Melbourne. 22 February 2008.
The Cricketing World has not been in such a turmoil since Kapil Dev pronounced Hansie Cronje as “Hansi Karonje” Live on ESPN, during a World Cup telecast in 1996. But now, the variable pricing for invariably inconsistent players in IPL has started creating fault-lines across and through the teams.
Indian team, riding high on Deepika Padukone’s latest text message to Yuvraj and the high bids of IPL, today marched in front of Aussie dressing room and teased Ricky Ponting and company for “getting at least Rs. 12 Crore less” than them in the IPL auctions. Doing some quick on-the-spot Mathematics, Harbhajan concluded that Ishant Sharma is Rs. 20 Lakh per kilo more expensive than Andrew Symonds, since Symonds earns Rs. 2 Crores more than Ishant but also weighs around 40 kilos more.
Ponting didn’t take the ‘Jeetendra gestures’ being made by Indian team lightly and promised to find a way to weaken the Australian economy so that the Rupee-to-Aussie-Dollar conversion rate becomes favorable and his team could “fill some of the valuation gap!” He also threatened to take the matter to ICC, and “if ICC proves useless, then to ICC bosses in India, namely BCCI.”
In a related incident, former Delhi captain and presently TV host Kirti Aazaad landed up in Melbourne and tried to manhandle Ishant Sharma, reportedly “for making so much money.” Though Ishant didn’t incur any injuries, he admitted he could understand “what some of the veterans and senior players of the team were going through.”
Meanwhile in Mohali, Preity Zinta took a tour of PCA Cricket stadium to “understand the game” she has “invested in.” The ‘what’s-going-on’ starlet from 2006 blockbuster ‘Salaam Namaste’ was really impressed by the “quality of stumps being used in Cricket now-a-days!” Waving a stump, which she kept on addressing as “middle-stump”, Zinta gushed – “I am sure we will win – or at least reach the penalty shoot-out.”