Knight Rider’s victory gives IPL a brand value as Kolkata connects to KKR

What had not happened in Kolkata for years, happened in the last two days! Bengal had been a place of great divides whether it be the political preferences or allegiance on football fields, writes The Times Of India, but suddenly on Sunday, one deep divide seemed to have dissolved - and it was all declared in deafening decibels in the dead of night.  Kolkata Knight Riders had united one and all.

“Kolkata Knight Riders, the team that ditched their 'Dada', had done the dare and fans here are ready at last to embrace the team as one. The divide on the Eden Gardens terraces on May 5, when Sourav Ganguly's Pune Warriors clashed with KKR, was but a faint echo from the past as the city celebrated the Knights' triumph in Chennai with the passion that is so typically Kolkata. No blues anymore, it was all purple and gold this time,” writes the paper, adding that while the title triumph completes a circle for the IPL's most high-profile franchise, this shift of a sulking mass of Dada devotees towards the team that craved it's indulgence will, no doubt, be counted as one of their biggest gains in Season 5.

“It also underlined the power of Brand IPL, and the quality of the cricket it brings with its nerve-jangling, edge-of-the seat thrillers. Knight Riders' win on Sunday night doused the simmering fire stoked by off-field controversies and the nagging natter about falling TRPs the past few weeks. Brand IPL is primarily a celebration of cricket, as the thousands who poured out into Kolkata's streets and danced till dawn will testify,” adds TOI.

Thousands of frenzied fans turned up today to give the triumphant Kolkata Knight Riders a grand reception for their maiden IPL title win after Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee felicitated them at her office here.

Meanwhile more than 50,000 people lined up on both sides of the road from Hazra at South Kolkata to the Eden Gardens after the victory procession started at 11.10 am. Frenzied scenes were seen all along the 5-km stretch as KKR players celebrated the victory on an open bus top with fans making desperate attempts to touch them, writes The Indian Express, adding that thousands of fans gathered at the Jatin Das Park crossing at Hazra, from where the parade began, with people throwing bouquets at the players.

According to a report in Hindustan Times, it is common knowledge that sportsmen tend to relate success with superstition and it has been affirmed by Gautam Gambhir who has been so superstitious through the IPL that he stuck to his routine of keeping his pads on till the very end in every game. “Now I can be honest and tell you that it was a superstition,” the KKR captain said after his side’s triumph in IPL. The only occasion he removed his pads after getting out, the Knight Riders lost. “There was only once in the tournament when I took off my pads after I got out, and that was against the Kings XI. We could not manage to get 13 from 12 balls,” he said.