This year’s edition of the Indian Premier League is meant to start this week, but probably won’t. The 2009 IPL was hosted in South Africa. What happened then…?
Gibbs vs Kallis
Captained by Australian Adam Gilchrist and blessed with the services of South African opener Herschelle Gibbs, the Deccan Chargers won the title after beating the Royal Challengers in a tight final. Gilchrist departed for a duck, leaving plenty of responsibility on Gibbs’ shoulders. The talented right-hander obliged with a title-winning half-century, which included a particularly entertaining tussle with Proteas and Bangalore seamer Jacques Kallis.
2. Steyn ‘miscommunication’
Fast bowler Dale Steyn was eventually absolved of a reported doping violation, after thorough clarification from Cricket South Africa. An ‘adverse finding’ during a test conducted during his injury-plagued stint with the Royal Challengers Bangalore was ultimately deemed mere ‘miscommunication in the Theraupatiuc Use Exemption (TUE) form that the player submitted before the test,’ according to Proteas team manager and doctor Mohammad Moosajee’s statement to ESPNcricinfo.
3. Arthur on Aussies
Then Proteas coach Mickey Arthur publicly supported Cricket Australia’s decision to withdraw trio Shane Watson, Nathan Bracken and James Hope from participating in the 2009 tournament. The withdrawal was an attempt to preserve the trio’s fitness ahead of the World Twenty20 and Ashes series. Arthur said he ‘would have done the same thing’. A dozen of the Proteas’ 15-man World Twenty20 squad competed in the 2009 IPL, regardless.
4. Daredevil de Villiers
South Africa sported two batsmen among the 2009 tournament’s leading run-scorers. Delhi Daredevils recruit AB de Villiers finished third only to the Chennai Super Kings’ Matthew Hayden and Gilchrist. De Villiers gathered 465 runs in 13 innings, including a swashbuckling 105 off 54 balls against a Chennai attack spearheaded by England fast bowler Andrew Flintoff and South African seamer Albie Morkel, along with Muttiah Muralitharan, at Kingsmead in Durban.
5. Benefit from (and for) Barnes
South Africa’s bowling coach at the time, Vincent Barnes, was a late draft to the Deccan Chargers’ team management. He worked with a cosmopolitan attack, including West Indian Fidel Edwards and Sri Lankan Chaminda Vaas, and ultimately boasted two of the 2009 tournament’s top five wicket-takers – first-placed RP Singh and fifth-placed Pragyan Ojha.
6. Near one-hit wonders
The 2009 tournament accommodated some reasonably non-event Proteas cricketers. Kings XI Punjab southpaw seamer Yusuf Abdulla and Rajasthan Royals all-rounder Tyron Henderson shared just three T20Is. Abdullah finished among the 2009 competition’s top 10 wicket-takers, while Henderson launched a relatively successful T20 career with Middlesex in the United Kingdom thereafter. Neither, though, really piqued the interest of the Proteas any further.
7. Dillon who?
Two other relatively obscure South African cricketers also featured in the 2009 tournament. Knights and Free State stalwart Dillon du Preez and dual international Roelof van der Merwe, who went on to play for the Netherlands, represented the Royal Challengers. Du Preez was a solid option during Steyn’s time on the sidelines due to injury, but struggled to cement a permanent berth in an XI that allowed only a maximum of four non-Indian players.
8. Meddling Majola
CSA temporarily suspended the Wanderers as an international venue amid a dispute with the Gauteng Cricket Board. The GCB had alleged then CSA CEO Gerald Majola was guilty of mismanagement of funds during the 2009 IPL. Majola was eventually found guilty of all nine charges. The Johannesburg venue, in the interim, was restored as an international cricket host.
Photo: RealTime Images archives