Wonder what it's like to parody a cricketer on social media? With the IPL fever on, we speak to three admins who bring you funny commentary
In 2015, we deliberately decided to screw up our GPA. We set aside all academic material for our final exams, dedicated our lives to watching the World Cup, tweeted religiously during matches and returned to Tumblr to read fan fiction about our favourite cricketers. Looking back, we don't think one bad semester meant much, but the truth is if you were a teenager obsessed with cricket and the Internet around 2011 to 2015, you'd know those were exciting times. For, there was all of this, and there were parody accounts cropping up — providing additional commentary in the virtual space that was both humorous and insightful. Today, many such accounts related to cricketers are dormant, but we speak to three admins who juggle their day jobs, keep the trend going, and have a word of advice for those who wish to parody. This being the year of the World Cup, we hope to see more surface.
More than just parody
Currently working as a senior marketing manager at a leading financial services start-up, Apoorv Sood has over one million followers on his Twitter account Trendulkar. While he asserts that it is not really a parody account, Sood, 30, directs his wry humour at cricketers during live events, and also comments on political and social issues. "I started tweeting around 2011, close to the World Cup happening in India. There was lot of buzz around Sachin Tendulkar's retirement then. It was also when Twitter was beginning to grow in India. That's how Trendulkar came into being — coining the word trend [from Twitter lingo] and Tendulkar. It was topical then and even today," he tells us.
Although Sood has public figures on his followers' list, he maintains that he is passive on the platform and doesn't go out of his way to strike a conversation. He adds, "Twitter has changed by leaps and bounds since 2011; from being a scribble pad to a loud mouthpiece. I spend lesser time on Twitter and more on Instagram, which is a more personalised experience, free of abusive discourse."
My advice: You can get on Twitter if you're good with 280 characters or less. You'll get noticed if you're consistent.
All about Kane
Though we've never had a real attachment to New Zealand, we attribute our strong connection to cricket to Kane Williamson and his parody account, NotNossy (after his nickname). Not giving clues about their identity, the admin describes themselves as a 20-something from New Zealand. "Parody accounts of cricketers started popping up in 2012. I was (and still am) a big Williamson fan. I was concerned someone would make a parody account and do a terrible job. So I jumped in and created one," they tell us.
The handle also gained traction during the 2015 World Cup when Matthew Hayden commented how the Melbourne Cricket Ground was too big for the Black Caps to be able to win on it. In response, the account posted a hilarious Twitter thread that even got featured in the NZ Herald.
Their reluctance to reveal their identity is understandable — the NZ skipper himself is aware of their existence. "A few current and ex-players follow my account. They used to reply and retweet, but not so much these days. Perhaps they've had more media training so they want to steer clear of me, ha!" they quip, adding, "The response to the account has been positive, and it makes me happy to know people get some joy out of my tweets. People have asked Kane about the account, and he thinks it's amusing!"
My advice: Pick a player who you know a lot about, so your tweets can reference their quirks, rather than just generally comment on a game. Like with all social media, parody accounts are a two-way street and the fun is in interacting with people. Most of these people are wonderful, but be aware that some are going to think you are the real player — you can ignore them, but might want to set them straight if they're horrified by your tweets.
What's in a brand?
Our wish for you, dear reader, is that you find a partner who cares about you the same way Virat Kohli cares about his endorsements. If you're searching for proof, it's time to take a look at Branded Virat Kohli, who goes by the handle @imVlkohli on Twitter. The admin, alias Wrogn Virat Kohli, is a 25-year-old social media strategist based out of Kolkata.
"During the Asia Cup, I saw a lot of Kohli ads. So I decided to create an account where he relates everything with a brand. My initial concern was that his fans would mass report the content," he tells us. But the response has been overwhelming. "People like the humour and don't get offended by their icon being made fun of, so that gives me motivation to tweet more and keep it relevant."
My advice: Do not be abusive or use cuss words. Stick to good content and stop when you think you are overdoing it.
Also check out
1. Fake Mitch Johnson (@NotMitchJohnson) is a parody account of the Australian cricketer with "awesome tats".
2. Sir Jadeja Fan (@SirJadeja) is a popular page with over 1 million followers, inspired by the spinner whose "form is temporary".
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