Purple is a colour which is traditionally associated with aristocracy and royalty. It was the colour worn by Roman magistrates and became the imperial colour worn by the rulers of the Byzantine Empire, Holy Roman Empire and the Roman Catholic bishops.
Cricket, meanwhile, is often called a batsman’s game owing to the many rules which favour run making. The balance shifts towards the batsmen even more in the T20 format. Thus, many people would assume that bowlers don’t have an important role to play in the Indian Premier League.
However, over the past decade, we have seen the difference that good bowlers have made to the fortunes of their teams. Be it Shane Warne’s clever bowling in the first season or Lasith Malinga’s deadly death bowling; bowlers have been an integral part of the strategy of any team.
Extra Cover: IPL 2017: Orange Cap holders through the seasons
Recognising this importance, the organisers of the IPL introduced the concept of the “Purple Cap” to be given to the leading wicket-taker in the season.
Speaking about the initiative, the then IPL chairman and commissioner Lalit Modi had said, “We have seen over the course of the inaugural season of the League so far that bowlers have just as important a role to play in winning T20 matches as batsmen do.”
In a build up to the 10th edition of the IPL, let’s take a look at the Purple Cap holders over different seasons.
2008 – Sohail Tanvir, Rajasthan Royals (Wickets – 22, Matches – 11)
2008 was the only season in which Pakistani players featured in the IPL and left-arm medium-fast bowler Sohail Tanvir made the most of this opportunity. Playing under Shane Warne for the Rajasthan Royals, Tanvir was the first winner of the Purple Cap.
Although he played only 11 of Royals’ 16 games, he took 22 wickets in the season. His skipper Warne followed him closely with 19 wickets from 15 games.
Tanvir’s 6-14 against Chennai Supper Kings at Jaipur still remains the best bowling performance in the tournament’s history. Though he did not have a great outing with the ball in the finals against the Super Kings, he was at the crease during the tense final overs and was instrumental in taking the Royals over the line.
With three needed off the last two deliveries, Tanvir hit Lakshmipathy Balaji for two runs in the penultimate delivery. He subsequently pulled the last delivery of the tournament for a single to script a famous victory for the Rajasthan Royals.