August 28, 2010

Indian Premier League

Fake IPL player reveals himself

ESPNcricinfo staff

He wasn’t a player, nor was he an administrator, nor even a journalist. The Fake IPL Player, the anonymous blogger whose account of the 2009 IPL season created a media storm – and one within the league as well – has been revealed as Anupam Mukherji, a Bangalore-based techie. Mukherji told the TV channel Times Now that, contrary to speculation at the time, he had no source in any of the IPL teams and relied on the internet for information on teams, matches and the weather in South Africa – the tournament host.

Mukherji’s posts, which centred on a fictionalized version of Kolkata Knight Riders, were accurate enough in their “predictions” to provoke statements of denial from the Kolkata franchise, though he now says some of those predictions were “no-brainers”. The inspiration for the blog, he says, was a spoof Steve Jobs blog; it gained popularity once the media reported and commented on it and legitimacy from officials’ statements and generated enough buzz to prompt a book, The Gamechangers, earlier this year. He hasn’t revealed why he chose this moment to disclose his identity; indeed, there remains enough mystery round the Fake IPL Player’s real identity to suspect that the revelation itself may be a double bluff. Or wait - is he winding us up again?

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Jayaditya Gupta is executive editor of ESPNcricinfo in India

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