One team in the IPL which has got the maximum amount of coverage in prime time on TV, has had written the most amount of column inches written  in newspapers, generated the maximum traffic on the Internet would  the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) owned by  SRK. One of the very few teams to have broken even in the first year itself despite having finished a dismal 6th out of 8 teams. “This is cricketainment’ as Sandy Maddy Babe would exclaim and the publicity hungry Khan would concur.

In the IPL second edition too, the Knight Riders eclipsed the other teams in terms of TRPs even before the first ball was bowled- 4 captain theory proposed by John-“The Laptop’ Buchanan, the war of words between SRK and Gavaskar, removal of the enigmatic Ganguly as captain. But out of the blue came the biggest eyeball generator of them all- fakeiplplayer.blogspot.com, allegedly written by a disgruntled player of the KKR, who is spilling the beans, left right and centre of the ego clashes, the power struggles, the discontent within the team etc. Refers to powers in that are in the IPL circuit by damningly funny names. The Punjab team owners and some select commentators are picked out for special treatment. In all, terrific entertainment for the public, more interesting than KKR’s performance on the field.

The KKR team management predictably has termed the juicy allegations fictions of imagination of a swine, out to make a quick buck. However off the record, no effort is spared to limit the damage. SRK starts his own blog, the news on fakeiplplayer in the eyeballs seeking trivia, sensationalism seeking news channels is conspicuously absent. The PR efforts notwithstanding, the viewers can judge for themselves from KKR’s dispirited display in the IPL where the ‘aami Kolkatar WE rule’ side has sunk to abysmal depths and languishing in the last place.  5 defeats in 7 matches, the remaining 2 probably averted by the rain, points out chinks gaping holes within the team. So much for Buchanan’s various pet theories. One is bound to agree with Shane Warne’s virulent attack on the former Aussie coach that the team won despite Buchanan. What is even more rankling is that even the ‘Jinxed Challengers Bevdaas’ have made a move on and returned to winning ways.

To be honest, except for the glamfactor in the form of SRK and Dada, KKR have not much in terms of cricket, in the first place. A heavy duty top-order in the form of the explosive Gayle, the marauding McCullum and the gutsy Ganguly looks great on paper; but a non-existent middle order and a spineless bowling attack except for Ishant-‘theLittleJohn’ Sharma means that KKR can look either spectacular on their day or sink without a trace. BUST is happening often than Boom. With Chris Gayle also returning for Caribbean duty, the batting is virtually non-existent.

Personally, I have a soft corner for the Knight Riders for 2 reasons- the inspirational ‘Korbo Lorbo Jeetbo Re’ theme song got me hooked onto their bandwagon; second is the presence of Sourav’DADA’Ganguly. Have splurged Rs 800 on their official merchandiseT-Shirt. The KKR  needs to salvage some pride and atleast not finish worse than last time(6th position), to enable me to wear the T-shirt in college J. But I have got a gut feeling that the end won’t quite be be  “Harchi, haarchi, Haarbo re”




At the start of IPL2, they looked like an inspired gang. ‘BANG’- they began the tournament regally beating the Rajasthan Royals, lead by the Sheikh of Tweak. It looked as though the team under the new Kapta(i)n Pietersen (KP) has become disciplined and focused with rumours doing the rounds that Mr VJ Batlivala has rationed the flow of Kingfisher to the team.

‘Things would be different this time’ promised the veteran Kumble after his 5/5 haul against the Royals.

‘Oh Yes! They are different from the rest.

– After 5 matches, we should admit that the Bevadaas are the only team to have the dubious distinction of the opening partnership not having crossed ZERO .. even once.

– The only team where the captain, Mr KP bough for a whopping $1.55 M has proved his worth by scoring 2 ducks in 5 matches and no innings of substance. KP will be done with IPL2 after their 6th match as he returns home for England duty.

– The only team in this IPL which could have lost from a seemingly impregnable position of 60 runs required in 30 balls by the King’s XI Punjab. The latter won the match with 6 balls to spare.

– The Mumbai import Mr Utappa seemed to justify his inclusion into the side as the replacement keeper for the accomplished Boucher who was relegated to the bench. Alas! Only a flash in the pan. His show behind the stumps looks acceptable only when compared to his batting at the pitch. Of course our man has got a roving great eye and is unbeatable at the other pitch, apparently. Missing sitter run-outs at crucial moments in the game for this brilliant fielder is new. But remember he is playing for the jinxed Bevdaas!

– The only saving grace has been Dravid’s rich vein of form. ‘Old is gold’ as they say. But as luck would have it, he has returned to India for the birth of his child. VJ will be hoping that his former captain joins the team soon. In times of need, you always go to the (Mr.)Dependable.

Kumble had written after their victory against the Royals, ‘Praveen’s ability to move the ball, Steyn’s pace make for an effective combination.” Praveen Kumar did swing the cricket ball prodigiously in the first match; after that it would be interesting to know as to which ball is Anil exactly referring to? Dale Steyn, the protean spearhead’s pace is evident only in the speed at which his deliveries are being dispatched to the boundary. “That went like a tracer bullet”- Ravi Shastri would exclaim.

The Bevdaas’ being the flamboyant playboy VJ Baltivaala’s team,one solution I see for them to come out of their dry run is make the players undergo the Gus Hiddinck way before a match, I guess ;).

Of glitz, glamour and lest I forget, a little Cricket !

It was day 2 of IPL2. The start of the match between the Delhi Dare-Devils and the Kings’ XI Punjab had been delayed due to rain. SetMax which had taken the Indian cricket fan by storm by its then pioneering ‘Extraaa Innings’ and the ‘noodle-strap’ Sandy Maddy Babe, continues with its 2 hour pre-match show for the 4 hour T20 game.

Give me a break! Agreed, we are Vellas sometimes, but to have the patience to watch a 2 hr talk show, where the so-called experts discuss things which are intellectually just a shade more stimulating than picking one’s nose, takes some digging taking.

Experienced commentator Arun Lal is seen chatting with yet another new cricketing host, whose name I don’t know and frankly don’t need to bother either; after all they change faster than Sandy Baddy Babe’s choice of sarees on the show. I quietly muted the TV, occasionally glancing to see whether the match has started. One couldn’t stop feeling sorry for Arun Lal, a former Indian team selector and a decent Ranji player, having to pointlessly chat with some novice show presenter- all for a few thousand bucks. Let him make his pie, after all, the poor guy was wearing his pygamas in an era, where even champion cricketers had to seek alternate employment after retirement, unlike the IPL era where rookies get signed up for mind-blowing figures of 100,000$.

Suddenly she appeared- SSBABE . Yes, I don’t deny that she came as a whiff of fresh breeze, though prone to faux-passes, when Miss  “India Tri-color” saree appeared first as cricket talk show presenter during ICC Cricket WC 2003. But 6 years later, “Madam, you have become a little too old for this”- I feel like yelling.

No longer, is the spark there. And as a cliché goes, “Excesses tolerated in youth are not taken kindly to later.” Quite apparently, the SmBabe is trying hard to reinvent herself and stay relevant. A low-plunging neckline black dress with a bit of cleavage shown for good measure won’t do any harm, she reckons as she drawls something in Hindi.

Yes, it will, if your co-host is a Korean[1] looking newbie, who barely opens his mouth and most definitely looks like one, who would respond to both Hindi or Tamil with the same, “Oung Yang, Ching Chang”. The man was looking in open mouthed wonder at Mandira as the latter was reeling off peels of her cricketing knowledge.

‘Poor Girl, it is not your gyaan he was dazzled by. It was darshan of something else, our co-host was silenced by.”

Later, our exotic looking host finally opens his mouth, when talking to a group of spectators. I lunge for the remote; turning off the ‘Mute’ button, as I wonder, whether, our ‘Ying Yang’ will talk Mandarin or Korean. Voila, our ChintuMintu talks in shudh Hindi. Now my doubts why ‘Ying Yang’ was silent in the presence of Mandira is confirmed. “Ward-robe Jadoo”. Hmmm…

To end it with a little cricket, the 3 hours talk-show culminated with a 16 over match played in just over an hour.

[1] The man didn’t look like one of our North-Eastern brethren