Dear Team Owners of PWI,
This is an open letter to you. I am writing to let you know about the my expectations from the home side and also resonate the voice of most Punekars.
Having a Home Team to cheer for was always going to be awesome, thanks for giving us that. The amazing moments of enjoying a sport mixed with pride and love for the home city is always a joyous moment. Also, with Pune being the costliest IPL team, our expectations just kept on soaring. But ever since its inception, there have been many things the Warrior have been lacking and which need to be rectified. After all, He Pune Ahe, Sarvottam peksha thodasa kami pan chalnar nahi (This is Pune, nothing less than the BEST will be tolerated). Here are a few things I feel the Pune IPL team desperately needs:
Now, I know IPL is a sport and not entertainment (YEAH Right!), but the Warriors seriously lack drama to generate enough interest. Take Mumbai, which has one time foes Ricky Ponting and Harbhajan Singh now playing together. I mean, after all those years of rivalry and cold blooded on-field action when playing for the national teams, who would have thought of one day seeing them not only play together but celebrate together? Plus, the combination of Sachin Tendulkar and Ricky Ponting (Pondulkar or Tendling) is one that get’s anyone excited, or it’s just me being a huge fan of GOD.
From Harbhajan Singh slapping Sreeshanth to the recent spat witnessed between Gautam Gambhir and Virat Kohli, IPL seems to have more fights than Saas-Bahu serials now.
Another thing that generate drama is friends turning foes. Dost dost na raha.. finds many examples in the IPL. From Harbhajan Singh slapping Sreeshanth (and the cameras showing him crying from all possible angles and the media adding a sound clip of a crying baby to it, making it worse) to the recent spat witnessed between Gautam Gambhir and Virat Kohli, IPL seems to have more fights than Saas-Bahu serials now. Pune, however, has hardly seen any such “Drama”. Even after having the hot headed Yuvi in our ranks, who can fire 6 sixes after some instigation by Andrew Flintoff (poor Stuart Broad, he got the beating of a lifetime for his team mates fault), Pune has had no such rivalries or close matches making things interesting and fun.
Now, Kolkata is the luckiest of the lot in this department. It has a free cheerleader cum owner in SRK, but most of all, it has a wonderful host who gets the best of the glamour world at his side. From Priyanka Chopra, Arjun Rampal, Katrina Kaif, Bipasha Basu, Chunky Pandey (yes, we are calling him glamorous and a famous celebrity, hehe) to snatching away Deepika from Bangalore, Shahrukh knows exactly how to get his team and the crowd excited. Pune fails terribly here. You seems to think calling random celebrities having nothing to do with Pune to cheer for us will help. I mean, really, Diana Hayden, Sania Nehwal and people who have got absolutely nothing to do with Pune for “Star Presence”? (again, we are very sarcastic and question how Diana Hayden can be called a star or a celebrity). Why can’t you just exploit the Marathi talent and stars to get the much needed star presence? Celebrities like Sonalee Kulkarni (the Apsara of Natarang, who is definitely hotter than Diana), Saee Tamhankar, Atul Kulkarni and other actors and actresses having a connect with Pune would be a better addition to the cheering ranks.
I mean, really, Diana Hayden, Sania Nehwal and people who have got absolutely nothing to do with Pune for “Star Presence”?
Each team has its own set of owners who give their teams that differential edge. Take Kolkata which has Juhi Chawla and Shah Rukh. Mumbai with The Ambanis, Bangalore having the King of Good Times (who lost their airlines and the hottest woman in their ranks, Deepika), Punjab with Priety Zinta and Rajhasthan with Shilpa Shetty, Pune is left with just a corporate biggie. We are like those boring squads like Delhi, Chennai and the recent addition Hyderabad (Gayatri Reddy was hot enough to put even the actresses to shame, who’s no more one of the owners) who have no celebrity mascots to get the team and the crowd in the mood. You can buy the costliest team in the IPL, getting a star celebrity onboard won’t be a problem for you (Bollywood or Marathi stars or both would do wonders).
Pune has Angelo Matthews, really? With Ross Taylor and Yuvraj Singh in the ranks, why of all men the inexperienced guy for captain?
Chennai is blessed with one of the best captaincy in the IPL currently. India’s captain cool, has shown his skills with the bat as good as he has with the responsibility of captaincy. No wonder they are the only team to clench two titles in the IPL till date. Mumbai once had Sachin, but now its got an even stronger captain, with Ricky Ponting. Rajhasthan has Dravid, Hyderabad has Sangakkara (who also lead the Sri Lankan side) and Bangalore has Virat (touted as the future captain and the man who lead the under-19 team to victory in the World Cup). Pune has Angelo Matthews, really? With Ross Taylor and Yuvraj Singh in the ranks, why of all men the inexperienced guy for captain? Ganguly was a great captain, but his form is questionable, so bringing him back is just one of the options, but why not bring a strong leader (Ross as captain got the win for us against CSK, our first win against them on their home ground)? Even Yuvi speaks strong leadership as compared to Matthews.
I speak for all the disappointed males when I say, that Pune seriously needs a makeover in this department. Look at RCB and KKR, who grab eyeballs with one of the hottest cheerleaders one can find. Pune in stark contrast to all the other team who have good looking girls dancing on stage, has cheer girls wearing sarees? If you were trying to showcase the culture of India, then sirs, you are not doing so. The girls look mighty uncomfortable wearing those heavy sarees and this is a complete waste of those pretty girls (granted they are nowhere close to the phirangs of all the other teams, but they are definitely pretty enough to steal the hearts of those in the crowd). Please change their uniform ASAP so that we have something more to look forward to each time Pune picks a wicket or our batsman hits a 4 and a 6.
Here’s hoping our pleas reach you, for only you can execute them all. With a great coach in Alan Donald, wonderful team with the return of Smith and hopefully, a better leader in Taylor or Yuvi, the Warriors look better than ever before. Hoping to see them deliver what they have failed till now. Only then can they win the cheers from the home crowd and true loyalty from the Punekars (many of whom support two teams, one the Warriors and some other, while most do not even care for the home team). Hoping for the best for the Pune Warriors India.