May 5, 2013

The race for Mr Angry Pants 2013 Trophy

A rude Royal Challenger, a nose-out-of-joint Knight Rider, and a muppet of a Mumbai Indian are up for the title

IPL6 "The Squabble" is the best sequel yet. It's the story of a rivalry between two wealthy, successful, famous young men who, for reasons that are not entirely clear, are perpetually poised on the precipice of petulance.

The previously dormant Mount Tantrum began to rumble ominously last month when the Really Cross Belligerents took on Kolkata Kindergarten Rumpus.

Virat Kohli, considered by some to be the reincarnation of the god of hissy fits, played a shot that was so ugly that in many jurisdictions it is a criminal offence to broadcast it. Caught on the boundary, he stomped into the outfield looking for an argument, and bumped into the Prince of Pout, one Gautam Gambhir.

In their brief debate, they were in broad agreement on the merits of the terrible shot but differed significantly over the implications of the terrible shot, with Gautam proposing that it proved Virat was indeed a big stinky pants, and Virat countering that on the contrary, it merely confirmed that Gautam had badger breath and a massive nose.

A few games later and Virat's Righteous Indignation tour found him on the end of a booing in Mumbai, where the crowd called him "cheater" after a dubious run-out. I don't know if Virat watches English football, but in this country, if an England player emerged from an away game having being called nothing worse than a "cheater" that would count as a friendly reception.

But Virat did not like it one bit and at the post-match post-mortem, he exhibited the hallmark self-awareness of the modern sportsman:

"I don't know why they get so worked up…"

Quite. The extra points he earned from this irony bypass enabled Virat to open up a clear lead at the top of the Silly Boys Table, and with games running out, Gautam knew he needed to close that gap. But he was up against Rajasthan on Friday, and the Royals don't usually give you much to work with, tantrum-wise. Enter Shane Watson.

Big Watto had just been hit for two boundaries by Manvinder Bisla. This made him good and mad, so he pretended that he was going to throw the ball at the batsman, and to complete the effect, he gave him one of his special looks. For those of you who haven't seen one of Big Watto's special looks, try to imagine a confused Brontosaurus.

By this time, Bisla was cross, Big Watto was cross, and it was all getting a little bit school playground. Time for the captains to intervene and calm it down. Or not. Rahul did his part, but then Gautam brought to the situation the soothing presence of a swarm of vengeful bees whose hive has just been demolished. He accused Rahul of being a former Indian player; to which Rahul replied that at least he had left voluntarily.

Yet despite Gautam's best efforts, Virat still leads in the race for the Mr Angry Pants 2013 Trophy. Next Sunday is the rematch, the Relatively Rude Rumble in Ranchi, so pencil that one in your diaries. But could there yet be a twist? Is there still time for a new contender in the Squabbling Stakes? Over to you Bhajji. Show them how it's done.

Andrew Hughes is a writer currently based in England. He tweets here