IPL 10

10 years, 0 finals: When it comes to being the worst team in IPL, Delhi Daredevils are unmatched

The franchise’s mediocrity (except for a few flashes in between) has been a constant in the IPL.

Gautam Gambhir, two-time IPL winning captain.

David Warner, captain of the IPL 2016 champions.

Yuvraj Singh, a vital part of Sunrisers’ winning campaign.

AB de Villiers, one of the modern cricket greats.

Virender Sehwag.

Kevin Pietersen.

Umesh Yadav.

What unites all these cricketers? They were all once a part of the Delhi Daredevils franchise, before moving to pastures green. Cricketers who have gone on to make other franchises thankful for Delhi’s generosity.

A lot of things have changed over the 10 years of IPL, but Delhi Daredevils’ mediocrity (except for a few flashes in between) has been a constant. The daredevilry has been restricted to making decisions off the field that can at best be filed under “what-the-heck-were-the-owners-smoking?”

A lack of identity

All franchises in the IPL have managed to build an identity for themselves. Royal Challengers Bangalore, despite not winning a title for 10 years, have one of the most passionate fan-bases in the country. Kings XI Punjab have not really set the IPL on fire, but the franchise is identifiable with the owner, the occasional good season and more recently, with Virender Sehwag as the face of their team – one of Delhi’s own. Rising Pune Supergiant and Gujarat Lions have put together teams that struck a chord with the city in just two years.

Daredevils, on the other hand, are barely identifiable with the city. Year after year, season after season, there are matches where the opponents get louder cheers than their own. Just one look at this map released a couple of seasons back by the IPL, based on the social media presence of the fans of the various teams, tells you all need to know. DD are nowhere to be seen. Even in their own city, they are not the fan’s favourites.

Can you spot Delhi Daredevils?
Can you spot Delhi Daredevils?

It’s an open secret that most seats in Delhi get filled either through passes from the officials or fans wanting to catch a glimpse of stars in the opposition. Is it any wonder that the last match of this 2017 season between two eliminated teams saw one of the biggest turnouts? It was because RCB were the opponents and Virat Kohli was in town.

Baffling back-room decisions

The team started out on firm footing when IPL began. Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir – two of the biggest names to emerge from Delhi, were working in tandem. Sehwag led well for the first year, and when he said he wanted to focus on his batting, Gambhir took over from him. And then, in perhaps the biggest decision the franchise has taken till date, Gambhir was let go in 2011 and Sehwag was reinstated. That was also the year the team lost AB de Villiers and Daniel Vettori to RCB.

And from then on, the struggle has been real.

To be fair to the franchise, the last two years, there has been a semblance of plan to what they have tried to achieve. With Rahul Dravid as the mentor (finally, a name to root for), the team has made a conscious effort to build a team of young Indian stars with some bankable foreign names. The result though has been two consecutive sixth-place finishes.

Apart from all the big names mentioned at the beginning of the article, the curious case of Yuvraj Singh deserves a special mention. They spent Rs 16 crore to get a marquee name and after a not-so-great year, released him immediately. Two years later, he won the title with SRH and has gone on to make an excellent comeback into the national fold.

Then there was Pawan Negi – once again DD had paid the highest in the auction for an Indian player. And then released him again in a year.

It’s the same story, repeated with a different cast.

The numbers tell their own story

A look at the all-time records tells you another story. In the leading run-scorers list, the first Delhi Daredevils player is at the 29th place. It’s JP Duminy, who did not play in the latest edition. Sanju Samson already figures among their all-time leading run-getters and he has scored 1,426 runs in 66 matches – not all for Delhi.

And then their position in the table – over the last six years, they have finished last four times, second-last, once and third-last, twice. That’s a sure-fire way to alienate fans from the game.

In 10 years, a franchise from the nation’s capital, have not even reached a single IPL final.

What the fans feel?

“I won’t publicly admit that I am a Delhi Daredevils fan,” said Utkarsh Arora, a Delhi-based businessman. Arora followed the team passionately in the initial years before losing interest thanks to the IPL fixing scandal. “I got interested again when Dravid took over,” he said. “[The] frustrating aspect has been over-reliance on youth this season and bad buying in the transfer market generally over the years.”

Parth Arora, a 25-year-old media professional, said, “The most frustrating aspect is the team going for big names past their prime again and again in auctions. From Irfan [Pathan] to Yuvraj, everytime it was a similar story. It’s been more than a year since I had a proper conversation as a Daredevils fan with my friends because [with] every time it ends in tears. How bad do you have to be in a 10-team league to not win or reach a final once in over 10 years?”

Shrey Jhulka, an architecture student, said, “As a Delhite, I would say this team doesn’t belong to my city. The inability to hold on to the star players as well as their own products has been ridiculous. And forget auctions, I don’t see the aggression in the team that they would represent a Delhite on the field. It’s just so boring and helpless.”

But he still holds hope.

“I don’t feel bad to call myself a Delhi fan, not at alI,” Jhulka added. “It’s not that bad, our team used to be one of the strongest when IPL started, but obviously it doesn’t feel nice to see them performing so badly. It doesn’t make me want to hide away from the fact that I support them.”

The number of fans like Jhulka who are still around to support the team will clearly grow fewer by the minute if Daredevils continue to be the laughing stock of the league. Will the 11th season be any different?

We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.
Sponsored Content BY 

Top picks, best deals and all that you need to know for the Amazon Great Indian Festival

We’ve done the hard work so you can get right to what you want amongst the 40,000+ offers across 4 days.

The Great Indian Festival (21st-24th September) by Amazon is back and it’s more tempting than ever. This edition will cater to everyone, with offers on a range of products from electronics, home appliances, apparel for men and women, personal care, toys, pet products, gourmet foods, gardening accessories and more. With such overwhelming choice of products and a dozen types of offers, it’s not the easiest to find the best deals in time to buy before your find gets sold out. You need a strategy to make sure you avail the best deals. Here’s your guide on how to make the most out of the Great Indian Festival:

Make use of the Amazon trio – Amazon Prime, Amazon Pay and Amazon app

Though the festival officially starts on 21st, Amazon Prime members will have early access starting at 12 noon on 20th September itself, enabling them to grab the best deals first. Sign up for an Amazon Prime account to not miss out on exclusive deals and products. Throughout the festival, Prime members will 30-minute early access to top deals before non-Prime members. At Rs 499/- a year, the Prime membership also brings unlimited Amazon Prime video streaming and quick delivery benefits.

Load your Amazon pay wallet; there’s assured 10% cashback (up to Rs 500). Amazon will also offer incremental cashbacks over and above bank cashbacks on select brands as a part of its Amazon Pay Offers. Shopping from the app would bring to you a whole world of benefits not available to non-app shoppers. App-only deals include flat Rs 1,250 off on hotels on shopping for more than Rs 500, and flat Rs 1,000 off on flights on a roundtrip booking of Rs 5,000 booking from Yatra. Ten lucky shoppers can also win one year of free travel worth Rs 1.5 lakhs.

Plan your shopping

The Great Indian Sale has a wide range of products, offers, flash sales and lightning deals. To make sure you don’t miss out on the best deals, or lose your mind, plan first. Make a list of things you really need or have been putting off buying. If you plan to buy electronics or appliances, do your research on the specs and shortlist the models or features you prefer. Even better, add them to your wishlist so you’re better able to track your preferred products.

Track the deals

There will be lightning deals and golden hour deals throughout the festival period. Keep track to avail the best of them. Golden-hour deals will be active on the Amazon app from 9.00pm-12.00am, while Prime users will have access to exclusive lightning deals. For example, Prime-only flash sales for Redmi 4 will start at 2.00pm and Redmi 4A at 6.00pm on 20th, while Nokia 6 will be available at Rs 1,000 off. There will be BOGO Offers (Buy One Get One free) and Bundle Offers (helping customers convert their TVs to Smart TVs at a fraction of the cost by using Fire TV Stick). Expect exclusive product launches from brands like Xiaomi (Mi Band 2 HRX 32 GB), HP (HP Sprocket Printer) and other launches from Samsung and Apple. The Half-Price Electronics Store (minimum 50% off) and stores offering minimum Rs 15,000 off will allow deal seekers to discover the top discounts.

Big discounts and top picks

The Great Indian Festival is especially a bonanza for those looking to buy electronics and home appliances. Consumers can enjoy a minimum of 25% off on washing machines, 20% off on refrigerators and 20% off on microwaves, besides deals on other appliances. Expect up to 40% off on TVs, along with No-Cost EMI and up to Rs 20,000 off on exchange.

Home Appliances

Our top picks for washing machines are Haier 5.8 Kg Fully Automatic Top Loading at 32% off, and Bosch Fully Automatic Front Loading 6 Kg and 7 Kg, both available at 27% discount. Morphy Richards 20 L Microwave Oven will be available at a discount of 38%.

Our favorite pick on refrigerators is the large-sized Samsung 545 L at 26% off so you can save Rs 22,710.

There are big savings to be made on UV water purifiers as well (up to 35% off), while several 5-star ACs from big brands will be available at greater than 30% discount. Our top pick is the Carrier 1.5 Ton 5-star split AC at 32% off.

Also those looking to upgrade their TV to a smart one can get Rs. 20,000 off by exchanging it for the Sony Bravia 108cm Android TV.

Personal Electronics

There’s good news for Apple fans. The Apple MacBook Air 13.3-inch Laptop 2017 will be available at Rs 55,990, while the iPad will be available at 20% off. Laptops from Lenovo, Dell and HP will be available in the discount range of 20% to 26%. Top deals are Lenovo Tab3 and Yoga Tab at 41% to 38% off. Apple fans wishing to upgrade to the latest in wearable technology can enjoy Rs 8,000 off on the Apple Watch series 2 smartwatch. For those of you just looking for a high quality fitness tracker, the Fitbit Charge has Rs. 4500 off on 22nd September.

If you’re looking for mobile phones, our top deal pick is the LG V20 at Rs 24,999, more than Rs 5000 off from its pre-sale price.

Power banks always come in handy. Check out the Lenovo 13000 mAh power bank at 30% off.

Home printers are a good investment for frequent flyers and those with kids at home. The discounted prices of home printers at the festival means you will never worry about boarding passes and ID documents again. The HP Deskjet basic printer will be available for Rs 1,579 at 40% off and multi-function (printer/ scanner/ Wi-Fi enabled) printers from HP Deskjet and Canon will also available at 33% off.

The sale is a great time to buy Amazon’s native products. Kindle E-readers and Fire TV Stick will be on sale with offers worth Rs 5,000 and Rs 1,000 respectively.

The Amazon Fire Stick
The Amazon Fire Stick

For those of you who have a bottomless collection of movies, music and photos, there is up to 60% off on hard drives and other storage devices. Our top picks are Rs 15,000 and Rs 12,000 off on Seagate Slim 5TB and 4TB hard drives respectively, available from 8.00am to 4.00pm on 21st September.

The sale will see great discounts of up to 60% off on headphones and speakers from the top brands. The 40% off on Bose QC 25 Headphones is our favourite. Top deals are on Logitech speakers with Logitech Z506 Surround Sound 5.1 multimedia Speakers at 60% off and the super compact JBL Go Portable Speaker at 56% off!

Other noteworthy deals

Cameras (up to 55% off) and camera accessories such as tripods, flash lights etc. are available at a good discount. Home surveillance cameras too will be cheaper. These include bullet cameras, dome cameras, simulated cameras, spy cameras and trail and game cameras.

For home medical supplies and equipment, keep an eye on the grooming and personal care section. Weighing scales, blood pressure monitors, glucometers, body fat monitors etc. will be available at a cheaper price.

The sale is also a good time to invest in home and kitchen supplies. Mixer-grinders and juicers could see lightning deals. Don’t ignore essentials like floor mops with wheels, rotating mop replacements, utensils, crockery etc. Tupperware sets, for example, will be more affordable. There are attractive discounts on bags, especially laptop bags, backpacks, diaper bags and luggage carriers.

Interesting finds

While Amazon is extremely convenient for need-based shopping and daily essentials, it is also full of hidden treasures. During the festival, you can find deals on telescopes, polaroid cameras, smoothie makers, gym equipment, gaming consoles and more. So you’ll be able to allow yourself some indulgences!

Small shopping

If you have children, the festival is good time to stock up on gifts for Diwali, Christmas, return gifts etc. On offer are gaming gadgets such as Xbox, dough sets, Touching Tom Cat, Barbies, classic board games such as Life and more. There are also some products that you don’t really need, but kind of do too, such as smartphone and tablet holders, magnetic car mounts for smartphones and mobile charging station wall stands. If you’re looking for enhanced functionality in daily life, do take a look at the Amazon Basics page. On it you’ll find USB cables, kitchen shears, HDMI cables, notebooks, travel cases and other useful things you don’t realise you need.

Check-out process and payment options

Amazon is also offering an entire ecosystem to make shopping more convenient and hassle-free. For the festival duration, Amazon is offering No-Cost EMIs (zero interest EMIs) on consumer durables, appliances and smartphones, plus exchange schemes and easy installation services in 65 cities. HDFC card holders can avail additional 10% cashback on HDFC credit and debit cards. Customers will also get to “Buy Now and Pay in 2018” with HDFC Credit Cards, as the bank offers a 3 Month EMI Holiday during the days of the sale. Use Amazon Pay balance for fast and easy checkouts, quicker refunds and a secured shopping experience.

Sales are fun and with The Great Indian Festival offering big deals on big brands, it definitely calls for at least window shopping. There’s so much more than the above categories, like minimum 50% off on American Tourister luggage! To start the treasure hunt, click here.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Amazon.in and not by the Scroll editorial team.