The Gold Plated League Begins

119 Comments

“I have never seen 18 girls on stilts” says a visibly excited Robin Jackman (he may have seen seventeen it seems) ,a part of the commentary team on “Extraa Innings”.

Ajay Jadeja speculates on the whereabouts of Laxman Sivaramakrishnan who has mysteriously vanished into the night during a cheerleader routine.

Rameez Raja, his hair dyed as black as the ashbuds in front of March, can barely conceal his glee at the overall proceedings.

The Washington Redskins cheerleaders, clad in yellow sports bras and hot pants, strut their stuff as the camera goes wide angle taking in a shot of Sharad Pawar framed by the ample derrières of two fetching women. With so much flesh around (both the Red Skin’s as well as The Power’s) one barely notices the absence of Extraa Innings’s iconic Mandira Bedi.

However the biggest boob is on stage— IPL supremo, our very own Lalita bhabi, the official Indian cricket-bhagya-bidhataa, rambling on and on, wallowing in his self-importance.

Despite all that however, the Indian Premier League got off to an explosive start with a fireworks display and an air ballet performance one is likely to remember for some time to come. And while the purists may be justified in brushing it all off with a “C’est magnifique, mais ce n’est pas la guerre” (It’s magnificent but it is not war), at least for the guy in the crowd carrying a placard saying he had come to watch girls dance and not to see cricket, this was everything that he had paid money for — a spectacle of Roman proportions together with gladiators, eye candy and the presence of a few men who would make the Caesars and Augustuses of old appear self-effacing and modest.

Of course the cricket was there also. As an added bonus. And that was pretty awesome too even though it was less a battle and more a “throw the prisoners to the lions” as Bangalore was decimated by an innings of rare savagery from Brendon McCullum. Forget IPL and Twenty20—this was as much raw power as one could expect to see at a batting crease, a performance matching the very best of a Gilchrist or a Afridi.

It was just Kolkata’s day. What else can one say when a team scores upwards of 220 runs in 20 overs, Agarkar takes three wickets and manufactures a run-out and Ricky Ponting avuncularly ruffles principal tormentor Ishant Sharma’s flowing locks after the latter knocks over Rahul Dravid?

The only jarring bit about the Knight Rider’s performance however was Shahrukh Khan’s hyper-animated cheering (with Arjun Rampal in lockstep) that, at least to me, looked a bit too forced and rehearsed —once again when will this otherwise talented man learn to tone his hamming down?

For Bangalore Royal Challengers, it was a day that needed more than a few Kingfishers to forget. Unfortunate enough to not have available two of their best selections—Misbah and Bracken, the Royal Challengers were mighty challenged from the get-go —anytime you have an opening pair of Dravid and Jaffer, considered too pedestrian for Test matches, opening a Twenty20 game against an asking rate of 11 and a graying Sunil Joshi patrolling the deep with a dolorous expression that says “Give me the cheque already. I am too old for this shit”, you are in deep trouble.

The fun however is just beginning.

As Shankar Mahadevan sang in the opening act: ” Paisa phenk. Tamasha dekh.”

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119 thoughts on “The Gold Plated League Begins

  1. gud post da but not very gud…
    u missed on the golden cricket attire of KKR…
    i guess the glare of the golden crcketing gears of the KKR is what disturbed the royal challeneger’s concentration…
    And let me guess this golden attire must have been designed by Karan Johar…haha

    but that dress was damn funny…

    and Royal challengers will be up for more whacking…
    they lack genuine 20-20 players…
    Dravid and jaffer are a big big liabilty…
    so heavy they can drown their own ship….

  2. Nice one, prooves that you are closely following the KKR team even after being not to optimistic on their chances earlier.

  3. gb, still think Knightriders is one of the most ill-balanced teams in the league? 🙂 What a performance. Not just McCullum, even the bowling was great. Ishant and Dinda in particular. As for RC’s missing Misbah and Bracken, well, Knightriders were missing Gayle and Akhtar too.

    Anyway, great league, great fun. Here’s hoping this replaces boring nation-vs-nation cricket very soon. We want a league with 24 teams running for six months, at least.

  4. @Nilesh: Thanks

    @Ajay: I liked the gold uniforms as well as Bangalore’s red-yellow.

    @Anonymous: Thanks

    @Debashish Ghosh: I like the game. Will see whatever is on. I saw quite a few ICL match highlights too.

    @Mohan: Cannot agree with the fact that nation-nation is boring. Its difficult to really get behind any of these teams—however perhaps that makes it easier to appreciate the quality of cricket. Also KKR won the last match on the back of a knock of individual brilliance against a very weak team—-the match against the Chargers (a well-balanced team) will be the acid test of KKR.

    @Vibhash: In an exhibition match, there is nothing at stake. Here there is huge pot of money which motivates the players, a motivator perhaps more powerful than “national” pride.

    @Sandip: Sorry made the edit.

  5. Given the flatness of the pitches in India, really high scores will end up being the norm rather than the exception. As i write this, the superkings have made 240. It gets a lil boring after a while, cause then its heavily favored for the bat against the ball. The pitches we had in RSA for the T20 World Cup i thought were magnificent, cause u could defend 140 odd easily wid good bowling and fielding.

    In so many months of T20 cricket, Gayle was the only player to score a 100. And now we have 2 hundreds in 2 matches. Not very good you know!

  6. my husband is glued to the tv watching this ipl entertainment. he is claiming that he is enamoured of the sweet thwack of willow against the leather, but i have a sneaking feeling that he is too busy appreciating the bare bottommed american beauties.
    poor thing. he is 52.

  7. I was confused whom to support in IPL. Bangalore, coz I belong from there, Mumbai coz I am a Deshpande, or Rajasthan coz I grew up in Gujarat.

    In the end I chose Kolkata, coz Dada is the captain!!!! har har! Go KRR!

  8. Hyderabad Deccan Chargers will beat the shit out of all other teams. VVS Laxman will take grand revenge on Ganguly and Dravid for all the ill treatment he received under their respective captaincies. Their stupidity really spoiled his career. Ganguly and Dravid better wear diapers when playing against Hyderabad Deccan Chargers. Hyderabad is the champion.

  9. Gb…u miss the point…why should i cheer ponting hitting bhajji for sixes whn all my life i have hated him. i dnt know who to support as i dnt have any loyalities for any of the team which kills the passion. yeah if india was playing against aussies,pakis or even zims..it was a different story. hence it looks like an exhibition match to me because i see thm with dead emotions. hope u get it now.

  10. shahrukh khan WAS overdoing it… i thought the cheerleaders outfits very tacky, 10 rupees a yard shiny silk tacky …

    what will happen to cricket in the next 3 or so years?

  11. Some of it has indeed been exciting, but the overall feeling is distinctly not enough to carry me through a month and a half of this tournament.

    The only exciting thing for me has been watching hitherto not-as-famous Indian players (except to those of us that follow from up close) perform – Shikhar Dhawan, Dinda, Ravindra Jadeja and a few others. To hell with the firang stars, I’m looking forward to see just who is the future of Indian cricket.

  12. I think Vijay Malya accumulated all that wealth just by his luck, not at all by his business acumen. How can anybody on earth even with a pea-sized brain buy Rahul Dravid, Wasim Jaffer, Jacques Kallis for a 20-20 series ? Actually we were laughing out loudly when Dravid and Jaffer opened the T20 innings, this would be the biggest joke in T20 history.

  13. i was there on friday,infact it looks like most of the people(including me) there were for:
    1. redskin cheerleaders
    2. opening ceremony (which turned out to be spectacular)
    3. katrina kaif (who sadly didnt do a public performence)
    4. deepika padukone (again sadly who wasent there)
    5. srk and his antics
    6. to see tendulkar
    7. do see dada and ponting play (together)
    8. to see ishant bowl
    9. jeer pawar and modi
    10. the rumor about free beer for all
    I guess 8/10 was good enough to give people full paisa wasool, apart from that ‘insignificant’ 150 by McCullum

  14. @Vibhash: By your logic, professional league club football are all exhibition tournaments because people from different nationalities play in the same team. A connection to your city team as opposed to/in addition to the national team is just a different mindset. Accepted that this is a new form of the game and there are many like you but in a few years, if this concept takes root, a new generation of cricket followers may feel sufficiently emotionally invested in their city teams to “root” for the IPL/ICL sides (that’s of course not an inevitability). If you grew up in Kolkata you would realize that most people dont care a fig’s leaf about the Indian national side in football but are crazy for East Bengal or Mohan Bagan, even though many players hop between the two clubs every few years.

    I incidentally have no problems in supporting a Kolkata side, a Delhi side (my wife is from Delhi) and in supporting an India side.

    @Anirudhb: Was Modi jeered? I only heard Pawar being jeered. Thank you to Bangalore for that.

    @Swati: Here is the international reaction to the cheerleaders—–it’s not just Mr. Swati who is excited.

  15. arnab da.. i havent commented for a while but i have obviously been reading your awesome blog.

    i just heard ‘paisa phekh tamasha dekh’ at a nightclub and immediately thought about the IPL. demented minds it seems, think alike. but what paisa wasool.. mcgrath bowled liked a god.. as if he hasn’t missed a single day of cricket.. moments like that are worth their weight in gold/kolkata knight rider cricket pads.

    anyways… kalke Eden jabo match dekhte. i was going to skip it but after watching the Bangalore and Delhi matches only an idiot wouldn’t go for the first match at Eden. In fact after spending 500 bucks watching Krazzy 4 in Gold Class at Fame, South City, i have realized that money means nothing in today’s world.

    btw… did anyone else think that akshay kumar’s ‘stunt’ was the most LAME thing ever? (if raising your legs vertically in the air, if you know what i mean, is a stunt then maliaka arora would be jacky chan). one could say the stunt was a stunt. devils, my golden helmet’s tag huer ass!

  16. @gb, yes one innings, but they bowled well too. that was my point earlier, that kolkata is not that weak, certainly not the weakest. That title belongs to Jaipur, with Bangalore not far behind. yes, riders vs chargers at Eden Gardens will be awesome. as for loyalty, I was surprised to see some of it at the ground already for first match. The crowd erupting in joy on ganguly’s dismissal, collective sigh when Kallis was dismissed by Agarkar, … and fm channels the next day were already full of people commenting on the RC’s. The usual kind of suggestions you see post Indian defeat, like, “Instead of spending so much on these guys, Mallya should have hired a bunch of local college kids. It would have helped them in their education and with the josh of playing against top teams, who knows, they may have won a few matches too” 🙂

  17. @gb….thrs a difference btween football and cricket in this country, i hope u know this. what will happne in few years time….we will get to know after a few years only if these matches still look like exhibition matches to “ME” as they look now. you may find them interesting, thts ur opinion.

  18. also, i have stayed in kolkata for 2 years. i did find football crazy ppl but for the MANUs, Arsenals ,etc (i know only these names). but i couldnt find as east bengal-mohan bagaan crazy fans as u have been potraying. may be my sample set was too small/wrong but such a fan following was definitely missing there.

  19. @kishore

    well we shall see on sunday if laxman manages to erase his grievances. Is he also opening the batting ? he should, makes it an even playing field.

    btw : excerpts from two leading kolkata newspapers suggests that eden has been decked up with 28L watt sound (yes. the figure is correct), the clubhouse seats have been replaced with sofas, and SRK wants to dance on the terrace of the pavillion. hmmm!!!

  20. @vibash- Its ok man. You are not a true cricket lover. So stay away from IPL. The reason why I say that is the greatest cricket lover of all time- Mr. Ritchie Benaud has personally endorsed 20-20. I would have agreed if you said that you do like this version of the game. But you say that you dont like the amalgamation of players of different countries. At some level, that is undeniable. We tend to loathe opposition players, want to see them perform badlt against our national side. But more than anything, appreciation of great cricketing moments should be done regardless of the national origin of the player. I dont like Ricky Ponting myself. That sonofabitch is now licking the ass of someone whom he pushed off the stage knowing fully well that this was the cricket boss of that country…and then made a reluctant apology. But I cannot deny the fact that he is a very very good batsman….well except when he is facing spinners in Tests on the subcontinent. His horizontal bat shots, especially the hook and the frontfoot pull are simply breathtaking. So if you divide a cricket match into moments and critique and analyze those moments, it surpasses the fact that the composition of the IPL teams is an anomaly considering recent disputes in international cricket. After all that is what Benaud does. He analyzes the moment as an astute observer and is not a bagful of cliches. And that is why he is the best commentator.

    Even in 2020, there can be splendid cricketing moments. Its not all about clearing the left leg and hitting over midwicket. Say Ishant Sharma’s ball to Dravid or Dale Steyn’s to Dravid. It doesnt matter what the setting is, a super ball is a super ball….that is what enthralls cricket lovers. Just like good batting or great fielding does.

    The first significant multi nation big cricket was played when the erstwhile world 11 played australia. And that is still regarded very highly. Ian Chappell calls Sober’s 254 against a rampaging Lillee (8 for 29 in 1st innings) the best innings he has ever seen on a cricket field. He wouldnt have said that if he reckoned that it was an ‘exhibition’ match.

  21. McCullum was awesome…and so was Hussey the next day. It is a good spectacle….and fun to watch considering I did not have to support any team like I have to do when India plays.

    One added bonus was to see players like Badrinath and Dhawan playing so maturely against top international bowling. Seeing Dhawan play Warne like a pro was sure exciting.

  22. yea arnab..we tried very hard to jeer lalit modi initially..but the crowd had other ideas in mind..once his speech became a little too long, people started to echo ‘What?!what?!’ (or so it sounded to a lot of us) in true WWE style…

  23. The presence of cheerleaders can have a defining impact on Indian society. It might just be a fleeting moment, but it is moments like these which affect the collective subconscious of society. The reason why so many males got excited at Chinnaswamy yesterday was not because of the fact that they saw some skin. It was much more deeper than that. I remember seeing a man in the restroom of a cinema hall which was screening Bitter Moon during intermission. Such was the impact of the female protagonist on him that he was whacking off in full view of everybody. But the joy on his face when he came was something to behold.

    Now by design, sexuality has been made so inaccessible in Indian society to Indian males we are a repressed lot. This repression in general has an awkward effect on their confidence level in general. In a society where women are still not at ease with sleeping, or conversely where males view a woman who has slept before as a slut, there exists a great barrier between the sexes. The problem is compounded by Hindi movies, where a sort of ethereal love is professed where sex is the root off all evil. Awkward manifestations of repression manifest themselves in form of eve teasing etc which further increases the distance between the sexes. This is exacerbated by Blank noise type feminazi bitches, who in an effort to skew the demand supply equilibrium further, try to make even looking at a women sexually as a crime! Which actually means that if you dont have the dough to be a candidate for the highest bidder to whom I can sell myself to via marriage, the you offend me by looking at my boobs.

    So the Indian male is short of live eye candy and affection. If he tries to ask his wife to experiment, he gets blasted. If he tries to look at a girl in shorts jogging, he is a pervert. If he goes to a bar /a club, he is hesitant as game hunting which has to involve some sort of compliment or assertiveness, may be misconstrued as molestation. he gets very very confused. he learns to curb his basic instincts and develops a set of new awkward basic instincts.

    When he sees a bevy of sexy cheerleaders, his latent and dormant but never extinct basic instincts are ariused. He can look at the girls boobs, her ass cheeks and cameltoe boldly and without shame. And even though it is surrogate and artificial, the girls do it with a smile on their faces. THIS and this is moment which gives any straight male like him or anyone worldwide or kevin Spacey in American Beauty that rose petal sorta moment.

    Vijay Mallya of course knows all about this and this was a gift to the common man from the man who quite apparently, has a surfeit of “good times”. If ever strip clubs and prostitution are legalized in India, I would like to open a chain of clubs called Yourfan2s. And if it achieves a modicum of success, it will be due to my business model of exceptional customer service , professionalism and the art of making a man feel like a man. To many at Chinnaswamy yesterday who grew up on a “Shame..Ma behen” diet, they got precisely that. And I saw the same look on their faces as that of the cinema hall guy.

  24. well icl had similarly clad phirangi cheerleaders..no one really gave a damn/overhyped it…the next logical step to this would be an attack by shiv sena /mns in today’s mumbai match if the redskins make a cameo there today….

    well things that media exposure can do in today’s india…..

  25. I guess Vijay Mallya was too busy screwing around with the cheerleaders, that he forgot to pick the best team. BRC is totally imbalanced. Boucher is the only one, who is adaptable to the slam bang format. Kallis, Dravid and Jaffer are all conventional batsman. And what the fuck was RD thinking, when he opened the innings with himself and Jaffer?

    The Chennai vs Punjab match was the best of the lot. Hussey played one of the best innings. In fact i would rate Hussey’s knock much better than McCullum’s slap dash knock. Punjab gave a tough fight, and as long as Hopes and Sangakara were there, it was fairly even stevens. I think turning point was Yuvi’s dismissal, had he been around longer, it would have been pretty close.

    And yes Old Fox Mc Grath, showing us the values of line and length. Be it Tests, One Day or T20, he still remains the master of the Choke operation.

  26. Amazing that you mention Hooters Rishi. I was actually thinking about Hooters. Alas there is no shortage of feminazi bitches all over the world who complain about sigh..objectification of women. Listen to this podcast by a person I respect very very highly- a master debater and a cunning linguist.

    @Dhananjay- very good point. You always wonder if domestic performers are good enough at intl level. This is a great pointer to that. I liked Shikhar Dhawan too. Cant wait for the hyd kol match.

  27. vibhash, I was not the one who said IPL looks like exhibition matches. Have you seen that kind of crowd response in an exhibition match ever? But never mind…

  28. @ yourfan2

    Interesting episode at the screening of ‘Bitter Moon’. I’m just glad i wasn’t there to see him whack off. If i was a female or sitting wid one, i wud have been traumatized.

    Also, wrt you sayin to vibash, “you are not a true cricket lover”. You’ve said that to me before as well. The point is that you nor anybody else can truly define a “true sports lover”. Different people have different perspectives on sport. They look for different qualities than others. If everybody was the “ideal sports lover”, than they would all support the same guy in tennis,squash,golf etc or the same team in team sports. Its because people have different views on how a game should be played, that we have so many fan bases for so many different teams around the world. Maybe you should ponder over that before you go round ranting your ire at someone else again. Clear hai?

  29. me thinks, the royal challengers had their kingfishers a little too soon. before the game began i.e

    rahul-wall-dravid? captain of 20-20? IPL folks din’t give b’lore a chance, did they 🙂

  30. @ mohan…bt the very same crowd says they came for cheerleaders, to hell with the cricket. may be IPL shud get some nudes in the ground if they can provide thm some security frm symonds. nevermind, please read why i said so even if it means a visit to optometrics.

  31. GB, read your post after the Sunday matches. Kolkata beat Hyderabad and Bangalore beat Mumbai! As has been famously said “Picture abhi baki hai dost”

  32. @Rohit- The point is that I have watched enough cricket to know the difference between facetious exhibition cricket and professional cricket. 2020 had various avatars before its current self- Super 6s, super 8s, hong kong 6s, double wicket cricket. And there have been many exhibition matches too- Moonmoom sens11 vs azhars 11, prime ministers 11 vs so an so, 50 pak veterans vs so and so. If world class professional players and budding youngsters are seriously trying to give their best, then I am guaranteed to see good cricket. Their paycheque ensures their commitment. Actually a base incentive system would have resulted in greater commitment.So Whats the problem? Yes I know that this would lack the thrill of Sreesanth bowling Hayden in last years nation 2020 at SA. But if someone says that the absence of that thrill is sufficient enough to make the remaining thing bland, then I ask him to look closely at whats that bland thing- its cricket played by the best. So my comment is in that context and as I said, I have always marveled at Ritchie Benaud’s (another name that comes to mind- Tony Cozier) appetite for cricket. Wheather it be county matches or Tests, he just moves on from day to day. Without some sort of love that he has which we dont, it is not possible. It is probably a type of love which GB has for the medium of cinema.

    Remember that cricket has played a big part in identity of us as Indians. And this is what made Indo Pak matches such firecrackers. They were greater than war. And I am susceptible to that just as much as Vibash is. But I still liked the batting of Jayasuriya in the other quarter final(96) before the start of THAT match at Bangalore (Sidhu Jadeja Prasad Sohail Latif). And many people in the para club where I was watching it called me precisely that… “Not a true cricket lover”, for not changing the channel 1 hour prior to the start of the other match and create an atmosphere. As for your assertion that to each his own, well I completely agree with you. And thats what gives rise to segmentation and profiling and opportunities for advertisers and administrators. Some like the cake, some like the icing. But then why even have discourse and dialogue?:)

  33. I missed the opening ceremony but you summed it up well GB. I just saw the KKRs beat the Chargers today & it looks like they are gonna be the team to watch out for here. And yes, he may be over the top at times, but SRK is always there for his team, which is a good thing.

    yourfan2 – a very interesting observation about the ‘defining impact’. I have a similar opinion of the Blank Noise-ers. Do you write a blog too? If not, you should consider starting one 🙂

  34. @vibhash: you don’t know who to cheer for, so you call it exhibition match. So if Australia is playing against Pakistan and assuming you hate the players in both teams equally and can’t really cheer for either team, it is an exhibition match according to you. As for crowd – did you see the crowd reaction in Kolkata and Mumbai? They were solidly behind their teams and it was all about cricket. Laxman, the hero of 281 on this very ground, gets out and Eden Gardens erupts in joy. An Indian youngster takes a brilliant catch to dismiss an Aussie batsman off Zaheer’s bowling and Wankhede goes silent as if Tendulkar just got out. Team loyalty is building up, my friend. Heck, there were crackers being burst in our street at 11:30pm after Bangalore won.

  35. Dear yourfan2:

    Really a great post/comment on defining moment. I read ur comments regularly and I too think u shud start ur own blog. Surely I will be a regular reader.

  36. Pingback: Off and Running « The Official Fake Blog of the Indian Premier League

  37. I think I like IPL cuz it brings out moments like the one when Irfan Pathan gave a stare to Sreesanth for making a silly overthrow. That was classic ! Would never get to see that in anywhere else.

    In Australia the commentators were discussing whether they would get to see some sledging amongst the Australian players. That would be Gold !

  38. @mohan…wait maddi. lets see if its really loyalty wht u claim or because of hype.this is the problem with ppl like u, jump the gun too soon. problem is nt in eyes, ur “methinks” was wrong.
    @yourfan2….dood, u r really hillarious, u mean it tht way or it just happnes, tell me.

  39. YourFan2 – “But I cannot deny the fact that he(Ponting) is a very very good batsman….well except when he is facing spinners in Tests on the subcontinent”
    And Ishant Sharma on a seaming track.

    Apart from this trivial point, I wholeheartedly agree with your post. Cricket if played intensely and with adequate skills can abd will be enjoyed and supported by true cricket lovers regardless of format, team composition or legality.

    Watching the Sunday matches gave me goosbumps not because of the match quality which was high in both cases, but because of the immense crowd support. Seeing Kolkata cheering Hussey junior as if he was one of their own was heartwarming. The Mumbaikars were not far behind with the chant of “Sanath, Santh” rivalling that of “Sachin, Sachin” in terms of decibel levels. The noise when the two will come out to open will be deafening. Shaun Pollock was cheered as if he was a Mumbaikar. It clearly was in contrast of the view that Indian fans care only for the Indian superstars.

  40. @mohan…thrs a difference but i m tired of explaining. I am happy tht u understood something and willing to hold ur gun be it for cricket or cheerleaders 😉

  41. I don’t think Dravid opening is that bad an option in Twenty 20.Jaffer is bad as an opener but Dravid is definitely the kind of guy who can take a team to 40 for no loss after 6 overs and that is a pretty good position to be in 20-20 if the wickets are quite sporting which is essential for these contests to be interesting.I agree when a side batting first makes 222 I think it is tough for the opposition chasing to catch up but generally I think people like Dravid and Kaif will make for pretty good openers in 20 – 20 if they have some power hitters as their partners.

    On a different note……there is nothing in the world that can make the IPL fail…so rather than criticize it for not instilling passion we might just embrace it with tubs of popcorn and wait.I am sure the passion shall come through pretty soon because no matter what one would be inclined to support his/her place of origin and these passions shall intensify soon because the IPL is here to stay.

  42. Well Bangalore Royal Challengers surprised every one(including Yours Truly) to win the match against Mumbai. It was the BEST match so far for me. It was touch and go for both teams, right till the end,when Mark Boucher, creamed Ashish Nehra, and that settled the match.

    I wonder why Boucher never gets his due. He is an excellent wicketkeeper and a gutsy player.Sure his batting is not pretty to watch, but if you need some one to put their life on the line for the team, it has to be Boucher. That guy is a fighter to the core, and combative to a large extent.

  43. As an ardent SRK fanatic,I can say that IPL has given me the RARE chance to stare at SRK continuously for 3 hours as the match goes on(in the background). Thats exactly what i did yesterday at the Eden gardens. I was lucky to have a seat close enough to him, and had a great time watching the man.
    Though he looks pretty ordinary, he is full of positive energy,has wonderful eyes, and is a treat to watch.
    Long live SRK.
    Long live IPL.

  44. @gb
    thanks/thanx
    for telling me that

    1. desi bare bottomed girls are in the offing. my husband today said that he would be patriotic and stare harder at swadesi stuff. ballavbhai patel should have been proud of my husband.
    he is only stipulating that if they decide to put on even the teeniest amount of clothing it should be made of KHADI. no chinese shiny stuff. now the mahatma ought to be proud of my husband.
    er, ought not the mahatma himself aspire to be a cheerleader? after all, no discrimination on the basis of gender.

    then, if that is the case, i want hirthik horsan, loin cloth wearing and pompom wielding.

    2. rakhi sawant has made it to the firangi i-news page! even the firangs would rather read about her than about all the more deserving? indian ladies (maybe of foreign origin).
    GO RAKHI!

    3. that yourfan2 has a goldmine of a business plan. let me remind him that us fat ladies also have libidos

  45. @ Ramya
    “Why have they left out Miss Noodle Straps? Why is Ajay Jadeja hosting..”

    Its the cruel law of the jungle…re.
    With pretty parakeets prancing with their pom-poms…..who needs a pterodactyl.

  46. I think Kolkata and Mumbai teams have started to get their passionate set of fans. Rest are indifferent and may take time to catch up. Advantage for Kolkata is with ganguly and sharukh u can either love or hate but cant ignore and they can surely bring in some passion..
    Wish himesh reshammiya had a team….

  47. i am watching the rajasthan match and the effort, emotions and tensions on the field are absolutely genuine. this is no ‘exhibition’.

    To the guy who disparaged the blank noise people – thank all the gods you worship that you have been born male in india. OK so i exagerated, but talk to any woman, (wife, sister, colleague) and its clear that theres a war on out there.

  48. @KM..since u can write english, I hope you can read too..so please go read and try to understand what i wrote. i did talk to ur side of sexual divide (assuming u r a female as u sound so) and they were, as expected, more confused abt these matches. anyways, 3 good matches in a row.next time, be bold, take names..

  49. They were going ‘Sree Santh Hai Hai’ in Jaipur yesterday cause he sledged at the Royals’ Kamran Akmal!!!!

    An Indian crowd hooting at an Indian for having mouthed off at a Pakistani!

  50. Well, predictions seem not to count for much in 20-20. Rajasthan Royals beat Kings XI yesterday. So much for the weakest team of the tournament. This just after the Bangalore team also won their match.

    Only goes on the prove that in 20-20, the difference between a bad team and a good team really does not matter much.

  51. @ Dhananjay

    Ian Chappell made a comment recently saying “Would Aussie crowds root for Ishant Sharma to knock over Adam Gilchrist in a domestic tourno. I’m sure they wont”

    Indian crowds however have accepted the “outsiders” wholeheartedly. They boo-ed Zaheer when he appealed against Sanath in Mumbai. They cheered when Sreesanth dropped a sitter of Hussey in Mohali. Is that a good thing? I dont know. Just an observation on my part.

  52. @Vibhash

    Strange that you did not find any Mohun Bagan- East Bengal fanaticism even after staying 2 years in Kolkata. It seems you have rarely ventured out of your glass shield english ( or hindi) speaking corporate cocoon of engineer “dudes”.

  53. @dodo….arey mere badayun ke lalla, maine ek chhatravaas mein raha tha, jahan kaafi kolkatta niwasi they, parantu kisi mein mujhe aisa kuch dikha nahi.
    i did ask some of my bong friends abt it…they say it has died down over the last few years…btw, by any chance r u a bong?

  54. @Vibhash, i was not talking about the eves reaction to IPL at all. i was commenting on the description of the blank noise people that appeared on another post, ‘feminazi bitches’ and so on. reading abt the experiences of some of those women on the website can curdle your blood. what kind of person makes fun of crime victims?
    By the way koi dushmani hai kya? just because you dont like what i wrote doesnt mean you try to castrate me!

  55. @km…shaant.no dushmani, just pyar!!! agur humne aapko hurta hai to sorry rahega.aur kisi ko hurta hai to use bhi sorry rahega. iske pehle ki karmyuddh raktyuddh mein badal jaye, IPL is not exhibition at all. so much that sree santh even tried to eat up kamran akmal yesterday. wish he had used the same big mouth to take catches. I hope KKR make SRK/KJO/Arjun Rampal sit at a fair distance else its too much of PDA which might not leave IPL a family show.

  56. @km:

    You should not be surprised. There will always be people who will disparage, insult, and denigrate women who stand up for themselves. They will describe women in the crudest sexual and scatological terms, affirming their macho identities to themselves.

    In that respect, this blog comment thread is just representative of the general public. Fortunately, most of the commenters on Arnab’s blog are not of that ilk.

    And this is not just an Indian phenomena, as I expect you to know. The phrase “feminazis” was popularized by Bill O’Reilly, the popular US TV nutjob. Unfortunately, he has a large following, evidently even in India.

  57. Arnabda, I see your point clearly now. With no Indian batsmen in their ranks, Kolkata is going to suffer as soon as McCullum, Ponting and Hussey go back in a week or so. Gayle is incosistent. Butt is no McCullum. Therefore we are all set to give up our early lead.

    Is there any window to buy more players? All Indian players are taken anyway :-(( . What a waste on Akhtar.

  58. The tamasha has begun spectacularly. The puritans are crying foul about the decline of cricketing standard, but are following the games like ogling voyeurs. Talk about hypocrisy. I am sure IPL and Twenty20 are here to stay. There is too much money and starpower in the venture.

    The only thing that saddens me is the stepfatherly treatment that BCCI and ICC is handing out to ICL. A timeless analogy comes to mind. IPL is Arjun: childhood prodigy, star archer and the cynosure of all eyes. ICL is Karan: illegitimate first-born of the same mother, equally if not more gifted, but doomed forever. There is faint hope for Karan, though. He has a powerful and evil ally in Duryodhan aka Mithun-da. Only time will tell what happens in this modern-day saga.

    Being a dreamy-eyed optimist, I would love to see ICC granting ICL legitimate status, redistribution of star power amongst the two leagues, and a structure similar to NFL or NBA where there are two parallel conferences and a final showdown. The realist in me says that’s baloney. ICL is not really Karan, but Ekalavya, and he must sacrifice his thumb to satisfy the phony Dronacharya (BCCI).

  59. Pingback: Will IPL Teams develop a strong fan following and build loyalty?

  60. @dibyo

    david hussey is not going to go back as soon as ponting as he is not part of the test team against the west indies.

  61. @km-

    “To the guy who disparaged the blank noise people – thank all the gods you worship that you have been born male in india. OK so i exagerated, but talk to any woman, (wife, sister, colleague) and its clear that theres a war on out there.”

    Well I don’t worship any to start with. And consider yourself to be lucky to be born as a female in India where the divorce rates are so low that you are pretty much ensconced in the safety of an arranged marriage. You dont know how many women in West get pumped and dumped regularly. And when there looks start to fade, they shout “Are there any nice guys out there.” But thats the basic thing about girls- sniffing out a jerk expertly like a police dog. Listen blame all your frustrations or jerkdom of ur ex to them. There are plenty of nice boys in India who dont go pinching womens buttocks. My point is what are you accomplishing by telling them about womens harrassment. Coercion and rape are all crimes of violence and should be treated like that. So it is something that the rule of the law will take care of. Go and talk to the police if you faced harrassment instead of bitching and moaning. If nothing was done, dont blame millions of guys who didnt pinch your buttock for not rushing to you for help. The inaction of the rule of the law is not a reflection of them. Trust me guys have their own problems and no one rushes to them at their times of need. And why should I not stare at a woman’s breast? If you take offense to that, I couldn’t care less. And if you trawl down the archives of your fav blog, you will see plenty such ‘blank noises’. That is my peeve.

    See ‘being mature’, according to feminist terminology is to give girls what they want. That is marriage, money and fidelity. And all that shit about banning prostitution and strip clubs is actually the great feminist claptrap to artificially reduce supply so that men have to go back to the ball busting bitches who will then use coercion and extortion as a daily method of torture. The same goes with dowry claim before marriage (not dowry harassment). “Take me as I am”, aint that the claim? Then why dont u marry a drunkard or criminal? Take him as he is. No. Why take offense at objectification of women? Why take offense that supermodels are thin? Because…are you ready for the answer:))…women are just as shallow as men are. Yes you are just as shallow and an ahole as I am. Most women who appear as pure as dewdrops are actually waiting for the highest bidder. That of course comes after a rocking time in the 20s when you went from one jerk to another. Your motivation for marriage is not love dear, its a selfish motive, one to fulfill your dream of motherhood. So then you look for the nice boy who is a doctor or engineer who doesnt pat the buttocks of women at nightclubs. Plus hes secure and not a jerk and will help with the genetics factor.

    The same thing goes for respect for women. Why not have respect for all human beings? Maybe it will teach you and those blank noise bitches a thing or two about respecting men. The great blogger GB once touched upon the subject in a marvelous article called “The concept of equality”. Now that both sexes have equal opportunities in education and employment, there should not be any additional respect accorded to anyone. If you are a strong woman, you should not care for veneration as a goddess creature. Jesus! And remember that when you talk of war, it has always been war. Men have what women want and seek…money and fidelity. Women have what men want- vag. A war is inevitable.

    But I have spoken on relationships on a cricket thread for long. My comment was at guys who know what I mean. BTW Feminazi was first coined by Rush Limbaugh. But I use it as the exact opposite to chauvinist pigs. Got it? Maybe now you will use discretion when using terms like jerks or chauvinists or misogynists. Because they are the exact opposite of bitches, feminazis and misandrists.

  62. @swatidi- your lively sense of humour is something which the ‘joyless’ (used by Kevin spacey to describe his ball busting bitch of a wife in American Beauty) girls could learn from.

    I have seen that you call yourself fat from time to time. Besides Rishi’s suggestion, I would like to say that you probably have no idea as to how many chubby chasers out there.

  63. I was just browsing the Hindustan Times when i came across this quote by Scyld Berry, a prominent writer in The Telegraph:

    “The first drawback is that too many unremarkable Indian cricketers are making up the numbers: a problem which can be solved either by reducing the number of franchises (impossible in the short term) or increasing the quota of foreign players from the existing four-per-side”

    What an idiot! In an Indian domestic league, obviously there are going to be players from the Indian domestic teams who’re not quite “remarkable” enough to play international cricket but are good enough to play in a 44 day league. I mean English county cricket has blokes who play in their T20 tournos, but arent anywhere close to being int. quality.

    Also, restrictions on foreign players are a definite necessity. Thats how you’ll get young Indian players to improve playing with the best. After all, we dont want to be an England, where football clubs are overloaded with foreign players, and not surprisingly the national team fails to qualify for a major event like the Euro 08.

  64. One also forgot the hideous but expensive gold helmet that Mr. “Getting on my nerves Khan ” gave away to the man of the match….The word philanthropy’s not in his dictionary…

  65. NO matter what anybody says IPL in my opinion is a hit in India .. and not for the cheerleaders .. don’t get me wrong, they are an amazing sight whenever they come around but the sheer pleasure of watching amazing cricket is unparalleled. To see classics like McGrath (with Pidge .. short for pigeon .. on his jersey), Murlitharan, Vaas, Pollock and Warne (who is the best spinner I have ever seen) bowl to awesome batmen from all over gives a rush to me. Any man who loves cricket will love the sight of this and it is th dream for all the local guys playing to be on the field with these legends.

    And to end any more criticisms .. have you ever seen anything more splendid than Symonds bowling to Sehwag and being hit for 4-6-4-6-4-6 .. in one over. This is good cricket.

    As for supporting foriegners and all that jazz .. hey if we can support England, Italy and France in football why not this .. we all have our loyalties as was best seen in the match yesterday between Delhi Daredevils and Deccan Chargers in Hyderabad .. Sehwaf scored a brilliant half century and actually had to shout to the crowd for applause when he raised his bat .. no support from them. Yep .. we all love ur home teams baby.

    For a marwari from Kolkata my team is Kolkata Knight Riders (they rule) .. but somewhere there is the need to see Rajasthan Royals win. I am reminded of all international matches where I would vociferously support India .. but there was a soft spot for the underdogs WI and in theri matches deep inside I would know it would be awesome to see a victorious WI. KKR is my India and RR is my WI for now. IPL rules to hell with the critics!

  66. Can somebody explain why the Mumbai team standin captain is behaving like an absolute prat. Harbhajan did not bowl more than 2 overs while Dhoni and Hayden were on rampage.

  67. looked like chennai roped in local cheerleaders…a perfect example setting for “sons of the soil” theory…now do we see rakhi sawant-nana patekar-tanushree dutta as cheerleaders in DY Patil?

  68. @deepti
    i thought giving away gold plated helmets, hideous or otherwise, did rate as a kind of philanthropy.
    what srk is very very short on is, i believe, humility.
    but then srk without his trademark loudness, is like, food without salt.
    now, now, don’t get me wrong. i am NOT a fan of srk.

    i was a fan of hrithik, but then i discovered that he also had only four and a half expressions, all total!

    SIGH!

  69. Bad news for Knight Riders. Gayle is out for this season. Just checked Salman Butt’s T20 record. It’s pathetic. Average of 17 and S/R of 81. We are going to slide unless Dada can step up and raise his game a few notches.

    By the way, a great game between Mumbai and Chennai. I was watching the last few overs and it was really thrilling. Joginder Sharma pulls off another last over victory for his “malik” Dhoni.

    One more thing. Ravi Shastri apparently has decided to call Lalit Modi “Moses” Modi from now on for his great “vision” of creating IPL. I heard Shastri say this on Live TV today. Surely such sycophancy would make the Congressmen look like proud Rajputs.

  70. @yourfan2

    lots of ahem, ahem gentlemen’s clubs around.
    none for us ladies.

    when will your club portals open?

    do hope that i can job-hop successfully to afford the rates for a toy-boy.

    i understand that the ones i want, good looking, shakespeare sprouting, givenchy wearing, dom perignon swilling come at very very steep rates.

    the cheaper variety wear rupa underwear, raymond suitings, old spice aftershave, are tubby and grouchy and are indistinguishable from husbands.

  71. @ Swati
    Sorry to jump in with a response, but I guess I am a self proclaimed “idea investor” in Yourfan2s chain.

    “i want, good looking, shakespeare sprouting, givenchy wearing, dom perignon swilling”

    Damn…you are looking for James Bond. Next you will ask for a 9mm Mauser, 60 ft yacht and a pad in Monte Carlo to go with it.

    I guess, you have to do with your old spice wearing husband.

  72. @ rishi khujur
    @ dibyo

    where am i supposed to shop? MI5/MI6 or this barely clad revue in the big apple?

    le carre showed us george smiley (he drank weak tea) and the revue pix look like lean cuts of boiled beef.

    SIGH!

    but thanks for trying.

  73. @Dibyo,

    “Joginder Sharma pulls off another last over victory for his “malik” Dhoni.”

    malik DHONI ????????

    you made me ROTFL 🙂

  74. sivaramakrishna looks like a bengaluru bus conductor and talks 80 words per minute of gibberish.
    the anchors are the worst ever (including guys from doordarshan’s acclaimed show Fourth Umpire)
    the camera work is shoddy, vintage DD guys folowing the bat and not the ball, different lighting from different angles.
    the cheerleading is haphazard.
    but the cricket is awesome and the inter-national camaraderie is a treat to watch.

  75. Anybody observed the face of Jayasurya when this funny anchor ‘Vishal’ told him that its really good to have him back on the field after his retirement.
    poor chap didnt know that he retired only from tests and currently out of ODI team due to poor performance.
    Jayasurya gave him a cold look and said “I retired from tests”
    Wish he had the bat in hand then !!!

  76. another anchor asks the questions to “experts” and answers himself…making sure tht camera is showing his face most of the time…i wonder ir mandira bedi was better thn thm…at least she didnt try to be an expert bt just a broadcaster

  77. All this is bullshit! Wait till our very own Marathi Manoos’ team will hit the stadia next year. ONLY Marathi players, cheered on by Marathi crowds who will be entertained by 100% Marathi cheerleaders coached by none other than the pride of Maharashtra – Rakhee Sawant!

    This will be copied by all other (inferior) states and then, only then will IPL be successful!

  78. afridi had a spat with warnie…and warnie teamed with symonds to bowl him long hopps so that he can beat DC with his own bat and let afridi down….and ppl expect loyalties to be build based on clubs..haha

  79. @Brothish, thank you. I always felt that Dhoni and Joginder Sharma had a “Thakur-Ramu Kaka” kind of relationship. I don’t know why.

  80. @dibyo,
    PLEASE dont classify me as ‘thamil thigers’, my name is brotish not brothish 🙂
    Have anybody noticed that all the matches deccan chargers played have been ended with 6 off the last legitimate delivery!!!
    (vaasY bowled a wide when 1 run was required agianst delhi)

  81. IPL here to stay! Exhibition match? Hell! no!! What a match yesterday! I sort of realise now why Australians say they might have lost the best captain they could have had by by passing Shane Warne. He was inspitaional when they bowled, looks like the team rallies around him. Looks more a Ganguly sort than a Rahul Dravid sort. I like the way hes backed people like Salunkhe with no first clss career whatsoever.

    IPL has also shown some great indian talent. One of the slots of the famous four is definitely going to be filled by him. Wow!Compact, lazy elegance and the time to play. It looks like Greg Chappels did have an eye for talent. Suresh Raina looks classy and belongs to the top league

    Abhishek Nayar is a great talent as well. Jadeja could be another but havent seen him do anything other than hit the ball crazy, yet he has shown glimpses of his talent. I really liked the Salunkhe boy in the first match.

    Im looking forward to the saturday clash, the team im rooting for- Bangalore Challnegers. Im sure Raul Dravid over the course of this league is going to silence a few people! And im damn sure!

  82. IPL has also shown some great indian talent.

    Rohit Sharma- One of the slots of the famous four is definitely going to be filled by him. Wow!Compact, lazy elegance and the time to play. It looks like Greg Chappels did have an eye for talent. Suresh Raina looks classy and belongs to the top league

  83. Hi,
    Prize winning entry in a FM radio call-in question answer session:

    RJ: If you meet your favourite celebrity, what will you do?

    Caller-in: I wish I meet SHah Rukh Khan. If I do that, I will tie him, take him to my house & lock him up

    RJ: Why would you do such a horrible thing?

    Caller-in: See, I think there has been an SRK overdose. Movies, TV, Ads everywhere you have SRK. I’m sick & tired of him. I thought all these days that one thing I love will be spared, that was cricket, but now the guy has reached there too. So just to do a great favor to all the cricket fans I want to lock him up!

    This is a real conversation on a Bangalore FM channel broadcast. The caller-in deservingly won some gift hamper.

    Venky

  84. Prize winning entry in a FM radio call-in question answer session:

    RJ: If you meet your favourite celebrity, what will you do?

    Caller-in: I wish I meet SHah Rukh Khan. If I do that, I will tie him, take him to my house & lock him up

    RJ: Why would you do such a horrible thing?

    Caller-in: See, I think there has been an SRK overdose. Movies, TV, Ads everywhere you have SRK. I’m sick & tired of him. I thought all these days that one thing I love will be spared, that was cricket, but now the guy has reached there too. So just to do a great favor to all the cricket fans I want to lock him up!

    This is a real conversation on a Bangalore FM channel broadcast. The caller-in deservingly won some gift hamper.

  85. why did shreeshath cried today??? was it elation of victory…or was it the last match with cheerleaders…bt may b he can dance…he will surely be more consistent thr as compared to bowling

  86. @ yourfan2…. w.r.t that long foaming at the mouth post. mirchi lag gayi dost? kya baat hai kabhi DTC bus mein Peter Ramsbottom karte hue pakre gaye the kya?
    by the way i’m a dandekar and not a holkar!

  87. The I.P.L. signals both a coming of age of Indian cricket as well as the complete hegemony that it exercises on World cricket!

    It is as much a vulgar, extravagant display of entrepreneurial wealth as it is an example of India’s growing economic and sporting prowess.

    While it is thoroughly entertaining and I admit I am among those drawn into it because of its fast pace and buzz, I hope it transcends beyond merely being a capitalistic machine into something truly useful for young, aspiring cricketing talent within the country.

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