IPL The Excitement

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For me the highlight of the IPL so far has been Paul Valthaty. Amidst all the millions of dollars and the often dial-in performances of the national and international fatcats, Valthaty is enough to warm the hearts of even the most cynical among us.

If the IPL has any redeeming value, it is that it provides Indian first-class cricketers, off the radars of selectors, who otherwise would be consigned to a lifetime of playing great innings in front of empty stadiums in Ranji trophy, an opportunity to showcase their skills in front of thousands.

Because otherwise this IPL, in comparison to the other three, has been tepid. I am not talking about the quality of cricket (after all, cricket is to IPL what character development is to porn) but about the masala.

The primary reason for that obviously has been the banishing of Lalit K Modi, the man who  could keep a nation entertained purely by the “Dont you wish you had my life” Hugh Heffnerian aura that he gave off, his eyes almost always on the “game” so as it were. With his post-IPL parties (Girls are welcome, baaki sara bheer kam, karna bas enjoy, naughty boy naughty boy), this very very naughty boy sold a fantasy as big as the outdoors—-if you had the money, you could stand at the buffet line with superstar super-rich sportsmen and even if you were poor, you could at least salivate over their dinner. Now of course the master impresario of the IPL circus is merely history, control having passed to a joyless bunch who just want to milk the cash cow without enjoying a feel of the udders. With their dour sense of school-masterish propriety that seems to consider conspicuous consumption as unnecessarily asking for attention, they have made the tournament as much fun as browsing through Excel sheets, as tingling to the tastebuds as food served in a nursing home.

But it’s not all doom and gloom. Some teams have still managed to provide us with entertainment, albeit more on-the-field than off it.

Mumbai Indians: Why don’t we just give Sachin the IPL trophy and be done with it? One of the biggest beneficiaries of the retention rule which gave franchises that had a good team in the first 3 IPLs a greater advantage by providing them a much larger pot of money (since the full salary of the retained players did not count towards the “purse” as per the weird laws), MI has a boringly perfect line-up where even Bhajji and Symonds are caught on camera cozily together, with its only weakness being Sachin’s often bizarre captaincy. But then again perhaps mere mortals cannot understand the workings of God’s mind. Whatever it be, the Mumbai Indians provide me with very little excitement. Yes they want to win. Win it for Sachin. So please let them.

Chennai Super Kings: Equally uninteresting. Excellent batting line-up, the best brand identity among all the franchises, the man who can do no wrong as the captain, their owner the head honcho at the BCCI, they again are drab in their perfection. While I do like their canary yellow tweety bird costumes, what gets my goat is their cheerleaders, fully covered from head to toe and I am sure suitably split into Iyers and Iyengars, raising the temperature as effectively as a vat of liquid nitrogen. Male cheerleaders? What is this—the Indian Prisoners League? Which genius came up with that idea? The same people who wrote those keep it simple silly stand-up routines for Ranbir Kapoor?

Delhi Daredevils :  While an impossibly strong franchise like MI and CSK is boring, so is an overtly weak one. Delhi Daredevils had it all the first three seasons—a batting line-up to die for and what I had mistakenly thought was a good think-tank which showed its sagacity by getting rid of Akshay Kumar as their brand ambassador after one season. (though I did not approve of this decision even then)

And then shockingly last auction, it totally denuded itself of talent transforming themselves into Delhi Dimer Devil (Bengali for egg-devil). They could have saved themselves though if they only had the good sense to play one of the players they bought, the magnificently marvelous Ajit Agarkar. They could have been really exciting then, exciting for the other team that is and exciting for me, who has over the years acquired a taste for Agarkar, like you build one for double malt whiskey. Like whiskey, watching Mr. Ajit play initially hits you bitter but, with time, it settles down in your throat giving a warm fuzzy feeling.  There are few sights in cricket as awe-inspiring as Haarke Haarnewaale Agarkar with that “I have no idea how the batsman hit me for a six” face after every other ball and DD, for reasons best known to them, has so far kept him in the hut.

Deccan Chargers : They once understood both the process of charging as well as discharging—having the hottest cheerleading Catholic school-girl type uniforms. Now they just have a guy called Christian. Sangakkara, as was evident in the World Cup final does not know the difference between giving head and getting tail. Not just him but the entire team has a rather cold vibe, nothing like what it was when it had Andrew Symonds and Rohit Sharma, India’s best Rahul Mahajan look-alike with however none of his raw hitting ability. Whatever positives it has is the owner-lady Ms. Reddy but not enough to make the Chargers a team I am keen to follow.

Bangalore Royal Challengers :

Khuli Hai Supermarket Baap Ki
Kya Hai Pasand Kaho Aap Ki

Truer words have not been spoken about this franchise, in the song ironically pictured on Deepika, the “girl-friend” of the Junior Mallaya. That’s all they have —-the arrogance of the baap ki supermarket where they can buy anything they want. But where is the oomph? Where is Katrina? Where is Deepika? Where are the flashes of light reflected from the Washington Red Skin dancers or from Charu Sharma’s bald pate? All we have is Junior Mallaya’s accent and Senior Mallaya’s angry grimace. Not that those arent fun.

Punjab King’s XI: Most guys have this fantasy of hitting a six in an important inter-college game while his hot-hot-superhot girl-friend cheers him on from the side (a fantasy captured in the “Kuch Khaas Hai Hum Sabhi Mein”ad). Priety Zinta has done this “bubbly hottie who cheers up the squad” act for three seasons now, pretty well I would say. But it is getting more than a bit jarring. With all the arrogant, self-confident jocks gone, leaving behind only “Please Use” Chawla, it’s time Zinta looked for a different role. They do have a trump card though—Valthaty, the underdog story of the IPL.

Kolkata Knight Riders : Brrrrrr………what’s wrong with these guys? The single-most-exciting team in the past three IPLs has metamorphosed into a lean and trim fighting unit losing much of its Keystone Cops appeal. There is no misti doi vending Rohan Gavaskar (who would bat at No 8 and not bowl), no demi-god Agarkar, no cataract-afflicted Murali Kartik, no Gang Bangar, no Bhondu, no Mortaza, no Chucktar  and most importantly for home-base Eden Gardens—no Dada. Of course there have a few gems like Balaji and of course Ruby Bhatia, Delhi’s revenge on Kolkata for Chittaranjan Park. But most importantly, even when it is doing so well, there is still an air of expectancy about these guys because of the Lady of Shallot kind of curse that seems to hang over the franchise, like a glass vase kept at the very edge of the table. And of course there is Shahrukh Khan, sometimes looking like he wandered off the sets of Khuda Gawah and sometimes making immensely amusing sarcastic “We will win this for Dada” kind of statements that keep me hooked to these guys.

Rajasthan Royals: They have two big wins. One is Shane Warne, cricket’s very own Ron Jeremy, who can do the flipper anywhere and on anyone, bowling like a dream and doing the Hurley Burley. And second is of course Ms. Shetty, whose face is the epitome of uncomprehending desolation. Even after three years, one gets the feeling (purely from that smile of hers) that she has no idea of the rules of the game and I can spend hours speculating as to what exactly she is asking her beau, like “Should I get up and cheer now that that the middle stickie has come out of the ground”?

Pune Warriors: I have a very personal fondness for these guys.  A Bong franchise with fetchingly attired cheer-queens (the Bengali bodhu thing I totally loved) with a desi flavor they have brought Pona maach to Puna, packed their team with Juboraj, Oothappa, Monish Mishro, Smeeth, and made them wear uniforms cut out of special edition Mahendra Dutta’s black umbrella cloth. And in their sagacity, they have kept their business as far away from Kolkata as possible.

To top it off, they have gotten Bappi Lahiri to pump up the team which means inspiration will not be a problem. To every Bengali parent who has ever told his son/daughter that “business is not for Bengalis”, Pune Warriors is the response. Go Pune.

Kochi Tuskers: My favorite franchise. Dressed like gigantic orange-flavored condoms touched by someone eating purple baingan bharta, these people are a force of nature. There is McCullum, code-named Baz, possibly after Karishma Kapoor’s “Baaz a Bird in Danger.” And if one KKR alum is not enough, there is that old man with a stomach ache, Hodge, with that permanently pissed expression on his face as if he will hit you with a cane if you get close to him. There is Ramesh Powar, the male Shakeela. There is Ravindra Jadeja, the new generation’s Agarkar,  whose fans get elated if he scores 20 runs because it shows his promise. Finally there is Sreesanth, a mad elephant in his own right, in the throes of passion whose magnitude one cannot imagine.

And on their day, the Men in Orange can toss Mumbai Indians to the side, like a small plant in the path of a charging tusker .

Love these guys.

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63 thoughts on “IPL The Excitement

  1. Agreed on the Lalit Modi point…when I saw the media bashing Modi last year, I somehow felt the irony when I saw the commonwealth corruption…we don’t have that capitalist hedonist mindset at all…we deserve shabby, school disciplined socialist state sponsored soviet union-ish sports…

  2. Kochi is my favorite franchise..U hv forgotten 2 KKR alums in Owais Shah(still to get a game) and Sanjay Bangar(in coaching role)….and just maybe Dada can return in IPL for Kochi

  3. alas dadar hazar khanek tabiz r locket oo dada k save kortay parloo na, na jani kothai kothai dadar tabiz lagano, but anyways always kkr supporter, i think king khan may cll him next time if we win the ipl, i thing king khan too great to give him chnce next time if we wins 🙂

  4. nd kochi pictr is funny n their outft also crazy type no one is ofcrse king’s kkr, pune is a copy of kkr and king’s golden touch is copied by mumbai and rcb as well call it copy cats 🙂

  5. “There are few sights in cricket as awe-inspiring as Haarke Haarnewaale Agarkar with that “I have no idea how the batsman hit me for a six” face after every other ball..” – LOL max.”

    “..Ms. Shetty, whose face is the epitome of uncomprehending desolation. Even after three years, one gets the feeling (purely from that smile of hers) that she has no idea of the rules of the game and I can spend hours speculating as to what exactly she is asking her beau, like “Should I get up and cheer now that that the middle stickie has come out of the ground”?” – ROFL max.

    I really hope Chennai reads this and fishes out some hot women to do their cheering. Seriously, the Tamil culture is getting on my nerves now.

    Nice pics.. delightful post, Arnab

  6. @ Pompaa, jao shona, king khan er ra.one er trailer dekhe ghumiye poro mamoni, cricket khele tomar jonyo na

  7. helicopter shots by sachin, close up smiles and slingers by maling and the wankhjede crowd. how dare u call mumbai boring?

  8. This has become a Sad Old Bongs club. Sadly no one cares about you Bengali’s anymore. So paint yourself into your Bengali corners…wherever you are.

  9. GB nice post
    But Why Jadeja is New generation’s Agarkar?H played very well in this IPL.
    Do you have any idea about Paul Valthatty’s Bidding price in IPL?!?

  10. enjoyable post, but disagree with the first introduction.
    The IPL after-parties et al were an added drag to an already crammed schedule. considering that India have been playing non-stop cricket since Australia toured us in October 2010 and will continue to do so till about February 2012, I am immensely thankful that there is one less event the Indian cricketers have to attend and a little bit more time for rest.

  11. I was seriously a fan of DC for their underdog, do-your-thing-without-much-pomp, no-great-expectations-from-you-guys-but-we-know-you-are-capable-of-shocking vibe of the team and they had a good mix of the underdog,star players earlier (read Rohit Sharma,Gilly) but now they are just like Bangladesh – they have fans who cheer them but nobody would kid themselves into thinking that they are a great unit,it wouldn’t even work as an April fool’s joke. May be Mr Reddy is trying to show the world how one MIGHT BE (i.e. 20% chance) lucky enough to get good returns through less investment. Anyhow, the only team that looks pretty strong currently is the Pune Warriors, even Chennai n Mumbai showed their flaws, we have to see if Pune can stand strong, hope they don’t turn out to be a SA. And yes, the two most amazing find of this season’s IPL is Paul Valthaty, even though Ambati Rayudu was the find of the previous season itself, it still feels great to watch people like him n Paul play, that is the ONLY positive thing that works in IPL’s favor, at least it acts as a talent hub and brings forth such wonderful talents in the country making one wonder why the likes of Piyush Chawla wear World Cup champion medals around their necks when it is people like Paul n Rayudu that ACTUALLY DESERVE them.
    On a different note, I think it was a smart move by Dhoni to shave his head off immediately after the World Cup victory, the quick thinking captain obviously thinks ahead and given the fact that he would have to sweat it out in the Chennai summer, he prepared himself very well to face it *thumbs up*, I wish he’d color his grey side bangs black though, it takes away his charm.

  12. @Kishor: Seriously?! Honestly, considering the comments you make, I am sure no Telugu gal/guy or person from Andhra Pradesh would be proud of you. Don’t you think it is shameful that people like Ambati Rayudu and Paul Valthaty play for regional level teams like Baroda,Mumbai instead of Hyderabad disgusted with the dirty politics of people like Shivlal Yadav who try to ruin their careers in Hyderabad? Everyone comes forward to beat their hearts and shout “I am proud he is a Telugu guy” once they shine but no one cares why they had to go elsewhere to get recognition instead of their home Hyderabad. So please, kindly spare everyone this regional non-sense.

  13. Hey, BTW, read somewhere that Valthaty doesnt even play first class cricket. (ref ur 2nd para.. it would have surely been more heartwarming if the first class journey men do well here in the IPL).

  14. @GB , i think you are jealous of ranbir kapoor 😀 . all the female attention he gets and his casanova image …the sonam kapoors and deepika padukones and katrina kaifs…makes so many guys jealous.

    btw, the reddy lady is quite something…wow

  15. Soummitra: “We dont have capitalist hedonist mindset at all…we deserve shabby, school disciplined socialist state sponsored soviet union-ish…..”
    Lol….Is one of them supposed to be GOOD thing??

  16. I support everything that can be called bengali and I am out here to quell all the prejudices the world have towards bengali people – greatbong

  17. KKR is doing well after Ganguly’s departure. It’s been proven again, Ganguly is a negative influence. SRK should have kicked Ganguly out long time ago.

  18. @ Anon April 17, 2011 at 7:34 am

    How come people who have nothing concrete to say about the post and only criticize bongs or GB are almost always faceless?

  19. “with its only weakness being Sachin’s often bizarre captaincy. But then again perhaps mere mortals cannot understand the workings of God’s mind.”

    an old eighty year old english gentleman I work with says the same thing. That you mere mortals can’t understand what sachin is trying to pull off. Though I can’t understand him (I am a mere mortal you see), he says if only he had the quality of people to pull it off, you’d see a near indestructible team and the best captain ever!
    He saw the IPL matches (hates 20-20) and thought that Sachin was slipping in that match by not being his usual self… beats me.

  20. GB,

    Do the Pune cheerleaders really appear to be dressed like “Bengali bodhu”s to you?!
    If so, then it seems that you have stayed in the USA long enough to forget how “Bengali bodhu”s dress 😀 Because the only places in Bengal where women wear sarees in that style are in brothels!

    P.S. It is a stylized version of the sarees Maharashtrian rural women wear

  21. Amit,

    Brothels are not my area of specialization. I dont know whether its yours. FYI, the Pune cheerleaders wear costumes from different parts of India. Watch the video and enlighten yourself.

    http://www.indiablooms.com/SportsVideoDetails/sportsVideoDetails170411i.php

    From http://m.economictimes.com/PDAET/articleshow/8008224.cms

    The Cheer Queens sang and danced Bharata Natyam, Bengali dance, Gujarati Garba, Haryanvi dance, Maharashtrian ‘Lavni,’ Punjabi Bhangra, Mohiniyattam, an official said.

  22. @ Amit – It has nothing to do with Maharashtrian rural women. The ones in blue were Maharashtrian Peshwai sarees originating from the rich culture of wives of Maratha kings and their ministers. Pretty exquisite they are in Maharashtra.

    The ones in Red were Bengali bodhus.

  23. Dada , a quick observation on Keep it simple silly ads – RK trying to copy Robert D Nero’s act in the ending parts of Raging Bull??

  24. love the part about Shahrukh … btw i am amused by how commentators repeatedly refer to Shahrukh as King Khan … like he was Knighted by the Queen …

    plus the commentary really is awful, save the Brad Hogg & Mark Boucher combo … it seems as if the commentators have been put on a tight leash … seems like criticizing a foolish (nah tht’s too kind) move by someone like DD or RCB (their decisions in the last game were appalling) is going to get them fired.

    watching as I am on SET MAX .. i subject myself to further torture by tuning into the pre-game show where Piddhu paaji doesn’t let anyone else speak .. And to make matters worse, a group of clowns like Shibani Dandekar (whoever said nepotism afflicted Politics, didn’t obviously see television) who seems like she’s just stepped out of a Call Centre, where her screen name was possibly SARAH … and the Mon**y looking Gaurav Kapur ..

    What happened to the likes of the immensely likable Anand Narasimhan & others as well

  25. I dont particularly like / support SRK & KKR bt has anyone thought that their failures in the first 3 seasons were may be due to only 1 person. You have to admit, he wasnt a team man at all. Now that hes gone, I think KKR has a good chance to break the semi jinx.

    As for players like Agarkar etc, hes an ambiguous gamble but Delhi team cant be written off yet. They may look ‘unglamorous’ and weaker of the lot but yesterday’s win proves they have a talented bunch – a team where EVERYONE chips in. They will now have the momentum on their side.

  26. Not upto your standards but not bad either……I thought Modi will be missed only during the opening ceremony, which sure lacked everything! But how wrong was I…IPL aint the same without Modi.

  27. Another example of “Kuch Khaas Hai Hum Sabhi Mein” moment is when Ekta kapoor is cheeering Aamir Khan to play his shots with his toothpick-cum-bat in AWWAL NUMBER. She puts her brain to use and records 3 most difficult words a man can ever say “I Love U” in a A-B cassette. An EPIC moment

  28. I guess you actually meant ‘cricket is to IPL what porn is to character development’ rather than ‘cricket is to IPL what character development is to porn’??

  29. Dada is really having cornered miserably, now in Kolkata people are against him even those WHO are giving slogan no DADA no KKR they are the first one to buy tickets and supporting cheerfully the KKR team infront our eyes it happened and they were discussing and laughing and saying that infact there entire team is out there to support kkr and saying oi podkhor khoraa (Ganguly) er din geche ha ha tai bidaaai

    Some were saying pathetic comments for him pity how he has become unwanted, they are raising slogans even. Those WHO r saying NO KKR NO DADA say one more thing NO DADA NO KKR and NO LIFE and kill yourself only then will be truley justified.

    Dada naki ekon Behalar bostiaay bosaay handle marchey ki korbay rr dada aaj sotti taamaashar patroo

  30. but still no taking anything from gambhir realy such cool headed guy i doubt if gangly was there he would hv got out and as usual all excuses r ready for him jeetlay naki sob dadar jonno r haarlay onner jonno sotti no wonder today he is so unwanted evrybody want to leave him as terming him as kanakhora aaapod

  31. Hahahaha!

    Sontu,better watch out now 🙂
    If there is one thing that Great-bong and his loyal followers love more than Pakistan-bashing and Muslim-baiting, it is Ganguly-dada!
    They will be foaming at their mouths now 🙂

  32. Although I do not want to hijack this thread into a ganguly/anti-ganguly tirade, but given an ardent Ganguly fan I cannot overlook sweeping statements such as
    “You have to admit, he wasnt a team man at all”
    – You are not only being naive but are also ridiculing yourself by showing your blatant lack of knowledge about a personality who has successfully led / has been part of several teams led by the likes of Azhar and even the great Tendulkar.

    and then “a team where EVERYONE chips in” Really? Take away Gambhir and Kallis and we don’t yet know do we? And they did huff and puff their way chasing 81 but for Tait’s last over. Its still early days, so I suggest you stop counting em chickens yet.

  33. Too good. But the lines/analysis i liked most are :

    1. You are so true about Ms Shetty
    2. With their dour sense of school-masterish propriety….:)
    3. …. I am sure suitably split into Iyers and Iyengars 🙂
    4. Best one – Rohan Gavaskar (who would bat at No 8 and not bowl !!)

    Great post GB

  34. ROTFL….too much fun…hahaha

    @anon
    the post is called greatbong…so its for bongs…hence go and do something usefull like collect ‘dahej’ from ur pop-in-law etc…

  35. GB, I don’t follow cricket as passionately as the rest of the folks do, but I’m truly very happy for Paul Valthaty. I know his family and am aware of the struggle he had to face to get here. It was nice to read about his well deserved glory. I pray for his future success and wish him well.

  36. oops! delete the previous post (got sent before i finished).
    It is difficult to watch IPL after the World Cup victory. Instead, I play the recording of the QF, SF and Final over and over again…when I feel like watching cricket.

  37. @ Small and Unclean Hearted Infidel

    Instead of using a looooong name like “small…..infidel”, why dont you use the monicker “Hindu”?

    Why dignify people like Vanzara with a response?

  38. lol..Kochi fan here and with yest’s comprehensive win over CSK, very pleased with the team. Disagree on Jadeja. All criticism is because he didn perform at par for India whenever given a chance (anthr Rohit Sharma minus supreme talent) but the fact stays that he is one of the best IPL players.

    The KTK FB fan page is full of Dada fans crying for his resurrection when the news got out that he is still in the frame of things. I hope he doesn’t, for his sake, would be too much of ridicule for a legend.

  39. ha ha ha ha sontu so funny but nice aara oi aapod ta ke taraloo bolaai KKR is playing so well. KKR should hv kicked him earlier oo team er baroota bajiey diyaa gelo R khali excuse or jonno ekdom thik. Ai baal taa oo ekon nije city te support paachena. puro langtoo hoye geche dada ekon 🙂

    See Gambhir koto santo shistoo how cool and calm how played the fast bowling Ganguly thaklai team ta ekta negative influence aane hoichoi koraay sob player der maatha gorom koray daai. Nije to ekta field oo kortay paarena onno miss korlaai hoichoi koraay. Player ra freely khataay parena or bara te baloon laagiey aakash a uriay daua dorkar aakash a uray giya handle maruk bara ta r jaata kono team a na aasa konodin 🙂 puro lokkhichara jhontu marka aapood ai podar dada

  40. Isn’t it supposed to be ‘single malt whiskey’ (the best type possible) as opposed to a ‘double malt’?

    After the high of the WC, I find it a mystery that players, let alone people, are enthused about the IPL.

  41. Utsav@: ‘Instead of using a looooong name like “small….infidel”, why dont you use the monicker “Hindu”?’

    Well, for one, I felt that uber-secular GB might probably ban me for using the uber-communal monicker (viz. “Hindu”). So I stuck with a “secular” monicker bestowed on us generously by Sahibzada Mohammad Shahid Khan Afridi – something that was not condemned (and in that sense, was condoned) by our Che-cular Panties brigade. 😉

    Utsav@: “Why dignify people like Vanzara with a response?”

    Silence is often mistaken for weakness or approval by Indophobes. Hence my response.

  42. Dude they are not cherleaders, they are the chennai dance team

    Which kollywood dance number has only females dancing? You need men to do the koothu.

    Added benefit: Nobody will write an op-ed in The Hindu that the CSK cheer team is misogynist.

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