Into the dying stages of its fifth edition, the world finally begins to realize what makes the IPL such a competitive tournament… what makes it so compelling to watch Lalit Modi’s #IPL… and what scripts such inglorious uncertain certainties.
But the question here is not what, but WHO?
What is that saucy chutney that gives the IPL-puri such an unmistakable tang? Without them, this cricketing extravaganza would surely leave as bad a taste in the mouth as sugar in tea. Born in obscurely hazardous times, these great men have changed the way punters bet on the game. And the beauty of the IPL is that every team has one such legend of the game, if not more.
Through this short felicitating piece, I would hereby like to present the IPL Anda Awards.
The Angry Fool: Munaf Patel
Mumbai Indians‘ owner, Mrs. Nita Ambani has pledged to consult her PR executives before making any further statement on the team atmosphere. It seems like her statement on the MI team behaving like one big family was taken too seriously by the once pacy, now slow Munaf big-eyed Patel. His behavior suggests that his father contributes a considerable amount to India’s GDP. Umpires, fellow players, opponents… all have faced the wrath of Munaf’s anger. In today’s India, the forever complaining Munaf bears close resemblance to the DIDI of Indian politics. And reportedly, one of the mischievous White Mischief girls collapsed on field when told about the striking beauty of Munaf wearing the purple cap.
Weird Hairdo, Crazy Pricetag: Ravindra Jedeja
For all things that the IPL can justify, any equatorial Chennai fan will never forgive Srikkanth and army for gifting them the underachiever Jadeja in this year’s auction. Fresh out of the departmental store’s sale left-overs, Ravindra Jadeja is expected to justify the price tag on his yellow sleeve by the end of Sachin Tendulkar’s cricketing career. Need we say more?
Elegance’s Paradox: Piyush Chawla
Piyush Chawla’s back peddled attempt to catch a ball in his first game in this year’s IPL stands as the best exhibition of elegance in the history of the DLF IPL so far. If there ever was a Karbonn Kamaal, that has to be the one. Courtney Walsh looked better with his defence. Other than that mighty effort, Chawla has managed to hit a few DLF maximums and has been hit for a few more. And it still remains a mystery to me: how was he a part of the World Cup squad? Would be glad to have some answers…
The nonchalant bear: Yusuf Pathan
My uncle has a dairy farm in the suburbs and Yusuf Pathan reminds me of this particular cow who used to give lots of milk when it was first bought, but then turned lazy in productivity as well. Having earned himself a reputation of slamming below par bowlers in the IPL and failing miserably in Indian colors, he has finally decided to opt for uniformity in his performances. And apparently, he has displaced his owner, Shah Rukh Khan as the brand ambassador of IPL’s chewing gum partner. That isn’t wise, Yusuf.
Last over Finisher: Ashish Nehra
No list of IPL greats can ever be complete without the legendary death over specialist. He has been a thorn in the wheel for all the franchises who have dared to buy him. In fact, such has been his influence on the entire tournament over the last five years that the left armer’s twisted ankle curse has resulted in a Nehra in every team. Read Ajit Agarkar in DD, Mr. “Hit me for a 20 in the last over” in KKR, and India’s biggest Adam’s Apple in DC (although he’s injured).
Prince of ‘not-so-good’ times: Mallya Jr.
While his father was reportedly denied an economy class ticket in a cancelled Air India flight, Sidhartha Mallya took it upon himself to be the shame of the team. If not anything else, he did instigate Luke to presume Ms. Sid Mallya to be an escort. Sid has behaved like Sanjay Kapoor in the Kapoor family — unwanted, unloved, humiliated but still trying to make his presence felt at the party.
Maximum Air Time: Abhishek Bachchan
While Danny Morrison would have picked Chris Gayle’s sixes, I have decided to make a much more humane choice. C’mon, show some respect to this great junior who’s been trying to sell us ideas after ideas since last World Cup, I guess. Thrown out of homely boundaries, this man has stopped ideating in movies just to entertain you when you are bored of Chris Gayle mauling the bowlers or Naraine straightening his Mohawk.
The IPL is another couple of games away from officially hibernating for another year, but the true performers have already distinguished themselves from the rest. And till then, critics, cynics and scavengers, enjoy the last few moments of cricketing fiesta laid before you.