IPL April 20, 2010

The Dalai Lama, the Chennai slammer

The Super Kings-Punjab game had many and varied delights, not least the return of the Butcher of Jharkhand
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The Dalai Lama extracts a promise of non-violence from MS Dhoni, which the Chennai captain soon broke © Indian Premier League
 

It is election time in the UK, and as you might expect, carbon dioxide emissions are reaching dangerous levels. In an effort to avoid the hot air, I remained indoors on Sunday and sought sanctuary with the IPL. But election madness has even affected the land of Modi, because I learned that polls have just opened in an even more significant vote: the election of the best IPL commentator 2010.

Campaigning has already begun. Ahead of Sunday’s game, several of the candidates headed for the hills for a bit of a walk. Naturally, it wasn’t enough for them to take a stroll; like many tourists, they had to bore us all with it afterwards. It felt like an audio retelling of that 1995 Hugh Grant film, The Men Who Went Up A Mountain And Wouldn’t Stop Going On About It.

By the close of play, we knew the exact composition of the walking party, how steep the mountain was (fairly steep), what effect it had on Michael Kasprowicz’s meniscus cartilage (a slight tear), how near they got to snow (quite near), and so on. Laxman Sivaramakrishnan and Harsha Bhogle had opted to stay in their hotel, leaving them bereft of hilly anecdotes but comfortably to the fore in a swiftly conducted opinion poll in the Hughes living room.

But mountains were not the only feature of the action from Dharamsala. A religious leader was in the house. Who was it, Danny? The Dalai. Lama! That’s right. On a day that I’m sure Tibet’s spiritual leader will long remember, he shook hands with Yuvraj Singh, came face to face with the Morrison, and sat in the stands wearing a vaguely amused expression as a certain Bollywood star explained to him the rules of our peculiar game.

This coming together of celebrity and guru has led some to speculate that we could be about to see the first ever IPL-franchised offshoot of a major world religion. Zinta Buddhism has a simple doctrine, based on the four noble truths:

1. Losing in the semi-finals is suffering. 2. This suffering is caused by qualifying for the semi-finals. 3. The way to cessation of this suffering is not qualifying for the semi-finals. 4. Not qualifying for the semi-finals can be achieved by following the Eightfold Path of the Kings XI.

The Eightfold Path is as follows:

1. Employ Sreesanth. 2. Put all your bowling hopes on an ageing Aussie with a dodgy elbow. 3. Don’t pick your talented West Indian opener. 4. Field badly on the ground. 5. Field badly in the air. 6. Make random bowling changes. 7. Pick your team out of a hat. 8. Ensure that your best batsman is feeling particularly peeved.

The Dalai Lama left after just nine overs (no patience, these Buddhists). Or possibly he had one or two other things to deal with. At any rate, he missed a classic of its kind that had just about everything. There was curly, drifty, tantalising spin bowling from Powar and Ashwin, and there was some genuinely nasty fast bowling from Doug the Rug, who smacked Shaun Marsh in the chest, bruised him on the hip and then had him hopping around in the crease with a brute of a yorker. Do they not get on?

There was also some shocking fielding, but it seems churlish to witter on about the occasional outbreak of butterfingers. Instead, I want to mention Tyagi’s memorable catch. Watching him organise his collection of limbs into a spearing upwards effort was fascinating, like witnessing a crane rising slowly upwards from a river bank to catch a dragonfly. If cranes do that sort of thing.

But above all, there was Dhoni. As the tension increased, the music was cranked up louder, Siva gripped his microphone more tightly, and Sangakkara started to take 20 minutes to arrange his field, the Chennai captain discovered his inner Dhoni. For a long time we were watching the 2010 version: patient, calm in a crisis, hustling singles, apparently wearing the burden of captaincy easily.

But in the last two overs, we got a glimpse of Dhoni 2005 as he exhibited a range of astonishing shots that had the crowd twisting their necks to follow the ball into the darkness, threatened to dislodge snow from the mountains, induced a look on the face of Priety Zinta that could curdle milk and launched the Super Kings into the semi-finals. Badhai ho, Chennai.

Andrew Hughes is a writer currently based in England

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • scrat9009 on April 28, 2010, 16:33 GMT

    Hey Andrew

    your good sport, no two words of that .....keep up the spirit,

    cheers mate

  • Thirukadavur Shivaraju on April 24, 2010, 5:14 GMT

    Guys.......We need Sreesanth to be part of the league or it will be like, Tinkle without Suppandi.

  • Archana Suresh on April 23, 2010, 9:04 GMT

    Awesome article.... Enjoyed it thoroughly... LOL

    Archana

  • Mohan. K on April 23, 2010, 8:21 GMT

    Way to go Andrew!! I commented, not so generously, on the article on DADA. But i can assure u, nobody else can put sarcasm and satire to such gud use(except maybe Andy)!! Good to know ur back to ur high standards of writing!! Awesum article, had me laughing in office(eliciting quite a few stares from my colleagues)!! Keep going Andrew!! U rock!!

  • Mayooran on April 22, 2010, 21:10 GMT

    HA HA HA HA HA!!!

  • KK on April 22, 2010, 13:23 GMT

    Hi Hughes Excellent article and the Eight doctrines made our roof to come down (hahahahahaha) Will V C MSD of 2005 in West Indies? KK

  • raghu on April 22, 2010, 4:53 GMT

    i bet half of these people who are appreciating your work this time around were the same people who bashed u when you wrote about the generosity of chennai when they lost to kolkata..............but truly an amazing article as always............you are the best mr. hughes.

  • Andrew Hughes on April 21, 2010, 14:54 GMT

    As ever, thank you all who took the time to comment and your kind words were much appreciated. I am used to more abuse than this so don't quite know how to respond, but there were a couple of things I wanted to say.

    Scrat9009, it would be entirely inappopriate for me to criticise or comment on religion, which is why I did not do so.

    akheel, I can't deny that I am drifting towards the Kings XI and if I were to actually support a team in the IPL, it would probably be the men in red, white and silver. Everybody loves an underdog.

    alex, the cheque's in the post, now tell me, will I win the lottery this weekend?

  • Christy on April 21, 2010, 10:37 GMT

    Andrew, we hear Sreesanth is headed towards Kochi -poor them, as if playing IPL as the 10th team is not enough in itself, they have to play it with the stand-up comedian in their ranks. they better recruit the Dalai Lama as their Mentor or whatever !

  • Sujee on April 21, 2010, 9:49 GMT

    @RC: well I heard him speak after the match and I thought that it was very humble of him to say what he said.. I am sorry if you do not agree :-)

  • scrat9009 on April 28, 2010, 16:33 GMT

    Hey Andrew

    your good sport, no two words of that .....keep up the spirit,

    cheers mate

  • Thirukadavur Shivaraju on April 24, 2010, 5:14 GMT

    Guys.......We need Sreesanth to be part of the league or it will be like, Tinkle without Suppandi.

  • Archana Suresh on April 23, 2010, 9:04 GMT

    Awesome article.... Enjoyed it thoroughly... LOL

    Archana

  • Mohan. K on April 23, 2010, 8:21 GMT

    Way to go Andrew!! I commented, not so generously, on the article on DADA. But i can assure u, nobody else can put sarcasm and satire to such gud use(except maybe Andy)!! Good to know ur back to ur high standards of writing!! Awesum article, had me laughing in office(eliciting quite a few stares from my colleagues)!! Keep going Andrew!! U rock!!

  • Mayooran on April 22, 2010, 21:10 GMT

    HA HA HA HA HA!!!

  • KK on April 22, 2010, 13:23 GMT

    Hi Hughes Excellent article and the Eight doctrines made our roof to come down (hahahahahaha) Will V C MSD of 2005 in West Indies? KK

  • raghu on April 22, 2010, 4:53 GMT

    i bet half of these people who are appreciating your work this time around were the same people who bashed u when you wrote about the generosity of chennai when they lost to kolkata..............but truly an amazing article as always............you are the best mr. hughes.

  • Andrew Hughes on April 21, 2010, 14:54 GMT

    As ever, thank you all who took the time to comment and your kind words were much appreciated. I am used to more abuse than this so don't quite know how to respond, but there were a couple of things I wanted to say.

    Scrat9009, it would be entirely inappopriate for me to criticise or comment on religion, which is why I did not do so.

    akheel, I can't deny that I am drifting towards the Kings XI and if I were to actually support a team in the IPL, it would probably be the men in red, white and silver. Everybody loves an underdog.

    alex, the cheque's in the post, now tell me, will I win the lottery this weekend?

  • Christy on April 21, 2010, 10:37 GMT

    Andrew, we hear Sreesanth is headed towards Kochi -poor them, as if playing IPL as the 10th team is not enough in itself, they have to play it with the stand-up comedian in their ranks. they better recruit the Dalai Lama as their Mentor or whatever !

  • Sujee on April 21, 2010, 9:49 GMT

    @RC: well I heard him speak after the match and I thought that it was very humble of him to say what he said.. I am sorry if you do not agree :-)

  • GD on April 21, 2010, 7:07 GMT

    Brilliant stuff, Andrew! One of your best, me thinks!

  • Rahul on April 21, 2010, 6:57 GMT

    Killer...absolute killer..Bravo!

  • Anoopa on April 21, 2010, 6:53 GMT

    I probably have colleagues who think I have dementia. This is hilarious. The tenets of Zinta Buddhism are great, but I can't stop thinking about Dhoni finding his inner Dhoni. And I agree with the comment about Pathan's bowling; mediocre is a compliment. Good writing!

  • clement v on April 21, 2010, 5:59 GMT

    buddha enligthened me and i patiently read thru' the article !!!

  • S_Shukla on April 21, 2010, 5:20 GMT

    Great article......best one after the article on ganguly......and the best line being the first one of the eightfold path. I read a Sreesanth interview in which he said he wants to be a part of the new Kochi team....and see the result, the kochi team is in danger of being thrown out of IPL even without playing....good going sree...

  • scrat9009 on April 21, 2010, 3:40 GMT

    Article is fine in terms of cricket, should not have criticized or commented on religion. Lama and his followers practices different scripture of Buddhism to what Gautham Buddha has presented as philosophy.

    Whichever it is i think religion should not be looked at sardonically leave alone being sarcastic on your views.

    About the cricket, yes kings 11 was messed up from the start with their team balance, Mahela would have made better Captain in all ways plus the coach and captain needs to pick the team on the day and not the team boss.

  • anand on April 21, 2010, 1:37 GMT

    Awesome article .I will be looking forward to your next one.P.G .Wodehouse would have been proud of this article.

  • alex on April 20, 2010, 19:52 GMT

    Very good article. Suffering waits for dhoni.

    Royal challengers , Deccan win semifinals. Royal challengers win it all. I am all known swamy. If you give me money i predict ur future too. ha.

  • weirdodan on April 20, 2010, 19:48 GMT

    Luvd it... esp de "Zinta Buddhism" thingy. LOL

    P.S : I miss Andrew Zaltzman :(

  • rajagopalan v on April 20, 2010, 19:07 GMT

    Man....this was hilarious. for a change, there weren't silly jokes, just for the heck of it...I must admit, i burst out laughing when I came across the line 'Zinta Buddhism'.... carry on Andrew, let the jokes come on !!!

  • Srinivasan Janardhanam on April 20, 2010, 17:52 GMT

    Liked the part about Sreesanth, this lad needs to be whiplashed for his attitude. He thinks as if he is the best bowler in the country and glaring and sledging at batsman. He is a liability for Kings XI. Let's see which franchise will pick him in the next edition.

  • rishabh rajvant on April 20, 2010, 17:39 GMT

    msd rocks.....by far the best captai in the cricketing history....!!!!!

  • Sunil on April 20, 2010, 16:47 GMT

    Truly hilarious

  • Ajay on April 20, 2010, 16:37 GMT

    hilarious the beginning!! and an excellent tribute to the dashing captain cool!!

  • manoj dev on April 20, 2010, 15:52 GMT

    awesomely funny post.......u sure have a great sense of humour and a cool way with the words.....keep it going Andrew!!!luv reading u......cheers!

  • belabvadi on April 20, 2010, 15:50 GMT

    when dhoni was hitting the ball all over dharmasala, our sriman modi sitting in in dubai, was dreaming of the taxmen hitting the doors of his office/residence

  • marees on April 20, 2010, 15:25 GMT

    this is really wicked Andrew :-)

    I find you are a good commentator of the happenings/result providing insights in your own humorous/unqiue style. When the subject you have chosen is good it reflects on the worthiness/readbility of your article too.

    Look forward to more such articles from you. Probably you/cricinfo can create an antholgy and release on annual basis like Wisden!

  • Harsh on April 20, 2010, 14:18 GMT

    Absolutely priceless, None can put better than you Andrew about return of Dhoni. Its like Mummy Returns. Or like Dhoni Returns. You complained in your previous article. Whats up with this sugar coated give away. They are still on top of fairplay award and your complain was legitimate. So, welcome back Dhoni.

    btw. 1) Employ Sreesanth ahahha great one and also I was so surprised that Barath didn't play as much as he should have.

    Anyway cheers mate.

  • Chat on April 20, 2010, 13:29 GMT

    Very funny article indeed. But about Dhoni's hitting: I think MS will be the first to admit that he was helped enormously by the mediocre bowling of Pathan. It was more pathetic bowling than fantastic batting. If Pathan can bowl fast inswinging yorkers at the death, then I can captain India.

  • Vasu on April 20, 2010, 12:15 GMT

    Haha, You crack me up dude! Why don't you ever publish my comments, even though I almost always have nice things to say about your blog :(

    Cheers! Vasu

  • Jizzy on April 20, 2010, 11:49 GMT

    oh ... refreshingly awesome brother... good to see you havnt lost it....the last few articles before this one weren't the greatest admittedly..this was GREAT...and bring on more 2005 Dhoni.(haircut included)

  • RC on April 20, 2010, 10:55 GMT

    Lol-brilliant!! But some buddhists might be angered thinking you are mocking their religion! @sujee: dhoni is humble??!! when on earth did you get that idea?

  • Soham on April 20, 2010, 10:40 GMT

    the best one was number 1 of The Eightfold Path..

    So hilarious but so true!!!

  • Ska on April 20, 2010, 9:46 GMT

    Andrew, I've just read some of the comments on your 'Generous Chennai' article and well, I liked the fact that you replied to some comments. Not many bloggers do that. Your writings may not be brilliant but that's probably got as much to do with British sarcasm as a whole ... nobody else gets it :P I love Zaltzman though. He's great.

  • sridhar on April 20, 2010, 9:37 GMT

    Why did you forget the cricket celebrety (OOPs should I say celebrety Cricketer; Mr. Yuvi! has he played any worthwhile innings this IPL and to top it he is inthe indian team!!!!

  • Harish on April 20, 2010, 9:19 GMT

    Mr. Hughes.. .ever since your article on dada... you have got urself a loyal fan !! ur blogs reminds me of PG Wodehouse's bertie wooster and jeeves...

    I wish you take up the subject of commentators for your next entry...Shastri & Sunny's "little master" references and Danny & Siva's pairup... I was glad we were relieved of Siddu and his dumb liners.. only to be replaced by these gentlemen!! by god they are a sore to listen to...

  • Kumar on April 20, 2010, 8:25 GMT

    Most amusing, especially Zinta Buddhism and the doctorine! Did you learn sarcasm formally in school or is it in the genes? Keep this up and you might end up being more famous with your blog than dare I say it, MSD for his exploits in the cricket field!

    Regards Kumar

  • ROFL on April 20, 2010, 8:15 GMT

    As a Buddhist, I found your version of the Four Noble Truths and the Noble Eightfold Path hilarious! Quite impressive :)

  • B S Kumar on April 20, 2010, 7:33 GMT

    Hahaha! Very funny! Miss qualifying for the semis and avoid the misery of losing there! Very spiritual indeed, I'm sure the Dalai Lama will see the humour in that, but he'd be hard pressed to preach that sort of AvoidingKarma Yoga. Everybody got his blessings, but looks like only Dhoni got the gifts as well!

  • Sujee on April 20, 2010, 7:13 GMT

    Nicely written Andrew and I think for once you have said something nice about the Chennai Cricket team :-) I for one feel that out of the 8 teams they are the most professional team and are ably lead by a humble human being, viz a viz Dhoni.

  • akheel on April 20, 2010, 7:11 GMT

    Lolz...good one. you too secretly loving KingsXI, arent you clever boy?

    keep it up!

  • Hector on April 20, 2010, 6:54 GMT

    Tyagi catching the ball & Crane catching a dragon fly... LOL

  • Sachin on April 20, 2010, 6:50 GMT

    Great article

  • P.SUDARSHAN PRASANNA on April 20, 2010, 6:39 GMT

    good one mr.hughes. but,it was disheartening to a bollywood actresses who does not know anything about cricket other than hopping around like a six-year old each time her team scores a boundary or takes a wicket and hugs her players each time they win. pity oh,pity to sea a primary school child teaching calculus to the dalai lama, with the presence of highly capable teachers such as harsha , smg,robin jackman nearby. by a fan of csk , the only team playing cricket as it is in the ipl(you all heard msd, didn't you?).

  • dharmesh on April 20, 2010, 6:22 GMT

    awesome power!!!

    Looking forward to Dhoni-2005 version in the world cup

  • pranay on April 20, 2010, 6:18 GMT

    ROFL @ Zinta buddhism doctrine........After writing a relatively idiotic article on sourav ganguly, must say this is refreshingly soooper kings style.....Preity curdling a milk with her facial expression...eh,tooo guuud

  • Sekhar on April 20, 2010, 6:06 GMT

    Andrew, Before the Kings XI-Deccan match began, we TV viewers were treated to a video of Pommie Mbangwa and Danny Morrison forming teams with the local kids and playing a game of 'hill cricket'. Pommie was shown giving hi-fives to his teammates,apparently a sign of his team's win and was then charging towards Danny. Did you happen to witness this as well?

  • Anudeep Bhandari on April 20, 2010, 5:59 GMT

    I dont think there will be many people converting to 'Zinta Buddhism'. I would definitely make sure that I do not follow the eight fold paths mentioned never ever in my life. I guess you can attain nirvana by other easier means! This article was hillarious!! & Dhoni was awsome.

  • Parthi on April 20, 2010, 5:52 GMT

    It's a beaut! I am only worried about the consequences...remember Akon! We seem to have a lots of protectors of the faith going about!

  • Ajinkya on April 20, 2010, 5:48 GMT

    LOL! The bit about the Kings XI Punjab's eightfold path is hilarious!! The rest is up to your usual hilarious writing as well! Keep it up!

    P.S - Form is temporary but class is permanent. Your writing is pure awesomeness!

    P.S.S - Wonder if some Kings XI supporters will spring up and comment on how hurt they are that their religion has been disrespected :@ Honestly they need to take a chill pill.

  • Ravi on April 20, 2010, 5:46 GMT

    The Dalai Lama extracts a promise of non-violence from MS Dhoni, which the Chennai captain soon broke - Sarcasm at it's best

  • tmg on April 20, 2010, 4:38 GMT

    Good one :)

  • slumdog on April 20, 2010, 3:54 GMT

    hahahaha u crack me up Mr.Andrew.. sucking up to u know who now are we? o wait, its page 2 I forget now :)

  • Prashanth Ravindran on April 20, 2010, 3:26 GMT

    Oh Master-

    If suffering is qualifying for the semis, then surely a knock on the door from the tax men is a sign of impending mokshahood?

    Pray turn your thoughts to this matter.

    -- Prashanth

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • Prashanth Ravindran on April 20, 2010, 3:26 GMT

    Oh Master-

    If suffering is qualifying for the semis, then surely a knock on the door from the tax men is a sign of impending mokshahood?

    Pray turn your thoughts to this matter.

    -- Prashanth

  • slumdog on April 20, 2010, 3:54 GMT

    hahahaha u crack me up Mr.Andrew.. sucking up to u know who now are we? o wait, its page 2 I forget now :)

  • tmg on April 20, 2010, 4:38 GMT

    Good one :)

  • Ravi on April 20, 2010, 5:46 GMT

    The Dalai Lama extracts a promise of non-violence from MS Dhoni, which the Chennai captain soon broke - Sarcasm at it's best

  • Ajinkya on April 20, 2010, 5:48 GMT

    LOL! The bit about the Kings XI Punjab's eightfold path is hilarious!! The rest is up to your usual hilarious writing as well! Keep it up!

    P.S - Form is temporary but class is permanent. Your writing is pure awesomeness!

    P.S.S - Wonder if some Kings XI supporters will spring up and comment on how hurt they are that their religion has been disrespected :@ Honestly they need to take a chill pill.

  • Parthi on April 20, 2010, 5:52 GMT

    It's a beaut! I am only worried about the consequences...remember Akon! We seem to have a lots of protectors of the faith going about!

  • Anudeep Bhandari on April 20, 2010, 5:59 GMT

    I dont think there will be many people converting to 'Zinta Buddhism'. I would definitely make sure that I do not follow the eight fold paths mentioned never ever in my life. I guess you can attain nirvana by other easier means! This article was hillarious!! & Dhoni was awsome.

  • Sekhar on April 20, 2010, 6:06 GMT

    Andrew, Before the Kings XI-Deccan match began, we TV viewers were treated to a video of Pommie Mbangwa and Danny Morrison forming teams with the local kids and playing a game of 'hill cricket'. Pommie was shown giving hi-fives to his teammates,apparently a sign of his team's win and was then charging towards Danny. Did you happen to witness this as well?

  • pranay on April 20, 2010, 6:18 GMT

    ROFL @ Zinta buddhism doctrine........After writing a relatively idiotic article on sourav ganguly, must say this is refreshingly soooper kings style.....Preity curdling a milk with her facial expression...eh,tooo guuud

  • dharmesh on April 20, 2010, 6:22 GMT

    awesome power!!!

    Looking forward to Dhoni-2005 version in the world cup