The Heavy Ball

India's sponsor sponsors

Who'll foot the bill for the ones footing the bill for the BCCI? And an (almost) unique opportunity courtesy Australia's injuries

A delighted Sachin Tendulkar punches the air, Hyderabad, November 4, 2009

Sachin Tendulkar shows what he thinks of the sponsorship-sponsorship idea  •  AFP

The BCCI's bid to secure a record-breaking sponsorship deal for the Team India t-shirts has led to the unprecedented situation of potential sponsors looking for sponsorship themselves to raise funds for the purpose. Present sponsor Sahara India, whose deal runs out this year, have admitted that they have approached interested parties to sponsor their sponsorship of the Indian team.
"Eight hundred crores is a lot of money, and in these financially difficult times, we have no option but to try and raise the money through sponsorship. We have approached entities with sufficient budgets, such as the World Bank and the nation of France to try and clinch a deal," said a spokesman for Sahara. In return for their sponsorship of Sahara's sponsorship of the India team jerseys, the sponsors will get the rights to display their branding prominently on all the legal documents, stationery, rubber stamps, coffee mugs, staplers and other assorted paraphernalia used while working out the sponsorship deal. They will also be able to display branding on the attire and personal belongings of sundry marketing executives, lawyers, accountants and administrative staff involved in the process, for the entire duration of the sponsorship period.
"Hey, they're getting a great deal - at least they won't have to deal with all the negative backlash when the team gets thumped. We're taking all the risk here. Hello?" said the spokesman in a mocking tone, when someone questioned the value the sponsors would be getting.
Meanwhile, Cricket Australia has come up with an imaginative solution to their almost farcical injury woes during their team's ongoing ODI series against India - they're converting the series into a triangular featuring India, Australia, and Australia (Injured), which is a team composed entirely of injured players.
"If you looked at our injured list, you'll agree that it's a pretty decent side. We've got Paine at the top of the order, Haddin and Clarke shore up the middle, Hopes and Henriques bring all-round balance, and Siddle and Lee are a world-class new ball pair. So we've worked out a deal with the BCCI to let them enter as the third side in the competition," said CA chief James Sutherland, explaining the decision. "It would be a pity if such quality cricketers missed out on the cricket due to injury, so we've provided them an opportunity to be a part of the action, and the fans an opportunity to watch more top-quality players," he added, quite nonsensically. He also brushed aside suggestions that it was against the rules to allow two sides from a single country to play in a series, pointing to "that ridiculous tournament featuring Australia, Australia A and England" as an example.
As the Indian domestic season kicked off this week, Bengal new-ball bowler Ranadeb Bose's amazing record of not having overstepped once in his long and distinguished career, during which he has sent down over 14,000 deliveries, has caused some minor confusion between commentators covering the series. What began as a commentator saying "Bose has bowled no no-balls in his entire career," has, in an almost chinese-whispers-like transformation, led to the circulation of rumours such as "Bose has bowled no balls during his entire career", "Bose has no balls", and "Bose doesn't know balls about no-balls." However, Bose took all of this admirably in his stride, saying, "I owe my success to my coach, the legendary Kartik Bose. I have had a great career, no complaints - other than the fact that my ponytail mildly resembles that of Dr Arindam Chaudhuri."

Anand Ramachandran is a writer and humourist based in Mumbai. He blogs at
Any or all quotes and facts in this article may be wholly or partly fiction (but you knew that already, didn't you?)