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Bollywood, nudity, dirt

The IPL's premier match-up, and Malinga's folly, in our q&a feature

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Shilpa Shetty makes an appearance during the match, South Africa v Australia, 1st Twenty20 international, Johannesburg, March 27, 2009
Shilpa Shetty tucks her secret weapon, her pointy alien thumb, under her chin © Associated Press
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Series/Tournaments: Indian Premier League

Who would win in a catfight - Shilpa Shetty or Preity Zinta? asked Deirdre from Leeds
Form favours Ms Shetty. You could ask the last person who tussled with her in public, but she is unfortunately deceased. Ms Zinta is formidably talented at being dimpled, wearing sunglasses, looking concerned, hugging players, and burning calories by jumping up and down in place. Ms Shetty, on the other hand, wields a mean miniature flag, as various people whose eyes she nearly gouged out during the opening weekend will attest. Quality of support cannot be underestimated as a factor, either. On one side, a pack of expat Indian fans holding up posters saying, "I am urs greatest fan, Preity". On the other, Sir Geoffrey Boycott: "Do what I'd do, Shilper. Go after her like she's taken your munny."

Whose pants will fall off while fielding in this IPL? asked Mahesh from the USA
Pants falling off has traditionally been regarded as a measure of a fielder's commitment, second to willingness to scrape elbows bare on the pitch trying for a caught-and-bowled at Motera. Also, a measure of shoddy tailoring. In the old days stalwarts like Anil Kumble used to wear their pants around the chest to prevent just such unseemly mishaps. In any case, there was no concept of fielding then anyway. We live in barbaric times. Players are now in the most unseemly haste to prevent runs from being scored, and hence dive all over the place. Insidious influence of hip-hop, which breeds propensity to reveal underwear, cannot be underestimated. The Kolkata Knight Riders uniforms look suspiciously satiny. Potential for slippage. New Zealanders are famous exhibitionists and have done sterling work in this particular field in the past - see Lou Vincent and Daniel Vettori. Hence, all signs point to Brendon McCullum.

Why does Lasith Malinga kiss the ball before he starts his run-up? asked Hector Bosch from Nelspruit
Clear case of confusion. Supposed to put dirt on the ball, not eat it. Should have asked Athers if unsure. What message does it send to kids watching? Pity. Very likeable lad otherwise.

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