Wednesday, May 23, 2012

IPL - Drama abhi baaki hai, mere dost

The cat is out of the bag! The banning of SRK from Wankhede is motivated by political considerations. It now transpires that the Congress High Command manipulated the situation so that it could garner the support of Shiv Sena (and MNS too) for its presidential nominee. This is in response to the uncertainty of Mamta Banerjee's stance on its candidate. Congress fears that if Didi aligns with Amma, there is every likelihood of its candidate losing, something it can ill afford after losing all these state polls.

The whole drama was micro-managed by the self-styled chief strategist of Congress - Digvijay Singh, according to a reliable source close to 10 Janpath. Digvijay Singh also realises that banning SRK might alienate the muslim vote but he is banking on pressure from Trinamool Congress to revoke the ban, upon which BCCI would acquiesce to the ally's demand. This would kill 2 birds with one stone - have its candidate as a president as well as keep the alliance with TMC intact.

After a string of failures, dating back to 1998, Diggi Raja is convinced that the time has come to redeem himself. Having got SRK banned, he is now planning to get Rahul Gandhi elected as the next president of BCCI. He is also persuading Robert Vadra to acquire stake in one of the IPL franchisees.

As expected, Didi is fuming. Mamta Banerjee has blamed the CPM for the ban on SRK as part of its plan to destabilise her government, defame the state of West Bengal & ridicule the trinamool cadre. She has already written to the IPL Governing Council that applauding every legal delivery by a KKR bowler & each run by KKR batsmen should be made mandatory. (N. Srinivasan is sitting on this demand as CSK is still in the fray for a final berth, at the time of reporting.)

As if this was not enough for the IPL organisers, Baba Ramdev has threatened to observe 20-minute fasts for 20 days at Ramlila Maidan to protest against the various skeletons tumbling out of the IPL cupboard. Among his other demands are:
  • Only vegetarians be allowed to play the league
  • In the place of foreign physios supporting the teams, the franchisees should hire the services of yoga experts
  • Instead of post-match parties, the teams should attend meditation camps for physical & spiritual rejuvenation
  • The source of funds of IPL & its franchisees should be traced (as per Ramdev's estimates, around Rs. 13,52,798 Crores have been laundered by the franchisees)

Not to be left behind, Anna Hazare is also planning an agitation against IPL. When asked whether this would not divert his attention from Lokpal, Hazare gave the example of Mahatma Gandhi who had successfully opposed the Bombay Pentangular Cricket tournament. As the last surviving Gandhian, Hazare believes he is duty bound to emulate each of Gandhiji's struggle. What is more likely, he has realised that getting the Lok Pal bill passed is beyond his capabilities & has taken up an easier crusade.

Aamir Khan is also taking up the plight of the bowlers in his show - Satyamev Jayate. Amir believes that sport should be a medium to reinforce human values - equality, justice & compassion. Bowlers being hit over the boundary not only scars them psychologically, but also poses physical risks to the fielders on the boundary & spectators in the stands. As with all his projects, the details are a closely guarded secret. Those in the know have hinted that Amrita Singh, Sangeeta Bijlani & Poonam Pandey (fully clothed) are expected to participate in the show.

With all this happening around me, I cannot help but play spoilsport too. If my current pet peeve, Shri Markanday Katju (a former judicial official & now the Press Council chief), has been silent all this while, don't be surprised. He has been putting all those words on paper & is planning to front page it on all national dailies. To steal his thunder, Shri Katju wants all the foreign cheergirls to be deported & replaced by those adept at Indian classical dance forms. If you are patient, Shri Katju's opinions would be shortly available in a 5-column front page boxed story in the major dailies.

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