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IPL 2020: 'All cricketers were like hungry lions' - Irfan Pathan on why the tournament was so competitive

IPL 2020 was one of the closest editions of the league [P/C: iplt20.com]
IPL 2020 was one of the closest editions of the league [P/C: iplt20.com]
Kartik Iyer
ANALYST
Modified 14 Nov 2020, 10:46 IST
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Former Indian all-rounder Irfan Pathan has opined that all the cricketers being starved of cricket for a long while made them give their best, thereby making IPL 2020 the most competitive edition of the league.

He made this observation in the recent edition of the Star Sports show Cricket Connected.

Irfan Pathan was asked about the reason for the cricket being so competitive in IPL 2020. He responded that it was because all the players were eager to be back on the cricket field, drawing an analogy to a person who is starved of food.

"I feel all the cricketers and all the teams were very hungry. If you are hungry and you don't get food, the situation was the same for all of them. And when you get food after a long time, what will you do, you will try to eat the food of 4-5 days together although that does not happen."

He added that the cricketers had not seen much action for a few months before the IPL and thus showed their predator instincts on the field.

"But something like that happened with the teams. They did not get to play cricket for 4-5 months, they were in a lockdown and they came like hungry lions to the ground and gave their best performance."

Irfan Pathan on the IPL cricketers laying to bed the initial apprehensions

The last-placed team in IPL 2020 had 12 points in their kitty [P/C: iplt20.com]
The last-placed team in IPL 2020 had 12 points in their kitty [P/C: iplt20.com]

Irfan Pathan pointed out that things could have gone haywire as the cricketers were playing in the IPL after a long break and that the effects could be observed in some of the initial fielding lapses.

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"A lot of things could have gone wrong there but that did not happen. Everyone showed their fitness in a brilliant fashion. You could see the impact on the fielding initially but after that the way all the teams picked up form."

The left-arm swing bowler observed that the cricketers had put their best foot forward after the initial few hiccups and stood out in all three departments of the game.

"Whether you talk about fielding, the brilliant yorkers and great bowling by the likes of Bumrah, Rabada or spinners like Chahal, everyone gave their best performances and even in batting we got to see so many sixes. We also got to see the record of 1000 sixes by Chris Gayle in this IPL as well."

Irfan Pathan highlighted that even the last-placed team in IPL 2020, the Rajasthan Royals, had finished with 12 points and were in with a chance to qualify for the playoffs till their last encounter. He signed off by iterating that the tournament had turned out to be so competitive because all the cricketers were like hungry lions.

"And you got to see the last-placed team with 12 points in this IPL only and it is possible that if they had played one more match better, they could have also qualified. So the competition level was amazing but I feel the only reason for that is that all the cricketers were like hungry lions, who were waiting for cricket to start."
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The competitive nature of IPL 2020 can be ascertained by the fact that only the Mumbai Indians had qualified for the playoffs before the penultimate match of the league phase.

The Sunrisers Hyderabad managed to book their spot in the knockout stage only in the last match of the preliminary stage, knocking out the Kolkata Knight Riders in the process.


Published 14 Nov 2020, 10:46 IST
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