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Venues in the South have been oppressive

Having been on road for six weeks now, I can say with certainty that no grind can be harder than being involved in this IPL, writes Ravi Shastri.

india Updated: Apr 25, 2010 00:25 IST

Having been on road for six weeks now, I can say with certainty that no grind can be harder than being involved in this IPL. It isn't limited to cricketers, officials and commentators alone; those behind the scene too have shown remarkable resilience. As it nears the end, it's for all Indians to realize and applaud how seamlessly and perfectly the whole operations have worked.

Yes, county cricket in England extend to a few months; domestic cricket of South Africa and Australia can be exacting, but this IPL has left everyone breathless. There has been no time to pack or unpack. Life has been in a fast-forward mode. The high stakes of valuations have meant that cricketers have had no time to take the foot off the pedal.

With scorching summer settling in, even venues of North have been difficult to come to terms with. The ones in South have been plainly oppressive. Many a times when a commentator gets down to speak to an innings' performer, the streams of sweat soaking a cricketer over is a picture worth thousands of words. And this has happened every day, every night of the past six weeks. I wonder if anyone has had even six hours of uninterrupted sleep possible. Family life too has taken a toll.

Support staff has worked behind the scene with admirable stoicism. It isn't easy, trust me not easy at all, to carry a squad on the road. It isn't just medicines and training alone.

There is this matter of sponsors obligation too and kit, clothing and accessories being in place. Yet everything has worked to perfection. Those providing the logistics have absolutely been magnificent.