Lucknow Super Giants made the playoffs in their maiden Indian Premier League (IPL) campaign, the 2022 edition. However, a heart-breaking loss in the eliminator ended a magnificent season for the KL Rahul-led side.

Despite IPL 2022 being hosted by India, the Super Giants home - BR SABV Ekana Cricket Stadium in Lucknow - did not feature due to the post pandemic control measures. However, LSG will play for the first time in front of the adoring fans in IPL 2023. The world’s greatest T20 extravaganza finally finds a home in the City of Nawabs!

Lucknow is a multicultural city which has flourished as the cultural, artistic and the capital city of Uttar Pradesh. The welcoming nature of the Lakhnavi people forms an important base of the contemporary lifestyle here. The legacy of the Nawabi culture, which spreads through the language and the cuisine, has greatly influenced the state.

The City of Nawabs also provides its own trademark style of Awadhi cuisine. The Kababs, Kormas and Sheermals of Lucknow have made their journey to every nook and corner of the world. LSG’s bowlers, meanwhile, have made the opposition dance to their tunes, just like Kathak, the classical Indian dance which originated in Lucknow.

What is incredibly evident is the unique style in which everyone, not just in Lucknow but in Uttar Pradesh, have their own unique style of living and enjoying life - a spirit evident in the LSG team.

And there is no shortage of trademark cricketers from this state. Suresh Raina, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Praveen Kumar, Mohammed Shami and Mohammad Kaif - who all hail from Uttar Pradesh - have each in their own unique ways have left their mark on the domestic and international game alike. Something about ‘Raftaar’ on the cricketers here - bowling speed, batting flamboyance or even the fielding heroics.

Along with cricket, the Lakhnavi folk have a fine appreciation for badminton, gold and hockey. The city has world-class facilities to satisfy the sporting endeavors of every player.

The youth of Uttar Pradesh, who are full of enthusiasm and passion, have also made a great impact. The example of LSG’s own Mohsin Khan, who dazzled in IPL 2022 with 14 wickets in nine games, is another example of the talented individuals in the state. Meanwhile, Ekana, which means Lord Vishnu, is also an Hawaiian word for strong. Coincidence? Certainly not in Lucknow’s case.

While LSG prepares for IPL 2023, there is no doubt that the spirit of Lucknow, and Uttar Pradesh as a whole, will empower the team to greater heights this season. The blend of uniqueness, traditions and ambition, which has set Lucknow apart in the country, will come to the fore for its Super Giants too. And as they say here, मुस्काइए, आप लखनऊ में हैं (Smile, as you are in Lucknow)!