October 11, 2008

Allan Llewellyn on Australia in India 2008-09

Commercial Modi turns Burgundy

Allan Llewellyn

Vanity has a new name in India: Lalit Modi. The IPL commissioner is starring in a television advertisement for something I can’t remember. It’s normal for the players to cash in (I’m not missing seeing Andrew Symonds emerge from a car wash every time there’s a break in the news back home), but it makes administrators look like they believe the hype about them. I can’t imagine David Morgan pushing rouge make-up or James Sutherland promoting pocket protectors.

In the advertisement Modi seems to be auditioning as a Democrat from Maine, standing in his den admiring his possessions. Ron Burgundy, the self-promoting newsreader in the movie Anchorman, instantly came to mind.

“I don't know how to put this, but I'm kind of a big deal,” is one of Burgundy’s best lines. “I’m very important. I have a lot of leather-bound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany.”

Modi is a good looking, successful businessman who has done some incredibly valuable things for the game and confirmed India’s superpower status. But talking to people in the stands in Bangalore it was hard to find supporters who thought the television move made him look better.

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