Tuesday, May 05, 2009
The IPL comedy show
I have not commented at all about the Indian Premier League, not because I have not seen any matches but because I have completely lost interest in the whole circus. It is not the change in venue that has impacted me, I would not have gone to any of the stadia in any case. It is just the ... I don't know how to put it... er... the artificiality of it all.
I dunno if it makes sense to you folks but somehow the entire atmosphere, at least in the initial stages, seemed extremely contrived. The commentators yelling about DLF sixes and Citi moments of success and Nano fours and Kamasutra twos and so on was off-putting to say the least. I thought such commercialisation kind of took something away from the game itself. I understand sponsors are important and they have every right to be treated well and should be able to get the maximum bang for their buck but I had a feeling that the DLFs and the Citis probably ought to see if they were not overdoing the sponsorship bit.
But that was not the only thing phony I thought. For some reason I felt that the crowd reaction to the camera focusing on them was also a shade phony. I know I know I am getting a bit too critical and all that but surely you guys have felt it too? No? Well, what can I say? The way I saw it was: No crowd in vast sections of the stadium, densely populated in a small section and that section reluctantly (at least to me) putting on a show for the camera. It was almost as if the producer went and gave each one of them a chocolate and said, "Guys, when the camera pans on you look enthu."
And these along with my general loss of interest in cricket combined to keep me away from IPL watching. Not any more.
What I witnessed yesterday in the Chennai Super Kings v/s Deccan Chargers was total paisa vasool. Not the entire match mind you. Just some portions of it. Boy oh boy was it hilarious or what.
This happened in the Deccan Chargers innings. First up Dwayne Smith smashed a ball which looped up with three fielders running towards it. Three, mind you. And who took the catch? Simple answer. None of them. Each one expecting the other to take it. Simple calling was not adhered to and the ball fell right between them. Never mind. Hota hai. Funny but not uproariously so. Then what does Smith bhai do? Oh! He hits an almost same shot which goes to the almost same spot and now it has not three but only two players converging on it. I presume the third player was hiding somewhere from acute embarrassment. And after converging on it the Chennai Super Clowns dropped it. Yeah sure, one way to look at it is that the effort was one better than the previous delivery. Boss, Tyagi got a hand to it did he not? Funny but not the funniest of the lot. That was reserved for when the Super Clowns attempted to run out Smith.
Smith smashed the ball to the off and the return was not collected cleanly by the bowler (Jatayu, Jataka, Jakati or something). Theekh hai happens all the time in cricket but hey what is that? Badrinath was backing up and threw the ball back to Jatayu who did not bother to collect the ball but broke the stumps with his elbow. Reprieve no. 2 for Smith and for Suman at the other end. But the S & S jodi along with Jatayu managed another moment of DLF madness (rather the DLF moment of madness). Badri ran to the wicket so that he could uproot the stumps but Jatayu was a looong way off, almost 10 feet away, and could only send the ball wide of Badri, who then promptly burst into an infuriated jig.
Trust me this kind of madness did not even occur when as a kid I used to play cork ball cricket at the Gagan Mahal grounds in Hyderabad. Not that our matches were short of craziness of any kind.
So now I am a born again fan of IPL and cricket and will surely tune in diligently for my daily dose of action and comedy. Not to mention superb dialogue delivery from the commentary box. Way to go Lalit Modi ji.
Er... By the way did I mention the Chennai Super Clowns.... oops The Chennai Super Kings won?