IPL March 20, 2010

What happens in a strategic time-out?

If you don't tell Andrew Hughes, he might create some wild fantasies of his own about the break
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The Royal Challengers Bangalore practise their mateyness skills during the time-out © Associated Press
 
I have a question. What happens during the strategic time-out? I ask, because those of us watching in the UK are apparently not allowed to see. This secrecy is maddening and has led me to invent all kinds of fantasies about what might go down in those magical two minutes. Do the cheerleaders re-enact scenes from the Mahabharata? Do physicists wheel on a portable Hadron Collider and run through a few collisions? Is there dancing? Fireworks? Or is just a bunch of cricketers milling about aimlessly? I’d really like to know.

Sadly, for us Brits, this mystery interval is just another excuse to whisk the viewer away from the stadium where all the exciting things happen and drag them back to the place where conversations go to die. Yes, the ITV studio is the Bermuda Triangle for banter, a black hole for badinage. There they sit, Vikram and Alec and Graeme and the other Graham, like defendants in a courtroom, cagily reading extracts from the Sportman’s Manual of the Bleeding Obvious, whilst their hosts attempt to trick them into saying something, anything that might pass for interesting.

There was a marginal improvement on Thursday, because Mandira Bedi was trusted to run the show on her own and the second when that decision was made can be officially designated a Moment Of Success. Like a flower that has finally struggled into full sunlight, her personality spread out and she was able to do her thing. She takes the radical view that Twenty20 cricket is supposed to be showbiz. So does Danny Morrison, which is presumably why his every utterance is delivered in the style of a 1970s American chat show host going to a commercial break.

And speaking of commercials, I hope, like me, you’ve been playing Advertising Bingo. If you have, then you’ll have been delighted with the efforts of Russel Arnold on Thursday. In the space of a few overs, the eager Sri Lankan announced the IPL’s first Nearly DLF Maximum, when the ball fell just short of the rope; declared that a dropped catch by Dravid would have been a Karbonn Kamal catch; seized upon a Citi Moment of Success when Rajasthan finally managed to hit a six and then suggested that now might be a good moment to take a Max Mobile Time Out. A full set! Nice work, Russel, you’ve certainly stepped up to the corporate plate.

Although the game itself was, to be frank, a little one-sided, I was very impressed with the Bangalore Challengers (Royal). Despite the presence of a number of what are politely called veterans, they flung themselves about in the field like lambs frolicking in spring pastures. Well, not quite, but you get the idea. And Steyn and friends even found time to stage a recreation of cricket’s finest hour, with their tribute to the Bodyline series of 1932-33. It made an English heart glad to once more see the ball whistling around ears, smashing into helmets, bouncing off shoulders and so on.

Rajasthan’s interpretation, on the other hand, was rather less convincing. Indeed had Douglas Jardine had to rely on Munaf and Morkel to implement his plan, I’d suggest that Bradman, McCabe and chums might not have had anything to worry about. If all the fielders were clustered on the leg side, you can be sure that M&M would be offering up full bungers outside off stump. "Rajasthan thali for dinner", read one banner. Quite.

Andrew Hughes is a writer currently based in England

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dishit on April 1, 2010, 6:37 GMT

    Hillarious post! Enjoyed reading it.

  • Ravi on March 26, 2010, 8:53 GMT

    Obviously you meant Kamasutra (not Mahabharata)!

  • crickfan on March 21, 2010, 9:03 GMT

    Was it just me or did anyone hear Danny Morrison telling 'that one's for you Mr.Andrew Hughes' during the match between Mumbai Indians and Bangalore?Seems like Mr.Danny read this blog and isn't too happy with it.

  • Sanjay on March 21, 2010, 6:01 GMT

    //Really I hope they tone it down a bit with the commercials, I feel violated with the amount of commercials that was being shoved down your throat.

    One has to be really shallow to be fine with all these commercials. The commentators could also do well by not acting like corporate lapdogs.//

    Well said!!!!!!!

  • Rahul on March 21, 2010, 5:32 GMT

    Very funny....U shld do a solo (Article ofcourse :) ) for our mandira. She truley deserves it man....

  • Sithum.S on March 21, 2010, 4:04 GMT

    Hi I am replying to the comment made by Meh regarding the dislike towards IPL. I really don't agree with you on your comments at all. I think IPL is just what you need to get the cricketers motivated. for eg: the 2009 IPL benefited the SRI LANKAN team chases of making to the finals in ENGLAND. IPL gives me thrill when I see Sachin Tendulkar & Sanath Jayasuriya opening, Yuvraj, Bret Lee & sangakkara in the same side. i know its surrounded by lot of glamor and propaganda but you need that in order to attract crowds. well this is 21st century & every thing is revolving on a palm of a dollar bill. it doesn't necessarily have to IPL only even international cricket these days are based around advertisements. so i think its good for you to get use to it or stop making useless comments.

  • TD_160 on March 21, 2010, 3:57 GMT

    Completely agree. Why would they need "strategic time-outs" in cricket. It isn't like basketball or ice hockey where it's a free flowing game. Cricket is stop-start, there is plenty of time for strategy in between balls and overs and during drinks breaks.

  • Abhilash Veettil on March 21, 2010, 3:48 GMT

    What happens during strategic time out??? Well i change the channel, eaaasy

  • Manju on March 21, 2010, 3:15 GMT

    Wow, looks like you were glued to the IPL on the telly, mate. Being an ardent fan of RCB, I atleast took a break in between to not notice a couple of things you've pointed to.

    Don't waste what little is left of your gray matter in trying to figure out the obvious.

  • jay on March 21, 2010, 2:56 GMT

    Hillarious...

    P.S. I am glad someone else finds these Indian commentators a touch ridiculous. And please, can someone put an end to Morrison's verbal diarrhea . I have exclusively started watching IPL matches on mute. Try it. Its much more enjoyable and might I say a little productive too.

  • Dishit on April 1, 2010, 6:37 GMT

    Hillarious post! Enjoyed reading it.

  • Ravi on March 26, 2010, 8:53 GMT

    Obviously you meant Kamasutra (not Mahabharata)!

  • crickfan on March 21, 2010, 9:03 GMT

    Was it just me or did anyone hear Danny Morrison telling 'that one's for you Mr.Andrew Hughes' during the match between Mumbai Indians and Bangalore?Seems like Mr.Danny read this blog and isn't too happy with it.

  • Sanjay on March 21, 2010, 6:01 GMT

    //Really I hope they tone it down a bit with the commercials, I feel violated with the amount of commercials that was being shoved down your throat.

    One has to be really shallow to be fine with all these commercials. The commentators could also do well by not acting like corporate lapdogs.//

    Well said!!!!!!!

  • Rahul on March 21, 2010, 5:32 GMT

    Very funny....U shld do a solo (Article ofcourse :) ) for our mandira. She truley deserves it man....

  • Sithum.S on March 21, 2010, 4:04 GMT

    Hi I am replying to the comment made by Meh regarding the dislike towards IPL. I really don't agree with you on your comments at all. I think IPL is just what you need to get the cricketers motivated. for eg: the 2009 IPL benefited the SRI LANKAN team chases of making to the finals in ENGLAND. IPL gives me thrill when I see Sachin Tendulkar & Sanath Jayasuriya opening, Yuvraj, Bret Lee & sangakkara in the same side. i know its surrounded by lot of glamor and propaganda but you need that in order to attract crowds. well this is 21st century & every thing is revolving on a palm of a dollar bill. it doesn't necessarily have to IPL only even international cricket these days are based around advertisements. so i think its good for you to get use to it or stop making useless comments.

  • TD_160 on March 21, 2010, 3:57 GMT

    Completely agree. Why would they need "strategic time-outs" in cricket. It isn't like basketball or ice hockey where it's a free flowing game. Cricket is stop-start, there is plenty of time for strategy in between balls and overs and during drinks breaks.

  • Abhilash Veettil on March 21, 2010, 3:48 GMT

    What happens during strategic time out??? Well i change the channel, eaaasy

  • Manju on March 21, 2010, 3:15 GMT

    Wow, looks like you were glued to the IPL on the telly, mate. Being an ardent fan of RCB, I atleast took a break in between to not notice a couple of things you've pointed to.

    Don't waste what little is left of your gray matter in trying to figure out the obvious.

  • jay on March 21, 2010, 2:56 GMT

    Hillarious...

    P.S. I am glad someone else finds these Indian commentators a touch ridiculous. And please, can someone put an end to Morrison's verbal diarrhea . I have exclusively started watching IPL matches on mute. Try it. Its much more enjoyable and might I say a little productive too.

  • whatwhenwhy on March 21, 2010, 2:54 GMT

    Oh...so IPL is not born in the western countries and so obvioulsy you have to trash every aspect of IPL. Everyone in the world is trying to make moolah including the English players. But, the money made by Indian counterparts is always questioned/ridiculed and argued about. Sickening!

  • Ali on March 21, 2010, 2:21 GMT

    $$ ADVERTISING $$ is what happens during time-outs

  • Nasser on March 21, 2010, 1:35 GMT

    And what about Brad Hoggs emphasis on, .... "JhunJhunWalla"!

    Gotta love that

  • Rama on March 21, 2010, 1:30 GMT

    Quote: "Do the cheerleaders re-enact scenes from the Mahabharata? "

    Be professional and try to avoid lines like these next time.

    Thanks

  • Stephen Joyce on March 20, 2010, 23:11 GMT

    when matches involving sub continent team..yes, i agree that you need regional flavour and hence you can have people like Harsha, Sunil or Ravi..but the likes of Arnold and SivaRamakrishan with no more than a couple of monotonous superlatives do no nothin but try to be on the good pages of the corporates..Leaving aside the question whether they are good enough to be commentating...I have to say I am sick of hearing these terms like KArbon kamal catch..citi moment of success..and other non sense...for people who have grown used to the commentating of Richie Benauld or Tony Cozier..its bettet to be on mute these days while watching cricet...

  • thomascherian on March 20, 2010, 22:39 GMT

    What happens in time out stays in time out

  • Anonymous on March 20, 2010, 22:01 GMT

    so what goes on during the time-out?

  • Jatabina on March 20, 2010, 21:41 GMT

    I agree. Lalit Modi & Co has made it so commercial & with such a long span of this IPL, it has started to get sickening. At times the stadiums are empty and they fake as if there is no place to sit. No more excitement like the first IPL & sure if they keep it this way (patronizing commercials rather promoting real 20x20), one would hardly fin viewers.

  • Steve on March 20, 2010, 21:37 GMT

    I have no problem with the analysts who may not have played T20, but can at least communicate something of interest about the state of play. For me, the lady hosting the show is intolerably bad (as is the English co-host when he's on). Bless her enthusiasm, but I find I have to mute her frequent, 'ministry-of-the bleedin-obvious' banal 'insights'. The coverage is generally fine (I appreciate they are taking the host broadcaster's feed), but suffers (not surprisingly, given ITV haven't really done cricket before) from an appalling lack of insight and knowledge from the anchors and in comparison with more knowledgeable hosts on Sky or Channel 5. By all means have an Indian host, but please, someone who has a detailed understanding of the sport!

  • Maddy on March 20, 2010, 21:35 GMT

    @Meh Choreograph the cheers of a billion people? That sounds as likely as Al-Qaeda adopting peaceful ways!

  • Sunil on March 20, 2010, 21:28 GMT

    Indian cricket is an ostentatious display of wealth and nothing else. Money drives humans crazy. Imagine, even half of the money that is used in IPL, were to be used constructively to help the under privileged. Humans are greedy by nature and when thy mix with politics, it is a deadly poison.

    Indian Cricket board getting close to dicatatorial proportions or probably it already is.

  • Dev on March 20, 2010, 21:26 GMT

    Love it or Hate it but you just can't ignore it...IPL's the biggest cricketing extravaganza which the entire globe is taking a note of.

  • Kashif Islam on March 20, 2010, 21:24 GMT

    With this face of cricket, it gets too much commercialized and eventually it will hurt the real cricket and cricket will die. As far as players are concerned, they will get richer everyday so as Mr Modi. Mr. Modi's plan is working real well for India but no so good for other countries, not to mention Pakistan alone.

  • Andrew on March 20, 2010, 20:30 GMT

    as the other comment said, 20/20 is freat, but the commercialisaion of it makes my skin crawl. Indeed thats all it is, a vehicle for advertising things to make rich people even richer. The strategic break is just another excuse to advertise rubbish that nobody needs.

    I somwtimes hope cricket in this incarnation dies a quick death and goes back to 22 players trying to win a game of cricket, for the love of the game, and for that reason only.

  • Uday on March 20, 2010, 19:42 GMT

    Ya, its very puzzling, very often, given how quickly games are decided, one team is dominant so it makes no difference to the outcome, its just like a glorified drinks break, except in a 20-20 game, where I think these players can quite manage.

    On the youtube coverage of the IPL, I think maybe on TV, there are ads during the over! Who would have thought, they are so confused about ads now that they have ads during the over, and when a wicket falls, they look aimlessly at a despondent home crowd sensing defeat.

    20-20's fun and all, but Modi's bastard child is being saved by the sheer quality of the players out there and their willingness to take the game seriously, unlike seemingly everyone else involved.

  • lgaur on March 20, 2010, 19:30 GMT

    Continuing my thought from the last email:

    There is a negative in all this: What’s the future of test cricket? If that is in jeopardy – we will lose the art of the game. Rahul Dravid has a nice article couple of weeks ago addressing test cricket.

  • lgaur on March 20, 2010, 19:29 GMT

    What happens?? My guess based on what I see on American TV for sports here: The coach reminds the players their game plan; reminds them their roles; points what they may have not picked up. As per some comments in critique form: I made it a habit lately to look good in all events. I'm not a cricket purist but grew up as cricket fan. -- I like IPL because it brings the best in the world for 6 to 8 wks -- The game stands tall with team spirit bringing cultural coalesce and melting the geographic boundaries. Wonderful concept to celebrate the game! -- Those that raise their hands up and shout it is all about money --- folks, why not? People take risks not to lose – to win. Who pays the bills to assemble all these dream teams? -- Yes, the players are in it for the money, so are the owners. We stop watching them when they fail to entertain us, and they go home disbanding the show. End of the game. I can tell you that is not happening. This will gain more momentum. There is a negative in

  • Rabz on March 20, 2010, 19:24 GMT

    Excellent article Mr.Andrews.

    I guess we just have to get used to with it. Sadly.

  • AJ100 on March 20, 2010, 19:15 GMT

    Nice article Andrew, Its refreshing to read something than the usual stuff that goes with mindless bantering by both the writer and the comments that go with it.

    Thanks and keep posting!!

  • Suchit on March 20, 2010, 18:58 GMT

    To the authors and all who have supported the author: Those grapes are surely sour!

  • anon on March 20, 2010, 18:56 GMT

    what happens during the strategic tmeout? I watch the serials!

  • AD on March 20, 2010, 18:52 GMT

    Nice article. Spot on analysis. Brilliant.

  • Sudhi on March 20, 2010, 18:43 GMT

    oh rubbish... it is commercial, we all know. you started talkin about timeout and ended with munaf... whatever.

    guess how it sounds... carlsberg pass by beckam, barclays saving by keeper, vodafone added minutes time play,...

  • sunny on March 20, 2010, 18:41 GMT

    Umm Did u guys ever follow superbowl.. its much similar to how a IPL game goes. Its not that a big deal. if you dont like it , u can stop watching it :)

  • Sam on March 20, 2010, 18:30 GMT

    The money from ads go to the channel not Modi You morrons.Modi doesnt decide how many ads to show.

  • P.Satish on March 20, 2010, 17:53 GMT

    whine...whine...IPL...whine...whine...IPL...whine...whine!! Pretty much sums up the article.

  • Raaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaj on March 20, 2010, 17:18 GMT

    Let it be a mystery for you dear Hughes. That will give you some chance to give your brain some exercise.

  • Critic on March 20, 2010, 17:04 GMT

    Cricinfo is doing the same as the Commentators in IPL.

  • Miflal on March 20, 2010, 16:56 GMT

    IPL rocks

  • Edmund on March 20, 2010, 16:29 GMT

    All the commericals and commercial tie ins look just like an NFL, MLB, NBA, or NASCAR broadcast here in the US.

  • Pankaj on March 20, 2010, 16:28 GMT

    Mr. Meh. Dunno from what country you are watching the game but here in US, we do not see any ads. And that is because we pay to watch these matches. It is these commercials that is allowing you watch for free. I could never understand why folks always complain about other people or institution making money. They are doing it within the laws of the nation, arent they? You did mention in the end - and I would stress - stop watching IPL. I dunno about test cricket but IPL was a money making machine and it would continue to do so. You can ignore it but you do not have any right or authority to comment on what amout of money IPL should make or how many ads should they show. I personally do not like 20/20 format but i do watch it when I am free because my love for cricket is way more than my hatred for 20/20 format, IPL and ads (all put together).

  • Bachha on March 20, 2010, 16:15 GMT

    If you don't know what you are writing, better don't write anything...IPL's commercialism appears better than your claim to fame with a crappily written piece :(

  • Shawn on March 20, 2010, 15:55 GMT

    Are you on twitter, Andrew?

  • Gaya on March 20, 2010, 15:54 GMT

    awesome stuff !!! i live in the US so don't get to watch the ipl matches live either on TV or on youtube ( and there is no way I am going to pay to watch it online) so I follow the matches on cricinfo. I was sufficiently excited by the reports to watch an old match on youtube and boy was that a mistake. I had to sit through zillions on ads and the useless commentary before it stuck me that I can just shut the bloody site. Moral of the story- to be able to like ipl, follow the match coverage online!!!!

  • Ram on March 20, 2010, 14:56 GMT

    ITV and IPL are the perfect partners. They've taken away the integrity of cricket and replaced it with cringe-worthy commentators, a woman who put me off watching the world cup a few years ago [I am sorry but how does she even qualify to comment?], pricey commercials and a narcissistic megalomaniac loitering around my living room everyday.

    While I'm glad and proud to see corporate India doing so well, I also wince in embarrassment at their lack of sophistication, modesty and class!

  • ramesh on March 20, 2010, 14:31 GMT

    actually we here in india also wonder what happens in those time outs but then that is a rhetorical question .. all we see on the tv are ads of course

  • Khm on March 20, 2010, 14:22 GMT

    The best strategies are wroked out on a "personal throne" in the toilet. Maybe the players visit their respective thrones during this break :-)

  • Reddy on March 20, 2010, 14:11 GMT

    looking at title. thought I am going to find something new. but problem is I could not understand even single sentence..Please try to use general English.. don’t try to show up your poetry skills

  • Anonymous on March 20, 2010, 14:09 GMT

    Not much happens, what I have seen is captains and coaches get together with their teams on the field to discuss tactics. Usually most handy when a team is suffering.

    Meh, IPL is all about entertainment hence the commercialism. I guess this is one of the reasons BCCI is the richest cricket board in the world.

  • Adam on March 20, 2010, 14:03 GMT

    Russell Arnold is the biggest disgrace of all the IPL commentators, and that takes some doing. I've never seen such shameful advertising in any sport as I see in the IPL. JUst been watching Kolkata v Rajasthan, I think we were treated to around 40 shots of the MLF (? funny I've seen it so many times I still don't know the correct initials!) during the game. Do these companies think it makes them look good, would anyone really increase their likelihood of doing business with them when the advertising is shoved so far down our throats? Surely a slightly more subtle approach would serve them better, and make the whole experience less horrible

  • Lordsfan on March 20, 2010, 13:09 GMT

    The cricket in IPL is great, but it's all presented in a vulgar, overcommercialised way. The commentators feel they have to talk sensationally all the time and end up saying a lot of unnecessary nonsense. And that female tv commentator is awful. Please get rid of her.

  • v s on March 20, 2010, 12:33 GMT

    Another point about IPL3: IF there is a seconds delay from the bowler's side in sending down the next delivery, the viewer on TV is "treated" with another irritating Ad.. In an over, one comes across 2 advertisements !!

  • Mohsin on March 20, 2010, 12:20 GMT

    U r the best cricket writer imo

  • Steve G on March 20, 2010, 10:45 GMT

    Mandira Bedi must be the worst sports presenter I've ever seen. She makes Mark Nicholas seem bearable.

  • crickfan on March 20, 2010, 10:19 GMT

    You are the best Mr.Andrew.

  • Jay on March 20, 2010, 10:11 GMT

    Russel has to come up with stuff like that, after all he is an ICL untouchable now pardoned by King Lalit. And has anyone noticed how Laxman S has started shouting at the top of his reedy voice, no doubt having been made aware that only the loudest shillers will be retained.

  • Kaushik on March 20, 2010, 8:08 GMT

    What happens during a strategic timeout is a whole hep of advertisements by which a whole lotta moolah goes into Lalit Modi's pockets. Strategic of him, ain't it!

  • Anonymous on March 20, 2010, 8:00 GMT

    Less than 50% of the article talked about what he kept as the title. Huhh ..

  • Meh on March 20, 2010, 7:50 GMT

    IPL is a shameful excuse for cricket. I have nothing against the 20/20 format, it is entertaining and I throughly enjoy it like all other formats of cricket. But what IPL did was commercial every aspect of the game to the max. Thats sickening amount of commercialization. Even the so called crowd cheers and enthusiasm are well choreographed and fake.

    Really I hope they tone it down a bit with the commercials, I feel violated with the amount of commercials that was being shoved down your throat.

    One has to be really shallow to be fine with all these commercials. The commentators could also do well by not acting like corporate lapdogs.

    If this is the future of cricket, I don't want to be there. :(

  • Pratik on March 20, 2010, 7:41 GMT

    Let it be a mystery for you dear Hughes. That will give you some chance to give your brain some exercise.

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • Pratik on March 20, 2010, 7:41 GMT

    Let it be a mystery for you dear Hughes. That will give you some chance to give your brain some exercise.

  • Meh on March 20, 2010, 7:50 GMT

    IPL is a shameful excuse for cricket. I have nothing against the 20/20 format, it is entertaining and I throughly enjoy it like all other formats of cricket. But what IPL did was commercial every aspect of the game to the max. Thats sickening amount of commercialization. Even the so called crowd cheers and enthusiasm are well choreographed and fake.

    Really I hope they tone it down a bit with the commercials, I feel violated with the amount of commercials that was being shoved down your throat.

    One has to be really shallow to be fine with all these commercials. The commentators could also do well by not acting like corporate lapdogs.

    If this is the future of cricket, I don't want to be there. :(

  • Anonymous on March 20, 2010, 8:00 GMT

    Less than 50% of the article talked about what he kept as the title. Huhh ..

  • Kaushik on March 20, 2010, 8:08 GMT

    What happens during a strategic timeout is a whole hep of advertisements by which a whole lotta moolah goes into Lalit Modi's pockets. Strategic of him, ain't it!

  • Jay on March 20, 2010, 10:11 GMT

    Russel has to come up with stuff like that, after all he is an ICL untouchable now pardoned by King Lalit. And has anyone noticed how Laxman S has started shouting at the top of his reedy voice, no doubt having been made aware that only the loudest shillers will be retained.

  • crickfan on March 20, 2010, 10:19 GMT

    You are the best Mr.Andrew.

  • Steve G on March 20, 2010, 10:45 GMT

    Mandira Bedi must be the worst sports presenter I've ever seen. She makes Mark Nicholas seem bearable.

  • Mohsin on March 20, 2010, 12:20 GMT

    U r the best cricket writer imo

  • v s on March 20, 2010, 12:33 GMT

    Another point about IPL3: IF there is a seconds delay from the bowler's side in sending down the next delivery, the viewer on TV is "treated" with another irritating Ad.. In an over, one comes across 2 advertisements !!

  • Lordsfan on March 20, 2010, 13:09 GMT

    The cricket in IPL is great, but it's all presented in a vulgar, overcommercialised way. The commentators feel they have to talk sensationally all the time and end up saying a lot of unnecessary nonsense. And that female tv commentator is awful. Please get rid of her.