India and Chennai Super Kings captain MS Dhoni has expressed his delight at carrying his winning ways into the IPL after the successful World Cup campaign.
"It all started with the semi-final win against Pakistan, which, for us, was the final before the final. Of course, we went on to win the next game, against Sri Lanka, which really was the final after the final before the final. Thankfully there was no final after the final, eh? Might have been one too many - confusing for the punsters," he grinned, starting his press conference off on a cheery note.
Dhoni denied that there was any loss of intensity for the IPL after an emotionally draining World Cup victory, and insisted the players were taking it very seriously. "For us, the World Cup was the IPL before the IPL. So there's no question of taking the IPL lightly. Besides, our team boss is N Srinivasan, who is the Lalit Modi after Lalit Modi. He keeps us on our toes. Like a Boss. Gives team talks. Like A Boss. Hands out paychecks. Like A Boss. Cements our relationships. Like A Boss," he added, succumbing to that mysterious rap epidemic once again.
The CSK skipper had to conclude the presser in a hurry, since he had other commitments to attend to. "Well, as a last word, I'd like to say that this is a really important line, since it's really, for us, the last line before the last line. See what I mean?" he signed off, with a classic Superman wink.
Meanwhile, a group of music fans in Chennai has violently objected to the presence of percussionist Sivamani as the team's official cheerleader. "Sivamani is hardly the shining beacon of Chennai's musical excellence. The sight of him banging on those ridiculous drums whenever CSK hits a four or six, wearing clothes that make the Kochi uniform look like nun's habits, and generally behaving like a tribal voodoo priest on drugs is painful, and completely against the grain of Chennai's culture and tradition," said a man known only as KR Sambasabharathnabadrakrishnaseshadri, who claimed to be the secretary of an organisation known as Besantnagar Lovers of Arts, Dance and Entertainment (BLADE).
"We know that Mr Srinivasan is a great patron of the arts. So we are going to petition him to replace this barbaric nonsense with boundary-line cheerleaders who are better suited to Chennai's great cultural traditions," said Sambasab… er, we'll just call him Mr Uncle Sam, shall we?
According to the recommendations made by Mr Uncle Sam, hereafter all boundaries hit by the CSK side will be greeted with a short mandolin solo by renowned classical maestro U Srinivas, while all sixes will be welcomed with the lilting melody of leading carnatic vocalist Sanjay Subrahmanyan clearing his throat before a recital. And, in order to showcase Chennai's blend of modernity and tradition, also present by the boundary will be the troupe of modern dance exponent Padmini Chettur. Every time a CSK bowler claims a wicket, one of Ms Chettur's dancers will fall down, accompanied by a single clap from the performer on the right.
The members of BLADE also propose sternly admonishing any spectators who may have the temerity to applaud, cheer or make any other noise in the middle of any of the performances by Messrs Srinivas and Subrahmanyan or Ms Chettur.
Chennai Super Kings owner Mr Gurunath Meiyappan has said that he is willing to consider the suggestions. "If this is what the fans truly want, then CSK is willing to implement the suggestions. We must contribute to the preservation and propagation of Chennai's great cultural traditions," he said. Mr Meiyappan, however, insisted that he would draw the line at some of the more unreasonable suggestions coming in - such as celebrating team victories by distributing copies of Frontline, playing the team's home matches at Rajarathnam Stadium, and forcing Ravi Shastri to bellow "We have a keen contest on the cards" before every toss.