The IPL has redefined cricket. And anything cricket related.
Isme ab cricket hai, Bollywood hai, politics hai aur underworld bhi. We just wait for some religious type to be a part team owner and then we would have all required elements that the public savors.
Finally, the commentary team comes into its own during this IPL.
Until now, commentary was always an invisible parameter during a match. Kind of like a background score in a movie. You would not notice it unless it was really awesome or really banal.
The rest were all in between who managed rare insights (by rare I mean once in a while :)) to the game.
And then IPL came along. Along came its DLF maximums, and Citi moments of successes and Karbonn kamaal catches. Commentators must have their commissions linked to how much they use the brand names, the way they have been doing it all this while now. And each of them is unique in their style.
Let's start with Mpulelo Mbangwa (imagine if the other commentators had to introduce him with his actual name. No wonder he turned into the more easier Pommie Mbangwa). He actually speaks well, has good insights. But it all goes for a toss (literally!) when a player hits a six. It seems the ball actually travelled all the way to the commentary box, irrespective of the direction it was hit, and thudded into Pommie's umm...errr...box. He lets out a "Aaaaaaarrrrrgggggghhhhhhh.....", which sounds eerily similar to the Hindi rapist villain's exclamations when the heroine knees him one in the box. Just listen for it next time around.
Then there is L Sivaramakrishnan. His commentary is as sing-song as the effort required to say his name. Complete with the thaala and the introductory pallavi. "¶¶It's got the elevation¶¶... ¶¶and gone the distance¶¶¶". And some of the words he uses "Whatacatch. He's got lovely hands".
And Ravi Shastri with his tracer bullets. "Once he hits them, they stay hit". What about the rest? Once they hit them, it turns into water and flows away? Or dissolves into the atmosphere?
His commentary is usually made of screaming the player's name or the expression, like the Bollywood heroes do when searching for the villain in their lair. Just compare "YUVRAJ!! SIX!!" to "BALWANT RAI!!!BAAHAR NIKAL!"
Now coming to the other IPL highlights. I was wondering why there was no MRF blimps during the Kings XI matches. Then I realised MRF had stuck their logos on Ramesh Powar and Yuvraj Singh!
Talking of Yuvraj, he's really put on so much weight that the IPL committee is planning to make a rule that umpires point to Yuvraj when signalling a wide. And he could sponsor the wide. So next we can hear the commentators admonishing a Yuvraj Singh wide bowled by bowlers.
On the same lines, Lalit Modi is coming up with a new idea to make even more money by planning to approach the cricketers themselves to sponsor some of the happenings. After the Yuvraj Singh wide,
John Buchanan wide - Wide which goes high over the batsman's head, much like Buchanan's theories,
Kumar Sangakkara appeal - Appeal by the bowler/keeper when the batsman is no where out,
Kevin Pietersen tantrum - Glares/shouts by the batsman at his mate who's just got him run out,
Inzamam ul Haq runout - Batsman setting of for a easy single and somehow running himself out,
Badrinath shower - A heavy downpour disrupting the game, much like Badri's sweating,
Venkatesh Prasad slower ball - Bowler delivers a slower ball slower than his actual run up,
Glenn McGrath corridor ball - One in the corridor of uncertainty,
Robin Uthappa Six - Six that should actually be a 12 because of the distance it traverses,
Kamran Akmal drop - Simple catch (a.k.a dolly) fluffed by the keeper/fielder.
Shoaib Malik catch - To complement the Karbonn kamaal catch where one fielder drops the catch but another fielder manages to hold on to the rebound.
Harbhajan Singh celebration - Wicket taking bowler shouting like Tarzan and running all round the ground like a headless chicken.
Andrew Symonds no ball - Well, because he has no baal (as in hair)...hehehehe.
Speaking of bald players, insiders tell me that Modi has already plans to tattoo up some more logos on the bald pates of Symonds, Sehwag, etc. There could even be a new rule in place by IPL4 for all players to turn up with shaven heads so that sponsor logos can be displayed on the heads.
Next is what? Imagine :)
Negotiations are on with the players to check how much money are they willing to pay to have their names chanted by commentators whenever these events happen.
Also, Rupa Vests and Briefs has tied up with IPL to sponsor the toilet break for the players. So now, whenever a fielder or bowler or even the umpire goes to take a leak, they would be going for the Rupa Vest and Briefs Toilet Break - Yeh Andar ki baat hai!