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The Heavy Ball

The IPL gets nationalised

And Kolkata and Rajasthan join to create a super-franchise that wins even when it loses, while the Pakistan board hunts for a player who may be at the IPL

Munaf Patel is pumped up after dismissing Sourav Ganguly, Kolkata Knight Riders v Rajasthan Royals, IPL, Durban, May 20, 2009

Soon together in an indefatigable mega franchise  •  Associated Press

In the face of mounting apprehension that club-based Twenty20 tournaments such as the IPL pose a threat to international cricket, the league's commissioner, Lalit Modi, has come up with a cunning plan to prevent this from happening - by getting the various IPL franchises officially recognised as independent nations, thus converting the IPL into an international tournament.
"We have applied to the United Nations to grant full recognition to our franchises as sovereign nations. So henceforth all IPL matches will count as international matches. Take that, ICC!" grinned a triumphant Modi, pleased to have put it across his adversaries once again.
"Oh, bother. Didn't think of that! Time to go back to suing Jagmohan Dalmiya. Bo-ring." said an ICC lawyer in a grey suit.
An interesting fallout of this development is that franchise owners will now end up owning entire countries. While this will surely delight people like Vijay Mallya, Manoj Badale and Preity Zinta, it will make no difference to Mumbai Indians owner Mukesh Ambani, since he owns most of India anyway.
When people asked Mr Modi what will happen to existing countries, he smirked and replied, "I don't care. Maybe they can apply for club status. For many of them, a move such as this will immediately wipe out national debt, improve foreign relations and boost exports, so they should be happy. And anyway Bangladesh and West Indies are only as good as club sides." By the time Modi left, he was ignoring repeated phone calls from the foreign ministries of five separate erstwhile countries.
Meanwhile, the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and the Rajasthan Royals (RR) plan to merge, creating a new super-franchise called the Kolkata Knight Rajasthan Royals (KKRR).
"Through the three seasons of the IPL, when one of these teams has done well, the other has got hammered. So if we merge the two, victory is assured! Sure, we'll definitely lose, but we'll also definitely win, right?" said a blogger claiming to be a fake KKR team management member.
As they do normally with anonymous bloggers, the KKR management has taken this very seriously and is busy negotiating the details of the merger with the RR management, with Shilpa Shetty waving cluelessly in the background.
"Oh I love mergers! I know all about them. They have colourful powerpoint slides! And nice pens! And guys in suits discussing numbers. I'm so proud and excited to be a part of this," said an excited Ms Shetty, trying not to fall down in sheer joy. When someone questioned her on her knowledge about mergers and cricket, she unexpectedly replied, "What do they know of cricket who only mergers know?" causing mild tremors in Trinidad.
In other news, a furious Pakistan Cricket Board is frantically searching for a player named Karbonn Kamaal, who has apparently gone against the wishes of the board and is currently playing in the IPL. "Our sources say that this player has been playing and taking catches for multiple teams in the IPL. We will ban him mid-innings if it need be," said a distinguished looking gentleman with a resplendent, and slightly intimidating, white moustache.

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