21.05.17 will be the date when the IPL 10 will finally come to a close. The Royal Challenger Bangalore (RCB) was the most favorite team to lift the trophy this year, unfortunately, due to various reasons, they have to be satisfied with the wooden spoon. At the same time, it is heartening to see the Rising Pune Super Giants (RPS), who were never expected to even reach the play off, rise to the occasion and topple the most successful star studded team, Mumbai Indians, to qualify for the finals on Sunday, that too in the absence of their star player, Ben Stokes. The next best team to qualify the play off was Sunrisers Hyderabad, who had the top run scorer and top wicket taker of this season. Ironically, they too had to bite the dust, through the Duckworth-Lewis Method. Now the team to meet RPS is Mumbai Indians after annihilating the Kolkata team in the second qualifier.
Anyone could win the tie on their given day. In any case, I feel it would be RPS who could lift the Trophy this year. Here I wish to refer to the comments of Rajeev Shukla, IPL Chairman where he stated that there would be only 8 teams next season and if Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals return to the fold, the teams that would miss out would be RPS and Gujarat Lions. In my opinion, it would be a grave injustice to RPS, who is a potential winner.
I feel the IPL Committee should consider increasing the number of franchise. Even if CSK and RR return next year, RPS and GL should also be allowed to continue by increasing the teams to 10. In fact, they could consider including Kerala Tuskers and another franchise to make it 12 teams. These 12 teams could be divided into two groups of 6 teams, who could play a match against each. The top 3 or even 4 teams of both groups to qualify for the next stage. These 6 or 8 teams to play each other and the top 4 teams to qualify to fight in the present play off method. Such a move would not only give chance our budding and talented youngsters like Washington Sunder, Ishan Kishan, Siraj, Rahul Tripathi, Rishab Pant, etc. to brush shoulders with international players to hone their skills, but could also benefit the BCCI to increase its revenues. Hope good sense would prevail upon the BCCI and the IPL Committee!