Marco Polo was one of the greatest travellers but the Indian Premier League has forced some serious travelling on the players too. The route's not so silken though, connecting the top metros and some not-so-major cities through a maze of domestic flights and road travel.
And when you consider that by the time two of the eight teams actually reach Chennai for the final on May 27 --- the distance covered would be equivalent to more than half the circumference of the Earth, you know where the fatigue stems from.
There’s always another game to look forward to, sometimes within 48 hours. Time, then, is of great importance.
Miles to go
The average IPL player has to travel at least 19,000 km in the group phase. It's just a random average for the non-stop cricket played for 47 days of the 72-group league matches. That's nearly thrice the length of the historical Silk Route.
When Sri Lanka toured India in 2009-10 for three Tests, two T20Is and five One-day Internationals, both teams had travelled close to 10,250 km. That's almost half the distance an IPL team travels in the group phase.But again, there are unique cases as well. Like the Deccan Chargers, who have three homes bases — Visakhapatnam, Cuttack and Hyderabad.
On Monday, after a late match against the Mumbai Indians the previous night, they travelled almost 1670 km from Mumbai to Cuttack to face the Pune Warriors on Tuesday morning.
A journey to Hyderabad would have been 300 km less but such is the schedule that the weary Chargers opted out of pre-match training.
The Kings XI Punjab too play two matches in Dharamsala but otherwise use Mohali as their home base. Still by the end of the group league, they would have travelled roughly 24,800 km.
Of that, a trip to Chennai and back for their match on Saturday was close to almost 5000 km, 500 short of the trans-Atlantic flight distance between New York and London.
The Kolkata Knight Riders take the cherry here. They would have travelled roughly 25,200 km by the end of the group phase.
And if they reach the final in Chennai, after a qualifier either at Pune or Bangalore, they would be entitled to an elite American Airlines gold card membership!
Now that’s some travelling.