By Karthik Parimal
This ‘Breaking News’ is a complete shocker! Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni will no longer be a part of the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) squad from the forthcoming season of the Indian Premier League (IPL)! Dhoni, who was appointed the ambassador of Nepali Cricket last week, will captain a new IPL team from Nepal that will feature in this cash-rich tournament in 2013.
"The IPL governing body is pleased to announce that the the league will have its first foreign team in Gorkha Brigade in 2013," said an ecstatic Rajeev Shukla, the commissioner of the IPL, to the press that gathered outside the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s (BCCI) office at Mumbai late last evening. "After the termination of Kochi Tuskers Kerala from the IPL, a tenth team was needed to make the schedule more feasible, and hence this addition."
Talks are doing the rounds that Dhoni reached this decision after a feud with current BCCI President and CSK owner N Srinivasan left the former fuming with rage. When quizzed by the media, Dhoni denied any rift with his former franchise owner, and revealed that the plan to shift base to Gorkha Brigade was in fact suggested by Srinivasan himself.
A devout Hindu, Srinivasan said in a press release later that he did this in support of the neighbouring Hindu kingdom. "This is the least I could do to help a Hindu country is to get them a place in the IPL and provide them with the best available leader. I feel it’s my responsibility as the head of the country’s apex cricket body and a Hindu," opined Srinivasan.
Dhoni, too, appeared happy with the move. "Well of course, I’m looking forward to it. Representing a foreign team in the IPL is going to be a unique experience, you know."
Sources reveal that Dhoni was keen on taking Suresh Raina and Ravichandran Ashwin along with him. The same sources also revealed that Dhoni cold shouldered Ravindra Jadeja.
“I requested Mahi bhai to take me along as well. But he bluntly refused,” said a dejected Jadeja. “I even offered to engrave GB (Gorkha Brigade) on the left side of my head, just like I engraved CSK on the right a few months ago. But Mahi bhai retorted that Aamir Khan’s hairstyle in Ghajini, despite suffering from a head trauma, looked better than mine on any given day. That kind of took me aback. I was hurt. Mahi smirked when he said that,” he added.
The inclusion of Gorkha Brigade in the IPL got a mixed response throughout India. While many are happy that the IPL has extended its wings a little, an equal number of people are livid at the fact that there’ll be an increase in the number of IPL games yet again. But the Gorkha community’s joy here in Hyderabad knew no bounds. I managed to talk to quite a few people and had interesting conversations with them. One such conversation that enthralled me was with a man named Bahadur, who had always loved the concept of a ‘Night-watchman’ in cricket. “I’m sure that Gorkha Brigade is going to win the next IPL with ease,” said Bahadur. “We are used to playing cricket with lathis back in Nepal, and one can only imagine the damage we can inflict when we have something as broad as a cricket bat in our hands.” he added.
It’s believed that when Chris Gayle hit a lean patch a few years ago, he packed his bags to Nepal where he practiced hitting the ball with alathi instead of a bat at the Kirtipur Cricket Stadium, situated in the premises of Tribhuvan University in the outskirt of Nepal. He did this for several days, and the difference in his approach and his efficiency is there for everyone to see now.
However, the housing societies are not too thrilled at the news as IPL time could put their security in danger as Gorkhas could be glued to the TV. “The addition of Gorkha Brigade is not a good sign for us residents. My security guard would be watching TV and celebrating a ‘DLF Maximum’ or a ‘Karbon Kamaal Catch’ instead of preventing burglars trying to break in. I fear his work may take backseat,” said a worried resident.
Nevertheless, the Indian cricket fraternity is fairly happy with the turn of events, and this happiness was reflected in N. Srinivasan’s words. “Mr. Tony Greig stated in his Cowdrey Lecture that the IPL should be expanded into ‘an Asian League’ to include teams from Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. We believe we’ve taken a huge first step by including Nepal, and we’re proud of our decision,” he said triumphantly.
The Gorkha Brigade franchise will meet in a month’s time to discuss their plans and strategies for the forthcoming IPL. Also, it is believed that former actress Manisha Koirala could be the brand ambassador of the Gorkha Brigade team. The 41-year-old actress was, however, unavailable for comments.
(If cricket is a religion and has many devotees, Karthik Parimal would be a primary worshipper. His zeal for writing and love for the sport of cricket is what has brought him here. Karthik can also be followed on Twitter)