How much does our selector get out of this?
Mumbai. 04 April 2011.
Keeping up with its generosity towards sporting achievements, Maharashtra State Government has announced cash rewards for Indian tennis-duo of Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi who recently regained their world no. 1 ranking by winning the Miami Open doubles-title. A sports ministry spokesperson announced a “cash back guarantee of 5% on all inter-state toll tax collected from Paes-Bhupathi, on the condition that they are traveling together at the time of toll-tax collection. They of course would need to produce the receipt later to use the benefit.”
Not the one to not take a hint, Indian Tennis Federation also announced special reward of “Kaya Skin Clinic” discount coupons for the winning duo. “It’s a handsome discount of 74% on full-body skin treatment”, said the official release.
Not only this, Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi were greeted by thousands of chanting fans in Mumbai, all the way from the airport to their respective homes in suburbs. Most of them were obviously drunk, lying on the roadsides, and forwarding any SMS that came their way. “Of course they were chanting our names – Mahesh and Leander is Mahender”, said Mahesh Bhupathi. “As I entered my home, firecrackers were still going up”, said an ecstatic Leander. “Surely it can’t be because of the World Cup win which is already 3-days stale now”, he added hesitantly.
Give me your account numbers, boys! (Photo Courtesy: NDTV.com and AFP)
Meanwhile UPA has announced a cash-reward of Rs. 1-Crore for Rahul Gandhi too, for “being present at the venue and inspiring a win – a rare occasion”.
Filed under Cricket, Sport
Future is brighter (Image Courtesy: ChessVibes.com)
New Delhi. 12 May 2010.
“He has done the nation proud! He can select any IPL team he wants to play for, next season”, said an elated M. K. Sabu, Sports Ministry Secretary soon after Vishwanathan Anand retained his World Chess Championship title, beating challenger Topalov in a close match in Bulgaria. Explaining the slightly odd offer, Sabu said that they could have offered him prize money and land worth crores, “but then, he is a world champion! We are giving him the ultimate prize. It’s like bestowing him with a Kaamdhenu.”
Anand was unavailable for comment but KKR team owner SRK tweeted soon after with an affirmative “V can do with a good opener.” Sources confirmed that Anand will be back home by the weekend, and an official delegation of sports ministry, comprising of hired Babu-looking men and saari-wearing smile-wielding women, as well as clueless officials will be there at the New Delhi airport to receive him.
Waiting for V. Anand (Image Courtesy: Lalit Modi)
Before the official reception next evening, a special slide show presentation, titled ‘Who is V. Anand and why are we felicitating him’, will be held in the secretariat for the various ministers, cricketers, and celebrities attending the party. Indian Cricket team captain MS Dhoni, making it home just in time for the party, seemed happy by the news of Anand winning. “It’s been 2 weeks since we had a good party. Looking fwd”, a random sms by him read.
Meanwhile, Rahul Gandhi and Bill Gates bonded big time over Amethi’s broken windows and Uttar Pradesh’s barely operating system.
Hillary and Hillarious (Image Courtesy: Outlook India)
New Delhi. 10 May 2010.
Months after Pratibha Patil forgetting she is the President of India and a week after Shashi Tharoor forgetting his twitter password, UPA’s Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh yesterday followed the trend. Clarifying his shocking remarks, made in Beijing, against his own government’s China policy, he said: “I was not me. I seriously thought I was Digvijay Singh, yet again criticising Chidambaram. Jairam Ramesh, as a creature or concept, didn’t exist in my mind then.” Insiders didn’t overrule minister’s favorite BT-Grass as one of the reasons for such hallucinations.
The Home Ministry, alleged to be alarmist towards chinese companies by Jairam Ramesh, came out with a strong denial video in which P. Chidambaram kept shaking his head for 10-minutes. Later, an official clarification from the secretariat read: “We have recently installed China-made alarms in the Home Ministry offices. Probably that’s what Mr. Jairam Ramesh meant.”
Paranoid? Who, me? (Image courtesy: Circumstances)
Though Jairam Ramesh is a high-profile minister, and the allegations are serious, the UPA top brass is not worried. “We have been ruling for just last 60-years. We are learning”, said Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi.
Meanwhile, Indian T-20 team succesfully bowed out of T-20 World Cup in West Indies, giving the fans much needed time to sleep, wash and follow Sachin Tendulkar on Twitter.
2 May 2010. St Lucia.
It was a bitter moment of truth for Indian pace bowler Vikram Mehra (name changed on request) as he walked up to captain Suresh Shetty (name changed on request), during India’s first World T20 tie with Afghanistan. Vikram was just following the protocol when he asked Shetty – “How many boundaries in this over captain? Do you want the 5-wide that goes behind the wicketkeeper first up or shall I save it for the end of the over? More drama…eh?” The captain’s moist-eyed reminder to him that “IPL is over”, and this is World T20, left the party-animal Mehra shaken.
Mehra is not alone. If sources are to be believed, almost every player in Indian dressing room is feeling the pinch. Says Rajendra Makwana (name changed on payment), India’s biggest-hitter in T20s: “It’s insulting to get out just because the bowler has bowled a good ball. Earlier, in IPL, we got out only when we wanted. And were getting paid for it too! This is crap.” For new players like Arjun Paliwal (name changed to protect identity), who is incidentally making his International debut with this World T20, the situation is even more disorienting. “I grew up listening to the tales of late night parties, babes, and a lap-dance for Sid Mallya. The atmosphere here is highly disillusionary” he says, before casually reciting an over-by-over “fixing-table” to show how prepared he had come to this format. “I can really cram the whole ball-by-ball fixing pattern – I could’ve been an asset”, he bets.
Team coach and manager KK (name shortened on request) though chooses to look at the silver linings. “Shonali Nagrani is still here. So is Rameez Raja! We are not really misisng Mandira and Sameer Kochhar that much”, he smiles. But prod a little deeper and Kotla-like cracks start to appear in his ‘all-is-well’ demeanour. “I see Lalit Modi in my dreams”, he confesses while hiding his eyes behind dark glasses. “Those were good times”, he adds before walking off.
Though the team has won its first two encounters, and captain Shetty is confident they can shrug-off the memories of a Preity Zinta DLF maximum hug, an SRK maxx-mobile pep talk, a Lalit Modi MRF smile, and a late night Russian-accented karbonn kamaal phone call, the road ahead looks tough. Team veteran and India’s off-spin hope James Bond (name swapped with who he thinks he is) puts things in perspective when he says – “T20 is dying!”
Filed under Cricket, Sport
- Johnnie…no more in the picture.
Cape Town. 14 May 2009.
Silencing T20 critics and ICL supporters in one blow, Johnnie Oswald, the New Zealand born famous IPL commentator died here of a heart-attack while announcing the very exciting ‘strategy break’ feature of an IPL 2.0 game between Delhi Daredevils and Rajasthan Royals. Eyewitnesses and fellow cheer-girls later confirmed that Johnnie just loved announcing ‘strategy break’ in the most heart-thumping, outlandish way and today he just overdid it. Johnnie’s last sentence, though unfinished, was – “Strategy Break!! This is where they win or lose!! Goosebumps all over the place…I feel like…”
Johnnie’s death comes at a time when critics of the format, and especially ‘strategy break’ innovation, are running amok calling it another step in whoring of Cricket, “and that too, in the most boring way.” IPL’s veteran host Arun Lal, sitting next to Johnnie at the time of mishap, summed up his shock while speaking to a Lalit-Modi approved news channel – “Johnnie did a ‘Yo-Man’ service to the format. I think his death was a Citi Moment of Shock for me, and he will be Pepsi-missed in the commentary box. And trust me, he was DLFucking good with his job!”
Filed under Cricket, Society
Mumbai. 24 April 2009.
In a revelation as bizarre as Freida Pinto landing a Woody Allen film, Superstar of the millennium (since last 30-years), Mr. Amitabh Bachchan today admitted to being the ghost writer for the near-cult Fake IPL Player Blog. The blog claiming to be a real account of Kolkata Knight Riders’ board meetings had already created a buzz by calling names to team-owner SRK. “But now it makes sense,” says Mumbai Police’s ‘Cyber Crime Cell’ chief Anant Rajulu, the man behind cracking this intriguing case.
Writing in his blog, following the cyber team’s crack, Big B admitted to starting this blog as a “fun exercise”, but claims that it grew on him. “Frankly, I hate this format as well as Lalit Modi. I mean, what’s next? A Two-Two….a two-over each match? Or just a T-T, where both the captains go out there and ‘toss’? And of course, SRK being there was an added incentive to write. I have been silent all my life but now I have the power, so nobody can stop me from faking it”, goes his one blog entry. In another entry, probably written in a mellower mood, he elaborates, “I know most of the details out there are incorrect. In fact, I would never call SRK ‘Badshah D*&@’. I mean, why bother with ‘Badshah’? And guess what, this time I foxed Shobha De too. She commented on the fake blog like a fanboy!’
Though the details of how the mystery was solved are still unknown, sources claim that cops smelled rat when out of 2,000 or so comments on the blog, more than 1,500 were signed as “Chhotey-Bhaiyya!”
Obama on Af-Pak
The real beneficiary
Durban. 21 April 2009.
The furore following IPL team Knight Riders’ four-captain-theory is yet to die down, but the team has gone ahead and embraced another fancy and equally controversial policy to up its fortunes. Team owner and love-mera-hit-hit star Shahrukh Khan today announced his willingness to “try-out” US President Mr. Barack Obama’s grand Af-Pak policy to give his boys the much-needed fillip in the second season of India’s local cricket tournament, which incidentally, is being played in South Africa this year.
Explaining the new development, Knight Riders’ coach John Buchanan said that “the team needs something which is raw, fancy, and absolutely impractical, as that’s what the IPL format demands. I mean, you can’t be more impractical than Shane Warne, and he won it last year.” Though Mr. Obama couldn’t be reached directly, he was busy formulating Kar-Tam policy for resolving the Karnataka-Tamilnadu Cauvery Water dispute, his office expressed delight at getting the news. “That’s a start! Somebody in South-East Asia recognizing our policy”, the short message from White House read.
Though there is still vagueness regarding how Af-Pak will be implemented by KKR, fellow teams insist that it’s just another name for ‘Four-Captain-Theory’ where everybody takes decisions and nobody takes the responsibility.
Thank God for racism!
Meanwhile, Team Rajasthan Royals’ stake-holder Shilpa Shetty today expressed her shock at realizing that IPL is “not a Big Brother type reality show! I mean, where is the voting, bitching, nudity, abusive language, and fake emotions?. Lalit Modi sold me the package with these tags, and he lied.” Lalit Modi, in his defense, just said – “I didn’t lie.”