Made by Ceci, the good witch of the east.
Today cricket died a little.
The man that we all love, the man that took cricket from the arthritic fingers of the ICC and turned it into money, the man that made talking on two phones at once an artform, the man is suspended.
Suspended is tying it in a bow and getting a clown to deliver it. One way or another, Lalit is on his way out.
Lalit Modi is the man I have tried to emulate as much as I could. In bizzaro world I am him and he is me. We have an unspoken bond that would make the most lust filled teenagers blush. If you cut him, I bleed.
Right now I am bleeding as various people are following Lalit with Lawyer sharp machetes trying to cut him down for ever.
Behind him is a trail of shredded paper that says things about tax, impropriety, political favours, tweets, lawsuits, spot fixing and all those dirty little secrets that lots of people have suspected. All the good things in life.
Not all of it is his, perhaps none is, but the man has run out of favours, and when you have burnt as many bridges as Lalit has, favours are important.
Like all of the most maverick cricket administracrats, Lalit flew to close to the sun. We know that the average administracrat is a smooth talking, quick minded, angry, slick individual, but Lalit was so much more.
He tweeted. He smoked. He bullied. He improvised. He libeled (allegedly). He was the power, the throne, and the bump you hear in the night. His raw suxual mojo was too much for the stuffy shirt brigade and like Bettie Paige he was held accountable for being whatever every official wanted to be.
Now all we can do is cry while cricket has lost an Armani wearing gladiator, someone who showed us all that in cricket, the pen is mightier than the bat. While others sat around letting cricket just happen, Lalit got in there, replaced some organs, gave it a plastic surgery and bought it a sexy outfit. He was cricket’s prince Charming, nicer than Mr Darcy, more emotional than Edward in twilight, hotter than Patrick Swayze in Dirty Dancing.
While Lalit was around, nobody put cricket in the corner.
Without Lalit the IPL would have been a terrible waste of money, instead in the Aaron Spelling like hands of Lalit, the IPL is, well whatever the IPL is.
Losing Lalit leaves a whole of despair and isolation in my heart that may never be healed. Sure there will be other slicked back officials coming in and changing the game as we know it, but Lalit was my first. It was he whom I gave myself to, and as I lie here naked all I can think about is the great times we had together. Those whipped cream filled nights will be what I think of every night as my head touches the pillow.
Now that he is to be killed, and his body to be fed to other eager potential commissioners, I think the IPL should honour him from next year on.
Surely as much as some of you hate him, none of you would begrudge the IPL for having a “Lalit moment of success”.
As Elton John said, “Your candle burned out long before the legend ever did”.
Dance hard, my tiny little dancer.
Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid have played international cricket with each other for over 14 years.
They probably know what each other likes for breakfast, what they clothing they sleep in and what kind of dirty films they like to watch.
They’ve shared the highs of beating Australia in Australia and the low of playing with Agit Agarkar.
So when Rahul edges a ball to slip and Sachin claims the catch you expect nothing more than Rahul trudging off.
That didn’t happen.
Instead Rahul stood his ground.
It was a glorious moment.
As he stood his ground I felt bonded to Rahul, I believe walking is for people who don’t own cars to take through the drive-thru at Maccas.
And here was Rahul, doubting the word that many people count as the word of God in India.
That takes balls, but it also takes a certain amount of miss-trust.
If Rahul was Ricky Ponting and Sachin was Steve Waugh, you’d expect this type of miss-trust. Australians don’t walk when their mother tells them she has claimed the catch, especially our mothers.
This was India, and thusly, funny as hell.
Had Rahul been wrong, it might have not been as funny, but he was not wrong to stay at the crease.
It was one of “those” catches. The sort that Andrew Strauss and Ab DeVilliers have claimed only to look like dirty assed cheats later on. One that on the close in replay looked like there was more than a touch of grass on it.
Ofcourse all of these catches close to the ground are hard to take a firm stance on, the ball looked like it hit the ground, but it looked like from straight on, and they often do. From straight on the ground has no arch, and Sky tests have shown that balls that are caught clean can look like they hit the ground.
Who knows whether Sachin’s was a case of cheating or 2D trickery? I prefer to think of him as cheating, as that makes him more like me, and I like him more for that.
It was by far the most interesting part of the IPL semi final since no one turned up to cuff Modi.
It was also a lovely bit of unsporting Australian style cricket by two Indian legends.
I’ve never been prouder.
I just received this email from an anonymous Indian cricket fan:
As an Indian fan, I am really sick and tired of all this quiet introspective talk of county cricket.
The tournament is a joke. It isn’t played in prime time. They never advertise it. It isn’t even on youtube. Cricinfo hides it away like it is some disabled family member.
County Cricket only really appeals to boring old Englishman who drink tea and eat crumpets. They all sit around and talk about the Queen and read the Telegraph. Wearing bacon and egg ties. They aren’t real fans. They don’t get up and scream, there is no passion in them.
The lack of advertising during play is embarrassing, the commentators never shout, and at the grounds no one dances.
I can’t say I’ve ever even heard of a celebrity attending a county game, and they certainly don’t own any of the teams.
Have you seen how long the tournament goes for, it feels like the whole bloody summer.
Singles are given polite applause, what sort of nonsense is this.
I even heard a story of someone reading a book at a game, no respect.
You also know that the people who started County Cricket did so to take over world cricket, don’t you?
Say what you want about Lalit Modi, but at least his suits fit well, what’s your excuse, Giles?
Other than these rabid cucumber eating Englishman, why would anyone care about it?
If I want to go see second rate South Africans and Public School boys play, I’ll cough up some real money and watch the English Cricket Team.
So I’m sorry, County Cricket, but you aren’t for me.
Bringing the IPL to free to air Tv in the Uk was a win for Lalit and the IPL.
It might have meant less money, but they were never going to get rich on UK tv rights.
The ITV coverage got off to a rocky start by employing two hosts who couldn’t scientifically have had worse chemistry.
They also had two ex-cricketers who didn’t seem to have watched any previous IPLs.
Mandira got the lionshare of the abuse, but the male host was far worse, at least she knew about the IPL. Maybe she should have read her poems.
Lalit seemed to like the ratings. He even tweeted that they were out rating the Rugby League, which was the first time I’d heard Rugby League mentioned in months.
In a basic sense ITV have done a good job, when the cricket was on, they showed it. It was their basic requirement.
Today they fucked that simple requirement up by showing the British Touring Cars.
ITV have 4 channels, but they couldn’t fit the cricket on any of them today.
So how popular is the IPL in the UK, more than a sport I never hear about and less than one I didn’t know existed.
People watch it, but it doesn’t have the pulling power of darts.
I can say that Rajasthan Royals are ordinary.
So you can.
You can point to any number of facts:
The fact they have lost more games than they have won.
Their gun strike bowler goes at 8 and half runs an over.
Their batting was reliant on one big hitter and their keeper, now they have added Watson to it.
People keep making encouraging noises about Michael Lumb, almost ignoring the fact he hasn’t gone beyond 45 and averages 23.
Warne’s shoulder seems to almost detach after each delivery.
The Damien Martyn experiment failed, surprising everyone.
Adam Voges is there best-performed player, and they don’t pick him.
They’re the very definition of ordinary.
When they do win, it needs to be a special effort from Yusuf or one of those terribly earnest team efforts where everyone does well.
They could still come good, there is no reason why they couldn’t slip into fourth place, actually there are many reasons why they couldn’t, but they still could.
So if you are asked about them, you can call them ordinary.
Unless you happen to be an IPL captain, then you can’t.
Gautum City Gambhir was asked about Rajasthan, he said they were ordinary, actually he said this, “I think Rajasthan was never a threat. Except for Yusuf Pathan, the other guys were pretty ordinary. We thought Yusuf was the only danger-man and didn’t bother too much about anyone else”.
That is the truth.
Not the universal truth, but that is what Gambhir thought, then he said it, people nodded, and Lalit Modi got angry.
Perhaps Lalit got angrier because his team is Rajasthan, or perhaps he got angry because someone inside the bubble dared say anything negative about the IPL.
Either way, it is the sort of thing anyone who hates the IPL expects Lalit to do.
They expect him to be this Orwellian evil figure that punishes people for daring to do anything less than continue to believe in his own magnificence.
He plays the role so well.
Ofcourse Gambhir should be allowed to say Rajasthan are ordinary.
I can see why he shouldn’t be allowed to say something like, “Fuck me, I couldn’t believe how Fucken shit they all were. It was like playing against a special needs team. The only bright light in this team, other than Warne’s radioactive teeth, is Yusuf, and the big fucker can’t play a short ball. No, they is the rubbish, complete dribble, we had to be careful not to laugh at them when the cameras panned in our direction, you could call them ordinary, but you’d be being nice. To be honest, I only play in this shit cause I want to build a grotto in my back yard, otherwise I’d be in Mauritius having a holiday”.
But he didn’t, he just said ordinary, and then was fined, by the ex-president of Rajasthan Cricket Association.
“Modi is … possibly the most powerful man in world cricket today. I couldn’t believe what he’d said. My initial reaction of shock turned into outrage. I’m proud of what I have achieved in cricket and I am not going to have Modi or anyone else destroy that with baseless rumours that I double-dip.
Certain news agencies ran scandalous, rumour-based articles claiming that unsubstantiated allegations of double dipping were the reason for my contract being terminated. These rumours were nothing much more than “pub talk”. There is not any truth in any suggestion I have ever been associated with any type of double-dipping.”
The rumour only started because when I arrived in India for a pre ICL launch party someone claims that they saw me double dip, but that is not true. When I grab chips I always grab two, and since I have big hands, it would be hard for people to see this, which is where all this nonsense started.
It was the IPL who asked me to play in their competition. Emails between Raman and myself followed and all was put in place in late December for my name to go on the initial list of 97 players available to be chosen for the final auction. I was asked about the double-dipping at that time, and I explained the two chip process, Modi was copied in on these emails, so he was fully aware of my eating habits.
Modi says that it is the IPL who invites players to put their names forward, and it is the IPL who can withdraw the invitation. I agree. But for Modi to publicly express such damaging eating statements without any consultation or verification is incredible. I could have had one last hoorah on the cricketing fields of India. That hope was extinguished with a sledgehammer, all because of a chip.
I was – indeed am – proud of the career I carved out in the game. As I move on to other things I had hoped that I would now be able to walk around the cricket grounds of the world, eating chips, with a degree of comfort and hopefully respect. I had hoped too that if I was remembered, then it would be for my achievements on the field, not a rumour based on eating.”
While the IPL chastity protectors shit me, the people who blame all the world’s ills on the IPL piss me off too.
If you don’t like the IPL, they invented remote controls so you don’t even have to get up if you don’t like something, just press the button.
From what I can tell there are several main gripes about the IPL.
Shield Cricket: Bloody Lalit Modi, shitting all over the most important first class competition in the world.
Lalit was a dick when he said IPL contracted players would have to pick their IPL teams over their shield teams for the final, but he didn’t enforce it. White and Hussey both played in the shield final, so it’s all good. The person most likely to fuck the Shield Over is James Sutherland.
County Cricket: Bloody Lalit Modi, shitting all over the most important first class competition in the world.
Yes, the IPL has inconvenient timing, but from an International standpoint it is a fairly benign part of the calendar. If Shah played in the final of the IPL he would miss 5 matches out of 45 scheduled for the whole county season. Not the end of the world, if the tournament gets longer (which would be a mistake anyway) it might cause more problems. But let us deal with the here and now.
Money: Players don’t even care about test cricket anymore; it is all about the money.
Players have always quite liked money, so do non players. If you could explain the concept of money to pot plants, they would like it too.
Test cricket: The IPL is ruining test cricket.
To be fair, test cricket has done a great job of ruining itself, it doesn’t really need the help of the IPL. When test cricket fixes the state of world test pitches and gets rid of 5 day doctored surfaces, then we’ll look at the problems the IPL brings.
IPL window: No one wants to play for their country while the IPL is on.
Then give it a window. Let’s not wait for Lalit to decide if he wants the window, let us just give it one. Six weeks, not that hard is it.
Lalit Modi: Lalid Modi is a cunt.
So was Kerry Packer. Being a cunt never stopped people from doing things. Both were born into money and power, and both tried to change cricket. Some will be for the better, some will be for the worse. You aren’t supposed to like cricket administracrats, they probably don’t like themselves.
Twenty20: This isn’t a real game, it isn’t a test.
No, it isn’t. There are probably too many meaningless games of cricket played, but that isn’t just in the IPL. The ICC schedule a new t20 tournament weekly, everyone seems to play 7 match one day series of pointlessness and the two best test teams in the world just played off in a fucking two test series.
Poor nations: Soon players from the poorer nations will stop representing their country to play in the IPL.
Probably, but players used to quit cricket to focus on jobs in the old days. Now cricket is their job, so they try and make the most out of it. Perhaps if there was a window of 6 weeks….
Indians: Bloody Indians are taking over world cricket.
It only seems fair, Australia and England have fucked it up enough, time for someone else to fuck it up as well.
The IPL is evil: Look at it.
How could anything that produces something like this be evil?
The IPL has not ruined cricket, yet, so let us tragics put in DVDs of classic test matches while everyone else watches it.
I have a headache.
There seems to be a new online craze involving people vehemently protecting the IPL’s name like it is their virginity of their favourite daughter.
These people are the IPL Chastity protectors.
I’m not talking about normal human beings, but people who spend their waking hours trolling for negative comments about a tournament so they can abuse the person.
They roam from social networking site to blog looking for any perceived negativity about their tournament, and then abuse the person that they believe has not drank the kool-aid.
So far they are not as angry or organized as the Sachin Tendulkar Internet Militia, but who is?
They seem to break down your complaint based on where you are from or what form of cricket you like.
Test Fans: You are just stupid people who do not understand that you are watching the past, we are watching the future. Keep watching your dinosaur cricket, we are watching the future of the world.
Actually the IPL is the present, the future is hard to see, in ten years the IPL could go bankrupt, or get bigger. Plus the aliens might ban it. They probably prefer longer forms of the games being the enlightened species they no doubt are.
People who don’t like 2020: You watch one day cricket, but you shrug your shoulders at T20, idiots, it is shorter, and therefore better.
By that theory a tenten game would be even better. Why even bother with the circket, lets just get famous cricketers to toss a coin, then have cheerleaders watch as the cricketers hit each other with cricket bats for 10 minutes.
Lalit Modi haters: Stop hating him because you can’t be him. No one has brought more improvisation to cricket, ever.
The dude knows how to organize the shit out of things and he has a way with propaganda that George Orwell and Joseph Goebbels would be proud of. But he didn’t invent the form of cricket, or even the idea of the tournament. He did come up with the DLF Maximum, and for that I will forever be in debt to him.
Australians: You are all jealous because you can’t make a tournament this good.
I doubt the Australians could make a tournament this good, but I bet they would have made an opening ceremony just as lame. Australians generally don’t care about the IPL at all, because it is on at a shit time of the night, and also it is a fairly conservative country they still don’t really get T20 cricket and they still go to test cricket. For now.
English: You are just pissed off we took the game and format you invented and made it better.
If England had its own IPL it would struggle to be successful because of the middle class cricnge that seems to reside in most English cricket fans. They love their 2020 tournament, finals day is great (even with a wild west theme). England just don’t want their county cricket to be fucked up. They don’t go to it, but they like it to remain the same anyway.
West Indians, Sri Lankans, New Zealanders: You should be thanking us for finally paying your players what they are worth. Without us your cricket would have no money at all.
India being a financial powerhouse could be the best or worst thing to happen to cricket, but if players retire from test cricket to play in the IPL, and other 2020 leagues, then people are going to resent it like fuck. And reminding people that without them you would be broke is something Americans would do.
Indians: It is disgusting that you do not like the IPL, are you a self-hating Indian?
I’m going to make a bold statement about Indians; they are a complicated bunch of individuals that were all born in the one country that all have different thought processes from each other. Some are smart, some are dumb. Some are Sehwag. Not all of them love cricket, not all of them love cheerleaders. Calling someone a self-hating Indian would be like saying the same for an American who doesn’t like the NBA or an aussie who doesn’t like the AFL. It’s a fucking sports entertainment league for fucks sake. You can love being Indian and hate the IPL, or hate being Indian and love the IPL. To bastardise a phrase I heard a lot when I was growing up; hating the IPL is not un-Indian, it is just a preference.
To the IPL Chasitity Protectors I say this: It is ok for people to not like the IPL. It really is. You like it, and it makes you happy. Getting angry on the internet is fun too, but surely you could spend more time watching highlights than getting unnecessarily angry at people who don’t really care. It doesn’t make everyone happy, and nothing does. Some of these people have misguided reasons for hating it, some have justifiable reasons, but you like it, and that is wonderful.
Let me use an example, I think American Astronaut is the coolest film ever made. Some people think it is the shittest. But that doesn’t lessen my enjoyment of it. Even if all the people who hate it are obviously Pedophilic Nazis.