The below first appeared on the http://www.thefulltoss.com in April 2014.
Living in East Asia, I get an awful lot of IPL on television. And IPL highlights. And IPL re-runs. And the IPL Champions Trophy, or whatever it’s called.
Leaving aside any snobbish and/or condescending opinions I might have about the quality of IPL cricket, I’d like to share my confusion at the IPL team names, which – the defunct Deccan Chargers aside – make less sense to me than those in the United States or Yorkshire (remember the Phoenix!). I see that they are supposed to be glitzy, but they are making me dizzy. Can anyone help?
Why name a team after the nation it’s from? Is there another local team called the Mumbai Pakistanis or the Mumbai British? Is the team only made up of members of one ethnic group, in the manner of apartheid South Africa? And most pressingly, why why why isn’t the team called Mumbai Sachin Tendulkar – we all know it’s his team in everything but name? I can’t think of another domestic team anywhere in the world which is named after a country. Other than London Irish. And Argentinos (New York Yankees? Ed). It’s just not cricket. But then neither is Twenty20!
Chennai Super Kings
Clearly the team is named for either a brand of cigarettes or extremely large bed. Probably the latter, given how laid back Mahendra Singh Dhoni appears. Or perhaps Chennai were keen to illustrate that they were better than Punjab, but then everyone is better than Punjab.
Kings XI Punjab
My favourite team due to the efforts of Shaun Marsh in season one. I will not have a word said against them.
Kolkata Knight Riders
Named for Michael Knight and Kit, one assumes. Who knew David Hasseloff was as big in India as he is in Germany!
Yet another monarch related team name. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
Royal Challengers Bangalore
What! Another! See my Rajasthan comment above.
Firstly, “sunrisers” isn’t even a word. Secondly, this would make sense if Hyderabad were on the extreme east of India, and the sun rose their before anywhere else. But it’s not. Geographically it’s India’s Birmingham. I’m confused.
Perhaps the IPL team names were randomly selected? A bit like England teams when Ted Dexter was Chairman of Selectors.