March 2010 - Posts
We may see more such episodes in the coming future if the IPL continues to be ultra strict with its fines.
For poor KPXI it's USD 400k and counting. These are the issues where players need Player Associations to interject. Is Tim May listening?
It seems Sachin Tendulkar is going to grace the cover page of the April issue of the Wisden Cricket magazine. For people who don’t get it, it’s the WISDEN CRICKET MAGAZINE. He has finally arrived on the international scene. A cursory glance at the previous issues indicates that over the last 12 months, Andrew Strauss, Stuart Broad, KP, Freddie Flintoff, Belinda Clarke, Ricky Ponting, Alistair Cook, Graeme Swann and Paul Collingwood have graced the cover page. Sachin Tendulkar should feel privileged to join their ranks to feature in a domestic English Cricket magazine.
The mind boggling part is that why has the media chosen to publish this extremely exciting news? Does appearing on the Wisden cover signify a great cricketing achievement? I guess it does, to many of us.
The entire country seems to be caught in a Sachin hysteria phase at present. I have been a staunch SRT supporter for years now through thick and thin. Does anyone remember the aftermath of the WC 2007 fiasco? Does anyone remember the chorus calling for young blood to replace experienced campaigners after the T20 WC triumph in 2008? The reaction to any performance/ nonperformance on the cricket field has always been extreme. And today we are witnessing the other extreme.
The Maharashtra government in its budget yesterday has announced that it will build a museum that will showcase Tendulkar’s cricket career. There was a proposal by the same government to build a Shivaji statue in the middle of the Arabian sea which would cost INR 3.5 billion. There has been a major campaign launched against that initiative and rightly so, I feel.
Will we see such a campaign against the Sachin Museum initiative? Should the state government which is allegedly in a nexus with the builder lobby in Mumbai that is systematically encroaching on play grounds in Mumbai, be spending on such a museum? Won’t it be better to try and protect the existing play grounds in the city and maybe add a few more. I am sure that will help a budding cricketer far better than seeing Sachin memorabilia in a museum.
What Mumbai needs is a museum that showcases Mumbai cricket. The rich history and tradition of Mumbai cricket is what needs careful documentation and preservation. The CCI is one place where you can find lots of memorabilia of Indian and Mumbai cricket. But it’s a private club which can only be entered by the elite.
The current public sentiment will not allow any voice to be raised against this proposed move. It’s a populist move which no politically correct person can question, today.
Sachin Tendulkar is selling today, perhaps even more than his younger days. So why not use his name to promote ourselves? Let everyone make hay while Sachin shines.
The headlines in today’s Economic Times declared – ‘Cricketers to take part in reality show.’ “Aren’t they already participating in the worst and the most immoral reality show of all?” asked Tavare Lover, in another of his hard hitting articles. Since the pro IPL and the anti IPL lobby are both earning their livelihood by writing about it, this news gives them another opportunity to earn a few more easy bucks.
The show, which is being hosted by Priyanka Chopra is the Indian version of Fear Factor – Khatron Ke Khiladi IPL special. The players reported to have signed up for this show include Yuvraj Singh, Viru, Gauti, Gilly, BossDK, Bajji, Sreesanth, Warney and Lee.
Not Cricket would like to remind it’s readers that we were the first to report Puppy participating on an Indian reality show. Not Cricket is in possession of some yet unreported facts about this and a few other upcoming reality shows featuring IPL cricketers.
Colors reportedly had approached the owners of the Rendezvous group, which successfully bid for the Kochi IPL team for around USD 330MM to participate in the show. But they were pooh poohed away by the owners saying that after taking such huge risk by buying an outfit for such large sums of money, Khatron Ke Khiladi would be child’s play for them. On being queried about Shashi Tharoor’s availability, they were politely told that after tweeting about cattle class, Saudi Arabian mediation in Indo-Pak relations and many such sensitive topics, Tharoor was in no mood to dilute his image of a major risk taker by participating in such serials. Also, he had his Tweeting that kept him busy along with his ministerial duties on the sidelines.
Not Cricket has also been indicated a few tasks that participants will have to perform. As the normal tasks like eating worms and sleeping with snakes are too boring, Colors has decided on some innovative dares.
Viru will be dared to repeat the following sentence 1000 times – “I want to be the DDD captain.” The channel expects Viru to break down after ten attempts.
Yuvi will be shown alternate clips of broken fingers and Manvinder Bisla’s running. He will be declared a success if he can endure the nerve wrecking experience for five full minutes.
Bajji and Sreesanth will be made to stay in an enclosed room and discuss each other’s weaknesses. Compulsory words to be mentioned by Sreesanth are Three Idiots, Dart thrower, Over rated and Teri Maanki. Bajji’s vocabulary has to consist of Appam C****ya, Cry Baby, Kochi won’t pick you and slapstick. Absence of physical violence and tears will be the criteria for their success.
BossDK will be given only one chance to catch a ball. He will be told that if fails to catch it, MSD will replace him in the future episodes.
Gouti will be abused by the bowlers (verbally only) at the nets and then made to run his singles on the side of the bowler’s delivery stride.
Gilly, Warney and Lee will have to do no stunts for the entire season because the fact that they braved all security concerns and came to India automatically makes them the real KKK (Khatron Ke Khiladi).
Not Cricket will be coming up with a few other IPL related reality shows in the near future. Whether these shows are really expected to make money can be easily ascertained by the following statement from Rajesh Kamat, group COO of Viacom18, the joint venture between Network 18 and Viacom that owns Colors - “The IPL licensing deal works as an image driver for our channel, its not just about profit and loss.”
All Izz Well with the world.
A beaming Lalit Modi looking like a cat which just had finished eating the cream had a 'I told you so' message to his detractors. Considering that the IPL in all received a total of USD 700MM combined for 2 new teams, he is not far off from truth.
One is tending to be a bit cautious in these times of extreme bullishness. The Indian economic success story has been well documented and there is no point in recounting the same. The IPL success story (in terms of team valuations) has also been told many times.
Global liquidity supplied by major Central Banks has supported a rally across most asset classes and investors seem to be extremely confident about the future, regardless of conditions on ground in the US and other developed world.
There is no need for chest thumping frankly.Is a team worth picking up for USD 370MM? Maybe. Being an IPL supporter doesn't make one overlook the obvious (or are they that obvious) lacunae and talking about the emergence of the Indian business on the global sports franchise scene, as Harsha has ('what the bid from kochi tells me is the confidence that businesses in india now have.they are thinking big.'- his Twitter ), is way too early.
I may not want to go short on the IPL as of now because I always follow the following maxim -
"The market can stay irrational longer than you can stay solvent." – John Maynard Keynes
But then sometimes a set of independent rational investors can contribute to an irrational rally.
P.S. Will Videocon make a fuss now that they haven't won at the auction?
Just saw the latest Breaking News on AND TV that Puppy Clarkey has been approached by the channel - Beyond Imagination, to star in the next season of their extremely popular show ‘Rahul Dulhaniya Le Jayega’ (Rahul will woo his bride). It obviously can’t be named after Rahul in the next edition as he may not be able to reappear then. Hence the producers have come up with an original idea for the name of the show. It’s going to be called; hold your breath Ladies and Gentlemen – ‘PPL (Puppy Pleads for Love) ’.
To the non-India viewer this TV show is one of the most wholesome family entertainers that have come out of their stables. More than a reflection of the quality of this show, it is a statement on the ‘wholesomeness’ of the other shows aired by the channel. The protagonist of the show will have to interact with a dozen or so wannabe brides with the finale culminating in to Puppy marrying one of the contestants. There will be a many a cute Indian girls vying for Puppy’s attention, trying to impress him with their looks, charms, wits and imagination (In the first season apparently one contestant placed Nagaland in South Africa). Diabetics are advised to have their insulin shots ready by their side with all the sugary scenes.
The channel is purported to have issued a statement explaining how Pup’s association with their channel is a win-win situation for both parties. The salient points are as follows:
For the channel:
controversial colourful persona and his life history couldn’t be matched by any other eligible Indian Bachelor.
Since IPL is eating in to their share on the prime time slot, what better way than to get a Cricketer on the show
This will be a marriage of cricket and entertainment, another version of which, is making waves in the Indian market • Puppy’s entry in the show opens up the vast Australian viewership for the channel
Andrew Symonds will also make a guest appearance on the show as Puppy’s best friend that will send the TV ratings soaring.
Puppy will also make guest appearances on the channel’s other shows.
The channel’s sister news channel is starting an Indo-Oz friendship initiative in light of the recent violent incidents. Charakha Dutt will conduct a few group discussions on the same with Puppy ad an esteemed guest.
For Puppy the advantages are many:
He is pretty free in the month of April. The serial will help him forget about his current problems
This will be his way of cocking a snook at Modi as he will get more money than the IPL could’ve ever given him (~USD 200k)
This way he can earn money in India without facing the wrath of his captain who takes it personally if anyone mutters the word IPL.
Indian viewership adulation will open up new vistas for his future as an actor in Bollywood.
Shane Warne approves of it. He may call it the 'best shot he has ever seen'.
He finally gets into a relationship where he wears the pants (and the shirt too).
Before the final episode he can always get out of the wedding by writing the following - "With no disrespect to the PPL, I feel my body and mind needs a break and with the hectic international schedule over the next 18 months, I feel I need to freshen up and a break will do me good. By trying to continue to advance my profile and reputation with the Australian team, I hope to one day become an asset to your show."
This piece is a figment of one’s imagination that is a mere fraction of what Indian channels can shore up. It accords the same respect to Pup that Michael Clarke has shown to his opponents. This piece has passed the stringent approval tests of M/s Chris Martin and Mike Hussey and is thus cleared for general readership.
The IPL III has begun and one has been a silent watcher of the same over the past 3 days. Many an enthusiast has written previews and reviews of the games played till now and one believes that they are doing a far better job of it than what self could ever manage. Hence the first post on IPL 2010 on this blog is going to be about the bells and whistles of the package.
The IPL has been derided by many a knowledgeable people to consist of more entertainment than cricket. In the local lingo we call it ‘char anyachi kombdi aani ek rupayacha masala’ (25 cents worth of chicken cooked in one dollar’s worth of spices). Who is one to disagree with the majority of the right thinking purists? One is either with them or against them. Has this been said somewhere before? Naah! Never!
The telecast of a typical IPL match starts with Extraa Innings, which is supposedly an analysis of the upcoming game. The title itself is an oxymoron. If SETMAX really wants to show us an Extraa Innings, shouldn’t it be after the two normal innings are done and dusted with. The supposed explanation is that most of the anchors and experts are ‘extras’ in the movie where the main actors are the players. It doesn’t wash with us purists. How many times has the world scene an ‘extra’ like a Navjot Sidhu wearing a flower pot as a jacket, mouth Shakespeare, Ghalib and his home made Sidhuisms? Never is the answer that springs to one’s mind.
Then there is our dear Arun Lal who talks like a dewd. It has been heard that Abhay Deol has nightmares about a remake of his movie Dev D. There the protagonist drinks like a Whale, smokes like a chimney and even goes high on drugs. Dew D is only a documentary on how and when dew falls and how much a matter of life and death it is to the protagonist. It’s actually a matter of life for Arun, a matter of death by boredom to the viewer.
Moving on, the other 20 some things standing at the ground trying to sound peppy and knowledgeable at the same time, discuss with Sunny ‘bhai’, the most obvious aspects of the game. Gaurav Kapur was a good VJ but as one of the CJ (Cricket Jockey) he pokes fun at himself, completely unknowingly, pleasing all those poor souls who had suffered from his jibes.
It seems Angad Bedi doesn’t regret his decision to choose acting over cricket. Well he may not. But one is very sure that most viewers do. If only he had chosen cricket, they would all be spared the ‘emotional atyachar’ they suffer. One hates to say it but even Mandira was better. What does Bishen have to say about his son’s acting skills is one really interesting story waiting to be told.
The viewer heaves a sigh of relief once the match is about to begin. Anything better than this mindless buffoonery, he thinks. But just like a Russian epic novel from early 20th century, depicting a Russian peasant’s sad life, their suffering has no end.
The viewer now gets bombarded by ads which plead with him to buy handphones manufactured by the Micromaxes, Videocons and Karbonns of the world. Akshay Kumar, it seems, earned crores to act like his normal self, i.e. a fully retarded smiling oaf. Abhishek B, gives a viewer many Ideas about places to put his fingers in and Imran Khan (the new age AK – read fully retarded non-smiling oaf) gulps Coke down his throat as if he is drinking poison.
In between all these acts, the viewer gets to watch SRK talking to Lara, Katrina Kaif watching the match with an intelligent(?) look on her face, Shilpa Shetty asking her hubby why is Yusuf walking to the dugout despite being at the end from where the thrower was throwing the ball and some such.
That ends a typical IPL game for a viewer. Where was the cricket? critics may ask. Well, why do you think Brian Lara was mentioned in the piece, dear critic?
This is how a piece written by Hideous Gaigh will look like.
Now let one start with one’s views on the IPL.
One was watching the finals of the T10 Gully cricket league played between Ludhiana and Jalandhar on the weekend. It says a lot about one’s love for ANY form of cricket but it says even more about one’s extremely interesting and busy social life. The only other person who can be a serious contender in the serial sociopath stakes is Jimmy Shergil. But then one got to know that Jimmy boy actually owns the Ludhiana team and hence he was seen cheering for his team at the stadium.
One was even more surprised to learn that Divya Dutta owns the Jalandhar Gully and other illustrious team owners include Sanjay Dutt and Rajpal Yadav and Prachi Desai. To people unfamiliar with Bollywood, two of them are character actors, one is a has-been actor and one is a wannabe actor. Sanjay Dutt is classified as one of the character actors by the way.
The tournament which has the tag line - ‘Ab har koi khelega’ (Now everyone can play) is the poor cousin (4th removed) of the IPL. To Jimmy and co., it meant ‘Ab har koi lega’ (Now everyone can buy). The entire idea of owning a T10 gully team appeals to one as it touches a chord deep inside. It brings back memories of all those fake Reebok/Nike T-shirts bought from fashion-street as a teen, all those Van Gogh/ Rothko prints bought from MoMA to be displayed proudly on the walls, all those stickers proudly claiming ‘My other car is a Mercedes’.
The icing on the cake was Charu Sharma who, like God, was seen and heard everywhere in the telecast. Every player had channel 9 style video that introduced them to the viewers. Now each player was asked to state his name, address, sexual preferences (just joking) and his dream. Every player, without any exception, said that his goal was to play for the country.
One fully respects the sentiments of the young players wishing to represent their country but even a glimpse of reality tells us that they are being overly optimistic. So many cricketers have failed to clear the hurdle between a Ranji career and a national cap. And these guys are nowhere close to being decentish Ranji players.
But then one has to keep in mind that Indians are an ever optimistic lot. They never give up hope. There’s always a silver lining to the darkest of clouds. Even when years of reality check has taught them that the Indian national hockey team will falter, they will still hope for the best. Even though all history, data and trends are pointing to the contrary, Indians will still believe in a miracle. If black swans as a species existed in India, they would have fat tails.
One look at the various surveys on various nations’ optimism levels invariably brings forth the name of India.
Why do Indians always think so positively? They have such miracles happening around them where people have risen up from the ashes. Every Indian today, looks up with awe at Rahul Mahajan, a spoilt brat of an influential politician, confirmed dopester, alleged wife beater and finally a divorcee. This lovable character actually ended up as the protagonist in an inane TV show called ‘Rahul Dulhaniya le jayega’ (Rahul will sweep his bride off her feet). He was wooed by a bevy of young nubile girls and finally ended up marrying a model on national television. This tumultuous event coincided with the T10 Gully cricket tournament finals.Obviously the young players from both teams take heart from his life story.
The IPL auction for adding two new franchise teams was also slated on the same day and there was no dearth of optimism on the part of the organizers on that front either. A minimum bid price of USD 225MM, net worth condition of USD 1 bio and a bank guarantee of USD 100MM were though to be measures to sift through frivolous bids. After getting only 3 confirmed bids, the organizers decided to postpone the bidding process by another week or two. One can foresee a string of court cases if the consortium led by Mr Dhoot gets out-bid in the final outcome.
Actually one had almost given up the hope of being an IPL owner in despair as one couldn’t find a bank open on a Sunday to get that bank guarantee in time. The other 2 stipulations would be a walk in the park. But now that the bid is postponed, one plans to bid for Nagpur, come March 21st. Any thoughts on who should be the Nagpur captain?
The best suggestion will get the honour of blogging for the team, all expenses paid (by the winner)
You are extremely right Michael. ummm.. Or is it supposed to be extreme right? For the minority of the readers of this blog, which doesn't understand German, My struggles is translated from the German Mein Kampf.
After his stupendous double ton against the Saffers many politicians including the CM and the deputy CM of Maharashtra have stated that they will recommend Sachin Tendulkar’s name for the highest Indian civilian award – Bharat Ratna, for the champion. Former cricketers like Kapil, Wadekar and Vengasarkar have also supported this wish. The award has never been awarded to a sportsperson and a majority of the 41 awardees have a political background.
It is high time that the Bharat Ratna be given to an elite sportsperson who has brought glory to the country and on one will be the first to applaud if Sachin is conferred this highest praise. The one similarity between SRT and Sir Don that one agrees with is the way they influenced a whole generation of their respective countries. All the other claims of his being better than the Don, one feels, can be attributed to people getting carried away. There have always been debates about comparisons between players from different generations and one doesn’t want to get into them but if we have a divided opinion about the best player of this generation, is there any point in comparing two players who played almost 50 years apart?
But one is digressing from the focus of this post. Does Sachin deserve the Bharat Ratna? One would agree wholeheartedly. It’s not to be given only for the runs scored or the number of matches won by him. There are perennial doubters who will never be satisfied. It is, more importantly, based on the positive impact this man had and is still having on generations of Indians. Is the timing right? One would think in the negative. Is he the only sportsperson to deserve the award? One would take some time to figure that one out. Two outstanding sports persons who come to mind immediately are Vishy Anand and Leander Paes. Past greats like Dhyan Chand, PT Usha, Prakash Padukone (his contribution to Indian Badminton, both as a player and as a coach, has been immense) can also be considered.
More than the question of which sports person may deserve the honour, the timing of the award to Sachin is a bit premature. Everyone is currently on this 'Sachin is the greatest' bandwagon and may even push for a Nobel Peace prize . But we have to remember that public memory is extremely short, that sports performances can vary with form and especially in India that one is as good as one’s latest innings/performance. The Indian Hockey team will realise it tomorrow when the same people who were showering them with cash awards and praises will mark them out for derision and contempt. If, god forbid, Tendulkar loses his form and goes through a lean patch the same people hailing him will advise him to retire, talk of elephants in the room and generally talk rubbish. Tendulkar has already witnessed this once in his career and he fully understands the fickleness of this adulation and reverence.
Let us continue to watch and enjoy this stupendous journey of Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar rather than rushing on the ground halfway through his innings and disturbing his concentration. Let him complete his innings and walk back to the pavilion. The MoM award can always be given then.
PS – The ST logo on the Adidas cap he is wearing is stylish and contemporary. Adidas trying to recreate Nike's RF logo by any chance? We have always fondly known and called the man SRT. Dropping Ramesh is just not on. Take note Adidas.