The phenomenon of drawing players outside of local appeal is a stark departure from the original idea in the IPL. Teams like Delhi Daredevils, Kolkata Knight Riders, Rajasthan Royals (RR) and Royal Challengers Bangalore have negligible presence of local talent. The catchment area idea has been thrown out.
The franchises have become wiser and more professional. Captains have been picked on the demand of the management, which insists on results. Three Delhi players are leading different teams — Virat Kohli (RCB), Shikhar Dhawan (Sunrisers Hyderabad) and Gautam Gambhir (KKR). India skipper is in charge of Chennai Super Kings (CSK). Exciting Mumbai Indians stroke-maker Rohit Sharma is the lone example of a local player at the helm of his team.
The other teams have invested in overseas stars. Kevin Pietersen leads Delhi Daredevils, while Shane Watson has been given charge of RR. Australian batsman George Bailey has been picked ahead of Virender Sehwag to handle Kings XI Punjab.
Rajasthan Royals, with Rahul Dravid as mentor, has drafted men for the courses with just one local player, Dishant Yagnik, in its ranks. Delhi Daredevils has not found a place even for Unmukt Chand, who was snared by RR.
Players apart, the support staff is dominated by players from overseas. Barring Sanjay Bangar, who is the coach for Kings XI Punjab, the rest have all non-Indians — John Wright (Mumbai Indians), Stephen Fleming (CSK), Paddy Upton (RR), Daniel Vettori (RCB), Tom Moody (Sunrisers Hyderabad), Trevor Bayliss (KKR) and Gary Kirsten (DD),
It only goes to show the franchises have found the mantra to whip the team into action. As one franchise observed, a foreign coach ensures greater discipline. A foreign coach also brings greater commitment.