The Heavy Ball

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Dear diary

Party hearty

What do IPL players get up to at night after the games are over? We present fragments from a cricketer's notebook, which fell into our hands

Comments: 44 | Text size: A | A
Sreesanth breaks into a celebratory jig after getting rid of Kevin Pietersen, England v India, 3rd Test, The Oval, 5th day, August 13, 2007
Kids, they just wanna have fun, I tell you © Getty Images
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March 30
Settled down to watch some TV before bed. Surprised to see the replay of the Adelaide Test on a show called India Glorious.

(Note to self: Must call and thank the channel. It's a privilege and honour that they still show my innings from seven years ago. Note [2]: Have I lost some hair since?)

I was about to look up my notes on the game when Mark walked into the room wearing a shade of pink the MCC have said they will use on cricket balls.

"Let's go down to the party, Jammy," he said. I have told him I don't like being called Jammy and certainly will not call him Bouchie, when he has such a strong, upstanding name like Mark, but it seems Dr Mallya wants us all to bond through nicknames. He really doesn't want us to seem like a Test side, I suppose.

I asked him what party. I was a little worried because we are on tour, so my bedtime was fast approaching and I still needed to finish my meditation. He said it was called IPL Nights, and would have models, cheerleaders and Bollywood stars. A party the night before the match? I know it's mandatory but this is ridiculous. I shall write a strongly worded letter to Dr Mallya. Mark says it's a Page 3 event, so I must dress casual. No problem. I shall wear my official RCB t-shirt and jacket and leave the tie.

10.20pm Just got back from the party. It wasn't a total failure. I managed to test audience reactions for my speech for the Colin Cowdrey Lecture: "Changes in behaviourial patterns of cricketers from the 1990s to the 2000s: decade of grit to decade of glitz".

(Note to self: Must ask Virat or one of the younger guys how to type "emoticons".)

Virat and Suresh were sitting with two young ladies, who were trying to get Virat to take his shirt off to show his tattoos. I managed to step in and prevent any awkwardness. I asked who would like to listen to a comparative study between cricket in this decade and the previous. Brett once told me any situation can be defused with a cheery smile. It worked! The girls stopped trying to unbutton his shirt and all four of them turned to me with raised eyebrows. "Comp what?" Suresh asked. I'm beginning to think he didn't finish reading Steve Waugh's Out of My Comfort Zone, which I lent him. In the next 20 minutes I gave them the gist of my speech. I sensed Virat and Suresh weren't entirely happy being told they belonged to the decade of glitz.

April 1
Met Sachin and VVS at Delhi airport on my way to Mohali. I was about to tell them the great new joke I heard about the other member of our "Fab Four" when Mr Shahrukh Khan walked over to our table.

"EverymovieIdoismybabyandeveryKKRplayerismybaby. wishIcouldtellyouallmydreamsforKKRforIndiafortheworld. Mwaah." With a cloud of smoke, he was gone. Followed by a camera crew. It seems he was shooting a documentary. I hope I am not bought by KKR next season. I have no problems with Mr Khan's involvement with the team and his affection for his players, but I draw the line at watching his movies.

Virat and Suresh were sitting with two young ladies, who were trying to get Virat to take his shirt off to show his tattoos. I managed to step in and prevent any awkwardness

April 3
We won at Mohali yesterday. Punjab didn't give us any other alternative. As a team-bonding exercise, I suggested we watch the ABC documentary From Benaud to Border , which I had brought back from Australia, but everyone else wanted to go attend the IPL Nights. Again? This time it was at our hotel. I had seen the door marked Hot n Wet this morning and assumed it was a greenhouse. Turns out that's the club.

I thought I'd sneak in and out of the party quickly but was accosted by a hyperactive lady from MTV. I've got more coherent questions from a drunk-and-bawling Freddie Flintoff. Luckily I have trained myself to tune out when the media asks me questions. I reply with pre-packaged answers, but no one realises:

Lady: Do you think cheerleaders are good for the game?
Me: I think they are an integral part of the game. You know, the game is evolving and we need to roll with the times. [Note: can also be used for questions on technology, Andrew Symonds' drinking problem, and Gambhir's frank views]

Lady: What is your favourite fashion accessory on the pitch?
Me: It's important to go out there with confidence. Just believe in yourself and watch the ball and everything will be fine. [also use in: messages to young cricketers]

Lady: Right. Where would you take Preity Zinta out on a date?
Me: Bowling. We should concentrate on that. See how to avoid injuries and build a world-class unit. [also use in: team meetings]

Any or all quotes and facts in this article may be wholly or partly fictional (but you knew that already, didn't you?)

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Comments: 44 
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Posted by Dummy4 on (April 9, 2010, 13:36 GMT)

Lolz..... Amazing... esp the thing bou SRK nd the party....

Posted by Kiran on (April 9, 2010, 6:45 GMT)

How far away from reality is this?

- Its won't be a surprise that Dravid is one of the most earnest students of the game and always listens, reads and thinks about the game. And he will/should go on to give the Cowdrey lecture one day.

- I think we all know Virat was a spoilt brat to begin with

- English is not Suresh's sharpest he could really not have understood Dravid or have attempted to read a book (which Dravid might well own and have lent)

- Dravid, Sachin and VVS all probably feel the same way about Ganguly

The only thing that stuck out was the sad attempt at humour to portray Dravid as an ancient relic that doesn't get an emoticon or worries about highlights of his innings, let alone his hairline. The IPL is full of jokers to pick on...why pick on Dravid is beyond me.


P.S. The picture of Sreesanth making a fool of himself is the only thing that made me smile.

Posted by nicky on (April 9, 2010, 5:17 GMT)


Keep posting many like these.

Posted by Nikhil on (April 9, 2010, 3:36 GMT)

Hez Dravid. He wrote "Met Sachin and VVS at Delhi airport on my way to Mohali. I was about to tell them the great new joke I heard about the other member of our "Fab Four" when Mr Shahrukh Khan walked over to our table."

Fab four are Sachin, VVS, Ganguly and Dravid... So he wanted to tell Sachin and VVS joke about other member (Ganguly) of Fab four when SRK walked over to table.

Posted by Dummy4 on (April 8, 2010, 23:08 GMT)

lol jammy is no other than dravid hilarious..............

Posted by Lou on (April 8, 2010, 23:07 GMT)

Very, very funny, thanks whoever wrote it.

I love Dravid, there's no other player like him.

Posted by Sunil on (April 8, 2010, 22:13 GMT)

Why the doubts? Ofcourse it is (atleast meant to be) Dravid. Didn't anybody notice the nickname "Jammy" mentioned in the write-up?? His dad worked for Kissan Jam and the nickname stuck ever since. Its a well known story.

Posted by senthil on (April 8, 2010, 22:08 GMT)

Looks like Dravid wrote it or made to look like Dravid wrote it, which ever might be it is damn funny and is as close to the spoof reality lines that third umpire would grant the benefit of doubt to the batsman. Well done.

Posted by Konark on (April 8, 2010, 21:28 GMT)

Wow is it really you Dravid :) ? It's brilliantly written. Damn funny.

Posted by Nitin on (April 8, 2010, 20:53 GMT)

Diary continued:

Dear diary,

Found a great post-IPL de-stressing therapy today. Asked Sreesanth to bowl 300 short pitched, hittable balls (50 full overs) and played defense to all of them. Funny thing was Sreesanth had no trouble bowling 300 hittable balls.

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