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IPL. Flickr

The Indian Premier, Popular, Prestigious, Pulsating League (IPL) will once again capture the imagination of cricket lovers and fans amid the second galloping surge of the Covid-19 virus that has brought about lockdown, curfew, and severe restrictions in India. Cricketainment will capture eyeballs like never before since it will be one of the only few things to look forward to in the evenings for people locked up in their homes.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has an enormous responsibility to ensure that the bio-secure bubble created for the safety of all those involved with the IPL doesn’t get breached. The IPL is the main vein on which the finances of the BCCI depend and its success keeps Indian cricket alive.

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For cricketers, IPL is a job that they are fortunate enough to have in current circumstances. The pandemic has had a massive impact on the lives of people across the globe and many have been laid off. Cricketers have been fortunate that their profession is still operating. The eight franchises in the last 14 years of the tournament have become far more savvy and experienced.

The selection of squads and their professionally-managed approach is a lesson on how to turn cricket into a successful business venture. The coaching and support staff from India and overseas have brought the best practice into play in every aspect of the game, especially in getting the most out of players. The IPL has become the arena to perform in for superstars, the platform to be heard for aspiring cricketers. It provides the best education and learning experience for young Indian cricketers.

The IPL has been a tremendous contributor to many of the success stories as well as for the performance of the Indian team. Mumbai Indians have been the most successful team and have been a shade above the rest once the form of Chennai Super Kings, their biggest challengers, waned.

The IPL has been a tremendous contributor. Flickr

However, the last IPL tournament held in 2020 in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), eight months ago, showed that, on a given day, each side is as good or bad as the other. The differential factor is consistency and confidence, which only comes by winning regularly and having their combination in place.

The Mumbai Indians side scores in this area as they have a set unit in place which requires very few alterations or changes. With hard and skillful hitters in their fold starting with their captain Rohit Sharma, and Quinton de Kock followed by Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, the Pandya brothers and Kieron Pollard, they have a very lethal batting line-up that requires only two of them to flourish to make it difficult for any side.

The other seven sides are still not as settled with either their batting or bowling combinations. The 2021 IPL may prove to be different as many of the sides in the last edition did put a structure in place and therefore, the auction was of interest to ensure that the void or weakness was filled adequately. This too is not a simple formula as the combination goes topsy-turvy if a player does not perform to his potential or is out of form. Punjab Kings (earlier Kings XI Punjab) faced this issue with Glen Maxwell in the last edition of the game.

Royal Challengers Bangalore. Flickr

Royal Challengers Bangalore have now put their hope on Glenn Maxwell and with Virat Kohli and AB De Villiers by his side, the trio could be just the batting entertainment that would be fun to watch. The IPL 2021 is a very open affair, as with matches being played in designated centers, the home side’s advantage has been completely nullified. The playing surface at most Indian venues, even on the same patch of the wicket is different. The reading of the playing conditions and the toss will be vital in the selection of the ideal playing eleven.

Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) are another of the sides that seem to have identified their combination well. They missed the services of Bhuvneshwar Kumar but with him back in the saddle, along with Rashid Khan, SRH has two lethal front-line bowlers in their midst.

The two teams that one will watch carefully would be Delhi Capitals, last year’s runners-up, and Rajasthan Royals. Both these sides will be led by two young captains in Rishabh Pant and Sanju Samson, respectively. The two are innovative and unpredictable. They have shown that they play their cricket instinctively rather than thoughtfully. The onus of captaincy and the responsibility to lead through a structured process would be completely different from the way they approach their game.

ALSO READ: List Of Players Sold And Unsold In IPL Mini-Auction

Rishabh Pant is in top form has been the most destructive player for India recently. One wonders if captaincy will become a burden for him and so too for Samson, who has seen two astute leaders in Ajinkya Rahane and Steve Smith fail for Rajasthan Royals in the past editions of the tournament. The Kolkata Knight Riders and Punjab Kings are sides that will need to get their base eleven in place quickly in order to make an impact in the tournament. The likes of Chris Gayle (Punjab Kings) and Andrew Russell (Kolkata Knight Riders), if in form, can upset any team’s applecart.

This is precisely why the IPL is a cricket feast that has delicacies from Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, Rajasthan, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Delhi, and Punjab. The Mumbai Batata Vadas are the favorites, and at this point, looking beyond them seems a tough call. They have a mission of becoming the first IPL side to win three back-to-back titles. Good luck to them! (IANS/SP)



The aim of the book is to teach children that families can exist in different forms, and show them how to accept the diversity in family backgrounds.

By Siddhi Jain

Delhi-based author Pritisha Borthakur is set to release her new book, 'Puhor and Niyor's Mural of Family Stories'. The 1,404-word children's book was put together to address a new kind of societal debacle in the family system. The author says the aim is to teach children that families can exist in different forms, and show them how to accept the diversity in family backgrounds.

The author who named the book after her twin sons -- Puhor and Niyor -- is a parent who has seen and heard the tales of ridicule and discrimination suffered by many in India and beyond. She says the book is an artistic illustration for kids that details how different families can live and coexist. Whether it's children with two dads or two moms, children with a single dad or single mom, and even multiracial family units, Borthakur's book teaches love, understanding, and compassion towards unconventional families.

Beyond race, gender, color, and ethnicity which have formed the bases for discrimination since the beginning of time, this book aims to bring to light a largely ignored issue. For so long, single parents have been treated like a taboo without any attempt to understand their situations; no one really cares how or why one's marriage ended but just wants to treat single parents as villains simply for choosing happiness and loving their children.

Homosexual parents, a relatively new family system, is another form that has suffered hate and discrimination for many years. Pritisha emphasizes the need to understand that diversity in people and family is what makes the world beautiful and colourful. 'Puhor and Niyor's Mural of Family Stories' is a firm but compassionate statement against all forms of discrimination on the bases of sexual identity, gender, race, and even differences in background

four children standing on dirt during daytime 'Puhor and Niyor's Mural of Family Stories' is a firm but compassionate statement against all forms of discrimination on the bases of sexual identity, gender, race and even differences in background. | Photo by Ben Wicks on Unsplash

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Clean and maintained hands boost confidence in daily life activities.

If you feel that clean and well-groomed hands are just an essential prerequisite for women, you might like to think twice. Men should equally pay attention to their hands because our hand houses 1,500 bacteria living on each square centimeter of its skin. You can easily assume what havoc it can create in our body because in India we have the culture of eating with our hands and spaces beneath nails can become breeding heaven for germs. Moreover, clean and maintained hands boost confidence in their daily life activities. Therefore, it's important to keep your hands clean irrespective of your gender by washing or sanitizing at regular intervals. And, to keep them groomed, you don't have to visit a salon.

Rajesh U Pandya, Managing Director, KAI India, gives easy and completely doable tips to follow at home:

* Refrain from harsh soaps: You should be mindful of the soap you are using to wash your hands. Your soap can have a moisturizing element in it like aloe vera or shea butter. Ensure that you're washing your hands with normal water as hot water can make your hand's skin dry and scaly.

Soap bars organic You should be mindful of the soap you are using to wash your hands. | Photo by Aurélia Dubois on Unsplash

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Bitcoin has become an essential crypto asset in modern portfolios and investment funds.

Bitcoin has become an essential crypto asset in modern portfolios and investment funds. The confidence generated in this cryptocurrency will depend a lot on the diversification that companies make in their balance sheets in Bitcoin and the increase of institutional investors that allocate a percentage of their funds in this crypto. American fund manager Cathie Wood makes some interesting predictions, both in the rise that the Bitcoin price will experience in the next 5 years, suggesting these institutional investors allocate 5% of their funds; this will help leverage the Bitcoin market.

Bitcoin will grow by a tenfold

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