April 16, 2011

IPL

What do you do with the baby and the bath water?

Andrew Hughes
The Kochi fielders celebrate their maiden IPL win, Mumbai Indians v Kochi Tuskers Kerala, IPL 2011, Mumbai, April 15, 2011
Kochi: A Gatorade commerical in 3D  © AFP
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Wednesday, 13th April I’ll be honest. I’m fast falling out of love with Kochi. First there was that business with the shirts. I mean, orange? Really? They said nothing about orange when they bought the franchise. Perhaps that was what all the squabbling was about. But there was no clue on the logo. I was expecting a regal purple outfit, with cool embroidered silver tusks. What did we get? Bilious tangerine. They look like fast-food servers on their lunch break, or street marketers promoting a new brand of orange juice.

And then there’s the not-being-very-good problem. This is a real hindrance to the committed supporter, particularly those of us who got carried away pre-IPL and had a little wager on the orangey ones to win the thing. We are in a for a rollercoaster ride, of the kind you get at illegal fun fairs, where the track isn’t quite finished and it all ends in disaster. Today, for example, when Yuvraj fell, I was leaping up and down like Javed Miandad on a trampoline doing his Kiran More impersonation. But a few balls later, I found myself committing an act of violence upon an innocent cushion as Jadeja completed his spell with one of those innovative “hit me” full-tosses.

Perhaps it’s the shirts, perhaps it’s the name, perhaps it’s presence of Sreesanth, but I am afraid there is no other word for it: Kochi are flaky. In fact, they are the new Kings XI Punjab. Yes, it’s as bad as that.

Thursday, 14th April We’ve all been there. You’ve finished washing your baby. But there’s a problem. The bath is full of both baby and water. What to do? Do you carefully extract your baby then tip away the water? Or do you throw the whole lot out of the window? Well, kudos to the WICB. In dropping Gayle, Sarwan and Chanderpaul, they have shown us that there is a third way: lose the baby and keep the bath water. And if anyone carps, you answer them by saying that the door is not closed to the baby, he can always make a comeback, but it’s time we had a look at what the bath water can do.

Friday, 15th April Exciting news for the nation of New Zealand with the arrival of Australian philosopher and motivational spreadsheet guru, John Buchanan. Professor B enjoyed great success across the Tasman Sea with his innovative five-point strategy:

1. Pick Warne 2. Pick Gilchrist 3. Break for tea and scones 4. Pick McGrath 5. Leave inspirational Post-it notes at the bottom of players’ cereal bowls

“I’ve learnt a lot from my time in Australia,” said the man himself, “Specifically, that Post-its can go a bit soggy if you pour milk onto them. So my first step as Emperor of New Zealand Cricket will be to scour Ebay for a decent Post-it note laminator.”

And the man they call John enthralled a snoozing press corps by outlining his belief in the transformative power of talking at length without really saying anything.

“Philosophy has a lot to offer our sport. I think it was Socrates who said that a small kiwi can down a kangaroo if it knows how to use a gun. Or it may have been Aristotle. Now I come to think of it, it could have been Groucho Marx. Anyway, my aim is to intellectualise the New Zealand cricket collective with a series of lectures on the Impossibility of Existence, a visit to Michel Foucault’s favourite hardware store and compulsory Esperanto lessons for anyone with a central contract.

“After that, it will be a simple matter of identifying three players exactly like Warne, Gilchrist and McGrath and the renaissance of New Zealand cricket can begin.”

Saturday, 15th April Yesterday Kochi beat Mumbai. This might suggest that they are quite good. But I'm not fooled. I've been here before with Kings XI. One day they're thrashing Tendulkar, the next they're all out for 57. It's the essence of flakiness. Don't get sucked in, people, they'll let you down when it matters.

Andrew Hughes is a writer currently based in England

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Teodor on (November 10, 2012, 10:39 GMT)

when sanath was peirormfng very well in his young days ppl praised him and evn accepted him as a GOD but no when he is not peirormfng upto his satndrds ppl cricticise and insult him its da same sanath that they praised long tym back..we all love cricket and wants our sl team to win as a team..how can we blame one person only????is it one persons game???sanath the legend will always be in our hearts !!!!!he shud and will retire soon but before that i think he will retire with a wonderful innigs in the coming days..lets hope so ..and also regarding sanga's captaincy -he is doing a pretty gud job but needs to improve he is not the worse sl captain or nor is he the best sl captain.so we need to gve sum tym..cos he is a classy amazing batsmen and he is intelligent so he will catch up with all da difficulties and bring succeess to our countryeast or west lions are da best !!!!!!=) (0)

Posted by Rajat on (April 18, 2011, 16:18 GMT)

"Don't get sucked in, people, they'll let you down when it matters." perfect!

& Prof B 5 point Strategy! LOL.

Posted by Sundar on (April 18, 2011, 0:23 GMT)

Classic Andrew. Five point innnovative strategy and to top “After that, it will be a simple matter of identifying three players exactly like Warne, Gilchrist and McGrath and the renaissance of New Zealand cricket can begin.” Brilliant

Posted by Anoop on (April 17, 2011, 3:20 GMT)

If Kochi are the new KXIP I am pretty sure KTK fans and players alike will any day take that...not to mention the franchise owners. :D...Being from this part of the world I AM stuck with KTK, but after the Mumbai riot, I am not complaining. If they can produce the same brand of batting and fielding sans bowling, they might actually achieve 1/10th the aura of the current KXIP side. But if they keep bowling this way, they might end up being KXIP minus Valthaty, which I have to admit is not a rosy proposition. Orange has been a fav of mine courtesy Netherlands football team, but KTK did manage to find a new low in Orange. Meanwhile, the baby bath reference was hilarious Andrew. ;) Keep writing :D

Posted by Jojy John Alphonso on (April 16, 2011, 18:00 GMT)

But I liked the way Kochi planned their chase against Mumbai. I hope they go on to win the tournament.

Posted by illusionisttt on (April 16, 2011, 13:19 GMT)

good one Andrew. Loved the Bhuchanaan part

Posted by S. Natarajan on (April 16, 2011, 11:17 GMT)

Gr8 article!! Especially the Kochi reminder!! :-)

Posted by Piyush on (April 16, 2011, 9:26 GMT)

Really enjoyed ...very good Andrew...i have become a cricinfo addict :)

Posted by Anand on (April 16, 2011, 7:39 GMT)

LOL @ the baby-bath water reference..

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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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