Shah Rukh Khan's seemingly innocent, though cheesy, gesture of dedicating KKR's victory over the Deccan Chargers last week to former skipper Sourav Ganguly, who was earlier ignored by KKR during the auctions, has led to a rush of similarly bizarre and meaningless dedications being made by players, team owners and officials

Ganguly himself started things off when, on waking up this morning with a nagging toothache, he dedicated it to Khan.

"I experienced a throbbing sensation in my jaw. It was extremely annoying, painful and made me wince. So I have decided to dedicate my toothache to the one other entity that makes me feel exactly the same - Shah Rukh Khan," said Ganguly, holding his jaw and grimacing in pain. "However, unlike Shah Rukh, the toothache will be gone in a few days. If only there were painkillers that could get rid of gratuitously irritating, cloyingly cheerful team owners, eh? mused the former India captain.

In just the past few days, the IPL governing council has dedicated their anti-corruption laws to Lalit K Modi, KXIP batsman Paul Valthaty has dedicated his stunning performance in the tournament to a dot ball bowled by Sreesanth, and CSK drummer-cheerleader A Sivamani has dedicated his left drumstick to his right drumstick.

"This is nothing new. Remember the time I dedicated my century in a Sydney Test to the opposing captain, Steve Waugh? No? Oh. That's all right then," said VVS Laxman, by now used to the fact that nobody in the IPL pays any attention to him.

Meanwhile, since everybody from little-known model Poonam Pandey to superstar Shah Rukh Khan has been offering to strip to commemorate a cricket victory, another similar offer has emerged from a rather unlikely source - former India Test spinner Venkatapathy Raju.

"I will take off my shirt and exhibit my 'muscles' in the MA Chidambaram Stadium after the IPL final. This is a promise to all my fans. If it is illegal, then I will take the BCCI's permission before doing so," said Raju, at a well attended press conference.

In his haste to convey his eagerness to divest himself of his raiment on the grand occasion, Raju forgot to specify a condition under which he would go half-monty. When a journalist pointed this out, Raju quickly recovered by saying "Eh? What? Oh. Heh heh."

He clarified by adding, "Poonam Pandey offered to strip if India won the World Cup. SRK offered to do it if KKR reached the IPL final. I will combine the best of both worlds - I will strip and dance topless after the IPL final if India wins the World Cup. And, since it has already happened, my promise, unlike that of some others, has no element of risk. Take that, losers!"

While many fans are understandably aghast at the development, a small section of saner voices pointed out that, at least in terms of physical attributes, Raju is not all that different from Ms Pandey. "Some people would rather see Poonam Pandey in the buff, while some others would prefer to see Shah Rukh Khan. I believe that Venkatapathy Raju presents the best possible compromise - so all fans will be equally happy," said one of those people who analyses such things for those pages in the papers that publish stuff like "Cellphones cause increased sex drive" and "Wererats have commitment issues".

"And look on the bright side - at least it isn't Rajesh Chauhan," he added with a shudder.

Whether Raju keeps his promise or not, one thing is certain. This has resulted in a huge spike in the number of young men googling for "Venkatapathy Raju" while slacking off at work, and suffering from acute disappointment attacks.