Small Asks

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Shaz, Pom, Ali and Co

All star in our special commentary edition

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Yuvraj Singh can't conceal his emotion after another hat-trick, Deccan Chargers v Kings XI Punjab, IPL, 49th match, Johannesburg, May 17, 2009
"We're part of sport's biggest colonial hangover? Get out of here!" © Associated Press
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Series/Tournaments: Indian Premier League

What exactly is a tracer bullet? asked Moksha from India
Tracer bullets are so called because they delineate - i.e. trace - the descent of a commentator from the merely horrid to the execrable. Currently the sole inhabitant of the abyss at the end of 10,000 uses of the phrase "tracer bullet" is Ravi Shastri. However, scientists at the University of Western Australia have forecast that he will be joined in the next eight months (or six inconsequential one-day series shoehorned into the itinerary, whichever is earlier) by the Zimbabwean tag team of Pommie Mbangwa and Alistair Campbell. Whereupon real bullets will be required to put viewers out of their misery.

When are the non-Indian commentators going to say Punjab and not Poonjab?
asked Ganesh from the UAE
Not anytime soon, one is afraid. Astute observers have pointed out that the "I" in the IPL stands for imperialist, and that thesis has been borne out by the attempt to colonise South Africa this year. In keeping with such an enterprise it wouldn't quite be cricket, now, would it, old boy, to refer to the Poonjab as anything but? Clearly, Lalit Modi is a vestige of the East India Company, as is evident from his powdered wig, baronial air and fondness for Yorkshire pudding. Reliable sources inform that the commentators are, in fact, encouraged to turn up to work in horse-drawn carriages and to summon the attendants by calling out "Boy". One unfortunate commentator who asked for kababs instead of scones for a tea-time snack was drawn and quartered in the old English manner, we learn. (Was it Shaz? We can but hope.)

What is the punishment in the Modi rule book for a commentator who fails to acknowledge their "support" on any sixer hit or wicket taken? asked Atul Bhogle from India
Befittingly, and simply, a commentator who fails to flog will himself be flogged. And then made to run up and down the stairs of DLF's tallest building while listening to Dhoni's love songs CD on repeat.

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