Lessons from the IPL
Now that the spot-fixing scandal in the Indian Premier League has overtaken our lives, I have come to some inescapable conclusions based on current chatter
Now that the spot-fixing scandal in the Indian Premier League has overtaken our lives, I have come to some inescapable conclusions based on current chatter.
1) The BCCI is the repository of all evil. It is to the BCCI’s great disadvantage that Dante Alighieri died many centuries ago or the whole scope and focus of his magnum opus, Inferno, may have changed and the BCCI’s infamy would be captured for eternity in literature and imagine how that would have affected cliché hunters ever since. John Milton too lost out on an opportunity to cast every BCCI president as a fallen angel... Paradise Lost in India which is another version of the IPL.
2) Women and cricket cannot be mixed up. This is because when it comes to cricket and cricketers, women are worse than those sirens who have lured sailors to their deaths since ancient times and whom Homer so eloquently described during Odysseus’s journey back from Troy. Women, whether in spaghetti straps or ill-fitting dresses or upholstery fabric saris in TV studios, or ill-fitting lycra on the field, are evil temptresses placed there only to lead men to their ruin.
Women in cricket, it has to be emphasised, are not allowed to have even the smidgeon of a brain, only nefarious instincts. Nor do they exist in any but the following roles (no mummy, sister, auntie, daughter or wife and definitely no prime minister, chief minister, CEO, doctor, lawyer, pilot...): escort girls, models, cheer leaders and these roles are very damning as cricketers become pulp and mush when they think of females in these roles.
3) All cricket writers always knew all about spot-fixing, match-fixing, betting, bookies, gambling, sirens, the devil, Lucifer... But they are bound by the I Cannot Reveal What I Know Until There is a Police Investigation & Everyone Knows Code. This code is enshrined in the handbook of sports writers which no one has ever seen and there is a special swearing-in ceremony to which no one is invited.
4) The Indian Premier League: if the BCCI is Beelzebub then the IPL is the spawn of the devil. Not since Rosemary’s Baby has such an abominable child been born. It beats Damien from Omen and that other chick from The Exorcist, almost on the same level as Mallika Sherawat in Hissssssssssss (somebody stop me!) or the little girl in The Ring. As to why I have to keep with the female as untold horror motif, please refer again to point 2.
Never in the history of humankind (I pinch this line from the BJP) has something more iniquitous than the IPL been seen. Torquemada and the tortures of the Spanish Inquisition or watching a Mani Kaul film on an endless loop are nothing compared to this benighted despoiled version of the glorious and hitherto unsullied game of cricket. (All of you who bring up Douglas Jardine and the Bodyline series are clearly paid handmaidens of the BCCI who have no concept of the high honour of snitching to the teacher about your classmates who forgot to do their homework).
5) And, following from those in parenthesis are the Perfect People all of whom are also Patriots. These people always knew that everything was wrong with cricket which is at the centre of human existence. They are in deep slumber the rest of the time but always on high alert so they can pop fresh out of the earth when a cricket scandal emerges. Some like the basilisk in Harry Potter slither through the pipes of Hogwarts crying “Kill kill kill”. Others live in coffins in the basements of TV studios, waiting for the right moment to emerge, their tridents and pitchforks in hand, ready to rid the world of the scourge of cricket, the BCCI, IPL and escort girls.
6) Me. Well, why shouldn’t I take responsibility for all this? No one else will.
Ranjona Banerji is a senior journalist. You can follow her on Twitter @ranjona