The Heavy Ball

Excellence. Entertainment. Exploitation

They're rich, beautiful, will stop at nothing, and are full of it. Our well-placed source brings you a few choice quotes from the IPL's powers that be

Vijay Mallya talks during a press conference in Mumbai, March 22, 2009

Mallya apologises to the world for wearing an uncharacteristically boring shirt  •  Sajjad Hussain  /  AFP

On the first two days of the IPL, fans were treated to all that they've come to expect from the tournament - exciting matches, unpredicable results, predictable commentary, and of course, a surfeit of everyone concerned gushing about how wonderful the tournament is going to be.
The first few games also saw the old warhorses dominate, with Anil Kumble, Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and Shane Warne producing standout performances.
"I always had faith in great cricketers like Rahul and Anil", said Bangalore team owner Dr Vijay Mallya, displaying the requisite IPL team-owner talent for backtracking and general denial. "Look, the top four buttons of my ridiculously colourful shirt are open!" he added, trying to change the subject before anyone asked uncomfortable questions.
Rajasthan Royals team owner Shilpa Shetty has expressed her delight at her team's great start to the tournament. "Yay! We won!! Isn't that coooooool?", she chirruped gleefully, clapping her hands and jumping up and down with delight. When someone pointed out to her that the Royals had, in fact, been soundly walloped by the Royal Challengers, she seemed a bit confused. "What? We lost? But then why is everyone saying that the Royals are the champions? You must be mistaken," she cooed.
Kings XI Punjab co-owner Preity Zinta, not to be outdone, also made sure she contributed to her team's efforts by over-enthusastically waving a flag and grinning from ear to ear, even as Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir made a mockery of the target. "Don't you love this weather? Ideal for a random rain song", she gushed, desperate to demonstrate how much she was enjoying the whole thing.
IPL chief Lalit Modi also expressed his happiness with the way the tournament has kicked off. "We are delighted that we were able to squeeze in the tactical breaks, even in a rain-shortened match," he grinned with a trademark wink. He also said that, in the future, even the tactical breaks will have a title sponsor of their own. "Just like 'Citi Moment of Success', and 'DLF Maximum Sixes', we plan to introduce sponsored events such as 'TVS Tactical Break', 'Reebok Run-Chase', and 'Dominos Dot-Ball'", said Mr Modi to a stunned audience. When a reporter asked if this didn't amount to rampant commercial exploitation, Mr Modi shot back "You mean 'Coca-cola commercial exploitation'. If you fail to mention the sponsor's name, I will hit you with a 'Lays Lawsuit'". This makes the IPL the first event in the world to commercially exploit the entity of "commercial exploitation" itself. Sources have revealed that for the next season even the sponsors themselves may be sponsored - opening up the possibility of sponsored brands such as "Pepsi Coca-Cola", and "Blackberry Nokia".
Most are in agreement, however, that the IPL is a success. "When you see Arun Lal in a commercial, you know that the money is really flowing", said a financial analyst, before trotting off to sell the IP rights to his just-uttered quote for a few crores.