The IPL’s almost over, but you have no clue what’s been going on? Need a cheatsheet? Look no further…
Welcome to IPL 6.
If you’re of average IQ and some life-worth, you’re probably not emotionally invested in this brand of cricket. Problem is, this isn’t gaining you any favours over the water cooler. When your cricket-obsessed colleague (i.e, most of them) asks your non-caring self: “So, how about that Dhoni helicopter shot last night?”, you want to be able to reply with more than: “Dhoni can fly a helicopter?” (for what it’s worth, he probably can).
That’s where we come in. We’re here to help you cheat your way through these conversations; so feel to abuse this list much as Virat Kohli does to his own teammates, to sound like you know everything there is to know about the IPL.
Rule 1: It’s colonization all over again.
It’s like the struggle for the independence of India. Except this time, the Indians are struggling to show themselves as capable of being worthy of the Indian Premier League. Every season, non-Indians dominate the individual contests, be it for the most sixes, the most runs, the most wickets.
The closest India has come to laying claim over a Man of the Series is when a West Indian won it. And by ‘West Indian’, we’re not referring to Gujarat’s own son, Munaf Patel.
Rule 2: Chris Gayle is the Morgan Freeman of IPL.
Every season he wows like no other, squashes records like they’re fruit flies and injures more people each year in the stands with his god-awesome sixes.
He also enjoys spending time with cheerleaders. And hotel receptionists. And, well, any woman who’s bipedal.
Rule 3. All Indian players will always be shown at least once in slow-motion, either after they take a wicket or hit the winning runs, mouthing profanities that refer to sisters and mothers. Judging you, Virat Kohli.
Rule 4. Stadiums are always “jam-packed”, even if they are at half-capacity.
Rule 5. If drinking games involved Gavaskar the Great’s political incorrectness and Ramiz Raja’s audio slapstick, you would be comatose after the first five overs.
Rule 6. Foreign backroom staff like Jonty Rhodes and RCB’s Ray Jennings will almost always be found writing notes down, attentively watching their players. Indian team unit members like VVS Laxman and Kris Srikkanth can always be found talking to each other, gently gesticulating, or even in Cheeka’s case, praying.
Rule 7. Douchey displays of testosterone are now now addressed as “[insert obnoxious player’s name] is pumped/energetic.”
Rule 8. To know the latest hairstyle craze in Bihar, you need only look at Ravindra Jadeja. Or Saurabh Tiwary if you want to know what was all the rage in 2006.
Rule 9. When the cameras cut away to the players in the dugouts, the foreign players are almost always joking around, or exchanging light banter. The Indians by comparison, are almost always either chewing their nails (a la Gambhir) or digging their noses (usually a Pathan brother).
Rule 10. At the end of each tournament, there are face-offs between the two captains at the bottom of the table (there are always two teams outdoing each other in who can do worse) to see who can come up with a more creative way of saying “this is just not our IPL” at every post-match presentation ceremony.
Rule 11. IPL uniforms are the best way of showcasing what bad cloth dye look like on 11 individuals. Cue the Kerala Tuskers’ visual eyesore from 2012 or the current Sunrisers Hyderabad ‘ombré’ shade of puke to plume.
Rule 12. All the audience members will be exasperated if their team has lost a wicket, or the opposing side has hit a six… until they come on TV that is. Then they’re as gleeful as Bravo when he gets a wicket.
Rule 12+1. Collective IQs of the entire Indian female population tank further each year as the better sex provide ground-breaking commentary like “thank you for talking to you”, and asking pertinent journalistic questions like “are you feeling good about this?”
Rule 14. Capitalism is the star player of these matches. After all, what else can make famous foes like Ricky Ponting and Harbhajan Singh get along? Only the same thing that can make enemies out of Kieron Pollard and DJ Bravo.
written by Abeer Yusuf. Follow her on Twitter.