Kolkata: Finally the moment has arrived. Following a lot of upheavals including grinding the tournament to a halt due to the pandemic before resuming it in the UAE, it’s time for the Grand Finale of the much-venerated Indian Premier League.
And guess what: three-time champions Chennai Super Kings (CSK) will lock horns with Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) which have won it twice and would be playing their first final after a prolonged hiatus of seven years. The last time, the two faced each other in the finals, it was Gautam Gambhir’s KKR that stole the march over CSK, can KKR do a repeat?
It’s Kolkata vs Chennai or Eoin Morgan up against MS Dhoni – two of the shrewdest World Cup-winning skippers in the game of cricket. It’s a given that emotions will run high as both Chennai and Kolkata are inundated with people who wear their heart up their sleeves. For Kolkatans, the final falls on a day when they would be bidding adieu to Ma Durga as she gets set to return to her in-laws, so a victory for KKR would bring unflinching smile on the face of a die-hard supporter of the franchise owned by none other than Shah Rukh Khan.
Hang on, did we mention Shah Rukh Khan? Isn’t he the man who is revered and worshipped by millions? Yes, but the Bollywood megastar isn’t a happy man now, as he sees his elder son Aryan languishing behind the bars for his alleged involvement in the cruise drug case. As a parent, one would relate to what he must be going through – the pain and turmoil as he endures the lethal scrutiny of his son’s reported misdemeanour. This man needs a respite for sure and if his players can romp home with the trophy, King Khan, who has all this while remained silent despite the massive turnaround of his team in the second leg of the IPL, would embark on the battle for justice for his son with renewed vigour. It would be a message to him from his team, “We are with you in this hour of turbulence.”
SRK has always rallied behind his team – he has stood rock solid by his cricketers despite a spree of abysmal shows by the boys. He cries when his team loses but conceals his tears, he is uncontrollable when the guys snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. The man whose success story could make it to the school books, suddenly finds himself besmirched by an unwarranted turn of events much to the dismay of his well-wishers.
So, Morgan and his boys can’t afford to end up on a losing note tonight. No way! They have done all the hard work to be in a position of being just a win away from the coveted trophy and they dare not mess it up at the last moment just the way they almost threw away the qualifier to Delhi Capitals.
The Badshah of Bollywood is on a sticky wicket both on the professional and personal fronts – and an IPL win would just be the filip to get back at his detractors who survive at his expense. Got that?
And talking about the emotional factor associated with the match, tonight’s contest could well be Dhoni’s last in the yellows. Though, he hasn’t dropped any hint on his plan for the next year, ostentatiously speaking, it is unlikely he would take the field in 2022. Given such a scenario, Dhoni would give it everything to lay his hands on the trophy for the fourth time. A man who of late, has faced criticism for losing his finishing touch, would be nursing ambitions to prove a point or two if at all, the IPL final is his swan song.
As a skipper and player, the Ranchi guy has taken the Chennai franchise to unprecedented heights despite the match-fixing scandal maligning even his image to a certain extent. But unperturbed, Mahi couldn’t be derailed as he has shepherded his team to the zenith amid impediments. An IPL triumph would be a befitting tribute to the man who despises defeat.
Interestingly, SRK and Dhoni are contrasting personalities – if the former swims in a pool of abundant ecstasy, Dhoni would never make his feelings public – a dignified smile both in victory and defeat is baffling. But deep down, both are fierce competitors who have made it big thanks to grit and commitment bereft of the guidance of any Godfather.
And for both – Friday, October 15 would be a red-letter day. Either way, it would be an occasion not to be rubbed off memories. Do we a see a Bollywood drama unfurling here? Perhaps yes!
Before we wind up: A KKR win perhaps will bring SRK out of this hibernation and give him space to do what he wants to, if this old tweet is any indication.
I hope so. I want to start drinking coffee in that only! https://t.co/s9UvyY2QdV
— Shah Rukh Khan (@iamsrk) March 31, 2021