Life after God (of cricket)
In 2013, cricket became a game of mortals again when the God of cricket decided he'd had enough. With master blaster Sachin Tendulkar no more taking the field, cricket in India, as we know it, shall take a new turn in the coming year
Who will be the new Sachin?
We’re an impatient lot. The way we want a faulty part replaced, the same way, we want our God replaced by another. So who’s going to be the new Sachin? Sachin’s son Arjun? He’s too young. The whole country is secretly praying he doesn’t pull off a Rohan Gavaskar. Rohit Sharma? Maybe, if he can manage to be as consistent. Virat Kohli is a possibility.
Will Virat Kohli have to learn Marathi, use heavier bats and practice saying ‘Aila’ to be a true replacement for the God of cricket? And will Sachin launch his autobiography in 2014?
The only thing he has to do is to learn how to guard the guard in public, buy a three-kg bat and learn Marathi. He’s already started doing truckloads of ads and can be seen on billboards around the city. But he’s selling shampoo and deodorant. Sachin would never do that. Sachin sold insurance, water purifiers and inverters, i.e. relatively humble products to go with his humble personality. And of course, he has to get married. He’s reached the right age -- 25. As most mothers would say, “If you don’t get married at the right age, then ‘everything else’ will be delayed.” We are sure Virat’s mother has already started looking for prospective brides.
The original Sachin starts writing a book
Sitting at home, Sachin will realise, is not a piece of cake. He is probably being made to run around by his better half to get groceries (“Poha is over, get it fast!”), do chores around the house (“Pick up your clothes, look at the TV; it’s so dusty; stop watching old matches and help me out with this.”).
He also has to drop the children to school (“Baba, today we will go to school in the Porsche.”) and help complete their projects. Exhausted with household work, Sachin Paaji will ultimately decide to write his autobiography. By default, it will be the highest selling book of 2014 and will sell well over a million copies. Sachin will lock himself up in his room to concentrate on his book, successfully avoiding any work he would’ve been given. He may spend the rest of his day playing games on the PlayStation 4 that he has recently bought.
IPL-7 kicks off
The greatest spectacle after the Great Indian Wedding, the Indian Premier League kicks into its seventh season in April this year. This edition will see the addition of two more teams to make up for the exits of Pune Warriors and Kochi Tuskers -- Baramati Milk Kings, owned by the supreme lord of cricket, Sharad Pawar, and Ahmedabad Dhoklas, owned by supreme lord of India, Mukesh Ambani’s kid brother, Anil. Tired of being in the administration, Pawar we suspect will want to buy a team to see what the fuss is all about. Anil, on the other hand, will follow big brother’s footsteps, though he won’t admit it. Ten teams mean matches will be broadcast thrice a day -- during breakfast, lunch and dinner. Booze will be banned at after-parties but Baramati Milk Kings will throw a milk bash for their players. Ahmedabad, being in a dry state, will have to make do with soda.
BCCI offers citizenship to South African bowlers
Having been unable to cultivate any quality fast bowlers of our own, the governing body of Indian cricket will finally relent and import bowlers from South Africa. BCCI will assure them of selection and remind them of how nicely Gary Kirsten was treated. The South Africans will refuse the offer. But a persistent BCCI may offer them each a free sea-facing apartment in Mumbai.
Gully Premier League begins in Mumbai
The BCCI will decide to formalise gully cricket in Mumbai. Franchisees will be invited to own teams from their home zones. Udipi hotel owners, kirana shop owners and the likes will sign up to own teams. A fierce rivalry will develop between different factions and areas of the city. Teams like Parelche Punter, Shah’s Ghatkopar Ghumakkads, Thane Tornadoes, Virar Vikings, Girgaum Giants will be the strong contenders for the top prize. Sahara chief Subrata Roy will once again try to buy a team here, but his plans may yet again fail thanks to an adamant BCCI.