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Rain and players’ departures steal IPL’s shine over the last leg | Cricket News

GUWAHATI: Indian Premier League (IPL) proposes weather God disposes. As the tournament nears its business end, more than the qualification scenario based on the results of the last rounds of league matches, the weather forecast seems to have kept everyone on their toes.
Too many ifs and buts were already there as the battle for playoffs heated up at the last moment, taking the excitement quotient through the roof.However, rain has made a late entry into the picture to keep the players off the field.

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It has not only made the teams’ chances of fighting it out in the middle to decide their own fate uncertain but it has also dampened the mood of the fans, who have been eagerly waiting to see their favourite stars in action, one last time this season.
Add to that the departure of England stars and the uncertainty over other foreign players.
The situation suddenly looks grim not only for the franchises’ prospect in the playoffs but for the fans across the venues as well, who might lose out on opportunities of witnessing the blitzkriegs of the likes of Andre Russell, Travis Head, Heinrich Klaasen and all — either to rain or to national duty.
English players have already left the Indian shores to oblige the call of their cricket board as they take part in the T20 series against Pakistan as part of the preparations for the upcoming World Cup next month. With the playoffs further colliding with the schedule of the West Indies vs South Africa three-match T20 series in the last week of May, there’s also speculation about the availability of players from both the national teams.
Meanwhile, two matches have already been abandoned without a ball being bowled over the past week. Gujarat Titans, involved in both games, were heavily affected as sharing points meant their slimmest chances of making the playoffs was washed out.
Titans first shared honours with Kolkata Knight Riders, the first team to qualify for playoffs, who ensured a top-two finish with a point from the Ahmedabad match on May 13. On Thursday evening, Shubman Gill & Co. then shared points with Sunrisers Hyderabad away, which helped the home side seal the playoffs spot with 15 points from 13 games.
That’s not all as two more matches are likely to be affected by rain.
On Saturday, a resurgent Royal Challengers Bengaluru (RCB) host Chennai Super Kings (CSK), needing to win the match with certain calculations to leapfrog CSK on NRR as the No. 4 side in playoffs. A win or shared points will be enough to seal the spot in CSK’s favour though.
However, what’s worrying is that the forecast for Bengaluru says 70-90% possibility of precipitation during the match hours. People in Bengaluru, which has been hit by water crisis in recent times, were more than overjoyed to see the rain arrive early this month. However, the RCB fans will be more than happy to see it stay away just for a day on Saturday.
Meanwhile, at the top of the table, the last league clash between KKR and Rajasthan Royals here on Sunday might also be disturbed as thundershowers are predicted over the weekend.
KKR’s explosive wicketkeeper Phil Salt and his England captain Jos Buttler, the Royals’ regular opener, have already left but weather disturbance might rob a potentially houseful Guwahati crowd the chance to witness a high-octane game involving the in-form Sunil Narine and Russell of KKR and the son of the soil Riyan Parag in hosts RR camp led by Sanju Samson among others.

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