The Lighter Side – This Week In Sport : Episode 10

Welcome to the another edition of ‘The lighter side – This week in Sport’, a weekly-once-in-a-while review show of all the goings on in the world of sport over the past week.
Before we get to the show,

a disclaimer: All the reports here are based on completely baseless unreliable sources. We only compile them and present it to you. If we catch hold of our reporters, we will sue them on your behalf.

On tonight’s show:

Dada is back
The IPL rolls on
Man United and Barca
Man City


Dada is back

Sourav Ganguly fans rejoiced as they saw Dada in action again. Only this time, he turned out in the colors of the Pune Warriors. He stroked a fluent 32* in his first game back against the Deccan Chargers. Fans all over India were heralding the return of the charismatic ex-captain and were hailing it as a new dawn in Indian cricket. Said one supporter, ‘this is truly a new leaf in the book of Indian cricket. Dada has moved to Pune and has shown that moving all over India is now simple and easy. He has proved once again that India is becoming like Pakistan. Retired players are coming back to play and then going back into retirement. All he has to do is get a ban and soon he will be offered honorary Pakistani citizenship because he has almost fulfilled all the criteria to be a Pakistani player. He has also been a captain. We would like to wish Dada all the very best!’

When asked on how it felt to be part of the Pune franchise, Dada replied, ‘well, it’s not really that different. When I was in KKR, the first season, we played in a black jersey. Now I am in Pune and playing in a black jersey. When I played for KKR, we were at or near the bottom of the league. And now Pune are near the bottom of the league. The only difference is that Shah Rukh Khan is not here. But that is ok. Now that, from Kolkata, the King is gone, the King is Khan’, he said, clearly in his self-modesty mode. With the left being walloped by the Trinamool congress, there is talk of Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee following Dada to Pune and contesting for re-election.


The IPL rolls on

After an exhilarating world cup, the cricket just does not seem to stop. The IPL juggernaut continues to roll on with exxxxttraaaa innings, more exxxxtraaaaaa innings and even more exxxxxtraaaa innings. When asked about the naming convention, the head of Sony said, ‘see, we are very committed to the promotion of traditional values in cricket. Even though the IPL is a T20 tournament, by giving extra innings, we are promoting test match culture. Also, we promote viewership of technically correct batting by placing the likes of Arun Lal and Navjot Sidhu on the screen. They were technically sound batsmen on their day.’ When asked what about when it was not their day, he responded, ‘they were batsman.’ Insightful.

Chris has whipped up a gale in the IPL storming to the leaderboard of the orange cap standings. With hitting prowess as this, other teams have been left pulling their hair out at missing out on signing him for a measly $400,000. When asked, Gayle said, ‘Ya mon! Those men did not buy me but here I am in Bengaluru. I’m royal, mon! I just want to hit the ball and I am hitting the ball very well mon! I also like that flashy orange cap, mon. That’s why I’m scoring this way.’ Indian captain M.S Dhoni seems to have discovered his brutal streak once again. When quizzed, he said, ‘well of course.’ Typical.

On a side note, Sreesanth seems to have developed a thought that he is the best batsman in the league. ‘I have orange cap’, he said, referring to the Kochi Tusker’s cap color, and continued, ‘but in that cap purple color is also there. So I am best bowler also. I am best all-rounder. I will win Kerala election’, he said and wheeled off in a dance of triumph.


Man United and Barca

Manchester United have all but wrapped up their record 19th title with a win over reigning champions Chelsea. United only need one point out of their remaining two games to secure yet another title for Sir Alex Fergusson. ‘We knocked them off their perch’, read many a tweet, the ‘perch’ was apparently very clever since it was used on twitter with all the birds and all that. ‘Whoa! I’m gonna be a champion for the first time! Proud of myself. Awesome! I am epic! Wow! Awesome! They couldn’t have done it without me’, tweeted Michael Owen, whose chief job these days seems to be that of a cheerleader on twitter.

Barcelona have sown up their third successive title with a 1-1 draw in midweek. The players were expectedly ecstatic and partied hard into the night. Pep Guarliola sipped wine and threatened to quit in mental exhaustion. Lionel Messi kept running around between the other players shouting, ‘Goal!’. Dani Alves kept running up and down in straight lines. Puyol could not see anything through his mop of hair. Iniesta shied away. Mascherano did not know what to do. Xavi kept possession of the ball.

Sergio Busquets fell to the ground clutching his face.



After months of speculation, it seems that a formal split is on the cards between World number 4, Saina Nehwal and long-time mentor and coach, Pullela Gopichand. Gopichand has revealed that Saina has written to the Sports Authority of India (SAI) that she wanted to train under P. Bhaskar Babu, a coach of the national team.

‘It is only a rumor. I have no problems with Gopi sir’, said Saina. Gopi said, ‘I don’t really have a problem with that. She has written to SAI, that she wants to work with Babu. I have heard that she was an ardent admirer of Sai Baba and now that he is no more, she wants to continue with SAI Babu. It is a purely emotional decision and I cannot help it. But, I have been approached by Sania to coach her. Apparently, Sania is tired of tennis because the racquet is very heavy and wants to take up badminton. Also, the Shuttle Federation’s new rule of wearing skirts seems to appeal greatly to Sania. She is very interested in taking up the sport and I am sure she will be a great success. Also, it won’t make much of a difference to me because ‘Saina’ and ‘Sania’ are anagrams.’

Man City

Facing a major PR disaster, Manchester City have come out and apologized to their hardcore fans about The Bluffer’s guide to MCFC that they published on their site. The page is an entry into the world of Man City for the new fans who according to the club ‘will start following the club now that there is champions league football.’ The old faithful are enraged about this document and feel that it is an insult to the existing supporters. ‘How dare they insult us this way? Do they think that they are being clever? How dare they say that “traditionally we don’t like red as a color?” This is an outrage. In fact, even outrage is generally represented in red to show the anger! They think that they are improving the marketing and branding when all they are doing is improving the … wait that did not come out right. They think they are being very clever by getting more people to support the club when they are clearly going to have more sup… No wait. That did not come out right either. Bah! You get my point. What they are doing is wrong. Don’t ask me why it is wrong. But it is wrong.’

Roberto Mancini, in his accented English said, ‘Congrats to AC Milan for winning the title. I think they played very well throughout the season. Good for them. But they won the title in Italy and we finished fourth in England. There is a difference, you see. That is Italy, and this is England. You see?’ We did see but were tempted to ask him the context of these comments. Before we could, he added, ‘that’s why it is different.’ Before we could clarify the situation, he was ushered away by a member of the Man City staff who claimed it was an ‘emergency’.

We later learned that Mario Balotelli had problems putting on his training bib again. Also, apparently, it was meal time and Mancini had to feed him Cerelac. After that, Balotelli drove off in his Maseratti.

That’s it from this week’s bulletin. We hope you enjoyed it. Until next time, its good bye from us …

The IPL – a few observations. Or something.

Right. So real cricket has begun.
We’ve had tracer bullets, matches ‘going down to the wire’, DLF maximums, Citibank moments of success and in the end, cricket has always been the winner. Well, the BCCI has anyway. Add to this Navjot Singh Sidhu’s doses of verbal diarrhea (now egged on with a small flourish played by a band in the studio encouraging his menagerie of utterly unrelated and completely gag-worthy metaphors and similes, aka, Siddhuisms ) and you know that we are well and truly into the IPL.

With all the teams in action so far, we have gotten a glimpse into what lies in store for us over the next month and a half. Well, here are some observations:

Dhoni still got it
M.S Dhoni continues where he left off in the world cup. Well, of course. Captain cool maintained his cool in a tight finish and guided the super kings home, ably assisted by some brilliant batting from Kolkata and histrionics from Shah Rukh Khan before the game. Chennai hosted a mildly motherblade opening ceremony but thankfully the cricket on offer was more exciting. Also, the Southee-Madras jokes are here to stay.

Yuvi is captain too
Yuvraj Singh looks set to guide his Navi Mumbai, er, Pune warriors on the field. With a sleek black jersey (albeit, not sleek enough to cover his paunch), Mr.Singh led from the front to guide his team to a formidable victory. But in the end, cricket was the winner. Or whiner.

Preity Zinta still thinks cricket is an insect
3 seasons as team owner of an IPL team does not look to have improved Ms. Zinta’s cricketing knowledge. When asked about her King’s eleven team, she proudly replied that her old team had given 3 captains to the IPL, Mahela, Sanga and Yuvi. Also, she thinks Christian Bale is a batsman and not batman.

Nita Ambani is marginally better
Mrs. Ambani takes a cue from former India captain Md. Azharuddin and calls her player, ‘the boys’. Also, she might be having problems with Mukesh. She said that she had not heard from him all day. It is most likely because of that ‘lucky’ shirt that he sports every single game. ‘Due for a wash’, the missus thinks. ‘Cost cutting’, Mr.Ambani thinks.

Kochi … oh Kochi!
The new kids on the block are most certainly the most glamorously dressed with a bright orange jersey with typewrite ink spilt on the sleeves. The colors may have been strategically chosen by Sreesanth though. Rumor has it that it is his plan for camouflage amongst the cheerleaders if things go wrong with his bowling. Actually, make that ‘when’ things go wrong.

Siddharth Mallya does not get featured on tele as much without Deepika on his side
It’s official. As if you did not know it. Without Deepika, Siddharth is just another liquor baron’s son. Wait. Even with her, he is still that. But one with Deepika padukone by his side. While she was busy ‘shaking’ it, he cut a forlorn figure sitting with father and owner of Bengaluru, I mean, the Royal Challengers of Bengaluru, Dr. Vijay Mallya. The camera focused on him once when his interview was taken and when he got stuck answering questions, he did not have his stock dialog, ‘look! It’s Deepika!’ to divert the attention to.

Uthappa is fat!
He can toss his medicine ball around all he wants and wear his bandana but Robin Uthappa is fat. The likely theory is that he blames his name for it. Perhaps if he were Robin Dosa, he’d be a lot less so.

Malinga is more than just a mop of hair
Malinga once again proved that he is more than just a mop of hair with a round arm action. He proved that he is a bat and stump breaker as well. Also, his affection for shoes, most often belonging to opposition batsmen, knows no bounds.

Sanga continues where he left off
Sangakkara’s jersey color might have changed but his record as captain certainly has not. He continued from where he left off with the King’s XI and has lost the first couple of matches this season as well. He also has learnt to call it aloud. The toss, that is. Also, in spite of a much changed team, the aspect that is most noteworthy about the Deccan Chargers still remains to be the owner’s daughter.

Watson plays the IPL …
… In Bangladesh. Someone just forgot to tell Shane Watson that it was the Australian national team and not the IPL in the second one-day against Bangladesh. Perhaps, it was a warm up for the IPL. Perhaps it was part of his contract.

Last word: Ravi Shastri. He always manages to have it, doesn’t he?

The IPL is here!

Hello there!

After the last warm up game held at the Wankhede last Sunday (and the small matter of winning a practice tournament), rejoice! Real cricket is back!
Yes! That’s right!
It’s back!
Ok. I will stop.

But really, the IPL! All the glitz! All the glamor! All the corr, er, wrong word. Mr.Hazare might sue. And then prosecute me himself with this new bill of his. But we shall not politicize it.
Because it’s all about cricket.
And entertainment.
Ok. Less of cricket.
Ok. No cricket.
Alright. Let’s compromise.
Some cricket.
Crick we shall call it.

10 teams this time with a format that is so complex that it’s really simple. No one knows. See! It’s that simple!

The two new teams, Kochi and Pune will be the new kids on the block. Only, Kochi has Laxman and Pune has Murali Kartik. Not exactly young but we’ll take it anyway.
Kochi will be tuskers and Pune will be warriors. Fascinating that. Not one cricketer in sight. Hmmm.

The old guard will of course look to continue their winning ways and Vijay Mallya will continue his sinning ways (I have nothing against the man but the last time I checked, alcohol was still a sin).

The Chennai Super Kings, led by warm-up tournament winning skipper, M.S.Dhoni (with a no, er, new hair-do) will be title favourites again. Not because they have the strongest ream or anything but just because they won it last year. Also, the finals will be held in Chennai and in Mr.Shastri’s words, ‘in the end, Chennai is the winner.’

The Mumbai Indians will be looking to go one better than last time. They will again be led by God. There have been violent protests in Maharashtra about Gandhi-killers leading the team but these have been quelled. (apparently, when the team management was asked who will be the captain, he said ‘God se lead kiya jaaegaa’>. With Symonds and Harbhajan on the same team, the mother’s and the monkey’s will live and flourish in unison. Also, Nita Ambani will watch with her blacker than black framed spectacles and will look as clueless as a cheerleader as ever.

The Royal Challengers of Bangalore will be looking to win it of course. Vijay Mallya will try and squeeze in more brands of his liquor onto the team’s jersey and more liquor into the men in those jerseys. Siddharth Mallya, will accompany the team around and give interviews in that clipped British accent with a very puzzled looking Deepika Padukone by his side. She will, of course, be praying for peace. Om Shanti Om and all that.

The Deccan chargers will be charged up as ever. The long haired media baron with his incredibly beautiful daughter will look upon the team with keen eyes and no rupee will be spared in advertising the team in the Deccan chronicle. With a completely revamped team and Kumar Sangakkara leading the team (well, you never know, he might just suddenly announce that he has stepped down from captaincy), the Deccan chargers will be raring to go and true to their theme song, ‘go chargers go’, they will go all out. That is not a pun for all the players getting back into the dressing room one after the other.

The King’s XI Punjab will be without inspirational ex-ex-captain and man of the tournament of the warm-up tournament Yuvraj Singh. They, however, still have Preity Zinta. As if they needed anything else! Adam Gilchrist will captain the team with able assistance from, er, aah yes! Ms.Zinta. With her on the sidelines, every bowler will have the added incentive of trying to bowl the maiden over. But the one man who will not take part in that fight will be Love Ablish. After all, another ‘o’ and its Love Abolish.

The Rajasthan Royals, led by the ever young (partially due to the hair plugs) Shane Warne will try and repeat their success from IPL 1. Yes, they have commissioned highlights of the first edition. With a strong team, the boys from the desert will look to make the others eat humble pie for dessert. Also, with Shilpa Shetty, as the brand ambassador, the bowlers will be looking at good figures, the bowling variety of course.

The Delhi Daredevils will be as dangerous as ever. At the times when they don’t defeat themselves of course. Though, with all the hoopla surrounding Mr.hazare at the Jantar mantar, it remains to be seen as to how many of the players actually turn up to play. I expect 4 of them to. Don’t ask me why, though. Also, Delhi being the seat of power is sure to wield its power and influence to get behind their heroes. Mountain Dew is rumored to be sponsoring the team with the slogan ‘Dare kea age devils hai’.

And of course, The Kolkata Knight Riders. Dada’s, er, Shah Rukh Khan’s team. With two of the most expensive purchases in the auction, KKR will be looking to make a big impact this time. Gautam Gambhir, the captain, said that Kolkata will win because it’s the city of joy and winning the trophy will bring joy. Ok. It remains to be seen as to how the gardens of Eden will react to the omission of its favourite son from the team (hint: it’s nor Rabindranath Tagaore). And of course, if things don’t quite work out, there is of course Shah Rukh khan. After all, he is Ra.One – the savior.

Kochi will win it. For Sreesanth. And Sachin.

The last word: Lalit Modi. Ha!