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The Heavy Ball

Commentary's first doping scandal, and the incredible flying woman

Mandira and the joys of jet propulsion, the Agarkar factor, and the shocking truth about Jeremy Coney

Mandira Bedi at a fashion show, April 22, 2005
Mandira Bedi wears 17 rolls of toilet paper on her head to demonstrate how fashionable she is © Associated Press

As the business end of the tournament approaches, the IPL is being touted as a roaring success. "We are very happy that we've been able to overcome huge organisational challenges and turn the second edition of the IPL into a… er… a… a roaring success," said Commissioner Lalit Modi, peeking into the previous sentence for help. "Yes, there have been a few negatives - the strategy break, some empty stands, Ajit Agarkar," he admitted candidly. "But except for Agarkar we are confident that the other aspects will be improved for the next edition," he signed off with a signature wink.

The IPL has seen its share of controversies but is now faced with a scandal that threatens to overshadow all previous ones. TV commentator and former cricketer Jeremy Coney is being investigated by the world anti-doping body, WADA, which suspects he has been using drugs to enhance his performance. This is the first time in sports history that a broadcaster, and not an athlete, is being accused of doping violations.

"All the signs are there - unprovoked singing, incessant giggling, dreamily grooving to Sivamani's beat - Mr Coney is obviously under the influence of some rather strong drugs," said a spokesman for WADA, trying hard not to focus on the targets painted on the skirts of the Rajasthan Royals cheerleaders. "If this is an enhanced performance, I shudder to think what his commentary is like when he's clean," he added, quite unnecessarily.

Coney has, understandably, denied the allegations. He has claimed that he only to took some cough medicine given to him by Mohammed Asif's hakim, to control a cough that is also understood to be Mohammed Asif's. "Heh. Bring 'em on, I say," said Coney confidently. "Let them test my commentary's B sample!" he challenged, confusing his output in the broadcaster's box with his output in the gents' toilet.

Meanwhile, the Bangalore Royal Challengers' team owner, Dr Vijay Mallya, addressed a press conference to challenge his team's critics. "How dare they call us a Test team? We're obviously nowhere near Test class. These people have no idea what they're talking about," he thundered. "Don't worry, Force India will definitely make a comeback next year," he said, inadvertently mixing up the two sports in which he owns underperforming teams.

In a bizarre incident, spectators at the ground were shocked to see Mandira Bedi fly through the air screaming in terror. Apparently she belatedly discovered that the gizmo attached to her back was actually a jetpack meant for performers at the opening ceremony of next year's FIFA World Cup.

In other news, dolphins in the Ganges have denied that they ever swam with Arun Lal. Adam Gilchrist has denied he is the same person as Matthew Perry, and L Sivaramakrishnan has denied that his commentary is being secretly recorded and sold on the black market as a bootleg Youssou N'Dour album.

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