IPL March 17, 2010

Rajasthan are yesterday’s bagel

Warne and Co are so over
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Rajasthan: croissants that history has passed by © Associated Press
 

The IPL is like a bakery. How’s that, I hear you ask. How can a multinational cricket tournament be compared to a bread-making facility? Surely that is a simile too far.

Not so. Has reading this column over the last few weeks taught you nothing? No metaphor is too ridiculous, no literary device too outlandish to convey the wonders of the great game. So, here we go. The IPL is like a bakery.

What is the word you associate with bakeries? Apart from flour. And yeast. And eggs. No, I’m not talking about rolling pins, pastry cutters or ovens. I’m thinking of an abstract noun. The word is “fresh”. (Yes, it also works for greengrocers, but I don’t like vegetables, I like cakes, and besides, it’s my simile, not yours.) A bakery thrives on freshness. No one is interested in yesterday’s bread.

So it is with the IPL. The new, the fresh, the “now” is all that matters. Who hit the last six? Who won the last game? Who bowled the last wide? It is a carnival devoted to living in the moment, entirely devoid of context, history or regret. Like an out-of-control sports car driven by clowns, it crashes into your living room, drives round and round honking loudly and then departs whence it came.

And in the IPL bakery, the Rajasthan Royals are the stale bagels left in the back of the cupboard. They are yesterday’s treat. You can tart them up with gold icing all you like, but darling, they are so 2008. Back then, we were young, we were foolish, we thought fondly of Danny Morrison. Warne’s outlaws were quirky, inexpensive and they hopped about incessantly, like gaudy tree frogs on an electrified roof.

But we’ve seen that. We’ve heard enough about their captain’s wonderful powers of motivation, his innovative field settings and those catchy team nicknames (I’d love to know what Graeme Smith’s was: The Disappointer? The Blocker?) It was all charming in its way. But now it’s one big yawn. I knew it was over when I heard Jeremy Snape claiming that young players were part of The Rajasthan Brand.

I think of them as a group of hapless sales executives, forced to spend a seven-week team bonding exercise under the control of an over-eager Australian facilitator who specialises in motivational chats and festoons their meeting rooms with slogans and inspirational pie charts. I don’t know about you, but my experience of such things has been a burning desire to get the hell out of there at the first opportunity.

I suspect that the Rajasthan players feel the same, judging by the way they went about their batting against the Delhi Daredevils (or “The Double D’s” as Danny Morrison has taken to calling them). It was clearly a cry for help. Slog, consolidate, slog, consolidate, go for a crazy single, slog: if the Rajasthan Royals were a car, you’d be taking them to your local garage complaining of a misfire. And then you’d trade them in for something more interesting. With less gold trim.

Monday’s game also featured a new addition to the IPL programme: moths. They had a great time, smacking into the camera lens, flapping about inside Dogra’s helmet, flying into Sehwag’s ear and out of Sehwag’s other ear. They were also the only living creatures in the ground that were actually attracted to the electronic adverts on the sightscreens. Meanwhile Lalit Modi sat impassively in the posh seats. Surely the Commissioner could have sent a text to the Almighty and brought down a shower of moth-sucking toads?

Such extra-curricular developments are, of course, a knee-high full-toss to a top-quality commentator. Cue Harsha Bhogle:

“There are a number of moths around Maharoof. They must think he is covered in honey.”

Now I’m no moth expert, so I’m not sure, entomologically speaking, how accurate that is, but in any case, no viewer should be forced to contemplate a honey-slathered Maharoof whilst eating their tea. Please tone it down, Harsha, and remember there may be children watching.

Andrew Hughes is a writer currently based in England

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • nisarg on April 3, 2010, 17:53 GMT

    I was in splits reading, "when we thought fondly about danny morisson" and honey covered maharoof..... great one....

  • sid on March 27, 2010, 7:34 GMT

    hehe... now the double Rs are 3rd in the ranking...

  • Royals are only Rajasthan on March 21, 2010, 12:12 GMT

    RR starts always like this..and now they r on road by beating kkr...they will win ipl 2010

  • Srinivas Katta on March 19, 2010, 19:32 GMT

    This is very disappointing article. I don't of too many teams that have lost so many players and have still done well. Missing are the following players - Watson, Tanvir, Smith, Mascerenhas and Jadeja.

    The two teams struggling are the ones with the biggest loss of players.

    Warnie goes down as one of the greatest cricketers to my mind. I wish Cricinfo will be more careful in screening articles that are published. Mr. Hughes is obviously has something against Warnie.

  • Warnie on March 19, 2010, 10:13 GMT

    C'mon man.............

  • Jay Adhikari on March 19, 2010, 9:20 GMT

    "Now I’m no moth expert, so I’m not sure, entomologically speaking, how accurate that is, but in any case, no viewer should be forced to contemplate a honey-slathered Maharoof whilst eating their tea. Please tone it down, Harsha, and remember there may be children watching."

    Well then Mr. Hughes, if you're no expert then you should have kept your opinion to yourself. I mean come on!! What in the blue hell was so R rated in Bhogle's comment that you're warning him about children watching???

    On the whole I think this article was just too biased on the author's lack of knowledge of cricket AND business and Mr. Hughes came across to me as someone who is trying so hard to come across as a sarcastically funny writer that he just ends up taking illogical diggs at everyone and anyone he could think of and in the process, not even sounding too funny. (Atleast for people who have read a LOT better than this mediocre article)

  • Saad on March 19, 2010, 7:21 GMT

    In the last two editions of IPL, RR is missing bowlers like Sohail Tanvir.

  • Anonymous on March 19, 2010, 5:47 GMT

    "flying into Sehwag’s ear and out of Sehwag’s other ear"....I bet you know how that feels Andrew....good work...journalism would be a drab world without imps such as yourself...hope you can take digs at the successful and the mighty as well as you bake your bagels over fires that are fizzling out....

  • V.S.S.Sarma on March 19, 2010, 3:45 GMT

    How did the Rajasthan Royals players fare so far in the tournament (as batsmen, as bowler and as a overall performer) ? Let me rate their performances on a scale of (0-1,000).

    Batting: Pathan (673); Jhunjhunwala (309); Dogra (301); Smith (271); Ojha (218); Martyn (204); Lumb (96); Mascarenhas (81); Asnodkar (32); Uniyal (21); Warne (18); Morkel (16); Others (0).

    Bowling: Mascarenhas (747); Warne (466); Uniyal (455); Tait (432); Patel (364); Narwal (176); Morkel (160); Pathan (110); Kamran Khan (60); Jhunjhunwala (46); Others (0).

    Overall Performance: Pathan (580); Mascarenhas (313); Jhunjhunwala (265); Smith (263); Dogra (258); Ojha (205); Warne (184); Uniyal (168); Martyn (164); Tait (144); Patel (121); Lumb (77); Morkel (66); Narwal (58); Asnodkar (26); Kamran Khan (20); Trivedi (0).

    How did the teams perform so far ?

    Mumbai - 1000; Deccan - 904; Chennai - 877; Bangalore - 794; Delhi - 770; Kolkata - 745; Punjab - 742; Rajasthan - 621.

    Rajasthan has no chances.

  • Girish on March 18, 2010, 17:02 GMT

    The anti-Shilpa rant from Prince was extremely engaging (more so coz his "Darling Elvis" was "Priestly"), but amazingly pointless !

    Am watching RR implode to a soul-sapping loss at Bangalore - would really like to be present at tonight's teamtalk !!

  • nisarg on April 3, 2010, 17:53 GMT

    I was in splits reading, "when we thought fondly about danny morisson" and honey covered maharoof..... great one....

  • sid on March 27, 2010, 7:34 GMT

    hehe... now the double Rs are 3rd in the ranking...

  • Royals are only Rajasthan on March 21, 2010, 12:12 GMT

    RR starts always like this..and now they r on road by beating kkr...they will win ipl 2010

  • Srinivas Katta on March 19, 2010, 19:32 GMT

    This is very disappointing article. I don't of too many teams that have lost so many players and have still done well. Missing are the following players - Watson, Tanvir, Smith, Mascerenhas and Jadeja.

    The two teams struggling are the ones with the biggest loss of players.

    Warnie goes down as one of the greatest cricketers to my mind. I wish Cricinfo will be more careful in screening articles that are published. Mr. Hughes is obviously has something against Warnie.

  • Warnie on March 19, 2010, 10:13 GMT

    C'mon man.............

  • Jay Adhikari on March 19, 2010, 9:20 GMT

    "Now I’m no moth expert, so I’m not sure, entomologically speaking, how accurate that is, but in any case, no viewer should be forced to contemplate a honey-slathered Maharoof whilst eating their tea. Please tone it down, Harsha, and remember there may be children watching."

    Well then Mr. Hughes, if you're no expert then you should have kept your opinion to yourself. I mean come on!! What in the blue hell was so R rated in Bhogle's comment that you're warning him about children watching???

    On the whole I think this article was just too biased on the author's lack of knowledge of cricket AND business and Mr. Hughes came across to me as someone who is trying so hard to come across as a sarcastically funny writer that he just ends up taking illogical diggs at everyone and anyone he could think of and in the process, not even sounding too funny. (Atleast for people who have read a LOT better than this mediocre article)

  • Saad on March 19, 2010, 7:21 GMT

    In the last two editions of IPL, RR is missing bowlers like Sohail Tanvir.

  • Anonymous on March 19, 2010, 5:47 GMT

    "flying into Sehwag’s ear and out of Sehwag’s other ear"....I bet you know how that feels Andrew....good work...journalism would be a drab world without imps such as yourself...hope you can take digs at the successful and the mighty as well as you bake your bagels over fires that are fizzling out....

  • V.S.S.Sarma on March 19, 2010, 3:45 GMT

    How did the Rajasthan Royals players fare so far in the tournament (as batsmen, as bowler and as a overall performer) ? Let me rate their performances on a scale of (0-1,000).

    Batting: Pathan (673); Jhunjhunwala (309); Dogra (301); Smith (271); Ojha (218); Martyn (204); Lumb (96); Mascarenhas (81); Asnodkar (32); Uniyal (21); Warne (18); Morkel (16); Others (0).

    Bowling: Mascarenhas (747); Warne (466); Uniyal (455); Tait (432); Patel (364); Narwal (176); Morkel (160); Pathan (110); Kamran Khan (60); Jhunjhunwala (46); Others (0).

    Overall Performance: Pathan (580); Mascarenhas (313); Jhunjhunwala (265); Smith (263); Dogra (258); Ojha (205); Warne (184); Uniyal (168); Martyn (164); Tait (144); Patel (121); Lumb (77); Morkel (66); Narwal (58); Asnodkar (26); Kamran Khan (20); Trivedi (0).

    How did the teams perform so far ?

    Mumbai - 1000; Deccan - 904; Chennai - 877; Bangalore - 794; Delhi - 770; Kolkata - 745; Punjab - 742; Rajasthan - 621.

    Rajasthan has no chances.

  • Girish on March 18, 2010, 17:02 GMT

    The anti-Shilpa rant from Prince was extremely engaging (more so coz his "Darling Elvis" was "Priestly"), but amazingly pointless !

    Am watching RR implode to a soul-sapping loss at Bangalore - would really like to be present at tonight's teamtalk !!

  • mitesh shah on March 18, 2010, 16:12 GMT

    Men i completely agree with huges...RR are so gone...They invested th least money in the team.And still have money unspent on players.WEll it is showing off. Specially today against RCB. Well the thing on mots was very funny.

  • amit on March 18, 2010, 16:01 GMT

    well ofcourse the royals are past wht with they selecting martin of all people cmn guys r u giving a pension plan for warne n friends look at todays match its like he's playing a test match

  • Prince on March 18, 2010, 12:35 GMT

    "I Agree with Andrew that Rajasthan are Yesterdays Bagel.The worst thing that happened to them was their new owner Shilpa Shetty who thinks herself as ELVIS PRIESTLY......She forgets one thing though..Darling Elvis was King you are no way near and your team is all but over........Warnie is close to 40 and i think is his last IPL.........We need Fresh Bread.No stale Navratan Curry........." Shilpa is busy competing with Preity Zinta of Kings XI I Am afraid vanity doesn't win you matches.......She is no rockstar Shilpa.......Sooner she realises better for Rajsthan Royals........

  • Kalyan on March 18, 2010, 12:29 GMT

    I loved the analogy of a one week long corporate training. Gawd!

  • Heshan on March 18, 2010, 12:12 GMT

    Warne was not really innovative in 2008 as he was inspiring. To be fair to the man, it's quite hard to be innovative in a 20 over game. Plus, everyone has limits to innovation. Remember, great inventors are not known for inventing a lot of things...just one important thing.

  • the rajasthan royal on March 18, 2010, 11:07 GMT

    rajasthan royals will win this 2010 ipl. i know at present this doesnt seem like it could be true but wait till watson arrives and combines forces with yusuf power pathan. tait and naman can be devastating too.

  • sam on March 18, 2010, 10:08 GMT

    Hey ! hang on Huges..u will have to eat ur words back...

    if u ever had played cricket seriously...u could not have predicted it...

  • BV on March 18, 2010, 9:30 GMT

    Quote: I think of them as a group of hapless sales executives, forced to spend a seven-week team bonding exercise under the control of an over-eager Australian facilitator who specialises in motivational chats and festoons their meeting rooms with slogans and inspirational pie charts. I don’t know about you, but my experience of such things has been a burning desire to get the hell out of there at the first opportunity.

    I suspect that the Rajasthan players feel the same, judging by the way they went about their batting against the Delhi Daredevils :UnQuote

    This is nostalgic for Indian cricket fans. This is nothing but history repeating of "Greg chappel times in Indian cricket".

    BV.

  • Gregg on March 18, 2010, 8:11 GMT

    I hope they lose every game. The way they treated Tyron Henderson was shocking. To buy him out his contract for Martyn who is retired is ludicrous!!!!

  • Moin on March 18, 2010, 7:01 GMT

    Nice Article!

    I second Girish, Smith is the new "Mr. Popaadum". How many times is his finger broken :P

  • Charindra on March 18, 2010, 6:18 GMT

    Warne's honeymoon seems to be over. I admit, he DID motivate that 2008 side to play above their potential. But now it seems the boys have had enough of the "innovative" captaincy. Wonder what all the people who were saying "best captain Aus never had" after 2008 are saying now.

  • Tarique (My name is KHAN) on March 18, 2010, 6:05 GMT

    Certainly Mr. Hughes, yours were true comment & observation but don't you feel mentioning that 1 of 2 losses so far they had was pretty close one. Kindly write something unique, don't join the chorus, Afterall we expect something which is not told to stretch. Warnie Gr8!!!, ROCKS.

  • Ozbuck on March 18, 2010, 4:59 GMT

    Andrew Hughes, you must be laughing until your sides split. The serious comments on the relative merits of the IPL teams are nearly as funny as your article. Lighten up you IPL junkies. Haven't you worked out that Andrew is taking the p**s? You poor, sad innocents!

  • Arjun on March 18, 2010, 4:00 GMT

    "Moths flying into Sehwag’s ear and out of Sehwag’s other ear." Hahaha.. what are you hinting at sir?

  • asad114 on March 17, 2010, 22:37 GMT

    hahaha...your comment about Harsha was hilarious..but he's hardly a top-class commentator......i hate how he tries to be all warm and cuddly..and tries to hide the fact that his cricketing observations are entirely naive and show his glaring lack of experience in playing cricket...

  • Priyabrat on March 17, 2010, 22:13 GMT

    Good light hearted one...bt i m nt sure the buying of Damien Martyn..hope he comes good for them..if he gets a chance...i read somewhere he was bought on warney's insisence only...anyway good luck RR...

  • VS on March 17, 2010, 21:08 GMT

    // flying into Sehwag’s ear and out of Sehwag’s other ear//

    Fell off my chair laughing

  • Jeremy Nirmal on March 17, 2010, 20:23 GMT

    Another excellent piece. Love all your articles andrew. And for those who say it serves no purpose, maybe you don't even know the purpose of this page! Its purely for on'e amusement. And whenever I hear Danny Morrison say "the double-D's" I assure you the IPL's Delhi Daredevils isn't what come to mind.

  • Anonymous on March 17, 2010, 18:57 GMT

    If the owner of Rajasthan Royals has to see his team winning, he has to either ask BCCI to schedule IPL only when aussies are present or has to make a lot of changes to his team. Warne has to realize that Yusuf Pathan can not win them the IPL single handedly. The whole team shall have to perform, otherwise they are surely going to stand last in IPL(which until and unless there is a miracle is surely bound to happen).

  • Qamar on March 17, 2010, 17:28 GMT

    They won because they had Pakistanis....period.

  • Deep Cower on March 17, 2010, 16:41 GMT

    Goodness! You write an article every day, don't you?

  • Malta on March 17, 2010, 15:05 GMT

    Harsha is so over the top these days...I always mute the TV when he is on

  • Girish on March 17, 2010, 13:36 GMT

    Smith's nickname now has got be "The New Poppadum" .

    And Warnie's loathing of Buchanan's boot camps and marketing campaign banalities seems to have come full circle. The reluctant sloganee has become the nauseating sloganer !

  • john on March 17, 2010, 12:46 GMT

    One of the funniest articles i've read in a long time!! "Like an out-of-control sports car driven by clowns, it crashes into your living room, drives round and round honking loudly and then departs whence it came." Just brilliant. And true.

  • jose on March 17, 2010, 12:23 GMT

    A superb article , but 1 thing is there we cant give garantee to any team so pls dont judge out RR there still plenty of matches to go so ope they can bounce back specially warne the captain who dies for cricket his brain is like anything

  • ashtung on March 17, 2010, 12:18 GMT

    Warney will just go to the oven and bake some more... 'Laced' ones this time... you watch... Interesting article btw... N pls pls write something about Smith's fingers... He keeps hurting them like a 10-year old's knees...

  • sunny on March 17, 2010, 11:55 GMT

    not agreee.....how can this man be so much sure about cricket....

    about writting these all things he did not think once that 2 world class players r not playing for RR in this season...

    same situation was in last IPL but still RR was @ 5th position..

    i think it is too early to give such statements

  • Ram on March 17, 2010, 11:26 GMT

    Good one, still dont understand why they hired Damien Martyn though. At least give us a chance to make fun of him. Harsha on fire as usual.

  • Yazad on March 17, 2010, 10:59 GMT

    This was a very interesting article....

  • aman on March 17, 2010, 10:54 GMT

    rajasthan royals are gonna win this 2010 edition. dont know if mr hughes ever played cricket even though he talks big

  • Amitesh on March 17, 2010, 10:27 GMT

    Nice article. Makes for a good, light read. However, it doesn't serve any purpose other than entertaining the readers. A couple of straight losses and RR are taking a pounding off the field, too. Journalists like Mr. Hughes have already started writing off Royals, thus, joining several others in a pure knee-jerk response. Truth, however, is that Warnie is still a shrewd captain. It's just that team, largely due to the inexperience of young brigade, has failed to rise to the occassion. I am sure Warnie is going to plug these holes before the next game against RCB. Even in the absencce of Smithy and Dimmi, Royals with all their unpredictability are an outfit to reckon with.

  • Booze on March 17, 2010, 10:05 GMT

    "Monday’s game also featured a new addition to the IPL programme: moths. They had a great time, smacking into the camera lens, flapping about inside Dogra’s helmet, flying into Sehwag’s ear and out of Sehwag’s other ear. They were also the only living creatures in the ground that were actually attracted to the electronic adverts on the sightscreens. Meanwhile Lalit Modi sat impassively in the posh seats. Surely the Commissioner could have sent a text to the Almighty and brought down a shower of moth-sucking toads?" LOL

  • sushanth on March 17, 2010, 7:59 GMT

    Outsanding ,sir!That is the word

  • Shawn on March 17, 2010, 6:48 GMT

    To early to write off the royals, Mr. Hughes.

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • Shawn on March 17, 2010, 6:48 GMT

    To early to write off the royals, Mr. Hughes.

  • sushanth on March 17, 2010, 7:59 GMT

    Outsanding ,sir!That is the word

  • Booze on March 17, 2010, 10:05 GMT

    "Monday’s game also featured a new addition to the IPL programme: moths. They had a great time, smacking into the camera lens, flapping about inside Dogra’s helmet, flying into Sehwag’s ear and out of Sehwag’s other ear. They were also the only living creatures in the ground that were actually attracted to the electronic adverts on the sightscreens. Meanwhile Lalit Modi sat impassively in the posh seats. Surely the Commissioner could have sent a text to the Almighty and brought down a shower of moth-sucking toads?" LOL

  • Amitesh on March 17, 2010, 10:27 GMT

    Nice article. Makes for a good, light read. However, it doesn't serve any purpose other than entertaining the readers. A couple of straight losses and RR are taking a pounding off the field, too. Journalists like Mr. Hughes have already started writing off Royals, thus, joining several others in a pure knee-jerk response. Truth, however, is that Warnie is still a shrewd captain. It's just that team, largely due to the inexperience of young brigade, has failed to rise to the occassion. I am sure Warnie is going to plug these holes before the next game against RCB. Even in the absencce of Smithy and Dimmi, Royals with all their unpredictability are an outfit to reckon with.

  • aman on March 17, 2010, 10:54 GMT

    rajasthan royals are gonna win this 2010 edition. dont know if mr hughes ever played cricket even though he talks big

  • Yazad on March 17, 2010, 10:59 GMT

    This was a very interesting article....

  • Ram on March 17, 2010, 11:26 GMT

    Good one, still dont understand why they hired Damien Martyn though. At least give us a chance to make fun of him. Harsha on fire as usual.

  • sunny on March 17, 2010, 11:55 GMT

    not agreee.....how can this man be so much sure about cricket....

    about writting these all things he did not think once that 2 world class players r not playing for RR in this season...

    same situation was in last IPL but still RR was @ 5th position..

    i think it is too early to give such statements

  • ashtung on March 17, 2010, 12:18 GMT

    Warney will just go to the oven and bake some more... 'Laced' ones this time... you watch... Interesting article btw... N pls pls write something about Smith's fingers... He keeps hurting them like a 10-year old's knees...

  • jose on March 17, 2010, 12:23 GMT

    A superb article , but 1 thing is there we cant give garantee to any team so pls dont judge out RR there still plenty of matches to go so ope they can bounce back specially warne the captain who dies for cricket his brain is like anything