April 17, 2010

IPL

A lesson in civility and generosity

Andrew Hughes


'If that doesn't get me a gold star, I don't know what will' © Indian Premier League
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On Thursday afternoon, the men from Chennai entertained a visiting party from Delhi in what, I am reliably informed, was a game of no little importance. Both parties were, I understand, anxious to secure an invitation to the end of tournament soiree, and tickets for said event being of a scarcity, the gentlemen concerned set about their work with considerable gusto.

I am pleased to report, however, that any unfortunate unpleasantness was avoided as the hosts were attentive to their duties and did their bit in keeping up acceptable standards of hospitality. To the approval of several onlookers, the Chennai gentlemen were fastidious in their attempts to set their guests at their ease, freely distributing dollies and lollipops to the visitors, as is the local custom.

Particular credit in this regard should go to a Mr Hayden, who though an Australian by birth and inclination, showed himself a fine judge of social niceties, making a generous offering of his wicket to Mr Collingwood. Messrs Raina, Vijay, Hussey and Morkel were similarly hospitable, and the innings was brought to a pleasing conclusion with an impromptu display of timber swinging from a Mr Bollinger.

There were, regrettably, some unseemly moments. Mr Badrinath’s perspiration was the cause of some perturbation, and I understand that several ladies of a refined disposition found the sight of this young man dripping onto the field of play to be most unsettling. It is to be hoped that in future he follows the example of his elders, notably Mr Dhoni, who, recognising that a gentleman does not exert himself unduly in such conditions, modestly departed the crease soon after arriving.

It is also to be hoped that the amply proportioned drum operative who entertained us marvellously all afternoon with his delightful banging will bear in mind GH Hardy’s words. “It is a tiny minority who can do anything really well and the number of men who can do two things well is negligible.” We humbly suggest that he should, in future, restrict himself to the percussive arts and resist the lure of the cheerleader’s podium, where I gather he was to be seen shaking himself about in a most distressing fashion.

These incidents aside, the day passed off smoothly and Mr Gambhir, the leader of the visiting party, declared himself satisfied with the festivities. I understand that the gentlemen of Delhi were all smiles as they boarded their coach, so congratulations to Mr Dhoni and Mr Fleming on being the perfect hosts. And without wishing to breach any confidences, I am reliably informed that their ticket to the semi-finals may well be in the post. Fingers crossed chaps!

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Posted by Ajinkya on (June 2, 2010, 7:46 GMT)

Phew! That took a while, I didn't check this up lately =P If Mohan was referring to me as the "immature teenager" I assure you you are an idiot =)

Posted by Sanjay on (April 28, 2010, 11:31 GMT)

Andrew, Please continue writing these. It is a stress reliever to read these descriptions and get refreshed with some laughter which is very rare these days, as everything else reads like soap operas. These are pretty close to the non-serious Wodehouse style humor and I am surprised why people take all the descriptions so seriously as if they are intended to put down somebody, instead of applauding the creativity.

Posted by Ram on (April 26, 2010, 16:19 GMT)

I'm a CSK fan too.... but I'm quite appalled by the ridiculous reactions of some people here! It was a really funny read, Andrew. I particularly loved the picture of Haydos with the caption! Hilarious!! :)

Posted by Andrew Hughes on (April 24, 2010, 0:06 GMT)

Thanks Mohan, for your comments.

Originally the Long Handle was a little more experimental, but reader reaction wasn't great and there was some confusion as to what the blog was supposed to be doing. So I settled on a fan's diary. This means that content is determined largely by what I have been watching (exclusively IPL at the moment). Structure is linked with style and I don't think that my articles are any more repetitive than others on Page 2, though I accept I may not be best placed to judge and you have given me something to think about.

You imply that I am attacking the IPL, but this isn't true. I have watched every edition and have enjoyed the IPL. That doesn't mean that it is exempt from a little gentle humour or that it is faultless. And without showing you my bank statements, I can assure you I am not making a living writing about the IPL!

I do appreciate your comments and hope you continue to read the Long Handle and Page 2.

Posted by Mohan on (April 23, 2010, 5:05 GMT)

bigger than normal magnitude invariably have a slew of people who dislike them. The IPL is imperfect yet violently successfull and I find it morally a little wrong when a slew of people make handsome money off the IPL and pointlessly criticize it with absolutely zero credibility (this is in no way intended to be personal). This was what provoked me in commenting about the mental mirror.

Finally, I thought a few of your previous responses to comments were a little curt and hence the comment about not accepting criticism with grace.

I hope I have made some amount of sense in these comments and have been specific. Again, I do genuinely believe you are a talented writer and look forward to your articles...

P.S: Did you have any luck looking for the mental mirror on e-bay?

Posted by Mohan on (April 23, 2010, 4:52 GMT)

Hi Andrew, Thank you for your reply and sorry for my own late response. I agree with you that the criticism was not specific and i was contradicting myself in a sense!!

My comments about your article were heavily influenced by the fact that i read all your articles and i found it a little repetitive. "Presenting the new cheerleaders of the IPL", "Lunar tunes", "Chennai, have you forgotten something?", "The scream (starring Sanga)" etc. all were structured similarly and had content on similar lines. So, when i read the first paragraph of this article, I already knew what's going to be in this article and was proven right. Hence, I found the article boring.

My comment hinting about the conscience was made with a larger perspective. I mean since the time IPL 3 has begun, there have been a plethora of articles ridiculing the IPL. I am a strong believer of the phenomenon that anything or anybody who acheive success at faster than normal pace and bigger than normal magnitude....

Posted by Vimal on (April 19, 2010, 18:06 GMT)

Others have said it earlier, but I'll say it too, that it felt like I was reading a piece by the wonderful P.G.Wodehouse:) And he is one of my favorite authors. Very much 'English' in its tone. Keep it up and hope the negative comments do not bring you down. After all cricket is a religion in India. People will to take offence at no real reason, as it is with religion:) Maybe these articles should come with a 'This is a work of humour/satire/sarcasm/(as the case may be)' disclaimer. But of course, one can never be sure if that will help:)

Posted by John M on (April 19, 2010, 16:04 GMT)

I find Andrew's humour hard to grasp. He seems to think that sniping at other nations and cultures is funny.

That might work if he was writing for a purely English audience. This is a multicultural sight, however. I'm offended by his little pieces. I can see from the comments posted here that I am not alone in this sentiment.

Perhaps Andrew's unique talents would be put to better use in a publication that does not receive worldwide coverage. I'm sure there are some quaint little English backwaters where this outdated style of humour would be appreciated.

Posted by Andrew Hughes on (April 19, 2010, 15:24 GMT)

Thanks for all your comments

Mohan, I have no problem taking criticism, indeed, I find it fascinating to see how different people react to what I write and I am learning all the time.

However, it is difficult to respond to criticism that merely states something is 'boring'. Everyone is entitled to their opinion of course, but as a passionate cricket fan, it would be interesting if you gave more detailed or specific feedback. As for searching my conscience, I'm not sure what aspect of the article you had in mind, so get back to me and we can talk more.

Meanwhile, I'm off to Ebay to get me one of those mirrors.

Posted by Harish on (April 19, 2010, 11:25 GMT)

I love the satirical humor in your posts. Thou am a hardcore CSK fan, I couldn't agree with you more on that unfortunate day's proceedings. As a fan, I felt let down by my team. If that is the degree of consistency a team maintains, then they deserve the defeat.

but am glad we made it to the semis !!!

your piece on Dada was a beauty. Esp the part comparing him to the furniture..

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Andrew Hughes
Andrew Hughes is a writer and avid cricket watcher who has always retained a healthy suspicion of professional sportsmen, and like any right-thinking person rates Neville Cardus more highly than Don Bradman. His latest book is available here and here @hughandrews73

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