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The seven plagues of the IPL

We've had moths and dogs. Here are some entertaining disruptions we'd like to see this season. Note: contains a Tendulkar tantrum

Nishi Narayanan

Comments: 30 | Text size: A | A
Shilpa Shetty, Lalit Modi, Preity Zinta and Gayatri Reddy pose for the cameras, Mumbai, January 19, 2010
All smiley now, but when the gloves come off that's a good eight minutes of prime game time taken care of © Associated Press
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The cheer assault
Two pom poms are carried on to the field by a gust of wind during a Kolkata v Deccan game. Kolkata need one to win off the last ball when one of the fluffy intruders blows across the umpire's face. Sourav Ganguly, distracted by what looks like the "comfy cushy" he had when he was 11, is bowled off what is actually a no-ball. An argument ensues over legality of the ball. Ganguly flounces, Eden Gardens riots, and no one notices that the second pompom has gently landed on Andrew Symonds' head.

The prolonged toss
Security is so tight at the IPL that though a dozen "franchise reps", contest winners, and hangers-on are allowed on to the pitch for the toss, along with the captains and match referee, the coin is deemed a risk. After a short but frantic delay, the unflappable IPL commissioner decides the toss will determined using his BlackBerry. No, not by flipping it (it's not insured against on-field damage) but using the "guess-which-hand" method. Shane Warne employs his poker expertise to pick the right hand - which is the left.

The unexpected yorker
Shaun Tait bowls a delivery so wide it yorks the fielder standing at point, Michael Lumb. Confusion prevails: batsmen are unsure whether to run, the umpire doesn't know whether to call it an extra-wide wide or a dead ball. Lumb, now with a sore right foot, is carried off the field. Two days later he makes a brave return and takes the same position on the field. Brendon McCullum, on a manic hitting spree, goes for yet another scoop-and-roll. But this time he rolls too far and his bat collides with Lumb's face, breaking his jaw. The headline in India's leading paper the next day: "Numb Lumb rendered dumb".

The catfight
Punjab and Rajasthan are fighting to avoid finishing last. It's a tense game with loud, unnecessary appeals, constant chatter, glares, and a few tantrums: all by Kumar Sangakkara obviously. The nerves are equally frayed in the VIP enclosure, where Ms Zinta and Ms Shetty sit side by side, each clutching a team flag in one hand and a Twitter-friendly device in the other. Shetty checks her palmtop to see a tweet by Zinta: "shlpa's blahniks sooo 08, jst lk hr team ;) :)!!" Shetty squeals in rage and wraps the Royals' flag around Zinta's face and begins punching her. A camera pans to them and the fight is beamed on to the big screen. The spectators and players watch enthralled while the commentators tell TV viewers that the scuffle is sponsored by Wrestlemania 26 (don't forget to tune in to Bret Hart v Mr McMahon).

The sulk
After turning down three appeals in an over, Rudi Koertzen is handing the bowler's cap over to him when he overhears someone mutter "old" and "fart" in quick succession. Enraged that someone would accuse of him of being past it, a gold-chain-wearing Rudi refuses to return the ball for the next over till the offender owns up and apologises. For the next 20 minutes the players try to convince Rudi it was a reference to Sanath Jayasuriya. While Sanath sulks, "Rudes" rolls up his sleeve and shows everyone his Optimus Prime tattoo. "Ja, who's old now?"

The blow-up
A Koertzen tantrum might be entertaining, but what about one from Sachin "I-speak-ill-of-none" Tendulkar? Really, 13,000 Test runs, 47 Test hundreds, a double in ODIs and zero outbursts? Boring. What if he just snapped after hearing "Little Master" for the ten-billionth time? It's toss time and having already been spat on by Ravi Shastri, screaming "Vanakkam Chennai", Tendulkar can't take it when the "l-m" phrase is used. He gets on his toes and upper-cuts, evoking memories of that innings against Pakistan in the 2003 World Cup. Shastri is knocked unconscious. The headline in India's leading paper the next day: "Shaz Ten-totalled-kar".

The protest
The IPL has upset many Test cricket supporters, and one radical group, called "Slow Burn", stage a protest at the Chinnaswamy Stadium by sneaking on to the field before the toss (cleverly wearing red Bangalore jerseys over white trousers, so the security staff think they are all Siddhartha Mallya's friends) and sitting on the pitch, chanting: "If it don't take five days, it ain't cricket" and "When the lights go up, the whites come down".

Nishi Narayanan is a staff writer at Cricinfo

Tell us what you think. Send us your feedback

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Comments: 30 
Posted by thephilosopher on (March 30, 2010, 17:04 GMT)

I would paraphrase the so-called seventh plague as follows: "The protest- The IPL Page 2 journalism has upset many Cricinfo supporters, and one radical group, called "Save Cricinfo", stage[s] a protest at the Chidambaram Stadium by sneaking on to the field before the toss (cleverly wearing yellow Chennai jerseys over white trousers, so the security staff think they are all Super Kings' friends) and sitting on the pitch, chanting: "If it's Nishi or Anand Ramachandran, it ain't Cricinfo" and "When their humour goes up, the standards come down!"..LOL

Posted by Langesbury on (March 30, 2010, 11:17 GMT)

funny. Yeah , will tendulkar remian the ill speaking of no-one guy or surely will he snap at the prolonged and over exaggerrated worship of his feats - I want to see him snap! and rudi's optimus prime tatoo - gold!!!! JA JA JA!!!

Posted by   on (March 30, 2010, 7:27 GMT)

Not a so good one and not something close to what's happening in reality....

Posted by jimbond on (March 30, 2010, 3:55 GMT)

For humour, this piece sucks; and even the unrealistic scenarios thought up are not funny. If anything, it indicates that the author does not really watch too much cricket. That 'numb lumb' stuff was actually humour of the kindergarten level, and the koertzen-jayasurya thing bordered on toilet humour. I think Cricinfo must do something fast to safeguard the quality of its columns.

Posted by __PK on (March 30, 2010, 3:18 GMT)

OK, not the geatest article I've read today, but thanks for creating an image of a Shetty/Zinta catfight.

Posted by Croc_on_mara on (March 29, 2010, 23:49 GMT)

I swear on devil, I can write better than this! Cricinfo is just giving more fodder to the anti-Indian crowd that already haunts this website by publishing such a pedestrian piece of literature. 'the umpire doesn't know whether to call it an extra-wide wide or a dead ball'?!? Really? Wow...the editor needs some perspective..uh.

Posted by blazing_squad on (March 29, 2010, 23:05 GMT)

awesome simply awesome !!

Posted by Tau001 on (March 29, 2010, 23:00 GMT)

what what what? I mean can't you just leave the empty space with just a heading, instead of writing such gibberish?

Posted by maddy20 on (March 29, 2010, 22:13 GMT)

Good one! The line "this fight is sponsored by" is crackalacking! I always find chick fights pretty amusing! Never mind the freaks, keep em' coming.

Posted by colorodan on (March 29, 2010, 22:05 GMT)

Compared to the real estate wasted on Yousuf's retirement, this is better use of the resources!!

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Nishi Narayanan
Staff writer Nishi studied journalism because she didn't want to study at all. As she spent most of the time at j-school stationed in front of the TV watching cricket her placement officer had no choice but to send out a desperate plea to the editor of ESPNcricinfo to hire her. Though some of the senior staff was suspicious at that a diploma in journalism was the worst thing that could happen to ESPNcricinfo and she did nothing to allay them, she continues to log in everyday and do her two bits for cricket.

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Staff writer Nishi studied journalism because she didn't want to study at all. As she spent most of the time at j-school stationed in front of the TV watching cricket her placement officer had no choice but to send out a desperate plea to the editor of ESPNcricinfo to hire her. Though some of the senior staff was suspicious at that a diploma in journalism was the worst thing that could happen to ESPNcricinfo and she did nothing to allay them, she continues to log in everyday and do her two bits for cricket.
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