IPL Cricket For Dummies

Thursday, April 1, 2010

IPL: Indian Premier League
(This article is a satire on IPL Cricket matches that took place in India. If you want to know about the game, read the Wikipedia entry on Cricket.)

For the past few days, I have been baffled by the declining traffic on this blog. A friend told me that this could be because of the IPL, a new type of cricket competition, taking place in India, and that the whole country was engrossed in watching the game on TV, claiming that it was better than the saas-bahu serials. She said that even the movie industry was expecting a slump of Rs 10 crore because of it. All that sounded strange to me, so I decided to check up with my cricket-stricken family in India to learn more about this insidious enemy.

I gave a buzz at my brother’s home in Lakheri, Rajasthan. Sachin, my 15-year-old nephew, picked up the phone. “Update me on IPL,” I pleaded. “Everyone is talking or writing about it and I don’t have the slightest clue.”

“Sure Bua,” he said in his cracking adolescent voice. “I didn’t know our sport has become so popular…. Where should I begin? Okay, we have eight teams—Lakheri Ladakus, Kaprain Capsicums, Nainwa Nanos, Garam Dharams, ACC Aces, Laban Nawabs, Indergarh Dacoits, and one more…what’s that…yes, Keshoraipatan Bus Riders. All the eight teams have to play two matches with everyone else, one home game and the other at the rival’s turf. Four teams then qualify for the semifinals, out of which two teams go on to play in the finals.”

I jotted down the familiar names and was delighted to know that the town in which I had grown up in had become so prominent. “What’s that fuss over advertisements and cheerleaders?"

“You know, whatever you do, people are going to castigate you, so I’ve stopped bothering about them. Our Happy Club is glad to make a few bucks from advertising. Nathulal Halwai, Aziz Tailor And Sons, and Mata Ram Fatichar Tyres And Punctures have all agreed to sponsor our matches. Nathulal Halwai has secured all the rights to sell samosas and jalebis during the matches….”

I remembered Nathulal Halwai's expertise in swaying away the resting swarm of flies from the masala before filling it into a samosa.  My dad used to regale people with this anecdote that once he found a fly in a cup of tea. And when he confronted, Nathulal had replied, "What did you expect for two rupees? An elephant?" I didn't believe that story because I never encountered a single fly in any samosa.

“…Aziz Tailor And Sons have stitched their big logo on everybody’s clothes—even if they are tattered undershirts. And at every match, to advertise his shop, Mata Ram Fatichar brings a ‘blimp’ made from old tyres, which looks like a scarecrow. Children throw stones at it to test their aims. As for the cheerleaders, people have been arguing that the boys should wear black wigs instead of the blond ones, but we couldn’t find black ones anywhere.”

Now I could understand some of the recent tweets. Mata Ram Tyres might have done a lousy job with that ‘blimp,’ therefore many of my friends on Twitter were ready with screws to fix it.

“One last question…what has Modi got to do with IPL? Wouldn’t the Gujarat CM’s presence scare away the Muslim players?” I remembered the folks in Lakheri had always lived without giving much thought to each other’s religion.

“Oh no, not that Modi. This is our own Lalit. Don't you remember him? He says that you once beat him up in the 5th grade. He has made me the captain of ACC Aces. He is one heck of a businessman. Besides managing the teams, he caters to the needs of the public also. He has started a contest “meet a cheerleader,” and has also opened a chat room behind his paan shop for Rs 10 per visit, and many other similar innovative enterprises.”

Ha! I thought, only the Catholic priests would be interested in those cheerleaders. “Yeah, go on. What else?”

“He brings Rampat Harami to perform at the beginning of every game and nautch girls at the post-match parties.”

I was a bit envious at the success of my former classmate, but glad that he had given captaincy to my nephew. “And then your matches are televised? Big money, haanh?”

“Oh no, Bua, none of the TV channels has yet agreed to telecast our matches.”

Now, my astute mind discerned some discrepancy, as a result I got mad at him. “Not on the TV? What have you been dishing out to me all this while?” I scolded him. “It’s not about the Indian Premier League Twenty20, is it?”

“No, not that IPL,” he said. “I was talking about Indian Provincial League. And we play only five overs per innings. By the way, who watches Twenty20? Only the good-for-nothing folks who don’t want to move their lazy bums, and don’t play any sports in real life, just sit like morons in front of the TV and complain about everything.”

“Give the phone to Kapil. You crazy new-age guru. I want to know about the real IPL. Give it to Kapil Dev.”

“He’s glued to the TV," said Sachin. "Watching Twenty20. Wouldn’t budge even if both the teams came to play in our front yard."

Later, I talked to the elder kid, Kapil Dev, who told me that all that “Sachin is God” stuff had gone to his younger brother's head. He then gave me the correct information that I was seeking, and sent me an email, from which I learned about the real IPL, the really rich Lalit Modi, the debate on cheerleaders and the irritating advertisements, the much talked about 'blimp,' and the post-match parties. I wish the season would get over soon enough so that people resumed their normal routine of reading my blog, sharing it with their friends, discussing it, etc. etc.


  1. Rajesh, we should have bought Pune and Kochi, the two new teams announced on 21st March. The base price was $225 million. Pune was bought by Sahara Adventure Sports Group for $370 million, and the Kochi was bought by Rendezvous Sports World Limited for $333.3 million.

  2. read this post and previous post ! you are giving humorous and thoughtful posts recent events... like kumbh and IPL :) which i always like..

    waise cricket ki nautanki ko IPl aur hinduon ki mahanautanki ko kumbh kaha ja sakata hai .. kya khyal hai ?

  3. @Arkjesh: Thanks! ha ha aur blogosphere writers ki nautanki hai....