Orange Cap: T20 has always been reprimanded and held to account by the cricket fanatics and veterans for being considered the newest and the handiest form of cricket. It is said that if you consider Test matches as classical then T20 is jazz and pop of the game.
John Nicholson in his column for Cricket 365 writes, “Stop calling it cricket. Cricket is the last thing that T20 is.” “It should be called ‘Whack-A-Ball’ or ‘Slugfest’.” Whereas, England coach Trevor Bayliss supposes that Twenty- twenty matches should only be played only between Franchises and not Nations. The popularity of T-20 format has left the test matches being viewed in deserted stadiums.
Talking about the most famous Twenty 20 leagues in the world, Indian Premier League secures the first position in terms of viewership, popularity, attracting advertisements and sponsorships. The league was founded by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) in 2007 and was commissioned by Lalit Modi, the founder. More commercialized, more entertainment ensured, IPL has changed the scenario of entire cricket. The IPL is the most-attended cricket league in the world and it currently ranks sixth among all sports leagues. The Brand value of IPL was estimated about $5.3billion according to Duff and Phelps in 2017.
Regarding IPL’s contribution in India’s economy, 2015 season of IPL contributed INR 11.5 Billion to India’s GDP in that economic year. Keeping, these accolades aside, IPL has also been impeccable at innovation and transferring its achievements to various categories of awards in the format.
Orange Cap is one of such awards given to a player for scoring the maximum runs in a tournament. It was one of the awards that made IPL a melting platform to encourage young enthusiasts to exhibit impeccable performances.
History of Orange Cap:
It was introduced in the first season of the tournament after a week passed. The cricketer who scored the maximum runs during the tournament was the one to wear it and the one who had the leading number of runs after the conclusion of the season was awarded the cap finally.
The first player to wear the cap during the tournament was Brendon McCullum, the New Zealand International Cricketer who was a former captain of the team, whereas the first cricketer to be awarded the cap was Shaun Marsh. The Australian domestic player scored 616 runs at the end of the season.
The then IPL chairman and commissioner Lalit Modi said of the initiative, “Cricket is often remembered and recorded as statistics and not by material distinctions. The DLF Indian Premier League will create a distinction for the best performing batsman, which will be cherished and valued by each player through this initiative. The purpose of this initiative is to be innovative, create another unique piece of history that sets the DLF Indian Premier League apart from the crowd, and to reward outstanding achievements by the players.”
Top Recipients of Orange Cap over the Years
As mentioned earlier, Son of famous Geoff Marsh, Shaun Marsh, one of the most talented batsman was the first recipient of the cap with a whopping score of 616 runs in mere 11 matches. There have been many winners of the cap over the years, but let us just have a look at the topmost awardees.
- Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli, the Indian International cricket team, and Royal Challenger Bangalore Skipper had been awarded the cap in the year 2016 in IPL Season 9. He currently is accounted for scoring the maximum amount of runs in all the tournaments with a score of tremendous 973 runs (240 more than the previous Orange cap holder) in 16 matches. He scored those runs at a Bradmanesque average of 81.08 and a strike rate in excess of 150.
- David Warner
The Medium-sized Australian cricketer and current vice-captain of the international team have been awarded the cap twice, once in 2015 and the next in 2017. He is currently leading the team, Sunrisers Hyderabad. When the rest of the team struggled, Warner batted with perfect ease as he scored a total of 641 runs with the highest score of 126 to win the Orange Cap in the year 2017, but failed to take the team to eliminators against Kolkata Knight Riders. In the year 2015, he had a score of 562, which is the lowest score for orange cap till date.
- Chris Gayle
The sturdy Jamaican International cricketer had been on a low for the first three seasons, according to the history when he went unsold after being left by Kolkata Knight Riders. After the injury of Dirk Nannes, Gayle replaced him in the Royal Challengers Bangalore team which proved to be a blessing for the team. With his destructive batting, he emerged as the Orange Cap winner for two years consecutively, that in 2011 and 2012 with a score of 608 in mere 12 matches in the former year with an average of 67.55. Whereas, in 2012 he made a score of 733 in 15 matches.
Predictions for the Cap winner in Vivo IPL Season 11, 2018
With the given current insatiable thirst for IPL and the auctions already to an end, the critics and veterans have already started predicting the horses in the race of Orange Cap for IPL Season 11. Some of the names are:
- Suresh Raina– Raina holds the tag of the highest run-getter in all the seasons of IPL with a massive total of 4540 runs in the previous 10 editions of the tournament at a stunning average of 34.13 and a huge strike rate of 139.09. He has been retained by Chennai Super Kings with an amount of INR 11 Crore.
- Chris Lynn– Lynn took the IPL 2017 by surprise with a strike rate of 180.96 but injuries curtailed his last season to just 7 games. He averaged 49.16 in 2017. In 2018, he has been bought by Kolkata Knight Riders for a gigantic $1.86 million (INR 12 Crore). The Australian Domestic Cricketer is BBL’s all-time leading six-hitter.
- Virat Kohli– Virat Kohli is the obvious name when it comes to predictions for the orange cup. With 4418 runs in 141 games, he is the second highest run-getter in the competition’s history. And he is the highest scorer for most runs in an IPL tournament. Although 2017 has not been the year for him, it is expected with a humongous rearrangement in the team that he would be the winner of the cap in the 11th season of Indian Premier League.