February 17, 2011

Indian Premier League

'Indi Commandos'? Really?

Abhishek Purohit

When was the last time the name “Indi Commandos” brought to mind the image of a cricket team? Never. So the Kochi IPL franchise must have had the novelty factor in mind when they bestowed their team with that strange choice for a name. In a league where the other franchises have stuck to city or state-based names to try and appeal to some sort of regional fan loyalty, Kochi’s queer combination of a pan-India identity and a combat unit hasn’t impressed many.

"Is this an indicator of a lack of identity or is it simply that the franchise owners' loyalties lie outside the state and the city for which the team was bought in the first place?" an irate fan posted on the team’s Facebook page. "Thumbs down for this ... omg …!! After all these months ... this is what you came up with ... shocking," another post said. Fans also aired their dismay on Twitter. One slammed the side by posting "IndiComman'Doomed" while another pointed out that "going commando is the practice of not wearing underwear under one's outer clothing".

The franchise had loftier intentions when they zeroed in on the name. "Indi stands for an independent Indian cricket team that will go ahead to win a billion hearts," their statement read. "Commandos stands for an elite fighting squad, renowned for attacking with speed, stealth and deadly power."

There might be more brickbats coming the Commandos’ way. Reports saying that they may play most of their matches outside Kochi, the city for which they won the team bid, have drawn flak from fans. But with the name they have, resisting the verbal missiles shouldn’t be an issue.

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Abhishek Purohit is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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