A fresh crisis of grave proportions has engulfed IPL with the Association of IPL Commentators refusing to drop references to DLF, especially the beloved phrase ‘DLF maximum’, during commentary in next year’s edition despite DLF pulling out as title sponsors of the cash rich tournament.
Association president Ravi Shastri contends that he and his fellow commentators are far too conditioned in their ways and it is unfair and downright unfeasible to expect them to change their commentary style for reasons as trivial as the real estate conglomerate ending its sponsorship contract with BCCI.
“It goes beyond mere habituation, man. I’m sentimentally attached to phrases such as ‘DLF Maximum’, ‘Citi Moment of Success’, and ‘Karboon Kamaal Catch’,” cried an emotionally agitated Shastri, “for they now occupy pride of place along side bromides like ‘tracer bullet’, ‘the fully monty’ and ‘electrifying atmosphere’ in my repertoire of choice clichés. This is so….just not what the doctor ordered.”
Vice President of the association, Sunil Gavaskar, is equally livid. The ‘Little Master’ had approached commentary, even of the junk IPL variety, with the same meticulousness and advance preparation that illuminated his batting in Test cricket. “High caliber commentary is all about interminably occupying the commentary box and then proceeding to wear down the viewer by repeating ad nauseam well honed corporate plugin phrases. Do these BCCI jokers realize how much effort I put into mastering the deployment of ‘DLF Maximum’ at regular intervals to become an accomplished commentator,” fumed Sunny, throwing his mike away in disgust when informed about change in commentary guidelines.
Both the veterans have indicated that though they are contract bound to toe the BCCI line during commentary they will refuse to budge on this highly emotive issue. “We’ve already sold our souls once to the cricket board, yaar. We can’t keep re-selling it again and again now, can we?” snarled Ravi, hot tears of humiliation streaming down his gaunt face.
IPL commissioner Rajiv Shukla has attempted to strike a conciliatory note. “There is nothing to worry about. Until IPL finds new title sponsor, Ravi and Sunny bhai can continue to say ‘DLF Maximum’ instead of ‘Sixer’ if they feel so strongly about it. Meanwhile, we will admit them to rehabilitation program and get them de-addicted from uttering these now taboo words. We realize that commentators, like cricketers, are also human, prone to injuries and emotional frailties (sic),” he noted.