5 Minute Guide to IP-Hell

Last updated 15:15 18/04/2008

The revolution is upon us. Either crawl under a rock until Lord's (take the calendar - it's May 15) or reject hibernation and drag your sorry cricket-watching hide to the couch for a taste of the WWF of cricket, The Indian Premier League.

Check the IPL website (http://IPLT20.com/) - or maybe not. Missing out on a chance to promote things ruthlessly in the breathless lead-in to the first matches, it's not due to go live until the time the first game commences. Hopeless, considering the company delivering it has heaved in a lazy US$50m for the rights to this IPL portal, and the non-existent BCCI one to boot. Blame Canada-based Live Current Media Inc for this - a Vancouver company which has the most sought after website address in cricket on its books: www.cricket.com. Maybe it is maple syrup harvesting season. And why Canada anyway? The most famous event in the history of Canadian cricket is when Inzy punched a spectator who was calling him "a fat potato" via megaphone at an India vs Pakistan exhibition match a decade ago.

Make sure you print out the Sky TV schedule. It is here. The times are completely and utterly all over the show so you need to stay focused on the paperwork, as there is no hope of remembering which games are on and when. Your first date is breakfast on Saturday morning, Sky Sport 3. From 7am you will be watching a replay of Brendon McCullum keeping to a KFC-starved Ross Taylor as the bird-like Ishant Sharma glides in.

Get a bet on - it is a crass, over-hyped tournament focused on money so you should get on the bandwagon by flinging some dosh around as well. Twenty20 is a complete and utter lottery - witness Indian winning the T20 World Cup with their B team, and England destroying us via Master Mascarenhas. So I'd be heading toward slapping $20 on the least favoured teams - they really do have just as much chance in this inaugural competition where nobody knows what they are doing. Get on Shane Warne's coachless Jaipur team (aka the Rajasthan Royals) or the Martin Crowe-tillered Bangalore Royal Challengers. The odds from Centrebet are as follows:

HYDERABAD  $4.00  

CHENNAI  $5.50  

KOLKATA  $6.00  

MUMBAI  $6.50  

MOHALI  $7.00  

DELHI  $8.00  

BANGALORE  $9.00  

JAIPUR  $11.00

The umpires are going to look terrific in their Vijay Mallya-designed red and black tracksuit tops and hats that are "a mix of straw golf and cowboy type Stetsons". Oh God - I hope that is fashion PR gone mad as that sounds a little bit like Brokeback Mountain meets Crusaders to me. Why can't I quit you?

Pick a team to try and care about. This is extremely tough - if you need a crutch to lean on as you do this, I suggest casting an eye over the IPL preview at Sportsfreak. The Delhi Daredevils will do me, lured by the headscarf and tonkability of Virender Sehwag, the sledging of Gautam Gambhir and the presence of Dan Vettori. I will hate the Mumbai Indians and the Rajasthan Royals because of their stupid names and lack of New Zealanders.

Expect there to be some elements in and around of the IPL that you just can't get your head around. Example: The Knight Riders and Nokia unveiled a competition called 'Milan of the villains'. Team owener and Bollywood hunk Shah Rukh Khan said, "My Knight Riders are a seemingly disjointed bunch of brilliant players, who really intimidate all opponents whenever they are on field and there is lot of intrigue as to how this bunch will perform together. Through this contest, I am asking for people's suggestions to help my players perform well together."

Look out for the man with the best job in the world. Donald Wells is the Washington Redskins’ "entertainment and cheerleading director" and he has brought his troupe to the IT capital of India, Bangalore to crank up the testosterone with a bit of "Bollywood hip-hop" during the Royal Challengers' opening match. He said: “This fusion of dance backgrounds has created a new amazing style. I am really looking forward to the reaction of India towards the Redskins cheerleaders. What we are doing is cutting edge and it’s great to see that we are going to start this squad off on the right foot.” Check out this poor bloke's "work environment" here: http://www.redskins.com/cheerleaders/

Quote of the week: The fake follicled bloke with Marty on the back of his shirt talks about Cricket Max in The TimesMax was never fully embraced by and consequently never exploited to its potential here in New Zealand, cursed by a small economy and a relatively obscure and impoverished cricketing environment. “We did have the bigger picture in mind and I'm still a little miffed that we didn't quite crack it. I always believed that a cricket match lasting two-and-a-half hours would work, but I could never have imagined it coming to the franchises, auctions and branding we have here now."

And finally why can't Split Enz lob out a theme tune? I'm happy to start them off...When my batter's walking down the street I P L , I P L, I P L; How could someone's wicket walk around free I P L , I P L, I P L...

Post a comment
Haydos   #1   03:38 pm Apr 18 2008

Ye gods there is a lot of 20/20 games coming up. Wheres the beige colour representation in this competition?

The Holden   #2   04:29 pm Apr 18 2008

Haydos: Outstanding question - and one I had foolishly overlooked. The Deccan Chargers are definitely the beigest of the lot so I am abandoning Vettori and embracing The Pig and that lunatic Afridi: Pics here: http://www.deccanchargers.in/news/deccan-chargers-launch-team-jerseys-photos/#more-10

megamark   #3   08:02 pm Apr 18 2008

i am hereby registering myself as a "dyed-in-the-wool-through-thick-and-thin-blood-is-thicker-than-water-got-the-t-shirt" fan of the KNIGHT RIDERS, on the assumption that "kit" will be their trumped up version of the drinks cart... who could ask for anything else in a cricket team?

Sanchez   #4   10:40 pm Apr 18 2008

Knight Riders: As the thought of Baz and Gayle opening gives me a tingling in my pants. Thought about supporting the Super Kings being they have 2 Kiwis but I would rather bare knuckle box with Andre Nel than support a team with Hayden.

And I'm predicting a falling out of the Aussie team after some 'harmless' racial sledging between Hayden and Symonds and Lee knocking out Hussey with a beamer.

DT   #5   03:14 am Apr 19 2008

I'm backing the Knight Riders, what a team name. Watching the opening game here at work too, their gold helmets are brilliant and McCullum is going nuts.

This is the first proper professional sports league in a country of 1 billion people. Don't be fooled lads, this is going to take off. Big crowds, loads of action, I'm loving it. Just wish Bond was playing in it!

Kirk   #6   06:36 am Apr 19 2008

Hmm, maybe you missed the "t" out... www.iplt20.com

Top site that, free live streaming of the games. Great for nighshift. That McCullum, something special. What a knock. Now why couldn't he pull that out against England at the basin?

Haydos   #7   12:50 pm Apr 19 2008

SH*T save some hitting for england! In response to the link by holden to the closest beige outfit, symonds looks like such a muppet in the second photo. Just thought I'd put that in there.

Paul   #8   01:56 pm Apr 19 2008

Bugger the V8's the IPL is the biggest sports even involving kiwis at the moment. I just wish Nzers would embrace something other than rugby, Netball, League and motorsport from time to time - cricket hardly gets a notice and when it has its brief time in the sunlight it's only barely supported.

Emma   #9   02:16 pm Apr 20 2008

Did anyone manage to see some of the Chennai game last night? Oram looks like Big Bird.

Ash   #10   05:25 pm Apr 20 2008

You think you are funny but you just come across as a jerk. Leave this comment for others to see if ya got balls.

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