling in T20 format with pomp and show across 12 venues including the new venue dharamsala.
RCB the name resonates with Bangalore, Bengaluru, Cheers, Fun and Fabulous city. However it didn’t start great for RCB when they announced their team RCB Fans were disappointed. As Bangalorean we all wanted to see our home team with local boys playing the game Mr. Consistent and Mr. Awesome yes I’m talking about Dravid and Kumble the pillars of RCB and Karnataka team who were not listed in the IPL 4 RCB season and we were disheartened with this decision.
With these choices we started with bitter note and losing first few matches we were trying to figure out whom to follow and whom to cheer, can Kholi make a difference? Maybe Dilshan or Vettori? But who is going to be our Striker or the lead bowler for match winning games? Zillion questions surfaced on social media, chat messages and across many bars, restaurants and houses. We felt RCB really let us down, the jersey that I bought #24 Kevin Petersen was hanging amongst my other polo t-shirts.
RCB starts the season with win against KKR and Mr. Dependable De-Villers hits impressive 5 sixes gave us some hope, just when we thought we might have a good team our good memories were washed away with consecutive matches lost against Mumbai Indians, Deccan chargers, CSK and then no result against RR due to bad weather and something happened in the 24th match, tables turned, scoreboard glittered, red wave was rising, applause got louder, historians woke up, cheerleaders were raising their eyebrows wondering who is stealing their spot light.
RCB discovered the number 333 synonym to Chris Gayle, does 333 signify anything else, yes in biblical it stands for “Holy Trinity”. RCB reached out to Gayle Storm who reinforced the team with concrete, we all needed fiery batsmen who can make a difference and in the 24th match he stuck a century that caught the attention of RCB fans across the world. You could hear words chanted “Go RCB”, “Go Gayle” and we never looked back and started to count how many matches we were unbeaten and the stats goes something like this Win against KKR, DD, PWI, KXIP, KTK, RR, KKR, CSK ... hold on I need to catch some breath.
These wins were etched into our brains and cricket history books that a single man can always cheer up the entire team and we discovered some amazing players within the team Virat Kohli matured like whiskey and took the responsibilities and played to the tunes of cricket, Arvind stood as the 3rd best bowler with 13 wickets. We had some young guns Agarwal, Mithun, Syed rise and shine under watchful eyes of Vettori, Dilshan and Zaheer. We could see happy faces in the crowd, film stars, RCB fans, proud owners Mallya and family and millions of others watching glued to TV and internet.
At the end of match fixtures RCB stood on the top of points table, yes we couldn’t believe ourselves 14 matches, 9 victory, 4 losses and 19 pts and now we only see MI and CSK as contenders. We needed somebody to reinforce our steel of nerves and who can do it better than our mentors Kumble and Prasad who trained the boys along with Ray to stay focused on the game and to give our best, this was our moment so let’s go. We all realized that what matters the most is team spirit whether local or international players in the end we need players who can perform and entertain coz today we are in the “fans” mode and Bangaloreans have accepted it with open arms and that’s why RCB is a Bangalore team.
We took on the CSK team in our 1st Qualifier match, Gayle’s magical powers were dimming and Virat got into rescue with Agarwal put up a decent total but we couldn’t stop the CSK boys Raina took it away as he does in every match so there goes our opportunity to be in finals, but luckily for the first time in IPL we have changed the format with Qualifier and Eliminators so we get our second chance to battle into finals and this time it’s Mumbai Indians so we take on the mighty Malniga and Sachin. Gayle clicks and our score rockets to 180+ and we were victorous making all RCB fans proud, this was the moment we all liked from rags to riches, from bottom to top we reached in style, one more step and then we rule.
We all watched how the finals went not so thrilled, we might have lost the finals but you need to understand one thing we won the hearts of millions of RCB fans whether they are local Bangaloreans or people outside of Bangalore or Bangaloreans staying abroad, all of us are thrilled that RCB now stands for Bangalore/Bengaluru and we are growing by numbers on all fronts.
We are the very best managed IPL team, the very best performing team of IPL 4, most informative and fan spirited team and if you watched the video of De-Villers who sums it up by saying “Yella Ok Tension Yakke” (Have no tension, Everything is fine) and Charl Langeveldt nails it with his comments “RCB Sakath Hot Maga” (Dude, RCB team is freckin HOT)
Overall it was fun, it was gamey, it was thriller, it captured every ones imagination, it engaged all of us, it’s a new beginning but the past will not be forgotten it will stay in our memory and now we look fwd what 2012 IPL has to offer. Let me summarizes IPL 4 2011 season “Modi is history, World Cup was won, RCB retains as the Challenger, million fans are now following, let’s bleed RED, Go RCB, Go Maga !!!