(NPL 5.0 Winners: Hyderabad Sultans)
Cricket is a feisty affair. A competitive game of cricket dissolves all relations of bonhomie. NPL (NITIE Premier League) concluded its 5th edition on 14th February, 2015. NPL like every year brought forth the managerial skills, competitive spirit and sportsmanship of B-school students. NPL provided an ideal platform to test every player’s mettle, an activity generally reserved for the annals of classroom. NPL follows the pattern of IPL with initial auction for team names based on geographical locations. The teams participating this year were Hyderabad Sultans, Lucknow Nawabs, Mumbai Mavericks, Bangalore Falcons, Punjab Warriors and Kolkata Knockers. There was active bidding for the teams from the students. This was followed by player auction with Ravindra Babu receiving the highest bid of 2.9 lakhs (virtual money!) from Bangalore Falcons.
Bawaal, an inter-section cricket tournament is the prelude to NPL. The players perform at their best to give prospective owners an idea about their abilities. IM 21 Section B were winners of the tournament. The teams this year were handed a pool of virtual money (12 lakhs) to buy the players. After much deliberation and strategizing, the teams were complete with 16 players.
A glittering inauguration kick-started NPL 5.0 with teams marching in with their jerseys and team flags, all colour and splendour everywhere, and presented a team performance for everyone present there. The teams then cut their team-cakes and we finally had the ball rolling for the real deal of NPL, the matches. The matches were a treat. Every morning and evening, the NITIE Cricket Ground was a riot of colours and trumpets and loud cheers for the teams.
After the first round of matches, Lucknow Nawabs, Bangalore Falcons, Hyderabad Sultans and Kolkata Knockers making it to the semi-finals. The semi-finals were a hotly contested affair and Lucknow Nawabs, Hyderabad Sultans making it to the final. The final had all the makings of a classic with both teams coming into the final undefeated and momentum on their sides.
Lucknow Nawabs chose to bat first and set Hyderabad Sultans a target of 120 from 15 overs. The chase started off well. Yaseen Kazi (Man of the match) consolidated on his fine start and went on to score 69 of 37 balls. An innings replete with classic stroke play. Hyderabad Sultans managed to reach the target comfortably and were adjudged the champions of NPL 5.0. Siddharth Gupta of Hyderabad Sultans and Nishikant Bharadwaj of Lucknow Nawabs were awarded the best batsman and best bowler award respectively.
The cricketing extravaganza was a huge success in NITIE and even beyond its boundaries. An event which bonded students from different batches, franchisees and B-schools. Each student associated with NPL gained a great experience of handling a team, it’s brand management, finances involving their own cash, sportsmanship on and off the field, and most importantly they enjoyed the spirit of cricket. NPL took management studies onto the pitch and student’s got a way to learn them along with the game that is a religion in our country, Cricket.