June 3, 2012

KKR's IPL5 victory was sweet - 5 takeaways for fans

Image Source: KKR.in
Five years. It took 5 years for Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) to become the IPL Champions after KKR's Brendon McCullum smashed an unbelievable 158 runs powered by 13 sixes off just 73 balls in the inaugural match of IPL (April 2008). McCullum's 158 had been rated #1 in an all time top 10 IPL batting performances and made fans believe that KKR would win the IPL1. Unfortunately, KKR went on a downward spiral from there onward and couldn't even make it to the Play-offs during the first three IPLs.

IPL started in April 2008 and it was no rocket science to decide which team will I back after knowing that your favorite actor Shah Rukh Khan will be the proud owner of a team. Among all the new names, KKR it was! KKR was marketed very well, a lot of awareness was created to build its fan base and we were all excited with its jig - Korbo Lorbo Jeetbo re! Like all stories, KKR's story too had its own share of twist and turns. We couldn't advance to the next stages in IPL1, IPL2 and IPL3. By the end of IPL3, many KKR fans whom I knew began to switch sides discarding KKR as a useless team full of glamor. Agree, KKR had the glamor quotient attached but I've always felt KKR had small issues and if the team management could fix them up, we might perform well. A lot was written and said about KKR and it even became the stock of jokes. When IPL started KKR was one of the hot favorites and by the end of IPL3, KKR was considered a laggard. For loyal fans, it was a tough period. There was silence around.

And then came IPL4 in which KKR management took a tough decision. They decided to drop Sourav Ganguly and replace him with Gautam Gambhir to give KKR a fresh life. 'Will it work, will it not?' was the big question but gradually the team started showing new signs and went on to become the #3 team in IPL4. They didn't win anything, but this was a huge boost from their past performances. KKR played like a team and fought well. As a fan, I loved it and I knew in my heart that if KKR plays from here, then maybe in the next IPL we may end up playing in the Final.

IPL5 started and this time I noticed that KKR came out with a new campaign 'New Dawn. New Knights' with a new logo. They looked solid and were absolutely focused in their preps. There was a sense of belief that this time they have come to prove something, not to anyone else but to themselves, their owners, and most importantly their fans. KKR started the season well and match by match they went on to become the #2 team in the League matches. From there, there was no looking back. They beat 2 better sides starting with DD first and then CSK in the Final.  I went speechless when Manoj Tiwary hit the winning four! It was a big moment for all the KKR fans as finally the wait was over. My friends know that I'm a loyal supporter and that night numerous messages, congrats, tweets, etc came to me. It felt, as if my own team had won and why not - it is my own team. It's the team I believed in as a true fan. For me, KKR's IPL5 victory was sweet.

Image Source: KKR.in

So, why a post on cricket on this blog? Well, I wanted to capture this moment after it finally sunk in. I always believe that every successful campaign is only complete once you celebrate and more importantly learn from it and hence I wanted to write on the takeaways for fans.

5 takeways for fans:
  1. In life, everyone goes through a rough patch. Whether it's in your personal or professional life you should never NEVER give up. KKR learnt from their past mistakes and team owner Shah Rukh Khan said after KKR's victory: 'If you believe, you can win.' There's just no substitute for hard work and you gotta keep trying. KKR kept trying, gave some glittering performances and today stand tall as the IPL5 Champions. We are proud!
  2. Some situations will come in life which will demand you to take tough decisions. A lot will run through your mind - what will people think, reactions and all? Don't think too much! You just gotta do what's right and what's required at that moment for the better. Dropping Sourav Ganguly was a tough call but if you think as a neutral, he really wasn't performing and the team always got into some controversy or the other.
  3. It's good to be ambitious but you need to back it up by solid preparation, commitment and focus. KKR's captain Gautam Gambhir set a perfect example on how to lead from the front and his team backed him wholeheartedly. Gautam took every match seriously one at a time. You could feel they were playing as one unit unlike in some past campaigns where there was a little resistance. Always talk and make your team comfortable, then only they'll be able to perform and deliver beyond expectations.   
  4. Always respect your opponents and other's views whether you like it or not. There's a Chinese Proverb 'Talking doesn't cook rice.' If you have to reply, reply through your exemplary performance. KKR did exactly that in a slow and steady manner throughout the campaign and silenced their critics. Of course, some individuals continued to find fault like SRK's cartwheel act, or the use of incorrect English in 'Jeetbo-ed' ad in TOI but then remember it doesn't really matter as these are petty things. Some even went on to say 'match was fixed'. In my opinion, if matches could be fixed just like that, then KKR wouldn't have taken 5 years to win IPL. One should just ignore such unsporting comments & move on.
  5. Celebrate victories. This is the most important of all as your team has put their heart for a win and it's an special moment in one's life. Being humble is one thing and celebrating on a grand occasion is another. There should be no shame in celebration as it is a form of acknowledgment of the hard work put in, adds to the bond and gives future foresight. 

Harsha Bhogle's commentary 'And the Kolkata Knight Riders have won the DLF IPL5 2012' still runs through my mind whenever I think of that wonderful moment. I hope you have also drawn some lessons from KKR's story in these 5 years. If there's something more you can add to the takeaway, then I'd definitely like to hear. Please comment below to share your views, your experience and your joy.

PS: Today, I became Arif Chachu, so it's a special day as I sign off this post. :)

Jeetbo,
A.

3 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for your wonderful brog!!
    I miss KKR and IPL.
    I want to support in KKR in the Eden gardens next year!!
    A cricket is not popular in Japan.
    KKRiders taught me the pleasure of the cricket!
    I LOVE Knights!!!!

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    1. Thank you Rieko, I really appreciate that and I'm delighted to see your support for KKR all the way from Japan. Happy to know that you're enjoying cricket.

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