Seven Reasons Why Knight Riders Totally Rock

71 Comments

Of late there has been an obscene rush in writing the most astringent of articles railing against the Knight Riders, a state of affairs no doubt triggered by their not-so-perfect performances. A leading media outlet even had a piece citing seven reasons why Buchanan should go.  Amidst this tidal wave of vicious criticism, let me stand apart from the crowd and give you seven good reasons why the Knight Riders rock.

1. The IPL is a circus. And no circus is complete without a clown. A clown typically performs each of the acts commonly seen in a circus— cycling,  jumping through hoops, antics with animals. But they bungle ceaselessly while doing each of them. Similarly the KKR goes through the motions of batting, fielding and bowling but in each of these activities manages to embarrass itself so thoroughly that the audience is left howling with laughter. In a world where there is so much sadness and grief, what can beat the pristine delight of watching the King’s Men bumbling along, falling down, ripping their trousers and soiling themselves? And if there was any doubt as to how seriously the KKR team treats its role as the tournament’s clown, they even communicate among themselves using sign language in the same way that clowns connect with their audience noiselessly through pantomime.

2. There was an old man I remember who used to sit at a park bench in Vivekananda Park, all mufllered up and wearing a monkey cap in the rather feeble Kolkata cold.  There was an aura of sad languidness about him for which I always found him interesting. Then one day he stopped coming. Well thanks to KKR, I can see him once again. He is Brad Hodge.

3. Talking about memories, I recall those days when I was young. Of golden winter afternoons playing “gullie” cricket. When our sporting lives revolved around the excitement of  the “official” matches that were played against the next para (community).  Aah what a team we had. Even though he could never score a run to save his life, Bunty-da was the captain just because he was a big bully. Chotka batted one-down because his elder brother was the local councilor. Brando would show his “judgement” by leaving any delivery that was outside his off-stump even though we were playing 10-overs-a-side. Nobody could figure out why Poltu would always bowl even though Hulo-da was by far the better bowler (The fact that Poltu owned the team’s batting gear could have had something to do with it).

Then on days where we were playing among ourselves on the streets and there were not enough players to make teams, we would play by what was known as “lottery”. In this form of “gully cricket” every player essentially forms a “team of one” and all that was left to be determined was in which order we would bat (this would be the reverse order in which we would bowl). Everyone would field and he who made the most runs won.

So how was this order decided? Someone (let us call him A) would stand and the second person (let us call him person B) would hold his hand behind the first person in a way that A would not be able to see. B would then show a random number of fingers and A would call out a name from among those assembled. And the number represented by those fingers would then become the called out person’s batting position.

Thanks to the Knight Riders, I am once again in touch with my past in a way I never thought would be possible. This is because KKR brings to my world the innocent amateurishness of the archetypal gullie team — McCullum being the new Bunty-da, Agarkar  the new Poltu, Akash Chopra/Bangar the new Brando and Charles Langeveldt, who is considered to be one of the best T20 bowlers especially in South African conditions, an image of Hulo-da, not being given much of a chance. Their team selection, like a gully team’s, has no rhyme or reason. For instance on a spinner’s track where the opponents pick three spinners, KKR drops their most famous tweaker and goes with just one spinner. This kind of casual ineptitude reminds me of the time we went to play a game and found out that none of the players who were present that day could bowl overarm.

And the batting order in KKR, I am sure, is determined by “lottery”. And why should it not be? After all in this franchise, every player is a team of “one”.  Keeping that in mind, I am sure Buchanan stands behind assistant coach Mott, shows fingers and Mott calls out names at will.  How else can you explain the totally random order in which people come out to bat, an order which makes about as much sense as “English Babu Desi Mem”.

Thank you KKR, for bringing to professional sport a bit of gullie cricket thus helping me to relive those memories.

4. KKR rocks because it has given us John Buchanan. For one, if we had not seen Buchanan in action, we would have never realized how truly great the Austrailan team of the 2000s was, so great that it could decimate the opposition even with Sir John as its coach. And second, he has made us realize that Greg Chappell was not really as bad a bloke as we thought him to be. Sure his Vision 2007 did to the country what two hundred years of British rule could not. But even then, sometimes he did speak sense. And once in a while he did give us results. At the very least, he was undoubtedly a great cricketer in his days. These are of course things one cannot say about Sir John. Now in retrospect, I realize I may have been a bit too harsh on Greg-ji when I thought he was the bottom of the barrel. I thank the KKR for correcting me.

5. The more time Shahrukh Khan is at South Africa cheering for his team the less time he has to make films. This is indeed KKR’s single greatest contribution to the world of art.  However it seems SRK has gone home right now because evidently he is sick of being laughed at in his face. An urgent appeal from someone who loves the movies: Please SRK, please come back to South Africa. For the love of God.

6. In order to bring an economy out of a disastrous recession,  massive investments need to be made (even though it may be totally wasteful) so that cash flows through the system. This is why during the Great Depression, American president Roosevelt reportedly employed men to essentially dig holes in the ground and then cover them up.

In our recession-hit times, KKR has followed in Roosevelt’s footsteps and done its part to rescue the economy by throwing enormous sums of money at a whole army of coaches, assistant coaches, trainers, physios, conditioners and what-nots. And not just that. The Knight Riders fringe players were even sent to Australia to take part in practice matches, talent-spotting camps were held and then a mammoth squad of 57 people were assembled and put on the KKR payroll.

And what have all these people done? The cricketing equivalent of digging holes and then covering them up. But in a recession, this is exactly what needs to happen.

According to some sources, when President Obama was asked what return on investment he expects on the billions of tax-payer dollars he has used to buy off worthless housing loans, he said “Well if you think that’s bad then all I can say is that at least I have not spent 600,000 USD on Mashrafe Mortaza.”

7. And finally KKR rocks for deciding to drop the “Kolkata” from its name which has been speculated to be a harbinger of the franchise’s  shift from the city.   Kolkata has suffered through the famine of 1942, Direct Action Day of 1946, decades of Left front rule, Mamata Banerjee and Moonmoon Sen. Our tormentors never seem to want to leave us, no matter how hard we pray. However Knight Riders has been refreshingly different.  So a sincere expression of gratitude to the franchise for being kind enough to spare us the joy of being represented by it.

[Photos courtesy ABC and Sulekha]

Cross-posted at Cricbuzz.

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71 thoughts on “Seven Reasons Why Knight Riders Totally Rock

  1. Good one. 🙂 Frankly speaking, was getting a bit disappointed with the Cricbuzz articles. This one is vintage stuff, like Dada’s coverdrives.

  2. Hey we also used to play that “one a side” gully cricket… good to get reminded of deciding on the same way in deciding batting (and as such bowling) order.
    5 mins before I wrote this, I had to look for resons when a Mumbai and a Bangalore guy laughed at me asking why KR is doing so bad. Guess I should send then this post’s link.

  3. Totally agree with Reason number 5. The back-sugery, the arm fracture and the days of IPL and IPL 2.0 may well be the Golden Age of Indian Cinema. BTW, you got me emotional with the gulli cricket ritual of lottery. I used to be the one calling out the names and I secretly believed that I have a secret power that helps me get one of the first 3 batting slots 🙂

  4. @GB: Awesome stuff. I really enjoyed this one, especially points 4 and 6.
    On an unrelated topic, the post on Parnab is somehow not accessible any more. Could you please repost it.

  5. Ironically Vivekananda Park is known from cricket coaching centres. May be Brad Hodge was getting coached out there by none other than Boka-Bhom!

  6. “Well if you think that’s bad then all I can say is that at least I have not spent 600,000 USD on Mashrafe Mortaza.”
    Quote of the day!!!

  7. To quote you “An urgent appeal from someone who loves the movies: Please SRK, please come back to South Africa. For the love of God” – so are you in South Africa, GB? Hmmm…this reinforces my belief that you are the Fake IPL Player!

  8. Just when I thought, I will have a reason this time to snigger at my Chennai Super Kings loving neighbour, KKR did a Deccan Charger last season act.
    Do you believe in the ‘crouching tiger , hidden dragon’ thing? Why can’t Sourav bat better! Have given up hopes on the team… the dismal performance early on has also saved hardearned money, as could refuse cousin who wanted me to buy him that overpriced, obnoxiously covered with sponsors team tshirt from Reebok or similar. (Had a chuckle when spotted the Zandu Balm logo in front of the MI tshirt).
    I quite agree with ‘Kolkata has suffered through the famine of 1942, Direct Action Day of 1946, decades of Left front rule, Mamata Banerjee and Moonmoon Sen.’ .. come again.. MoonMoon Sen? Thatta korcho? She was the original, in the jungle of between the nyaaka Shantiniketan styled and the militant jhola brigade. To quote her ” Etake tomaader shomaaje h-o-p-o-m-a-n bolena ” (yes, it’s hopoman and not opoman! Good to see Riya following Mom’s legacy in acting, accent and mingling with the famous.

  9. Greatbong!!

    Thanks for the article!!! Cricbuzz articles were leaving a bad after taste in the month! Now comes the great article that dispels all doubts about your waning prowess in sarcastic writings!!

    Keep it coming!

  10. What else can you expect when Sharookh tries his hand at cricketing strategy or Ganguly tries his acting skills to portray an ever-victimised god-gifted talent??
    KKR sucks but the bottomline is Sharukh is a bigger brand than Ganguly in the world of entertainment.

  11. Vintage GB. Was some what disappointed by Cricbuzz stuff, glad you are back. However, there is a news item that SRK is trying to sell off (K)KR, I think it came after you posted this one.

  12. I completely agree with u GB. If KKR were not there, this IPL-2 would have been very boring. Watching their expressions and body language on the field is a great joy. Only Bangalore Royals come close to them, but Buchanan and Sharrukh are in a completely different league. Hope someone buys KKR and cleans all the crap.

  13. yeah , we are relieved that the name kolkata is gone, for a change I can support some other teams without that little guilt hiding in some corner of my heart for not being able to support the kolkata team

  14. If KKR management (and Buchanan, maybe) had even an iota of cricketing sense, they would have played Mashrafee Mortaza by now and got their money’s worth already.

    Ironically, it needed the most well-known non-cricketer of today, B Obamam, to remind us of the foolhardiness of the KKR thinktank.

  15. “Well if you think that’s bad then all I can say is that at least I have not spent 600,000 USD on Mashrafe Mortaza.”

    Quote of the month, I just couldn’t stop laughing on this … Too good ..

  16. Fantastic!

    GB, you are back! In street cricket there was another specimen who would have his turn at batting and then seeing a long evening of running around ahead of him would loose interest in the game. At the first opportunity this fellow would run away without bowling or fielding.

    SRK fits into this role. He has had his press conferences and parades. Now is the time for rotten tomatoes and eggs. Our man rushes back to save democracy in home country and then announces ‘I am not going back’. Kar lo jo karna hai….

    Some more points
    VCCircle(.com) reports SRK is interested in selling his entire stake in the team. As per the report Sahara and ADAG are interested buyers.

    Hindustan Times (City Supplement, Delhi) reports that SRK has come back to vote and will also be dancing at a wedding for a reported fee ranging between 1-1.5cr. They have even published a picture of the wedding invite mentioning a King Khan Night.

  17. Could anybody explain to me whats so funny about spending 600000USD on Mashrafe.

    The joke, if any, is obviously on Buchanan,SRK and Ganguly and all the other captains of the team.

  18. the first link in the article was such poor writing. idiots in the media are living off this substandard circus. more power to the blogger.

  19. After that cricketbuzz disaster finally he is back.
    GB welcome back to your own class, once more!

    P.S. If you cannot be yourself there, why write for cricketbuzz at first place?

  20. Pingback: GreatBong on the Kolkata Knight Riders « Contents Will Be Hot After Heating

  21. I was thinking they’d play Cheteshwar Pujara in some game or the other. Atleast he has some bright prospects of making it to the Indian team when compared to the likes of Chopra or Bangar or Karthik or Agarkar or Shukla…

    They didn’t even try Gnaneshwar Rao…

    Atleast Blore gives chances to younger players like Kohli, Uthappa, Goswami, Appana and the likes…

    But these guys are just sad!

  22. Mashrafe Mortaza should be played, next game.
    The whole reason why he was hired, was to build audience on the other side of Bengal.

    Everyone in Bangladesh is hoping to see him play.

  23. ABVan,

    Pujara was injured in a pre-tournament practice game and has since been sent back for surgery. He was I believe very much in the scheme of things this time.

  24. hilarious post…but I really feel for SRK, he has been sold a 1982 Fiat saying that it is a vintage car by talented salesmen like Joy Bhattacharya and Bukha Naan…..whom he trusted…poor guy seems like Amol Palekar in the first half of Choti si Baat….really …what does Joy really do?…last time(before KKR) I spotted him doing some stats in Espnstar’s Super Selector ….hope SRK does not sell off KKR and they start performimg better….and they remain “Kolkata” Knight Riders

  25. I hope no Bangladeshi reads your quote on Mortaza. Every Bangladeshi I have ran into since IPL 2 started is extremely pissed off by the fact that KKR are not giving opportunities to the next McGrath, Wasim Akram and Curtly Ambrose all rolled into one :P.

    I was also discussing KKR’s pathetic state this season with a friend and both of us couldn’t help noticing that out of all the Aussies available for selection we found the crappiest one to pick. And among the Bengal players, one of Bengal’s brightest upcoming prospects and U-19 player of the tournmaent last year, happened to be playing for Blore. This after we were supposed to have first preference over the Bengal players.

  26. @ROFL Indian: This means “Start sound”. When Agarkar would take his run up, since his deliveries do not make any impact on the batsman, the dearth of the sting is to be compensated using background vocals. This would also signal the bowler on where to pitch the ball. Like so..

    1. Make a farty sound: Bowl into the block hole (I wonder if Agarkar had ever managed to do it in his entire career. But he can of course manage to bowl in the black hole with stellar effects.

    2. Sing “Happy Birthday”. (Will definitely distract the batsman), just bowl a straight delivery, and the stumps would be ripped apart.

  27. What does this gesture mean GB? Three captains, threepersons to be part of the team based on his nomination, or Brad Hodge-podge alone is equivalent to three players? Or does it mean that the owner belongs to the third gender? I think it means Brad Hodge makes a trip to the men’s room thrice before going out to bat to be as much light weight as he can…

  28. GB, let’s not diss circus clowns by comparing them with SRK. It takes great skill to become a circus clown, because the clown must make people laugh even by putting his own life at risk. Clowns must stumble and fall doing the most dangerous stunts without breaking their bones. SRK is not a clown, he is a coward

  29. Another attempt at employing ‘dig-a-hole-and-fill-it’ strategy to yank the country out of recession would be the reality show ‘Knights & Angels’ organised to select a cheerleading squad for KKR. It gave employment to likes of Malaika Arora, Anushka Sharma & staff of NDTV imagine…very noble attempt, never mind the fact that the chosen ones were later discarded in favour of local babes!

    Great post GB 🙂

  30. you have really lost it man … such a longwinded, tedious, humourless article about KKR… i cant believe these butlicking sycophant commenters here…

    these following dialogue from the legendary Trainspotting ring so true..

    Sick Boy: It’s certainly a phenomenon in all walks of life.
    Mark “Rent-boy” Renton: What do you mean?
    Sick Boy: Well, at one time, you’ve got it, and then you lose it, and it’s gone forever. All walks of life: George Best, for example. Had it, lost it. Or David Bowie, or Lou Reed…
    Mark “Rent-boy” Renton: Some of his solo stuff’s not bad.
    Sick Boy: No, it’s not bad, but it’s not great either. And in your heart you kind of know that although it sounds all right, it’s actually just shite.
    Mark “Rent-boy” Renton: So who else?
    Sick Boy: Charlie Nicholas, David Niven, Malcolm McLaren, Elvis Presley…
    Mark “Rent-boy” Renton: OK, OK, so what’s the point you’re trying to make?
    Sick Boy: All I’m trying to do is help you understand that The Name of The Rose is merely a blip on an otherwise uninterrupted downward trajectory.
    Mark “Rent-boy” Renton: What about The Untouchables?
    Sick Boy: I don’t rate that at all.
    Mark “Rent-boy” Renton: Despite the Academy Award?
    Sick Boy: That means fuck all. Its a sympathy vote.
    Mark “Rent-boy” Renton: Right. So we all get old and then we can’t hack it anymore. Is that it?
    Sick Boy: Yeah.
    Mark “Rent-boy” Renton: That’s your theory?
    Sick Boy: Yeah. Beautifully fucking illustrated.

    You used to be a great writer.. pleasure to read .. once… Its a shame u cant “hack it anymore”

  31. @FakeIPLBlogger: Ei je Sir, office etiquette_ta kintu baaritey rekhe aasleo cholbe. Aar, aapnaar latest post ta porlaam, nijeke ekaa bhaab-ben na…
    @GB: Sorry Arnab_da, ekjon fellow …… (<= nijer moton fill -up korey nio ) ektu sympathise korchilaam …

  32. Hello Arnab,

    We are getting an overdose of IPL & Elections. Let’s take a break and seek solace in God… Hope the following links will help us in doing that


  33. Very funny article indeed. With sir John running the show KKR is sure to be number 1, albeit from the end.
    Why are they playing Agarkar in so many matches. He only bowls one over gets whacked and thats it. At least send him as a pinch hitter. And the captain has been a total disaster so far. KKR has bought players like trophies. Whats in this world were they thinking when they splashed millions. Can get a decent pair of opening bowlers. KKR middle order sucks.
    No wonder SRK wants to sell the team.

  34. Hi all,

    In the bid to rake up the moolah like last season (KKR is the only team which made money as per some reports), Shahrukh & team appeared in the Nokia ad, which has now become the slap on their cheeks (on the facial kind). So if there were teams like MG Road Romeos (as seen in the ad), the team would have surely lost!

    I also read that Shahrukh showed his generous side by taking the cheerleaders for a trip in S.A. With team and coach taking him for a royal and continous one, even he needs a break.

  35. After reading the Fake IPL Player blog, I felt like I was reading ur blog…which makes me believe that you might actually be the FakeIPLPlayer 🙂

  36. Awesome, simply awesome after a long long time…

    And thanks a ton for this…
    “So how was this order decided? Someone (let us call him A) would stand and the second person (let us call him person B) would hold his hand behind the first person in a way that A would not be able to see. B would then show a random number of fingers and A would call out a name from among those assembled. And the number represented by those fingers would then become the called out person’s batting position.”
    Brought back a rush of memories…

  37. Well gb, it seems the old man in the park bench finally got annoyed enough of your study of him and chased you around the park with a stick. 🙂
    (Hodge 70 off 43).

  38. Well, now i have no doubt, i’m 100 percent sure that you are fake ipl player. Great work ! Please don’t retire !

  39. I feel as if Mr B is turning KR into a giant laboratory where he can experiment with all his favourite theories that had been rejected by Aussie captains before. How many years more does this guy have on his contract? No matter if KR is owned by SRK or anyone else, as long as he’s at the helm, I doubt there’ll be many changes in terms of strategy (or the lack of it) and performance. I feel like signing a petition for him to get sacked and send it to Red Chillies, or something.

    Having said that, for a city who doesn’t stand behind its team in good and bad times, you don’t deserve to have any team representing you in the game. I pray along with you that KR moves to another city that’ll show better support in the next IPL.

  40. I agree with ”whatsay”. If the city cannot stand by its team through thick and thin then perhaps, the team should get a new identity. However, this is undoubtedly a very well written, humorous, and entertaining article. Yet, I have and will support my team and hope for the best =)

  41. Well,

    I never had any idea a college I belong to produced these people in last millennium(oh no, they didn’t deteriorate post 2000). However,only a person with a blind support on anything bong will present the logic stated in the blog(and only another bong will write this big reply: as a disclaimer)

    The gross overstatement of an icon player-our Dada scored 4(14), 0, 4 0, 1 33(41) as opener after he was promoted there, following his famous statements “give me a chance to bat”(probably he needed a chance to sabotage better). However, he probably didn’t inherit enough self respect to return the ICON PLAYER fees where he was humiliated and utterly useless; or even admit his failure in an apology note(maybe typical bong).

    However, we dont find him guilty as he is bong, so its his birthright to be useless. We try to invoke Indian(remember Eden 2006 vs South Africa???we showed true patriotism there!!) by blaming the coach; forgetting
    *no God damn coach can make Ganguly a 20-20 hitter;
    *none other than Dravid(of tests 2001-2004) or Scahin(of WC 2003) can make Ganguly look a good captain.

    That is fine too, after all we envy the aussies since we started playing cricket and any excuse works to oust it. But then, why attack a fellow Indian, the owner of KKR? Why attack a person who says he never intervenes in team matters except cheering for and funding for the team?

    SRK tried lowering KKR match ticket fees last IPL only for underpaid (understatement) Kolkattans [that was in his domain of authority], still face the wrath of useless bengalis. They never give a thought, he could have invested the money anywhere else other than owning Kolkata Knight Riders. But he had the guts to use his charisma to sell and make profit on a team despite Sourav Chandidas Ganguly.

    His artistic stature has been honored by the French Government,who in my humble opinion is more credible than a freeloading blogger. Instead of being proud at that; people try to bring him down (however uselessly) crying for a Chandni Bar stripper.(Lords Balcony stands witness). Hardly matters to him or his fans who watch him accept a Malaysian state honor, followed by Newsweek recognition.

    We see how our studios become stack rooms for vegetables,thanks to our artists without any acceptability.The admired class of such TRUE ARTISTS (unlike himself) CREATE films which make(and made) lesser money at the box office than the batting(if u call it) shoes of Dada. Neither can they hire or sustain(refer to scores)a liability of Ganguly’s level. They can only sigh, and their admirers only bark(pun intended).

    So we need a non artist, an accepted bollywood superstar to take the load.That gives the so bright people from Kolkata (who wont dare dream of living there) a chance to cheer for their city(you included) .

    He didn’t washed his hands off bengal like an industrial giant of our country. He accepted the heated mails of fans(who are probably not worth his minutes) and answered them politely. And like our Dada stands at the bottom of run scorers list(avg/strike rate) in IPL; the team with our city’s name stands proud as the top franchise in IPL. All thanks to him, something involving the word Kolkata isnt synonymous to waste.

    NON BONGS arent used to opine,intervene in anything they have no clue about(see your blogs for an example). So SRK didn’t intervene in technical matters and worked in marketing section to afford Dada play (I mean stay) in the team. He had no option but to trust a world cup winning coach and also put xenophobia aside; with the only performing stars being a west indian and an aussie, none of whom would probably love playing under Dada.

    Gratitude isnt a bengali word. But Please stay away for attacking him for no reason with the name GREATBONG. It only degrades the already well established joke of bengali mindset.This misleading name also also creates problems for people(who dont spend their lives peeing on adobe acrobat and reciting in durga pujas) and have non bong friends, who can misread them as one of you.

    not so great bong,
    Shubh

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