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The Heavy Ball

The IPL gets jokey, Kings XI find a buyer

Did you spot the league's genius April Fools' prank? And could Vince McMahon be buying a stake in a franchise?

Vince McMahon of the WWE

Vince McMahon indicates just how large the planned Yuvraj Singh action figure will be  •  Getty Images

Who says the good folks at the IPL have no sense of humour? Following in the tradition of the famous April Fools' pranks played every year by the Times, the BBC and Google, the IPL has admitted to pulling off the greatest April Fools' joke of all time - the Kolkata Knight Riders' victory against the Deccan Chargers on the - you guessed it - 1st of April.
Apparently the entire match was a carefully planned gag intended to fool millions of TV viewers. Those watching on TV were under the impression that Kolkata won the toss, elected to bat, and posted a strong 181, powered by 88 from Sourav Ganguly and helped by a useful 31 from David Hussey. They then restricted Deccan to 157, aided by some economical bowling by Angelo Mathews, Murali Kartik and Ajit Agarkar (the last one should have been a dead giveaway, but nobody spotted it).
However, what actually happened was much more believable. Ganguly began by hitting three consecutive sixes off Andrew Symonds before retiring hurt due to an itchy toe, and Deccan finally won a thriller when Y Venugopal Rao switched into "Nagarjuna Mode" and took 67 runs off the final over from Agarkar. Kolkata owner Shah Rukh Khan also managed to strike his famous "I'm really upset but I'm still smiling" expression, where he manages to align his eyebrows at an angle of approximately 43 degrees to his eerily twisted upper lip.
"Hahahaha. If people are willing to believe that KKR can beat DC, they'll believe anything," said a pleased-as-punch Lalit Modi, the brains behind the joke. "The IPL has always been fantastic at fooling lots of people," he gloated, before immediately regretting his words and looking around shiftily.
Meanwhile, the rumours regarding the present owners of the beleaguered Kings XI Punjab franchise have gathered new steam with whispers regarding the identity of another potential buyer - World Wrestling Entertainment owner Vince McMahon. Apparently, Mr McMahon believes the IPL shares many qualities he admires in pro-wrestling, such as a love of crass commercialism, priority for cheesy entertainment over actual sport, and TV presenters who act as if they're about to explode with pointless excitement.
"I love the IPL. It's not that different from the WWE, really - it's got great entertainment, the fans aren't annoyingly bright, and it's completely free from interference from those pesky guys at WADA. Plus, it makes bundles of money for the guy who owns it, right?" asked Mr McMahon, flashing a "thumbs-up" sign in a manner reminiscent of Country Club chairman Mr Y Rajeev Reddy.
"I think we should give the team owners and players cool catchphrases, and sell action figures and videogames based on them. How cool would that be?" he said, revealing his plans for the future. Apparently designs are already in place for an action figure of Matthew Hayden that says, "I'm going to cook your (mon)goose!", one of Yuvraj Singh that constantly grows larger and sulkier, and one of Kieron Pollard that does absolutely nothing.
The Delhi Daredevils are also rumoured to be on the lookout for buyers, but are clear that they do not want to change the "DD" brand name. Among the interested parties are India's national broadcaster, Doordarshan, and a mysterious individual known only as Devangshu Datta.

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