April 21, 2009

Blogger bounces Knight Riders

George Binoy

Things just aren’t going right for the Kolkata Knight Riders. After the captaincy controversy and a disastrous first game, they now have to deal with bouncers and googlies of a different kind - the writing of a mystery blogger, who claims to be a member of the team and seems determined to out every team secret, warts and all. The jury’s out on the blogger’s identity – he blogs as ‘Fake IPL Player’ - but the writing indicates a keen knowledge of the team’s working and the typical daily grind of an overseas tour. Few players are named but the nicknames are unambiguous – the blogger’s “team-mates’ include a former India allrounder called Kaan Moolo, an opener called Calypso King, a former captain in Lord Almighty and an opening bowler called Little John. The other characters include a team-owner called Mr Batlivala, a team coach/captain called the Sheikh of Tweak and a TV commentator called Kishen Kanhaiyya.

The posts describe what the blogger claims are team meetings, arguments between coach and team members, post-match parties and pre-match strategy. Hours before KKR’s first game he wrote that “Skipper” would open with “Calypso King” and Lord Almighty would come in one down. For the record, McCullum and Gayle opened with Ganguly coming in one drop. His prediction for Tuesday’s game? Skipper won’t keep and either the Bangla Tiger (a fast bowler) or the spinner Junta Tormentor will beef up the bowling. And Fake IPL Player? He says the team management - which, in an official reaction, called it "poison pen writing of the dirtiest variety" - has vowed to out him in 24 hours.

George Binoy is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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