Deccan Chargers can make people sit up and take note

Kolkata Knight Riders’ Brendon McCullum and Mike Hussey of Chennai Super Kings have ensured that the Indian Premier League has already sweeping the imagination of cricket fans across the nation but I get the sneaky feeling that when Deccan Chargers take the field for the first time, it can make everyone sit up and take note.
Deccan Chargers – as the Hyderabad team has been named – can be as spicy as Hyderabadi biryani. With a line up that can choose its overseas component from Andrew Symonds, Adam Gilchrist, Herschelle Gibbs and Shahid Afridi, it has already got other teams to sit up and take note.
Talk of the recently retired Australian legend Gilchrist will grow in the coming days but it may be time to turn the pages of history and realise how he is surely not the first man named Gilchrist to turn out for Hyderabad. West Indian paceman Roy Gilchrist played a match under ML Jaisimha’s captaincy back in 1962-63, thanks to a BCCI experiment that got in four quicks from the Caribbean to play in Duleep Trophy and a Ranji Trophy game each (The others were Charlie Stayers for Bombay, Chester Watson for Delhi and Lester King for Andhra).
On the contrary, mention of the Pakistan all-rounder Afridi reminds me of a certain A I Rizvi played four Ranji Trophy matches for Hyderabad in 1959 and 1960 as well as one game for South Zone at the beginning of 1961 before migrating to Pakistan. The man we all know as Asif Iqbal settled down in Karachi and played for Pakistan, leading the team in six Tests and as many one-day internationals.
Even if IPL has erased physical boundaries and allowed franchises to buy players from beyond their region, Rohit Sharma will not be the first Mumbaikar to play for a Hyderabad side. The CEO of the Deccan Chargers, Vijay Mohan Raj moved base from Bombay – as the western megapolis was then known – to the twin-cities.
Skipper VVS Laxman opted out of icon status in a smart move to allow the team to pick up three expensive players at the auction – Andrew Symonds ($1.35million), Adam Gilchrist ($700,000) and RP Singh ($875,000). Such selfless acts are, to say the least, rare in these days when cricket is accused of being caught in the throes of crass commercialisation. He has been known to be an innovative captain, quite natural given the strong influence Jaisimha – acknowledged as one of the finest cricket brains never to have led India – had on Laxman.