Former India cricketer, Irfan Pathan tries to decode the reason as to why the IPL 2020 was one of the most competitive and close seasons in its history.
Rajasthan Royals, who were bottom at the points table, were just 2 points short of the Royal Challengers Bangalore, who qualified for the payoffs. 3 teams ended with 12 points and 3 teams with 14 points, of which Kolkata Knight Riders were ousted on net run rate.
There were 3 super overs in the tournament, the most in any IPL season – including one double super over. In the last couple of weeks, several surprise outcomes didn’t seem favourable at the start of the game.
All the cricketers were like hungry lions: Irfan Pathan
While talking to the broadcaster, Irfan Pathan made an analogy of the cricketers to a starved person. A person who doesn’t get food will pounce on anything edible. Similarly, Pathan felt that the players were deprived of cricket for a long time which made them give their best on the field.
The Baroda all-rounder reiterates his point that due to the lockdown for 4-5 months, the teams didn’t get to play high-level cricket and therefore came like hungry lions on the field in the IPL.
Speaking on Star Sports talk show Cricket Connected, Irfan Pathan said, “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.
“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.”
The 36-year-old Irfan Pathan opined that rustiness was visible amongst the players, especially in their fielding. However, he observed that the cricketers showed their brilliant fitness as the tournament progressed.
The 2007 T20 World Cup winner talked about the closeness in the points table and said that if the teams with 12 points had just won another game, they could have qualified. Irfan Pathan said because of the competition.
“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.
“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,”Irfan Pathan said.