Tag Archives: IPL

A day in Bangalore

7:10am was preparation time. As much water as you could consume. Stretching. A banana. Finding clothes that would be appropriate for the task ahead.

It takes 15 minutes of walking to arrive at the corporation school ground. Once you walk over the newly planted sand dunes, you arrive at a grassless multipurpose sports area where five games of cricket are being played concurrently.

Slowly the ESPNcricinfo employees arrive, most walking, some on motorbikes. Teams are picked. The heavier-than-normal-special-made-for-cricket tennis ball is selected, stumps are placed at one end, a stone at the other. It’s an eight-over game.

The first game has casualties. A very senior member of editorial staff runs a six, but only five are counted. He leaves soon after. A diving caught-and-bowled chance that few remember seeing is attempted by a young member of the staff. Later he tries to throw the ball in and realises he has hurt his elbow. His two elbows don’t even resemble each other. It turns out he has broken his elbow, which rules him out of office cricket for months and the office for two weeks. A key member of the staff has injured his knee, but he plays on like a dog that refuses to admit it has lost its hind leg.

In the second game the heat gets nasty, tempers flare, one person from the video department abuses another for not stopping a two. The chase is handled easily. This frustrates the bowling side more. Two men laugh as they use play equipment as a makeshift gym.

Back at the office, meetings are had. Big future plans are discussed. Budgets are debated. Website and cricket stats are discussed. Google hangouts are watched.

Then it’s IPL time.

An eternal queue lines up at gate 9, Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru. Near the gate are police officers with sticks. Cane for the men, plastic for the women. They punish any queue-jumpers. There aren’t enough police officers, though, as the queue won’t die. It goes beyond the bridge, past the tax office, around the corner and down the road.

The face-painters run at punters with their paint at the ready. More as a threat than a service. One, wearing a Kings XI Punjab shirt, is a Marcus Trescothick fan. He does a more-than-okay Mark Nicholas impersonation.

There are as many bootleg shirts, hats and flags as the eye can see. All of questionable quality and cheap, but extremely enthusiastically sold.

Back up the road, around the corner, past the tax office, over the bridge and within sight of gate 9, the queue-jumpers come in. Sweaty men who thrust their bodies up against yours like they are about to steal a wallet. They don’t want money, just your place in the queue. A place that took 45 minutes in the heat. The queue-jumpers receive angry looks, passive-aggressive abuse and the odd elbow in the ribs.

The first person to touch the groin at the ground does so fleetingly just inside the gate. People have to get in the game. Kolkata have already lost a wicket. It’s a fleeting touch rather than a secure pat-down.

The second person to touch is at the stand. They too have a backlog of people, so they check there are things in pockets – there are – and that is all they want to know.

At the third touch point, the security guard pats once and then moves the queue on forcibly.

At the fourth, the guard thinks everyone there has been checked so many times he barely touches at all. Four security checks, but no actual checking.

Kolkata are already batting. Their boundaries get cheered in certain parts of the ground. Some of those have KKR fans there, others have KKR cheerleaders in front of them.

The rest of the crowd cheers: “We want six, we want six”. Unfortunately, when a crowd says the word “six”, it sounds more like “sex”, which puts a dark cloud on them all screaming it at once
One cheerleader wears a cap. It makes her look like a tennis player with two walk-on girls beside her.

The KKR innings limps forward on a great batting pitch against an ordinary bowling line-up.

Beer is consumed in a room with a TV, chips, a couch and fans during the boring middle overs.

The scoreboard tells little. KKR are batting, but there is no record of who batted before, or what bowlers have overs left. The scoreboard ignores highlights, lowlights, or anything worth seeing again. It does have words like “awesome”, “devastating” and “Oh!”. The cricket exists in front right now, or it doesn’t exist at all.

KKR finish their batting. Music is played. Loud.

Chris Gayle walks in with a mortal. The music can’t compete with the sound for Gayle.

The mortal goes out and Virat Kohli and Gayle bat together. They knock the new ball around, play it safe, the crowd sees it otherwise.

When Kohli does something good they chant his name. “Kohli, Kohli”, but it sounds like a crowd of drunken Jack Whites singing the start of “Jolene” in a smoky honky-tonk.

Jacques Kallis slows Kohli down, and to spice things up, a drummer hits the beat of the RCB chant, which goes “R-C-B”, “R-C-B”. The crowd doesn’t care about the chant. It also doesn’t react to the maiden. The spectators are, however, entertained when bad animations of players doing Gangnam Style appear.

Chris Gayle hits a six. The crowd chants “R.C.B”, “R.C.B”, and “R.C.B”.

Bangalore are killing the contest on the field, but off the field the competition for who can cheer the longest after a boundary is hotting up.

Kohli is dismissed and then dissed by Gautam Gambhir. Kohli fronts up to him. The crowd has absolutely no idea what has happened, but it completely takes the side of Kohli.

The dismissal of Kohli never makes the replay screen, but a man with a digitally added sponsor blow-up hat does.

Bangalore are so far in front one man applauds two leaves from Gayle.

The rest of the crowd cheers: “We want six, we want six”. Unfortunately, when a crowd says the word “six”, it sounds more like “sex”, which puts a dark cloud on them all screaming it at once.

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A bunch of fans say, “That’s out.” It is not given. Neither is a replay. The ball ceases to exist.

The ground announcer starts a Mexican wave. The crowd joins in. It then gets faster and faster, until whole stands are rising at once. Sunil Narine keeps two of the world’s best batsmen to few runs, but the crowd is besotted by its own uniformed magnificence.

At a strategic time-out, one set of KKR cheerleaders refuses to get up. Perhaps discussing future choreography that can inspire their team.

Gayle hits the last ball so hard that had the crowd had been mid-way through a Mexican wave, it would have knocked someone over.

Back to the office in time for a cameo on the Huddle while wearing silly promotional IPL beer goggles. Some more meetings. Some writing. Instagram of the day’s photos. Check local Pizza Hut menu. Go to local Pizza Hut. Man at the counter guesses correctly that pepperoni will be ordered.

At the Pizza Hut, no one is frisked.

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The IPL raped my daughter

And not only did the IPL rape her, but it was done in prime time, marketed like a new toy and was continued even when people seemed to lose interest.

I see why some might have seen her as being a willing participant. To an unlearned eye it could look very consensual, and that she in fact loved it. But, the IPL used cunning tricks to get her involved, so at the least it was mind rape.

Yes, I understand she is of willing age, and should be able to take care of her self, but they still used peer group pressure on her. Everyone was doing it, how can you expect her to say no.

I can see why you’d think that because she was willing to change her plans that she was as eager as anyone else, but she’s not worldly. They manipulated her with shiny trinkets, she led a very sheltered life until she began travelling the world 3 or 4 times a year.

You may see her reaction to each situation as someone who is happy to be there, you’re wrong, she is just the Patty Hearst in the IPLs sick uprising.

Now every other part of her life is falling apart, and you all know this is because of this brutal consensual adult mind raping.

She isn’t the same as before.

Maybe she doesn’t even know it, groups like this can turn you against your friends and family, they make you act differently, and its only from the outside, like I am, that I can see it.

This is wrong and barbaric, why won’t the governments step in, this shouldn’t be allowed to continue.

You’ve all seen my daughter be paid a lot of money to perform live sex acts for gaping fools. You’re all complicit.

If my daughter wants to perform these acts for free, or in the privacy of a ground that is sparsely populated whilst representing her country for a far more meagre weekly remuneration, then I am ok with that.

That’s what people did for generations before her, it was, and still is, the proper way to conduct yourself. But not this, anything but this.

My daughter could have been anything, her potential was limitless.

Now she is nothing more than a human receptacle for the vile IPL ejaculate.

When she does come home, you can tell she isn’t really feeling anything, the IPL has abused her and left us with nothing more than faded memories of the sweet little angel she used to be.

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Things we need to get over about the IPL

Strategic ad breaks. They suck. And they are one of the most thinly veiled pieces of ‘we think you’re all idiots’ you’ll ever find.  Ofcourse we could just think of them as alcohol, breaks or masturbation/self fellating breaks.

Product placement cricket phrases. They’re annoying, but if you use them in the bed room, they become sexy. “That’s a C.L.I.T Hotspot alright. A big one.”

Danny Morrison. “Wowee. What an amazing bowl of cereal, I’ve never seen a bowl of Cereal like this, it’s the most impressive bowl of cereal you will ever see. What a a huge bowl of cereal. The bowl of cereal creators have outdone themseleves again.  This cereal is mega. Cereal will never be the same again.”  Or any commentator really.  If Indian and Australian cricket commentary is North Korean, then the IPL commentators are 1940′s Japanese Suicide pilots flying straight into your inner ear canal.  Imagine every overly positive comment is about a shit the commentators just had and the commentary is quite enjoyable.

Not knowing who to support. If you’re not from one of the cities involved, picking a side is not that easy.  One day that might change, but for now, enjoy the fact you’re essentially a cricket team whore. Fuck them all, a different one every day, sometimes two, squeeze the juice out of all of them. One day you’ll have to settle down with just one, but there is no rush.

Bollywood stars being involved. Sure, it’s annoying, but they didn’t invent this shit. Hollywood stars are shown at Knicks and Lakers games and Jay Z owns 0.00000008 percent of the New Jersey Nets.  Even at the cricket Mick Jagger and Russell Crowe turn up.  Getting special permission to go on air and be taken seriously.  The good news is when they do this you can mock them and feel superior as your cricket knowledge is better than theirs.

T20 is shit cricket. It’s not exactly a new revelation, no one was expecting a Chekhov play.  They hit the ball hard and bowl one over spells.  It finishes quickly, too, so you can always go back and watch your old DVDs of classic tests.

Redefining the word podcast. Something isn’t a podcast just because you say so. A podcast (or non-streamed webcast) is a series of digital media files (either audio or video) that are released episodically and often downloaded through web syndication. What the IPL are doing is interviews. They’re not new andit’s ok to call them what they are. You can flash a torch on your dick, but it doesn’t make it a light sabre. The good news is you can laugh at the IPL’s effort to try and modernize something with a word they don’t understand. At least it isn’t an iBat.

It’s only about money. Unlike all other forms of cricket that are purely for the love of the game.

The Go the Chargers song. Go the Chargers, no, go and kill the person who wrote this song. Then find their family, take them down too.  Then any neighbours. Or anyone who has ever met them. Also their pets. Then do the same for anyone involved in the recording of the song.  Even if they just turned up at the recording studio a week earlier to deliver a pizza, they need to be killed. This is the only thing that you can’t enjoy about the world cup. Unless you enjoy murder and this gives you a chance to finally do what you’ve always wanted.

All of these problems can also be avoided with your remote.

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For Lalit

Recently I was contacted by Kavita Gupta who is doing PR for Lalit Modi, and was asked if I could put up a post that they had written for my site and others.

Below is what they have written, and what I think of what their stuff is underneath each segment.

Hi,

As you are amongst one of the prominent cricket blogger, an interesting write up is mentioned below for you. Request you to publish it on your blog.

Amongst? I thought I was the shit.

(Title)”MODI SPEAKS UP AND SPEAKS OUT”

Sounds like a fitness class, now up and out your modi.

(Body) “Lalit Modi, the architect and founder of the Indian Premier League (IPL), has said in his first full interview since his suspension as commissioner of the cricket league in April that he has ‘no regrets’ about sending a Twitter message that led to the resignation of an Indian government minister.

No regrets? I can’t believe that, he must at least have regrets about doing it on twitter.

That’s just one point made by Mr Modi in a frank filmed interview with former BBC Sports Editor Mihir Bose who tackled the flamboyant entrepreneur on numerous issues, including why he is not living in India, whether his family received favours from their involvement with IPL teams, cricket match fixing and allegations of financial mismanagement at the IPL, as well as the tweet that saw foreign affairs minister Shashi Tharoor step down.

I’d like to see Mihir Bose actually tackle Lalit Modi, I would watch that. Gelly wrestling.

The whole 40 minute interview is available to watch from today (Thursday 22 November, 2010) on YouTube and on the Indian entrepreneur’s new website, http://www.lalitmodi.org.

40 minutes? I’m 140 characters or less when it comes to Lalit.

Mr Modi said: “I’ve had so many media requests in the last few months to give my side of the story that I’ve lost count. I have been eager to speak up. And to be interviewed by such a respected business and sports commentator like Mihir Bose place the full version on YouTube and on my website means I can’t be accused of favouring any particular aspect of the media.

Here is a media request for you, fuck off.

“Of course, they’ll be some critics to such an approach but quite frankly I’ve had more than my fair share of unsubstantiated criticism of late and some carping from the sidelines isn’t going to disturb me.

Excellent, so fuck off.

“Mihir did his own research, we met in London with his film crew and with no pre-warning from him on the questions he was going to ask, we shot the candid interview.

Wow, a reporter did his own research, perhaps we should give him a medal.

“The really important thing for me was to speak up after several months of intense speculation and address the matters that have been levelled at me and let the public make their own mind up after seeing the interview.

Yeah, wait several months, make yourself look like a crook, hide out, let the Indian press carve you up, and then speak out, good thinking.

“At the end of the day I hope that the viewers see my story as the truth.”

At the end of the day, really, Lalit?

ENDS”

Thank fuck.

A lesson for all PR companies, don’t send me bullshit PR for someone who even a casual search on this site would show that I can’t stand the bastard.

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Buy Gideon for Christmas (or for any non jesus related reason)

Gideon Haigh has a new book out, because he is Gideon Haigh, and that is what Gideon Haigh does.

It is called Sphere of Influence, and it’s really thick and has lots of big fancy words in it. It’s all about the T20 revolution and all that fun.

If you’re English you can buy it so you can look and point at the literate aussie.

If you’re Indian you can buy it for your friend who hates Gideon.

If you’re Pakistani you can buy it and hit Ijazz Butt with it.

If you’re Australian you can buy it and get your New Zealand friend to read it to you.

If you’re South African you can purchase the new Die Antwoord album to listen to while reading this book.

Other countries can buy it too.

If you’re a cricket with balls fan you can buy it because Gideon is often seen in a cwb t shirt.

It’s about modern cricket, it’s cool, it’s wordy, it’s Gideon.

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Lalit Modi to chair the ICL

Indian Cricket League announces today that Lalit Modi will be accounced as chairman of the Indian Cricket League from 1 November 2010.

Lalit Modi, who has recently stepped down as chairman of the IPL and Vice President of the BCCI, will join the Indian Cricket League to give the company more focus and make it an international player again.

Mr Chandra said: “I am delighted to be handing over to Lalit. He is one of India’s leading franchise cricket operators and has strong links to the players. He got KP on twitter, that is pretty impressive”.

“I am sure his vast experience, particularly in backroom politicking and blatant self promotion, will be of great benefit to the ICL in ensuring our continued resurgence as India’s leading rebel cricket league.”

“The ICL was originally in direct competition with Lalit Modi’s IPL, we were not strong enough to defeat him.  With Lalit on our side, we have the BCCI’s rabid corporate dog on our side, and we hope he will take a bite or two for us.”

Lalit said: “You thought I wuz finished, well fuq all ya zeros. The ICL iz gettin wit da hero, biaches. Yall bettah git on yo’ knees an’ pray I don’t sheeit in yo’ breakfast. I gots lot o’ enemies in dis here world, but they’ll be gone soon, Ima gonna rip dis here sheeit up, three blackberries at once, press conferences wit players on twitter, cigarette companies owning everyfuckenthing, coke (not pepsi), da blingiest shirts ever, uh celebrity playin in every team, Russian owners, nahh Chris fucken Cairns, players tweeting on da field, iphone apps available fo’ wicket keepers, holograms on da cheeks o’ bowlers as dey come in, every blade o’ grass will be branded. This sheeit iz about ta git tight, so buckle up mudda fuckers. The ICL just got entered by Lalit, nothin gonna be da same. The ICL wuz like me, dead, but we’s iz risin up from da dead ta jack yo’ ride an’ fuq yo’ daughter. ICL ta da death, homes.”

The ICL is already signing some big name players because of Lalit’s comeback, it is believed Andy Bichel, Craig White, Mark Richardson and Basit Ali have all signed up.

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The abridged version of Lalit Modi’s response to the second show-cause notice

Over at cricinfo there is the complete and uncut Lawyer’s edition of what Lalit Modi said in response to the BCCi’s second show-cause notice.

I’ve read it, and somehow I survived.

It is really long. I obviously don’t like long. I like short. Like this sentence. Or this one.

But you still need to know what is says.

So here it is boiled down to twitter length nuggets.

“Giles thinks our shit is because of a personality clash. I think it is because he is a cunt.”

“Differences between Giles and me came in connection to me calling him a cunt, and him calling me a dodgy bastard.”

“I don’t give a fuck about some English idiot who can’t wear suits that fit, give me my league back.”

“Giles is a prick, but I made you millions and you guys are still giving me shit. That’s cold, dawg”.

“In this particular even I did nothing wrong, and here is 7417 words to prove this. Suckers.”

“I really am a good guy, trust me on that. You should give me my job back, or I’ll send more emails this long.”

There are probably really important details in his email, but that is the thing with things of this length, yawn.

Lalit is fighting for his career, and this is the email of someone fighting for his career.

The good thing about this conflict is you don’t have to pick sides, you can hate Giles and Lalit and then have a glass of mountain dew (or put Vodka in it and call it Goat’s piss).

As for the email, this is a hardcore apologia. Nerdy children should read this for when they want to get out breaking their mum’s vase in a mock indoor test match.

It isn’t the first apologia I’ve read in recent times, the last one was “written” by Ricky Ponting in the form of a diary.

Lalit and Ricky don’t like each other, but when it comes to explaining away why other people are in the wrong and they are in the right, both of them are very similar.  They write very long things that put me to sleep.

Maybe they aren’t so different. They should start a club.

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Who hasn’t defamed Lalit Modi?

Lalit Modi has now taken his pissy little administracratic grudge match with Giles Clarke to the next level by suing him for defamation.

I have no idea how rich Giles is, but his suits never fit, and that is never a good sign.

The problem with Lalit just suing Giles, the man he barely contains his hatred for, is that he is leaving out at least 70% of all cricket fans.

I cannot believe that even those who like the IPL haven’t defamed Lalit just once or twice.

The last time you mentioned him to your mates you probably defamed him.

There, you just did it again, didn’t you?

In modern cricket there is no one easier to defame than Lalit, he practically demands you to have a go at him.

I’ve never been sued for defamation (it amazes me too), but Lalit would be a good place to start.

Lalit knows what it is like to be on both sides of defamation after twittercusing Chris Cairns of match fixing. Although I believe he is still yet to be served for that one.

As for the reasons of the Giles lawsuit, it seems a bit unnecessary, Giles is accused of saying Lalit was trying to take over world cricket and English cricket, if you are a well funded politically minded cricket administracrat and you haven’t ever thought of taking over English or World cricket, you aren’t really trying.

I plan on taking over world cricket all the time.

It is just I have no money, contacts, or natural Lalit business sense.

I don’t think Giles’ comments really changed anyone’s mind on Lalit, the good thing about Lalit is most of us found it easier to not like him from the start.

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T20 needs a bit of rain/gremlins

There are very few occasions in cricket that rain is good.

If your team is losing is one. If the game is already heading towards a tedious draw is another.

Generally rain is no good at all for cricket.

But T20 is different.

Think of T20 like a gremlin, not an actual gremlin but the gremlins from the 1984 film “Gremlins“.

In that film the little creatures start off as tiny cute little Mogwai. They are largely inoffensive and children love them.

But there are rules of keeping a Mogwai;

Don’t feed him after midnight.
This one makes no sense, how does the Mogwai know what timezone he is in, and more importantly, isn’t it always after midnight whether it is 1 minute past midnight, or 23 hours and 59 minutes.

Don’t expose him to bright lights.
So he is a nocturnal animal, but he can’t eat after midnight…

Don’t let water touch him.
Apparently his own saliva and the water that is included in most foods is ok.

The thing about T20 is that rain should ruin it, but like the Mogwai, all it does is turn this inoffensive cuddly toy into a merchant of death.

My single favourite thing about T20 cricket right now is how crazy it all gets when the rain comes down.

It shortens the game, ensuring we don’t have to live with all those boring “middle overs”.

It means one team has a massive chip on its shoulder, and generally increases their performance.

It makes the game closer.

It makes the whole contest farcical and manic.

Andre Fletcher’s batting was reminiscent of many of those Gremlins when they first get their freedom.

Scotland used the Gremlins last year when Iain O’Brien got his notes mixed up and gave Scotland the perfect start in a Gremlin affected 7/7 match.

Even yesterday, when the rain ended the game early, Andy Flower was pissed off at the Gremlin’s making Ireland’s job easier.

It is a shame Lalit is probably not around anymore, he is one person who could probably bring rain into the IPL, although the IPL has its own monsters.

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