By T S Sudhir
“Twitter is a stadium every night these days,” tweeted Surekha Pillai last night when Chennai and Bangalore clashed in the finals of the Indian Premier League. Indeed and mercifully so. Who would want to listen to Ravi Shastri whose commentary as senior journalist Madhavan Narayanan tweeted “is like soya nuggets. Tasteless, pointless, bland.”
In fact, the only redeeming feature of last night’s boring and terribly one-sided IPL final was the wit that was overflowing on twitter and facebook. Every ball, every boundary and sixer, every wicket, every expression of the Mallyas commented upon, analysed and dissected. So much so that Chennai-based Ramya Kannan wondered when the match was just about getting over : “Jeez, wat to live-tweet about when IPL4 ends.”
IPL over the last eight weeks and particularly its so-called business end, saw twitter gatecrashing into the party, bigtime. When Mumbai Indians lost, India’s resident wit on twitter, Ramesh Srivats described them as the “Advani of the IPL”. And he didn’t miss out on poking Bhajji and Symonds over their monkeygate days either, tweeting : “Oh, Symonds has been benched. Clever. Now whenever Bhajji wants him on the field, he can shout, “Oy Symonds. Bench chod. Idhar aa.”
The finals saw tweets raising a toast to the achievers. Like Madhavan on Dhoni : “Dhoni ka horoscope dekhna padega. Ticket checker tha. Ab sab ka tikkat kaat raha hai.”
And Ramya on Paul Valthathy : “Paul Valthaty gets Passat volkswagen. Cos his batting wagon wheel was awesome.”
Unlike the IPL commentary team, that has to be politically correct, the twitter commentary team is subjected to no such censorship. And Srivats freaked out on the Simon Taufels and Asad Raufs of the IPL as well with “They seem to have stitched new shirts for the umpires from leftover material from Kochi Tuskers’ uniform.”
And when the issue of `club vs country’ cropped up, the 140 characters turned a shade more cruel, with loads of black humour.
Srivats tweeted : “Am slightly worried about this WI tour. Just some 80-85 more injuries and Agarkar may get back into the team.”
Not to spare the experts either. “Sidhu declares himself unavailable for West Indies tour commentary due to severe tongue fatigue.”
With stats emerging on how lucrative it is to play the IPL instead of playing for India, Srivats tweeted : “For instance, we had a strenuous 14-nation tournament, just before the IPL. Totally unnecessary.”
Sunny Gavaskar can thank his stars that Twitter and facebook did not exist in 1975, when he laboured to 36 not out in a 60-over ODI match in the World Cup against England. He of course, also lost out on the `virtual’ accolades that would have come his way for several of his match-saving and match-winning knocks.
In today’s world, Srivats tweets : “If twitter were not around, Osama would be dead.” Cricket, I say, would be, atleast, half-dead.