The DLF IPL may have been a resounding success, but can one say the same about the design of the trophy that the victorious Rajasthan Royals held aloft on Sunday night? Hardly.
Indeed, the trophy - a cutout map of India in gold, yellow and blue sapphire and rubies, fixed on a wooden board in front of which is a golden batsman swinging his bat in a diamond arc - is, as Indrajit Hazra notes in Hindustan Times, "jaw-droppingly ugly".
Designed in-house by Orra, a jewellery house that specialises in diamonds, the trophy is pure bling.
Cup of joy
It wasn't always like this. Indeed, many recent high-profile cricket tournaments have had memorable trophies designed for them. Vibhor Sogani is probably the most prolific in this area, having conceptualised trophies for the Samsung Cup in the 2004-05 Friendship Series; the Pepsi Cups, 2005; the Allianz Cup and Hutch Cup; as also the India-Australia-West Indies DLF Cup in Malaysia.
The only other designer who can claim to rival his portfolio is Sanjay Sharma, head of Swarovski's crystals components section, who has designed trophies for several ICC tournaments. "Trophy design is a complex affair. It has to refer to the sport, to the tournament and to the personality of the sponsoring company," says Sogani.Indeed, Sogani's design for the Samsung Cup, with its two gloved hands entwined in a handshake holding a cricket ball between them, with the thumbs shaped like the dove of peace, is as good an example as any of this nuanced, stylised approach.