It takes 93 international centuries, 20 years and counting of dedication on the field, many comparisons with God and one with Bradman to become the most powerful person in Indian sports. Any guesses what it takes to come at no. 2? Starting an annual cricketing event. It helps if that's called IPL. You can check with Lalit Modi, the 2nd most powerful person in Indian sports according to the Sports Illustrated.
Two summers back when this advertisement about Mano & Ranjan started doing the rounds, there was heavy skepticism about the connect this weird new format of the game will have with the lovers of the gentleman's game in India.
How will we, a nation of cricket fanatics who have cheered the national team through years and decades suddenly develop a passion for funnily named teams like Kolkata Knight Riders and Chennai Super Kings? If the puttar of Punjab is donning the colours of Mumbai, and the Mallu 'Dance Lord' joins the team from the land of mustard field, who will be rooting for whom? After this incident it was quite certain that Mr. Singh had become the bad boy of Punjab and the bad boy from the backwaters was the little child the punjabi kudis were trying to console.
It's IPL time once again, and for the next month and a half we are going to obsess over who received more hugs from Preity Zinta ? Will Warne still look at his memsaab the same way now that she is married? What's the correlation between the amount and time SRK dances at Eden with KKR's victory? How will Gilly's Hyderabad Boys cope with the pressures of being the defending champions and not getting to play in Hyderabad at all?
Most of us will spend insane amounts of time in front of the computer, digging out information, trivia and most importantly following the matches live! Here's a guide of how you can keep up with all the IPL action on the net.
For the first time you can watch all the matches Live on YouTube! Yes, live, as it happens, when it happens!
All you need to do is go to the Official YouTube IPL channel and all the matches will be going on there, live! Also, if you want to watch highlights from previous matches or an entire match that has already been played that will also be available on the Official YouTube IPL channel (www.youtube.com/ipl). Special packages like all the 4s, 6s, wickets etc. will be compiled and uploaded for viewing as well. This is what it looks like.
Who wants to just watch cricket and not talk about it? We, Indians don't for sure! So after you have seen all the matches and the action is far from over. Orkut has come up with it's Official Orkut IPL Community and you may want to join the same! You can in fact watch the matches live here as well, as the YouTube feeds will be streamed here simultaneously. Besides you can discuss the match and add your expert comments and opinions in the discussion forums. So, you can head of to www.orkut.co.in/ipl This is what the experience will be like.
Just like on Orkut you may want to hop over to our other favourite social networking site Facebook Official IPL Fan Page. You can discuss your favourite stars, matches, catches and action here. Besides the official Facebook IPL fan page (www.facebook.com/IPL) is also updated regularly by snippets of information and votes and polls. Here's what the experience is like.
Official Team Sites
Most of the team have their official web sites as well, as does IPL. Here's where you can follow the teams of your choice, see their exclusive pictures, videos, read interviews and interact with some of the players.
Offical IPL Website
Team Sites (North to South)
Kings XI Punjab
Kolkata Knight Riders
Bangalore Royal Challengers
Chennai Super Kings
And finally, if you want up to date information, team news, gossip, message from the players and owners don't miss out on following them on the micro-blogging site, Twitter.
Official Twitter Accounts
Preity Zinta (owner KXP)
Shilpa Shetty (owner RR)
SRK (owner KKR)
Harsha Bhogle (presenter, commentator)
Here's also a list of cricketer's who are on Twitter, this list is edited constantly as more and more players join Twitter - Twitter Cricket List
If you know of any other ways of keeping up with all the action on IPL please do let me know and I will update the blog accordingly. Here's wishing everyone a fantastic 46 days to come and may the best team win!