Anand Ramachandran is a writer and humourist based in Mumbai. He blogs at bosey.co.in. All the quotes and facts in this piece are made-up (but you knew that, didn't you?)
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Now that we're at the business end of the tournament (and hopefully not at the end of the tournament's business), the teams that were eliminated in the league stage are busy licking their wounds, taking stock and preparing for the next season.
Kolkata Knight Riders team owner Shah Rukh Khan admitted that he was disappointed that KKR once again failed to make the knockout stages, but insisted on looking at the positives. Describing the performance as better than last year's, Khan attributed the improvement to a crucial change in the Knight Riders' coaching methods.
"This year, through an initiative with one of our sponsors, we actually gathered coaching advice from random people all over India through SMS. This proved to be a masterstroke, since they gave us pathbreaking new ideas such as 'Bowl a proper line and length', 'Make Ganguly the captain' and 'Don't pick Ishant Sharma.' This input greatly helped our overall performance, as you may have noticed." he said.
"John Buchanan never said anything even remotely as sensible during the first two seasons - which probably goes to show that newspaper delivery boys, housewives and chicken farmers make better cricket coaches than Laptop Lad," added Khan.
He was quick to defend present coach Dav Whatmore, though, saying, "I don't blame Whatmore. He has a great record working with weak teams and making them successful. We're not that weak a team, really, so he didn't have much to work with."
Khan also admitted that he was considering tweaking or completely changing the team name to improve their luck. Apparently, the final choice lies between Bengal Baywatchers, which stays true to the present "region-plus-David Hasselhoff show" template, K2R, which follows the "Karan Johar method of abbreviating multiple Ks" approach, and Kkolkata Knigght Rridders, which conforms to the Sanjay B Jumaani school of consonant augmentation.
Another team that faced a disappointingly early exit from the tournament are Kings XI Punjab. Speaking to the media, coach Tom Moody too preferred to look at the bright side of things.
"Considering our overall poor form, it's probably for the best that we were eliminated in the league stages. Playing badly and losing in the league matches is much easier to handle for the players, when compared to playing badly and losing in a semi-final or final, which would have been terribly disappointing," he said, in a display of stupefying logical gymnastics. "To sum it up, it's better to be rubbish for 14 games than to be rubbish for 16 games, which is what would have happened had we made the knockout phase," he explained, absently fiddling with a Möbius strip.
Meanwhile, an association of IPL-haters has unexpectedly petitioned the BCCI to extend the tournament by another two weeks.
"We have spent the last 40 days mocking the commentators, criticising Lalit Modi, ridiculing the MRF blimp and complaining about how the IPL is killing cricket. Now that the tournament is coming to an end, we will have absolutely nothing to do. It is unfair on the part of the organisers to deprive us of our basic right to crib about the league, and hence we are asking for a two-week extension," said R Ramalingam, the leader of this obviously unruly and unreasonable group. Ramalingam also said that he would not rest until he and his supporters achieved their ultimate goal, of eventually convincing the BCCI and the ICC to make the IPL a non-stop, year-long tournament.
"We hate the IPL so much, we can't imagine life without it." he said.