Saturday, February 12, 2011

Chennai Super Kings: India’s Team? – Part 1

Manchester United and Arsenal in Football (Soccer), Dallas Cowboys in American Football, New York Yankees in Baseball and Los Angeles Lakers in Basketball are examples of sports teams that have national and international following. Built over years and generations of fan loyalty, an ever expanding fan base, a winning history, famous players, professional management and visionary owners these franchises go beyond their local fans to be loved and revered worldwide. This has helped them become Most Valuable Franchises, build iconic brands and are highly profitable. Dallas Cowboys is valued at $1.5 Billion by Forbes, making it the most valuable one in National Football League, not because they have been winning recently but because of the brand they have built over years

Every IPL franchise would like to become India's team. Pune Warriors and Kochi franchises are new and will take another few years to come into these discussions

  • Why not Mumbai Indians?
    • Of Course: They have an icon in Sachin Tendulkar and entertainers like Turbantor, Keith Pollard and Lasith Malinga
    • No Way: After 3 years they have entered the Finals of IPL only last year and are yet to win any kind of a championship. Even though they retained 4 players, they let go many of their other players in the Auction. Their choice of a controversial player like Andrew Symonds to go along with Harbajan Singh may not be a smart move
  • Why not Deccan Chargers?
    • Of Course: They have an IPL championship and were a semi finalist last year. They have a huge diaspora in the US
    • No Way: Their first year was a disaster and controversial players like Andrew Symonds, tainted Herschelle Gibbs and Shahid Afridi did their image no good They dismantled the whole team and are assembling a new one this year – lack of continuity hurts brand building
  • Why not Royal Challengers Bangalore?
    • Of Course: They have made it to an IPL Final and Semi Final but have not won any championships. They have a highly affluent fan base in their local town. They had a good outing in the recent IPL auction where they had a few bargain deals
    • No Way: Their first season was forgettable. The hire and fire of Charu Sharma and open criticism of team composition that included iconic players like Rahul Dravid, Anil Kumble and Jacques Kallis by their flamboyant owner have done no good. They too decided to dismantle the whole team barring Virat Kohli. They have very little local players who are well known – they lost Uthappa and Dravid and Anil Kumble retired
  • Why not Rajasthan Royals?
    • Of Course: Their first season was a Cinderella story. Led by the iconic Shane Warne, a team of unknowns from a small town with a small budget, won the inaugural championship
    • No Way: Their last 2 IPL efforts have been forgettable. They are also in odds with BCCI that almost dissolved the franchise. They had a bad outing in the recent IPL Auction with a reduced budget and ended up with only a handful of players
  • Why not Kings XI Punjab?
    • Of Course: Affable Preity Zinta
    • No Way: An average team that filled the bottom half of rankings the past 3 years. They let go all their previous players and mismanaged the recent IPL Auction and will continue with its mediocrity. The owners ran into problems that needed a court intervention to participate in IPL 4
  • Why not Kolkata Knight Riders?
    • Of Course: SRK and till recently Dada. The made a splash in the recent IPL Auction and assembled match winners like Gambhir and Yusuf Pathan
    • No Way: Worst performer of all IPL teams in all 3 editions till date. The team became a joke in 2nd season with Captaincy by committee. No player was retained, meaning none performed well enough
  • Why not Delhi Dare Devils?
    • Of Course: Iconic player Virendra Sewhag
    • No Way: A team that failed to live up to its potential despite having the best opening pair and good bowlers. The team retained only Sehwag who was at odds with the team management in the last but one season. The IPL Auction was forgettable and their mediocrity will continue

Of the above, only Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore have a chance to play catch up with Chennai Super Kings. We will see how Chennai fares against these teams in the next blog and see how they measure up to being India's team

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