IPL March 23, 2010

The scream (starring Sanga)

A bloodcurdling cry of despair, hope, challenge and angst brings the IPL thrillingly alive
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Kumar Sangakkara reads emotively from Allen Ginsberg’s Howl © Cricinfo Ltd
 

The IPL is fun, but like any powerful stimulant, it can have side effects. Disorientation is common. We’re into week two now, and to be honest, I’m no longer sure whether the Kings XI Bangalore have already played their home game against Rajasthan Super Kings or whether that was last year. And that’s not all. Last week I felt a powerful urge to bang my head against the wall during a Morne Morkel over, and I find that the sight of a Chennai Super Kings shirt can induce nausea.

But on Sunday I experienced an entirely new IPL sensation: cold, naked fear.

It came during the 18th over of Chennai’s interminable, comic and ultimately futile run-chase. Piyush Chawla had outfoxed big Manpreet Gony with a sneaky googly. The grubby white ball thwacked into a canary yellow pad. And from his ideal vantage point behind Gony’s bottom, the Punjab keeper-captain produced a bloodcurdling wail. It went something like this:

“Aaaarghaaarghaaarghaaaarghaaargh!” (Pause) “Aaaarrghaaaarghaaaargh!”

I fell off my sofa. From the flat below I heard the tinkle of breaking porcelain as my elderly neighbour lost her first tea cups of IPL 2010. From the conifers outside my window, startled pigeons flew skywards in panic, and all across India wild animals lifted their heads at the strange cry. It wasn’t so much an appeal as an unnerving howl of existential despair. With a bit of jumping up and down thrown in for effect.

I am an Englishman and so naturally my first thought after I had picked myself up off the carpet was to write a stiff letter of complaint to someone. Addressing my missive to “K Sangakkara Esq, Captain, Kings XI Punjab, The IPL,” I pointed out that with his legal training, he should be fully aware of the implications of Law 27.4, which states that an appeal in the form, “How’s that?” shall suffice. Since the mangled collection of sounds he emitted on Sunday afternoon contained only one of the letters from “How’s that,” it did not constitute a legally satisfactory appeal. So the umpire could not have given Gony out, even if he was. Which, admittedly, he might have been.

The only good thing to come out of this moment of heart-stopping terror was that I now have a third IPL ringtone with which to annoy people on the train. At the sound of Sangakkara’s howl on Monday morning, several passengers ducked under their tables, whilst the ticket collector leapt from the carriage and was last seen rolling down a grassy embankment with his hands over his ears. I will alternate this ringtone with Danny Morrison declaring, “The Phone. Is Ringing!” (you need to do the accent) or possibly Ravi Shastri yelling “Can you hear me, Mumbai?”

Actually, Ravi had been in an informative mood on Sunday. He revealed that the Mongoose is called the Mongoose because, like a mongoose, it is small and ferocious. This puzzled me a little. The Mongoose is woody, lumpy, and no doubt it can give you a nasty bruise if you drop it on your foot. But to my knowledge wood lacks the capacity for ferocity, no matter how much you insult it. Even those talking trees in The Lord Of The Rings weren’t particularly ferocious. Disgruntled, certainly, but I’d put it no stronger than that.

Anyway, it would have been more entertaining, and possibly more effective, if the former Aussie biffer had got himself a real live mongoose and led it out to the wicket with him, presumably on a Chennai Super Kings official lead and collar. And it would have fitted with the strangeness of the game. Chennai seemed not to want to win, whilst Punjab once again only started playing when the odds were stacked against them. As a plot for a Bollywood film, it’s solid. As a gameplan, it has flaws.

Andrew Hughes is a writer currently based in England

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Malvika on April 10, 2010, 19:21 GMT

    Awesome! :)

  • Sam on April 10, 2010, 17:21 GMT

    Criticism is fine, maybe even your job. But day in and day out...hmmm..tiring...If you dont like it..dont watch it.Period.

  • mmh on April 6, 2010, 23:03 GMT

    Another sad englishman...

  • souvik on April 3, 2010, 12:23 GMT

    Kindly dnt try to force comic timings into ur article..at many places the comic timing has been wrong...it should sound funny naturally

  • Raghav on March 31, 2010, 19:17 GMT

    Great article mate...pls ignore my fellow patriotic friends who dunno a thing abt humour

  • crazy4cricket on March 27, 2010, 16:44 GMT

    1. Yellow is fine. It's probably not the best colour, but it's different and definitely not puke-able.

    2.Wow! It sounds like after you heard that scream, you got the names of the teams right.

    3. Good piece of writing.

  • Tarun on March 24, 2010, 18:46 GMT

    I am sorry, was I suppose to laugh ? Why is this on cricinfo, seriously. Are Englishmen this much jealous or maybe pathetic

  • Dwight R on March 24, 2010, 16:08 GMT

    that was 2mins of my life i will never get back...

  • 12345abcd on March 24, 2010, 12:36 GMT

    O'hhhhh u englishman can't get over it can u..U people have to take the fact that IPL is here to stay so u'll be doing urself a favour by accepting it :)

  • IPLWay on March 24, 2010, 10:27 GMT

    Because of this attitude, the English team has not won a single world cup. Even in test cricket, they are far behind. Grow up, and accept good and innovative things done by the others, else you will need another 40 years to win a world cup. The IPL1 changed the Indian team and look how they are playing now, I can't recall any ODI and test tournament where they were the supreme team.

  • Malvika on April 10, 2010, 19:21 GMT

    Awesome! :)

  • Sam on April 10, 2010, 17:21 GMT

    Criticism is fine, maybe even your job. But day in and day out...hmmm..tiring...If you dont like it..dont watch it.Period.

  • mmh on April 6, 2010, 23:03 GMT

    Another sad englishman...

  • souvik on April 3, 2010, 12:23 GMT

    Kindly dnt try to force comic timings into ur article..at many places the comic timing has been wrong...it should sound funny naturally

  • Raghav on March 31, 2010, 19:17 GMT

    Great article mate...pls ignore my fellow patriotic friends who dunno a thing abt humour

  • crazy4cricket on March 27, 2010, 16:44 GMT

    1. Yellow is fine. It's probably not the best colour, but it's different and definitely not puke-able.

    2.Wow! It sounds like after you heard that scream, you got the names of the teams right.

    3. Good piece of writing.

  • Tarun on March 24, 2010, 18:46 GMT

    I am sorry, was I suppose to laugh ? Why is this on cricinfo, seriously. Are Englishmen this much jealous or maybe pathetic

  • Dwight R on March 24, 2010, 16:08 GMT

    that was 2mins of my life i will never get back...

  • 12345abcd on March 24, 2010, 12:36 GMT

    O'hhhhh u englishman can't get over it can u..U people have to take the fact that IPL is here to stay so u'll be doing urself a favour by accepting it :)

  • IPLWay on March 24, 2010, 10:27 GMT

    Because of this attitude, the English team has not won a single world cup. Even in test cricket, they are far behind. Grow up, and accept good and innovative things done by the others, else you will need another 40 years to win a world cup. The IPL1 changed the Indian team and look how they are playing now, I can't recall any ODI and test tournament where they were the supreme team.

  • Sam on March 24, 2010, 10:11 GMT

    Aren't you watching the Pinnacle of cricket-Bangladesh vs England. Umpires again to the rescue of England.If not for the umpires Bangladesh would have won the test.

  • Bakshi on March 24, 2010, 8:57 GMT

    umm @those not happy with the articles... Hi! this is page2... its meant to be random and funny and not meant to be taken personally! i think these guys are doing a gr8 job coming up with funny stuff everyday. If you want non-funny factual articles, read the main cricinfo page. Theres a lot of that too!

  • Pushpraj on March 24, 2010, 8:41 GMT

    Good Wodehousian article mate.

  • sandeep on March 24, 2010, 4:44 GMT

    hahaha..funny article...especially the part that ravi shastri comparing the animal to the bat.....lol

  • Parami on March 24, 2010, 3:50 GMT

    Stupid. Waste of time. Sorry that I even bothered to read this.

  • Kalana De Silva on March 24, 2010, 3:36 GMT

    Hay Andrew, Did you know that mongoose animal who would not back away from a cobra. Mongooses are known to fight and win against viscous Cobras. Don't get fooled by the looks of a mongoose.

  • Leonard on March 24, 2010, 2:35 GMT

    to negative commentators its a bit of hummer not a stand up comedy act let go a bit enjoy life. Yes people can make fun of Sanga he will have a bit of chuckle him self. Find the hummer button if it's not to late.

  • Sach on March 24, 2010, 2:13 GMT

    Dear Mr. Andrew,

    I'm extremely sorry that you had to fall off your sofa hearing my appeal. You see, even I'm not such a big fan of such appealing, and I always carry two cotton buds with me on to the field to be used when the need arises, which is to say that I can continue appealing without being harassed by my own appeals. It is a technique I use, something I learned from that great keeper Mongia some time back. Just imagine, if you couldn't take it from home, how would the batsman feel? And you see - we eventually won the match and I'm humbly thrilled that my appealing could turn the tide for us and get us back in winning ways.

    So, I have no option but to continue using my appealing techniques. Perhaps you too can use cotton buds? It'll give you the added advantage of not having to listen to Laksman Shivramakrishnan's commentary.

    Please accept my apologies. Sanga

    PS : Please convey my apologies to your neighbor. I'll try to send her a new tea cup.

  • rommel on March 24, 2010, 1:33 GMT

    all the foriegn writers are jealous of the ipl.they have noting to write ,but condems.ipl is here to stay

  • Damian on March 24, 2010, 0:43 GMT

    Pretty cheap and petty...this is a cheap blow at one of the greatest cricketers all time....well I guess this is all what Andrew is good at....sleep on the couch and criticize the doers....try getting out there and doing what Sanga does Andrew......may be that outta get you some more meaningful articles to publish.

  • kas on March 23, 2010, 22:02 GMT

    Interesting article.But reading it was a waste of time.It would have made more sense if the writer posted an video clip and a two line summery!!!!!!

  • Indipper.blogspot.com on March 23, 2010, 21:24 GMT

    Funny read. Keep writing Andrew. Dont listen to the haters.

  • Narayanan on March 23, 2010, 20:23 GMT

    Wonderful creative writing bloke... Had a laughing in between these damn exams :-))

  • Adi Jani on March 23, 2010, 20:21 GMT

    great article... LOL @ sangakkara's wail of the banshee :D does anyone know if i can see that bit anywhere on the web? LOLLL

  • Udara Nissanka on March 23, 2010, 19:14 GMT

    I wonder to what extent Mr. Hughes had played cricket. Otherwise he would have understood the competitiveness, courage and passion which a player gains during a situation like that in that match. It’s a pity that the only thing the writer has noticed during that match was Sanga’s appeal.

    As a great fan of Cricinfo I’ve got a kind request to you. Don’t spoil your great contribution to the Cricket by adding this kind of poor articles.

    And a request to you Mr. Hughes.. Try to write about something else. It seems that cricket is not your thing.

  • Sri Lankan on March 23, 2010, 19:13 GMT

    Wow, people... this is suppose to be a comical write up, get a life and loosen up a little. Not everything is serious and attacking against people, sometimes it's just having fun.. yes fun... try it. I think Sanga's greatness is unquestioned by majority, so it's fun to find something simple and stupid like this appeal and make fun of it. Like the joker in batman once said "Why so serious???"

  • Girish on March 23, 2010, 19:08 GMT

    The Danny. Is Morrison !! Love the enthusiasm of the guy :) Especially when his DLF maximums overlap his Karbon Kamaals ...

    As for the Sangakaarraaaaghs, that could well have been the result of stray moths that were hovering around after transiting Sehwag's ears !

  • Rajagopalan on March 23, 2010, 18:36 GMT

    to be honest, this article lacked anything remotely close to humour....looks like the author is running (or has run out) of ideas..pathetic :-(

  • Chin on March 23, 2010, 18:35 GMT

    heheh.....amazing.....heheh....Ravi Shastri should also start doing stand-up gigs as a side business. When audience is looking like a still-born he will say "What Ravi needs here is a good joke if he is to get some laughs" heheh.....

    Andrew man....you rock....keep writing!

  • The White Hunter on March 23, 2010, 18:11 GMT

    Great article Andrew. One of the best ever. I also noticed that appeal from Sangakkara. I think almost all the Sri Lankans are guilty in this regard. They have previously been cautioned by the match referee for this.

  • vilas on March 23, 2010, 18:09 GMT

    Almost choked laughing so hard. Ignore the sour comments, looks like Indian/SL supporters have no sense of humor.

  • nitin on March 23, 2010, 18:08 GMT

    plzz stop writing such articles or ppl start running away from cricinfo

  • Sam on March 23, 2010, 18:03 GMT

    Quality, I've often lost a few pounds out of the sphincter due to a Kumar appeal. It should be a new diet plan. Kumar literally scares the crap out of you, the showbiz diet.

  • Vinnie on March 23, 2010, 17:21 GMT

    "I am an Englishman and so naturally my first thought after I had picked myself up off the carpet was to write a stiff letter of complaint to someone."

    Great stuff Andrew.

  • Mohsin on March 23, 2010, 16:25 GMT

    Wow amazing again!! how come u come up wid so much innovation...always i enjoy ur article. thanx

  • SriLankanHeat on March 23, 2010, 16:06 GMT

    Simply put... this is a terrible article... I just wasted 2 minutes of my life that I will never get back after reading this.

  • Maqsood Khan on March 23, 2010, 14:27 GMT

    good job!!! this circus-like-cricket should be slammed more often than is being done

  • Manjula on March 23, 2010, 14:17 GMT

    I think the writer has taken this little situation a bit too far to be mentioned about in such an article. By far sangakkara has been one of the best captains Sri Lanka has ever produced. Captaincy is not always about the statistics, Its about the character, personality and the courage to face the ultimate goals. I personally trhink that sanga has become one of the gratest of all time. In this case, just a reminder "hey its t20 cricket. Its not test cricket. So if we waste our time on arguing about some noice made in a LBW appeal, I think its total BS!>>

  • lakesidey on March 23, 2010, 14:12 GMT

    There was a pretty ferocious tree in Lord of the Rings, actually. Old Man Willow, as he was fondly (?) known. Perhaps Sanga was screaming because he'd been grabbed by a ferocious tree? Or possibly just trying to say "Howl's that, umpire?"

    Thankfully, I was following the match on cricinfo so was spared this yell of existential anguish...lucky me!

  • Swiper on March 23, 2010, 14:04 GMT

    This article is Very funny, I was laughing for a good amount of time. :)

  • A few quiet ales on March 23, 2010, 13:57 GMT

    My own ringing peals have just died down after a full three and a quarter minutes. Top draw stuff, Mr. H. In keeping with past form. Look forward to the next one, and the one after and...

  • RP on March 23, 2010, 13:43 GMT

    I just died laughing here:-). Andrew, this piece is a beauty! I heard Ravi say that about the mongoose and I was stunned and now that you have mirrored my thoughts, it is hilarious! A question for you? Do you ever get one, yeah, just ONE joke that Harsha Bhogle dishes out. If you meet him, please let him know that he is not at all funny and he should STOP being funny.. Thanks

  • Madhu on March 23, 2010, 13:37 GMT

    Awesome..... Funny.

  • Kumar on March 23, 2010, 13:30 GMT

    "I’m no longer sure whether the Kings XI Bangalore have already played their home game against Rajasthan Super Kings or whether that was last year."

    So true. Barely one week into IPL, I can no longer remember who has played who or even who played who yesterday.

  • gung-ho on March 23, 2010, 13:20 GMT

    I see a lot of pointless blog posts in cricinfo.com these days. I mean, what is the point of this post? I did not find this post even mildly humorous -- in fact, I probably read about the first paragraph and decided to abort. Sending you this note hoping that you would write something worthwhile and not gibberish in the future.

  • Roshan on March 23, 2010, 13:19 GMT

    Wheres the fun in it ...if its just a "howzdat"..plus it adds pressure to the umpire...so a good Aaaarghaaarghaaarghaaaarghaaargh! shout could be read as "raise the frigging finger"...as opposed to how is that dear sir....

  • Avanka Peiris on March 23, 2010, 13:09 GMT

    Dear Andrew....True sangas appeal was a bit over the top...but quietly, have you run out of things to write about? In my opinion, you took a cheap shot at a world class cricketer over a silly matter when you could have easily written about something more relevant and interesting....and as for the events that unfolded after his appeal, "Exaggerate Much???".....lol.... Looking forward to better articles... Go Sanga and the Kings.....

  • Sam on March 23, 2010, 13:09 GMT

    So u are watching IPL 3.I thought it is a circus which is going to destroy cricket(Test cricket).

    Still u see nothing else but COMPLAIN.

  • Saurav Ganguly on March 23, 2010, 12:44 GMT

    "I am an Englishman and so naturally my first thought after I had picked myself up off the carpet was to write a stiff letter of complaint to someone" LOL that is hilarious, It is humorous when bloggers/ writers are self depreciating of their culture. It is more fun that way. good writing. could you maybe do a short on how different cultures would have reacted to Sanga shouting ?

  • Sandeep on March 23, 2010, 12:12 GMT

    ROFL...Mate this piece is really funny :) I was laughing out loud in my office..Predictably,my peers and boss weren't too happy..but woteva it's IPL3 ..sheer madness !!!

  • Amy Orford on March 23, 2010, 12:10 GMT

    Andrew, I want to have your cricket babies. I laughed so hard on the bus that people turned to stare. Well worth it.

  • Boy Evil on March 23, 2010, 11:48 GMT

    Its a nice article. I never really liked sanga.He's one of over rated cricketer like ganguly. Its a proverb that sanga has took form: EMPTY DRUM MAKES MORE NOISE

  • Jo-Wilfred Tsonga on March 23, 2010, 11:42 GMT

    Hahahaha....Those 3 ringtones are brilliant

  • akshay on March 23, 2010, 11:11 GMT

    Made my day! Had a good laugh.

    "It wasn’t so much an appeal as an unnerving howl of existential despair."

  • Jason on March 23, 2010, 11:03 GMT

    A ridiculously petty article. I'd go as far to suggest that it's bordering on a personal attack on one of the greatest modern cricketers in the world. I sincerely hope cricinfo will be more vigourous in filtering articles before publishing them.

  • Harish on March 23, 2010, 10:53 GMT

    Atleast the canary yellow is distinguishable from the 6 other shades of blue that somehow seems to be lucky that every team is dressed in blue these days, it is tough to say which shirt is whose yaar

  • Rahul on March 23, 2010, 10:42 GMT

    OMG....Brilliant Andrew..! I didnt miss that sangga howll...my 4 year old was frightened and my wife gave me an ugly look..! Shame match refree didnt take any action..or maybe his TV had its volume turned down ala Harper.

  • Sujee on March 23, 2010, 10:40 GMT

    hehe :-).. yeah.. Sanga with his legal background should know better than to flout the rules of appealing..

  • Udara Ranasinghe on March 23, 2010, 10:39 GMT

    I love the way sanga appeals.. It brings excitement to the game (I think). Andrew seem to be slightly jealous of IPL.. Is it because not enough English players have been in it .. Don't worry Andrew may be on the fourth IPL. Fingers crossed ehh..

    "Law 27.4 ??" .. You made me fall of my chair now..

  • rajeev nair on March 23, 2010, 10:36 GMT

    What a refreshing change to read an English article in English! Far too long, we've been suffering some sort of American-media-oriented hash that defies definition! But then that, I suppose, was in vogue when the game under consideration was "cricket".

    A sign of the changing times, I suppose.....

  • SA cricket fan on March 23, 2010, 10:33 GMT

    Incredibly funny article. I fell off my sofa reading it. Well done Mr Hughes.

  • GAYA on March 23, 2010, 10:22 GMT

    Yea,Yea..I'll accept...he is the only WK in the cricket so far who appeals for wickets and starring if not success.OK,happy? And ohh,i forgot these days no need to convince umpires,what are they really doing in the middle burning by sun?And they don't like appealing and Sanga is the only bad,naughty guy who is appealing:lol

  • sanjay on March 23, 2010, 10:21 GMT

    hillarious and well written article. Would you be kind enough to upload those ringtones somewhere, so the rest of us IPL-stricken "fans" can also use them. All three sound incredibly funny! :)

  • Srinivas Bhogle on March 23, 2010, 10:11 GMT

    ... and as an exercise in humour it is a delightful scream.

  • Arun on March 23, 2010, 9:55 GMT

    Since the mangled collection of sounds he emitted on Sunday afternoon contained only one of the letters from “How’s that,” it did not constitute a legally satisfactory appeal

    Hilarious! As ever!

  • Subrata Das Apu on March 23, 2010, 9:55 GMT

    Sangakara is great captain.

  • Jenson on March 23, 2010, 9:34 GMT

    Hahaha LMAO .. at Ravi Shastri's reasoning provided for why the bat is called a mongoose. He had commented earlier : "157 is an easy target in any form of T-20 cricket".

  • Narayan on March 23, 2010, 9:06 GMT

    Ha ha, very funny indeed.. Keep your funny lines going, Andrew!

  • Fahim on March 23, 2010, 8:46 GMT

    Simply Awesome!!!!!!

  • JP on March 23, 2010, 8:26 GMT

    Brilliant! I would have been rolling on the floor with laughter but for the fact that I am in office and the carpet needs cleaning. I have just about managed to sit upright.

  • MACHADO on March 23, 2010, 8:24 GMT

    Dear Mr.Andrew, I appreciate your letter but i wanted to remind you that sanga is not the first person who appealed like this.may you have forgot all those an its very unfare to point only one person.I felt sorry for you that you have fall down from your sofar and your naighbours tea cup.

  • Swamy on March 23, 2010, 8:21 GMT

    So, does the Super Over debacle let Hayden proclaim " Arrrrrrrggg, mom goose is cooked!!!!"

  • Anush on March 23, 2010, 8:17 GMT

    Hilarious piece of writing Mr.Hughes, really entertaining. The way you've turned a simple incident into a lengthy essay is brilliant. Hope to see more of these.

  • Theena on March 23, 2010, 7:59 GMT

    That was a fun read.

    The scariest commentator working in the IPL right now, heck in world cricket, has to be George Bradley Hogg. He sounds like the result of a Bill Lawry and Danny Morrison consummation.

  • Jonathan on March 23, 2010, 7:52 GMT

    hahaha...Andrew trying to be witty again. Try writing an artical for a school mag, mate. u'll find someone to laugh at you fall off the sofa. please stop writing...atleast on cricinfo.

  • Sekhar on March 23, 2010, 7:38 GMT

    :-) Had me in splits! He He.

  • Pat on March 23, 2010, 7:25 GMT

    hahaha. I lol'd. Good read

  • aaron on March 23, 2010, 7:17 GMT

    Yawn! i just wasted my time reading this.

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • aaron on March 23, 2010, 7:17 GMT

    Yawn! i just wasted my time reading this.

  • Pat on March 23, 2010, 7:25 GMT

    hahaha. I lol'd. Good read

  • Sekhar on March 23, 2010, 7:38 GMT

    :-) Had me in splits! He He.

  • Jonathan on March 23, 2010, 7:52 GMT

    hahaha...Andrew trying to be witty again. Try writing an artical for a school mag, mate. u'll find someone to laugh at you fall off the sofa. please stop writing...atleast on cricinfo.

  • Theena on March 23, 2010, 7:59 GMT

    That was a fun read.

    The scariest commentator working in the IPL right now, heck in world cricket, has to be George Bradley Hogg. He sounds like the result of a Bill Lawry and Danny Morrison consummation.

  • Anush on March 23, 2010, 8:17 GMT

    Hilarious piece of writing Mr.Hughes, really entertaining. The way you've turned a simple incident into a lengthy essay is brilliant. Hope to see more of these.

  • Swamy on March 23, 2010, 8:21 GMT

    So, does the Super Over debacle let Hayden proclaim " Arrrrrrrggg, mom goose is cooked!!!!"

  • MACHADO on March 23, 2010, 8:24 GMT

    Dear Mr.Andrew, I appreciate your letter but i wanted to remind you that sanga is not the first person who appealed like this.may you have forgot all those an its very unfare to point only one person.I felt sorry for you that you have fall down from your sofar and your naighbours tea cup.

  • JP on March 23, 2010, 8:26 GMT

    Brilliant! I would have been rolling on the floor with laughter but for the fact that I am in office and the carpet needs cleaning. I have just about managed to sit upright.

  • Fahim on March 23, 2010, 8:46 GMT

    Simply Awesome!!!!!!