IPL March 31, 2010

Lunar tunes

The IPL commentators can't get enough of the moon and the bag of hot air that hangs above the stadium
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The moon: thought it could get past the sharp men in the comm box, but failed © Getty Images
 

Sunday’s game in Navi Mumbai was loud. No, it was more than loud, it was cacophonous. It was noisier than a Boeing 747 full of angry dinosaurs taking off next to a Motorhead concert. Even via an outdated television set across a reasonable sized room four thousand miles away, I felt like I was sheltering in a shaky hut on the seafront whilst a force ten gale raged all around. The incessant roaring made my teeth ache and my head throb. Heaven knows what it did to the players. Adam Gilchrist had to use semaphore to talk to first slip.

Anyway, you get the idea. It was loud. So loud in fact that "Muttering" Mike Haysman was barely audible. For the entirety of his commentary stint, I had absolutely no idea what he was saying. I was dimly aware that he was talking, but the words were snatched up in the maelstrom of sound and whirled away into the ether. Fortunately, it made little difference, since I could already see what was happening via the pictures on my television screen. Perhaps there’s a lesson to be learned there.

Mumbai, whose shirts seem to have acquired extra silver stripes that make them look like disco tigers, are a clever team. They are clearly the best in the tournament, but are not provoking the IPL gods by peaking too early. For most of this game, they were losing. Enter Bhajji. His boundary-heavy innings was accrued with a stupefying nonchalance that made no sense at all. In my confusion I looked to the experts in the booth. Was it the bowling? Was it the pitch? Was Harbhajan using an enchanted bat? But as usual, yearning for technical insight from the commentary box is as futile as hoping that your pet hamster might one day sing an aria from Turandot.

The commentators had far more important things to talk about. The moon, for a start. Eagle-eyed professionals that they are, the big white shiny disc in the sky had not escaped their notice. Sunil Gavaskar spotted it first and recited for us Neil Armstrong’s "one small step for man" speech. Fair enough, it was technically moon-related, although to be honest, I had heard it before, from Neil Armstrong for a start. Then Robin Jackman wanted in. “Great knowledge Sunny,” he cooed, admiringly. Good grief, muttered a world-wide audience.

And vying with the moon for attention was the MRF blimp, an ominous beige contraption that looked as though it was the weekend transport of a medium-ranking Bond villain. Presumably there had been a memo passed among the microphone jockeys asking them to reference the bag of hot air in the sky more frequently and so it was MRF-blimp-this and MRF-blimp-that for most of the evening. My favourite blimp-related anecdote came from Gavaskar who informed us that MRF had always been at the forefront of technology and were the first to bring the blimp to India.

What a special day that must have been in the story of the Indian nation. Never mind Independence Day, the first Indian in space or the 1983 World Cup Triumph, I’m sure everyone in India remembers exactly where they were when the first ever blimp droned into view over Mumbai. Perhaps some time in the future, there will be a National Blimp Day when all Indians commemorate the moment when the nation lost its blimp virginity? Ironically, despite all this blimpery, I still haven’t the faintest idea who MRF are or what they have to do with a big balloon. I’m comfortable with that.

Andrew Hughes is a writer currently based in England

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Samantha on April 22, 2010, 12:58 GMT

    More than watching the match, I felt like i was watching advertisements for three hours :) You were right about the mrf sales pitch. Qudoos Andrew .

  • sandeep on April 4, 2010, 8:38 GMT

    Spot on. IPL commentators act like IPL salesman. Not one bit of technical insight, all hyperbole. Getting sick of it. I only heard Ian Bishop comment on the shoddy fielding standards in the IPL, which I'm sure will earn him a rap from the IPL bosses. Sick!!

  • The ghost who walks on April 4, 2010, 3:18 GMT

    Since many of you dont know what MRF is i would like to shed some light on it. MRF stands for Madras rubber factory.. its a leading tyre manufacturing in india based in madras(old name for chennai). As many pointed out they were the sponsors for scahin lara n steve waugh for number of years..

  • RB on April 4, 2010, 1:48 GMT

    In all American sports, the broadcast crew does advertising (Sometimes, just for shows on the same channel). However, there is always a fine line between the game and the adverts, and the broadcasters make it a point to do the ads as a "break" and return to action. Also, usually one man in a two or three man crew will do ads, and the "expert" (For example, Tim McCarver in baseball world series, or Chris Cullinsworth in NFL) will usually not do ads.. IPL crosses the fine line by making ads part of the game, and the commentators are not reading scripts, but selling products. This will always be offensive to purists, and the system should eventually change. And also, a blimp is not a balloon--Usually has pilots and makes a point of covering aerial video. Don't know about this emaref blimp though.

  • Jasmeet John on April 3, 2010, 18:46 GMT

    da 4th n da last paragraph were incredibly hilarious. but i hav a question, can somebody plz describe wats dis mrf blimp all abt?

  • ankit on April 3, 2010, 4:07 GMT

    Andrew ....How can u miss MRF wen u r self confessed sachin tendulkar's Big fan..........dont write just for the sake of writing........and please change ur writing ways......same thing everytime makes it boring

  • sudhir on April 3, 2010, 2:06 GMT

    this is the most hilarious article that i have ever read.couldnt stop laughing...thank u very much andrew abd keep up the good work

  • badzaah on April 2, 2010, 15:59 GMT

    Haha good one...i work for a radio station and I hear such sponsored crap the entire day...just kills the joy of listening, however the monies are something we can't ignore as in a way my paycheck comes from such integrations ....but surely IPl can afford to let go off a few crores;)

  • D.V.C. on April 2, 2010, 11:53 GMT

    More poetic than usual Andrew, nice going.

    MRF stands for Mumbai Rubber Factory.I believe they have diversified from making just rubber. They also sponsor the Indian fast bowling academy (I learnt that from the IPL).

    What bugs me about the shots of the Moon is that they are usually when it is full. The best time to look at the Moon is when the terminator (the line between dark and light) is clearly visible – that way you can make out the heights of the mountains and craters.

    Given that they show the Moon so much, you might be interested in knowing the names of some of its features, try here: http://timocharis.com/astro/moonmap/moonmap.png

  • Ashok on April 2, 2010, 11:14 GMT

    Brilliant! the cricket here is turning into a farce.... Everyone is getting paid well and so sing the praises of... the blimp, the moon, the tip of the day and the faces of the IPL big guns.... forget there is cricket. Well put Mr. Hughes. Love the description of this circus.

  • Samantha on April 22, 2010, 12:58 GMT

    More than watching the match, I felt like i was watching advertisements for three hours :) You were right about the mrf sales pitch. Qudoos Andrew .

  • sandeep on April 4, 2010, 8:38 GMT

    Spot on. IPL commentators act like IPL salesman. Not one bit of technical insight, all hyperbole. Getting sick of it. I only heard Ian Bishop comment on the shoddy fielding standards in the IPL, which I'm sure will earn him a rap from the IPL bosses. Sick!!

  • The ghost who walks on April 4, 2010, 3:18 GMT

    Since many of you dont know what MRF is i would like to shed some light on it. MRF stands for Madras rubber factory.. its a leading tyre manufacturing in india based in madras(old name for chennai). As many pointed out they were the sponsors for scahin lara n steve waugh for number of years..

  • RB on April 4, 2010, 1:48 GMT

    In all American sports, the broadcast crew does advertising (Sometimes, just for shows on the same channel). However, there is always a fine line between the game and the adverts, and the broadcasters make it a point to do the ads as a "break" and return to action. Also, usually one man in a two or three man crew will do ads, and the "expert" (For example, Tim McCarver in baseball world series, or Chris Cullinsworth in NFL) will usually not do ads.. IPL crosses the fine line by making ads part of the game, and the commentators are not reading scripts, but selling products. This will always be offensive to purists, and the system should eventually change. And also, a blimp is not a balloon--Usually has pilots and makes a point of covering aerial video. Don't know about this emaref blimp though.

  • Jasmeet John on April 3, 2010, 18:46 GMT

    da 4th n da last paragraph were incredibly hilarious. but i hav a question, can somebody plz describe wats dis mrf blimp all abt?

  • ankit on April 3, 2010, 4:07 GMT

    Andrew ....How can u miss MRF wen u r self confessed sachin tendulkar's Big fan..........dont write just for the sake of writing........and please change ur writing ways......same thing everytime makes it boring

  • sudhir on April 3, 2010, 2:06 GMT

    this is the most hilarious article that i have ever read.couldnt stop laughing...thank u very much andrew abd keep up the good work

  • badzaah on April 2, 2010, 15:59 GMT

    Haha good one...i work for a radio station and I hear such sponsored crap the entire day...just kills the joy of listening, however the monies are something we can't ignore as in a way my paycheck comes from such integrations ....but surely IPl can afford to let go off a few crores;)

  • D.V.C. on April 2, 2010, 11:53 GMT

    More poetic than usual Andrew, nice going.

    MRF stands for Mumbai Rubber Factory.I believe they have diversified from making just rubber. They also sponsor the Indian fast bowling academy (I learnt that from the IPL).

    What bugs me about the shots of the Moon is that they are usually when it is full. The best time to look at the Moon is when the terminator (the line between dark and light) is clearly visible – that way you can make out the heights of the mountains and craters.

    Given that they show the Moon so much, you might be interested in knowing the names of some of its features, try here: http://timocharis.com/astro/moonmap/moonmap.png

  • Ashok on April 2, 2010, 11:14 GMT

    Brilliant! the cricket here is turning into a farce.... Everyone is getting paid well and so sing the praises of... the blimp, the moon, the tip of the day and the faces of the IPL big guns.... forget there is cricket. Well put Mr. Hughes. Love the description of this circus.

  • Ajai Banerji on April 2, 2010, 10:49 GMT

    If you have run out of things to say about the blimp: It does not have a rigid structure, unlike regular airships. And older Brits may remember a joke character called Colonel Blimp.

  • Vinay Veldore on April 2, 2010, 10:08 GMT

    What about Karbonn Kamal Katch and DLF Maximum? Not to mention the talentless anchors.

  • That Guy on April 2, 2010, 8:57 GMT

    While I agree with most of the authors' points, the execution of the material wasn't great i.e. not funny. Also, I think Robin Jackman was being sarcastic when he said "great knowledge". He's one of the few commentators who actually exhibits some subtlety when he's "joking". [I use quotes because the attempts at humour by the likes of Harsha Bhogle, Sivarakrishnan, Russell Arnold etc. cannot be in any form described as jokes.]

  • Nobody on April 2, 2010, 6:26 GMT

    MRF makes tires for your motercycle Andrew. Man this grapes are sour. Maybe all you need is an IPL contract.

  • Suraj on April 1, 2010, 10:28 GMT

    Come on Andrew, you should have known more about MRF! MRF was sponsoring the bats of Steve Waugh, Sachin Tendulkar and Brian Lara once upon a time :D

  • JVD on April 1, 2010, 10:04 GMT

    What i find entertaining is when the camera focuses on the blimp, and you hear the commentators clearing their throats to introduce the monstrosity : "Aaahh - There it is - The good ol' MRF blimp" or "The Blimp ! - what a marvellous sight in the Mumbai night sky" - They try so hard to think of something original - yet what can be said really ? its an inflated balloon with 3 letters on it. It does nothing. Hahaha - If only the organisers, MRF and the commentators knew how absolutely stupid they sound.

  • Krish on April 1, 2010, 6:20 GMT

    Atleast in the baseball and football games here in the US, there is a blimp camera that shows the stadium in its lights glory during the night or sometime provides an angle to view the sport. Couple of pilots actually sit inside those things and ride it. This is, as Andy rightly puts it, just a hot air baloon that adds absolutely no value to the game but still it is there because IPL wants to ape everything that is done by other sports! Atleast do it right!

  • ashtung on April 1, 2010, 6:02 GMT

    that was good, specially the blimp day... to its credit, MRF has done quite enough in technology and I wish even if it were advertising, Sunny talked more about that than promoting the blimp itself... It is almost like MRF are marketing the blimp rather than the company itself...

    BTW Mr. Hughes, mentioning that you have no idea about MRF reflects poorly on your cricketing knowledge because MRF runs the MRF pace foundation, credited to produce the so-called pacers in India. It's headed by Dennis Lillee

  • Sam on April 1, 2010, 4:41 GMT

    What next???First the excruciating appeal by Sangakara then the MRF blimp.I wont be surprised if theres an article -"What was the angle of the hands of the umpire while giving wide". Dont u ever watch the match.

  • Jim the Geo on April 1, 2010, 4:26 GMT

    I'm with Andrew on this. Whatever the merits (or lack thereof) of that night's commentary team, the big question is "do we want a sport played by millionaires covered in advertising logos, where stadium ticket prices are greedily high and the average punter is reduced to (pay) TV to enjoy the game?" We already have plenty of good examples, UK soccer, Super 14 rugby in the Southern Hemisphere, and T20 internationals.

    Guys trying to save species from extinction aspire to owning bicycles. Others who can swing a stick or kick a bladder are the new aristocracy. And WE put them there. Was this such a great idea? I think not...

  • getgopi on April 1, 2010, 3:56 GMT

    And you know the other name the MRF blimp is know as...

    You guessed it.

    An MRF Maximum ;)

  • manas on April 1, 2010, 3:39 GMT

    Very well written article. The MRF Blimp was a classic. Looking at the moon ~ lol

  • Lee Borrie on April 1, 2010, 3:28 GMT

    The MRF blimp - isn't that what used to chase Patrick MacGoohan across the beach in 1960s TV show The Prisoner?

  • Apurva on April 1, 2010, 2:42 GMT

    Completely agree about the MRF blimp and other such annoying occurences at the IPL. However, the fact remains that IPL has taken cricket to dizzying heights. The English and Australians seem to criticse every aspect of the IPL. Do I sense a case of 'sour grapes'?

  • Mohan on April 1, 2010, 1:58 GMT

    I am pissed off big time with Andrew...his past several articles are repetitive, boring and extremely hollow on content. Of course, the IPL is not perfect, but is there going to be an end to writing pointless articles?? Sick and tired of you Andrew...Just good language cannot make for entertaining reading and it ceases to be funny if the content (if any) is repeated a million times. Finally it's extremely ironic how somebody like Andrew makes his living off the IPL and shamelessly criticizes it. Again, the IPL is by no means flawless, but somebody please convince Andrew to stop this never-ending rant!!!

  • Deepak on April 1, 2010, 0:09 GMT

    Andrew: Don't sound like a sour grape as you are not part of it, you'll sing a different tone if you get some contract with IPL.

  • Kah-ching on March 31, 2010, 21:42 GMT

    HAHAHAHAH i could not stop laughing

  • Mick on March 31, 2010, 21:22 GMT

    The IPL has about as much subtelty as a sledgehammer. In Australia, we have a sponsored blimp as well, but the commentators work it into the script far more fluently with lines like "the crowd is capacity, as you can see in these beautiful images courtesy of the Goodyear Blimp". Similarly we also sponsor catches but once again the comentators use it subtely & more naturally. Cue Tony Greig voice - "Oh what a catch, WHAT a catch! That could well be a contender for the KFC classic catch." The Karbon Kamaal catches are where the IPL misses the chance to be subtle but more effective the most. Instead of the dolly chipped catch to mid off being called a KK Catch, they should instead talk about good catches being the KK catch, or being a contender for the KK catch of the match, a good award that should be the focus of their advertisment push.

    Ads are so much more effective when we don't actually realise we are being advertised to, and I wish the IPL would realise that.

  • Deep Cower on March 31, 2010, 20:45 GMT

    @Marc: If all negative comments are assumed to come from "idiots", we would never give a chance to correct ourselves. It is true that IPL overdoes the commercials. It is also equally true that cricinfo overdoes the berating.

  • Pro Bono Publico on March 31, 2010, 20:11 GMT

    I am so lucky that I refuse you to watch this nonsense called T/20 "cricket". Perhaps some copyright lawyers need to stand up for the good name of the game.

  • Praveen on March 31, 2010, 19:50 GMT

    I sense a whole lot of sarcasm in this article.

    Either way I agree IPL is being overdone from A-Z. I would love to see an end to IPL soon. Its killing cricket!

  • DLF Maximum Karbonn Kamal Catch on March 31, 2010, 19:30 GMT

    Here's a thought. Whoever said this was cricket?

    Cricket or Cricus?? The fielder took a Kabonn kamaal catch just after the batsmen hit a DLF maximum. This surely must be a Citi moment of success!

  • Raghav on March 31, 2010, 19:27 GMT

    Great article....may be in the next match you will hear the commentators saying that their suits and shoes are sponsored by dlf,karbonn,mrf.......

  • Nikhil on March 31, 2010, 18:36 GMT

    Probably late to the party, but, where are the camera shots from the blimp ? Is it just there for the advertisement ? I kept expecting some great overhead camera angles showing the whole ground from the blimp cameras.. and instead.. MRF this.. MRF that.. pah

  • Venkat on March 31, 2010, 17:50 GMT

    Hilarious!!! I was laughing all through the article. Andrew please ignore the harsh comments from my fellow (thin skinned and sensitive ) Indians. Keep writing.

  • Rahul Saxena on March 31, 2010, 17:48 GMT

    Word of advice, Andrew. You are good with the words, but you generalize too much. Sarcasm is good, exaggeration isn't.

    Thanks :)

  • Ram2222 on March 31, 2010, 16:21 GMT

    Hey, i went to an ipl match hoping to see the famous blimp, only to find it missing. I want my money back now. Can anyone help me?

  • Balu Vaithinathan on March 31, 2010, 16:06 GMT

    Oh Andrew, you never fail to make me laugh with your amazingly hilarious articles, but this one has to be one of your best yet! Loved the bit with the bunch of angry dinosaurs in a Boeing 747 next to a Motorhead concert. :P You have got to admit that the commentary team in the IPL should belong in a club cricket coverage (at best).

  • TempleTiger on March 31, 2010, 15:19 GMT

    MRF makes the best rubber tyres in India.

  • Prashant on March 31, 2010, 14:41 GMT

    Lovely article Andrew. You know initially I used to think of you as a jealous foreigner for taking digs at IPL, but after the few weeks of watching that cacophony, I am sick of it and taking your articles in the right spirit. What I don't understand is how sportsmen of such caliber who make the commentary team agree to such cheap marketing show and why their pride doesn't interrupt them for saying it??? And how dreadfully authoritarian must the IPL administration be that not a word is spoken against the apparent inanities, cheapness and the injustices being meted out to players with those insane fines.

  • Booze on March 31, 2010, 14:39 GMT

    How long is it before the IPL sponsors land on the moon to stick a logo there?

  • Singh on March 31, 2010, 14:32 GMT

    Great article! The commentators seems to have lost all self respect... which is ok for a Bhogle or a Shastri (remember his lewd comments on live commentary every time India toured SA?)... but a shame to see Gavaskar have to indulge in such nonsense (not that he is a great commentator or writer, but he still remains one of the greatest test openers ever)

    @Marc: Or maybe they are employees of MRF marketing team who came up with this brilliant idea?

  • Pradeep Ananth on March 31, 2010, 14:30 GMT

    "Great knowledge, Sunny!"

    That. Cracked. Me. Up.

  • mohsin kamal on March 31, 2010, 14:17 GMT

    i dont watch IPL nemore, i don know Y u andrew watch??

  • Deepanjan on March 31, 2010, 13:54 GMT

    I guess people are a bit slow on the uptake here when it comes to economic sense. The IPL runs on the money of these and other sponsors (of course, the moon is not included!). Naturally, the commentators, even though my guess is that they themselves don't want to do it so many times, have to keep on repeating the names of the sponsors during the course of a match. Remember its their money the show is running on, duh? And Mr Hughes, you are not writing for a high school magazine. This is a worldwide 'audience' you have in front of you. If you don't have the sense to at least look up on the net about something that is going to be the main point of your article, it simply reflects poorly on you. And that's putting it mildly.

  • Marc on March 31, 2010, 12:54 GMT

    Brilliant article Andrew. Ignore the negative comments posted here – they are clearly too stupid to appreciate satire.

  • The White Hunter on March 31, 2010, 12:42 GMT

    Hilarious article as usual, Andrew. Loved the last paragraph. "National Blimp Day" -- classic.

    Keep up the good work.

  • sree on March 31, 2010, 12:23 GMT

    Absolutely fantastic article.The ipl commentary is the worst i h've ever heard and it lacks technical insight and passion.A dull experience.Modi plz rectify this

  • Kunal on March 31, 2010, 11:48 GMT

    very funny article. a lot of readers do not understand satire so they are criticizing these articles. but personally, i think Page 2 is the best innovation in cricket in years (and not the IPL)

  • miraj on March 31, 2010, 10:48 GMT

    HOW broing was that...

  • Sriram on March 31, 2010, 10:26 GMT

    I am so sick of these so called humour articles from Mr. Hughes. What is actually sad is that, I used to like Mr. Hughes before. But, people have taken enough dig at these useless commentators, that it has ceased to be funny any more. Of course one can ask me why the hell do I read his column. But then I read every column in cricinfo, so it is matter of habit. I guess there will be a "page 3" in cricinfo where there'll be people trashing and making fun of these ridiculous writers. For heaven's sake get a life and try to make joke of something else.

    Cheers Sriram

  • chubbs on March 31, 2010, 9:55 GMT

    Funny, but not quite as funny as I've come to expect from you.

  • Rajiv on March 31, 2010, 9:37 GMT

    Great Read, I was at the ground that day, and it was deafeningly loud, in fact still having hearing problems. We could only hear the chants of Sachin, Malinga and Bhajji nothing at all from the stadiums PA system. I missed the MRF Blimp but did notice the moon though.

  • Vithun on March 31, 2010, 9:29 GMT

    I've got proof!!! Go to Youtube's IPL channel at youtube.com/ipl and watch the video of the full match of Match 24 (RR vs CSK), and watch it (and listen) at timeframe 2:54:08 onwards.... MRF moon? Sponsored by MRF? Really?

  • anubhav sarathy on March 31, 2010, 9:13 GMT

    to all my fellow indians who have taken offence at Andrew's blimp baiting, i just wanna say lighten up guys, Andrew is just tying to make a point that the repetitious nature of the comentators when it comes to anecdotes abt the blimp is slightly disconcerting to the ordinary fan who just wants to concentrate on the cricket match @prasanth, why do u keep coming back to Page 2 if you think every article is boring @shawn,gaurav and girish, Thanks for the info , but i think that bit gets covered by the commentators at every match @,Samrag. I don think you watch a lot of EPL or NBA- THey have no such televised gimmicks, they make enough money as it is without needing to dilute their game by adding BS like this.

  • Vithun on March 31, 2010, 9:05 GMT

    In one of the matches last Sunday, I actually heard a commentator saying that the moon was sponsored by MRF, did anyone notice that? How worse can it get?

  • Swap on March 31, 2010, 8:39 GMT

    MRF= Madras Rubber Factory. It makes tyres.

  • E Smith on March 31, 2010, 8:32 GMT

    God, yes, that accursed blimp. I've followed the IPL via cricinfo since the first edition, and this year via youtube streaming, but Sunday's match was the first time I've watched an entire game on television. Every single time, every single time the blimp appeared on camera, without fail, like night following day, the commentators began bleating about MRF, the blimp, and the fact that they run the pace foundation, with Dennis Lillee as chairman, and that bowlers from the pace foundation have made it to the India squad, and (more importantly) the IPL. Seems the commentators only have two modes of expression; the searingly obvious repetition mode, and the startlingly inane, ridiculous mode. I, too, cracked up at the "Great knowledge, Sunny" bit. Sure you have to laugh... crying is the alternative!

  • akp on March 31, 2010, 8:23 GMT

    quite silly that many people do not realise that commentators are simply sticking to scripts when they describe the mrf shuttle, carbon kamaal catch, dlf maximum..they cant avoid using the specific script as clearly, they and IPL is contracted to these sponsors..you see all the commentators using the same words when they describe MRF shuttle, as an example..so, dont waste everyone's time pointing out stuff..i am sure NBA/EPL have similar obligations as well to the sponsors..

  • samrag on March 31, 2010, 8:08 GMT

    I am adding my penny's worth. May be MH doesn't follow english football. the violence and the alcohol related problems among some of the fans is nothing compared to the razzmatazz of IPL. I personally like test cricket than this 'tamasha' (my age may have something to do with this!). I am surprised you didn't google MRF before your piece

  • Shawn on March 31, 2010, 8:01 GMT

    Madras Rubber Factory.

  • Alex on March 31, 2010, 8:01 GMT

    I think the worst offender was Kasprowicz who combined the two and called it the "MRF Moon", is he on commission? It was bad enough last week when he asked Tendulkar if Gayle was going to be playing for Mumbai about 20 seconds after Pommie Mbangwa had just correctly asked Ganguly if he would be playing his first match for KKR - even Mark Nicholas would be less annoying...

  • B S Kumar on March 31, 2010, 7:51 GMT

    Haha! Very funny! The "blimp" is a much more sophisticated although antiquated aircraft technology that used hydrogen first and then helium, had propellers that could control flight. Also known as an "airship" and highly respectable for its capabilities. This balloon that is tethered with the MRF logo on it is a contraption that takes nothing more than a toy maker to come up with. At the forefront of technology? Please! MRF have made racing tyres two decades ago that are way ahead of this blinking toy.

  • Swastik on March 31, 2010, 7:41 GMT

    Great observation mate. It is indeed appaling the standards to which commentary has fallen to these days. Sunil Gavaskar once was a semblance of rationality and held high posts within the BCCI and ICC. Now, that same person has been reduced to ignonimity. Sitting with a microphone to his mouth, saying irrelevant things, giving credit to things with superfluous words. It all does not go with the image of Sunny Gavaskar that we have been used to seeing over the years. It is bad enough that they say stuff like 'DLF Maximum' and 'Citi Moment of Success' and 'Karbon Kamaal Katch', they have to desecrate this game of cricket by making sure that the sponsors get their share of the moolah. Has anyone noticed how it is less about commentary now and more about the gossip factor? Where are the days of watching good seam bowling against quality batting and the commentator embellishing the moment with the choicest of words?Richie Benaud would be writhing in pain if he hears Gavaskar and Shiva today

  • Ash on March 31, 2010, 7:39 GMT

    The mute button is my best friend during the IPL. You may say that I'm missing out on half the action but in the long run I'm sure my brain will thank me for it...

  • Bakshi on March 31, 2010, 7:34 GMT

    Haha Classic! Real funny stuff and i dont think "advertising and IPL" jokes will ever lose its zing. I wonder how long before "Shut up Mr.Hughes, IPL is the best thing ever and you should stop blogging" comments start pouring in.

  • Anurag on March 31, 2010, 7:29 GMT

    woweee.. a very well written piece.. seriously smtimes people just talk nonsense.. what an importance this MRF blimp is bein given throughout the IPL.. nowadays there is very few analysis of how the match is progressing and whats goin on the field..rather off-field issues are so important. I love your articles Hughes. Kudos..

  • Rohit on March 31, 2010, 7:25 GMT

    Ha ha, hilarious! I don't know whether sensitive Indians will sulk about the last bit (?), but even as an Indian I found it very very funny! The lunar sightings and MRF blimps are actually extremely irritating. Well done Andy!

  • Anonymous on March 31, 2010, 7:21 GMT

    I am beginning to enjoy Page 2 ..

  • Girish Dandekar on March 31, 2010, 7:19 GMT

    btw MRF stands for Madras Rubber Factory and their Brand MRF Tyres are well known in sub continent Sachin use to endorse MRF brand till last year MRF also have MRF Pace acedmy for budding pace bowlers in sub-continent MRF FOUNDATION is headed by Dennis Lilie ps: im not an MRF employee or related to them in any ways :-)

  • Gaurav Dandekar on March 31, 2010, 7:11 GMT

    MRF is a tyre manufacturer from India.

    U.S.A. --> Nascar --> Goodyear = India --> I.P.L. --> MRF. Get it?!

  • Jynx on March 31, 2010, 7:09 GMT

    The last paragraph was the best. I seems though that to just put that little bit of satire in you had to write five other paragraphs full of boring writing. It probably seems boring though since all your other articles are so hilariously awesome. (I am just 13 but love all your articles!)

  • GD on March 31, 2010, 7:08 GMT

    IPL advertisers clearly don't know what 'subtlety' means. I'm actually stunned that the marketers don't realize (or care) that while their brands are entering our realms of awareness, they are doing so as sources of abhorrence!!!

    (Although MRF is the odd brand many of us are thankful to in India - for their sponsorship of our national pace academy.)

  • Rishabh on March 31, 2010, 7:05 GMT

    I only know of MRF because it was plastered on Sachin's bat for several years. Lara's too.

  • jai on March 31, 2010, 7:02 GMT

    ".. and there's the MRF Blimp again!" - a line that was repeated a 12884332 times during that match. I think Modi has stumbled upon the mother of all WMDs..

  • satya on March 31, 2010, 7:00 GMT

    hi andrew, great reading. had similar thoughts while watching the match and guess most of the viewers would agree.

  • Prashant on March 31, 2010, 6:26 GMT

    very boring article

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  • Prashant on March 31, 2010, 6:26 GMT

    very boring article

  • satya on March 31, 2010, 7:00 GMT

    hi andrew, great reading. had similar thoughts while watching the match and guess most of the viewers would agree.

  • jai on March 31, 2010, 7:02 GMT

    ".. and there's the MRF Blimp again!" - a line that was repeated a 12884332 times during that match. I think Modi has stumbled upon the mother of all WMDs..

  • Rishabh on March 31, 2010, 7:05 GMT

    I only know of MRF because it was plastered on Sachin's bat for several years. Lara's too.

  • GD on March 31, 2010, 7:08 GMT

    IPL advertisers clearly don't know what 'subtlety' means. I'm actually stunned that the marketers don't realize (or care) that while their brands are entering our realms of awareness, they are doing so as sources of abhorrence!!!

    (Although MRF is the odd brand many of us are thankful to in India - for their sponsorship of our national pace academy.)

  • Jynx on March 31, 2010, 7:09 GMT

    The last paragraph was the best. I seems though that to just put that little bit of satire in you had to write five other paragraphs full of boring writing. It probably seems boring though since all your other articles are so hilariously awesome. (I am just 13 but love all your articles!)

  • Gaurav Dandekar on March 31, 2010, 7:11 GMT

    MRF is a tyre manufacturer from India.

    U.S.A. --> Nascar --> Goodyear = India --> I.P.L. --> MRF. Get it?!

  • Girish Dandekar on March 31, 2010, 7:19 GMT

    btw MRF stands for Madras Rubber Factory and their Brand MRF Tyres are well known in sub continent Sachin use to endorse MRF brand till last year MRF also have MRF Pace acedmy for budding pace bowlers in sub-continent MRF FOUNDATION is headed by Dennis Lilie ps: im not an MRF employee or related to them in any ways :-)

  • Anonymous on March 31, 2010, 7:21 GMT

    I am beginning to enjoy Page 2 ..

  • Rohit on March 31, 2010, 7:25 GMT

    Ha ha, hilarious! I don't know whether sensitive Indians will sulk about the last bit (?), but even as an Indian I found it very very funny! The lunar sightings and MRF blimps are actually extremely irritating. Well done Andy!