The Heavy Ball

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The Obama of cricket

Also, featuring: the delightful forgetfulness of K Srikkanth, and the case of the postponed protest

Anand Ramachandran

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US president Barack Obama, February 2011
"Well, of course, at the end of the day you can say we did not play well" © Getty Images
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Players/Officials: MS Dhoni | Kris Srikkanth
Teams: India

Indian medium-pacer Praveen Kumar's recent statement referring to skipper MS Dhoni as the "Obama of cricket" has sparked off a mini-epidemic of similar utterances by several other players and officials.

Kumar's crazy comparison has led to amused giggles across cricketing circles, but the bowler defended his statement, saying, "Abey yaar, they are very similar. They are both leaders of the No. 1 country in the world. They both replaced men who look remarkably like George W Bush. They both have trademark catchphrases that reverberate with positive energy - Obama says, 'Yes, we can' and Dhoni says, 'Well, of course". And, unlike Jacques Kallis, they both look absolutely nothing like Kate Winslet."

There are some who have taken the Dhoni-Obama thing pretty seriously, though. Pepsi has reportedly approached President Obama to do an advertising campaign wearing creepy body-paint, several small Pacific nations have written to Dhoni asking him for millions of dollars in aid, and the White House is considering appointing Harbhajan Singh as its next chief of staff.

While the debate continues over the validity of comparing Dhoni and Obama, a number of other similar statements have been made last week. Jagmohan Dalmiya has been referred to as the "Suresh Kalmadi of Eden Gardens" (due to his skill in missing construction-related deadlines), Madan Lal has been called the "MK Stalin of medium-pace" (thanks to their physical resemblance and shared fondness for tight-fitting white shirts and wild afros), and K Srikkanth has been labelled the "K Srikkanth of cricket" (because there's nothing outside the world of cricket that is even remotely like K Srikkanth).

Speaking of K Srikkanth, the Indian chairman of selectors, forgetting his position momentarily, recently lashed out at the selection of the Indian team for the World Cup. "It's ridiculous", he bellowed, looking dangerously close to breaking out into an impromptu Tamil folk song. "No reserve wicketkeeper, a legspinner who doesn't bowl legspin, and no place in the squad for S Sreesanth, leaving him with enough free time to compose and inflict awful songs on an unsuspecting public. What were the selectors thinking?"

On being gently reminded that he was the man responsible for these very decisions, Srikkanth replied "Oh? Oh yes. Heh heh."

He went on to explain, "You see, my dear friend, I have always been very forgetful and absent-minded. Even in my playing days, I used to often forget that I was batting in a match, and randomly meander off towards square leg. Only the constant prodding from the umpires and any fielders stationed in the vicinity ensured that I returned to the crease and wildly swished at the next delivery."

As those gathered struggled to hide the horror writ large on their faces, Srikkanth continued. "My dear friend, it's very difficult to keep track of all the things I do these days - chairman of selectors, brand ambassador for CSK, darling of the Indian speed-metal underground. Not easy, I tell you.

"In fact, N Srinivasan must be having an even tougher time. I wonder who helps him remember that he is the BCCI secretary, a member of the IPL governing council, the chairman and MD of India Cements, and also the owner of an IPL team. Certainly not the BCCI. Heh heh.

"Or maybe the CSK owner is actually Boria Majumdar and not Srini. I can never tell them apart," he grinned.

In other news, enraged cricket fans in Kolkata were planning to protest today against the shifting of the India-England match away from Eden Gardens by burning effigies of ICC officials on the streets, but the protest had to be postponed as the effigy maker missed the deadline and the effigies weren't quite ready. At last report the protestors were evaluating the option of moving the protests to Bangalore.

RSS FeedAnand Ramachandran is a writer, comics creator and videogame designer who works when he isn't playing some game with an "of" in its name. He blogs here and tweets here. All quotes and "facts" in this article are made up (but you knew that already, didn't you?)

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Posted by Dummy4 on (February 4, 2011, 5:44 GMT)

Hillarious!! for those who did not understand the Bush part... Punter looks remarkably similar to Bush, I am sure Anand Meant Punter and not dada (He was never a captain of #1 team in the world you see ;)

Posted by Dummy4 on (February 3, 2011, 17:57 GMT)

What does praveen mean by saying men similar to George bush!!!!!!!!!...........DADA was a great captain............!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!..........he has lost cntrl ovr his stmt

Posted by RAJANEESH on (February 3, 2011, 14:58 GMT)

Wow! Comedy at its best... The Kris Srikanth humor was awesome and the last piece just cracked me up. Man, u rock!

Posted by Dummy4 on (February 3, 2011, 9:52 GMT)

Nice ! As usual, good piece.

Posted by Dummy4 on (February 3, 2011, 9:42 GMT)

This is perhaps a desperate attempt to link two unrelated topics !

Posted by I.A. on (February 3, 2011, 7:49 GMT)

Kris Srikanth's famous "what you call" should have been used...funny otherwise... Anand.. can you make sure the cricketers read your article.. they will be ur fan.. Dhoni particularly coz he is not serious about media and makes nice funny statement.. he would like to know what you make of his statements...

Posted by Dummy4 on (February 3, 2011, 7:48 GMT)

@Anand:No swipe at Pawar after Cheeka and Srinivasan??...ah jeez... very funny otherwise

Posted by Himakanth on (February 3, 2011, 5:58 GMT)

This must be the most hilarious article I have read on cricinfo. Great work. Keep it up.

Posted by Dummy4 on (February 3, 2011, 5:34 GMT)

@SRT_GENIUS: I think George W. bush DOES look like George W. Bush. Or so I think.

Posted by Eswar Deepak on (February 3, 2011, 4:42 GMT)

@SRT_GENIUS: Yeah, George W.Bush looks like George W.Bush! This brilliant piece of writing is comic in nature, so no point looking for logic! BTW, Jacques Kallis looks more a mix of Brendon Fraser & Jack Bauer! :D

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Anand Ramachandran
Anand Ramachandran is a game designer and writer based in Bangalore. He specialises in finding creative ways to justify time and money spent on watching sports, playing games and reading comics as "professional investment". He boasts a batting average of 79.66 with 53 first-class hundreds in various cricket videogames, on platforms as diverse as the Sinclair ZX-Spectrum and modern PCs and consoles.

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Anand Ramachandran Anand Ramachandran is a game designer and writer based in Bangalore. He specialises in finding creative ways to justify time and money spent on watching sports, playing games and reading comics as "professional investment". He boasts a batting average of 79.66 with 53 first-class hundreds in various cricket videogames, on platforms as diverse as the Sinclair ZX-Spectrum and modern PCs and consoles.
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