IPL blogger and us
Each blog post averages around 1,000 comments and there are scores of other blogs living off it. What is it about fakeiplplayer.blogspot that makes it so popular?
It’s cheeky, irreverent and deliciously scurrilous. It goes where no journalist – print or television – can, or perhaps will, ever go. And that is the secret of its astounding success (meteoric, if you prefer cliches). Have you seen it? Check it out: fakeiplplayer.blogspot.com.
We had him on Hindustan Times Page One twice – first when we just heard of it, and the second to inform its cult-like followers all was still well with it, the blogger was safe, and hammering away at his next blog.
The blogger claims to be a player of the bottom-of-the-league team Kolkata Knight Riders and that’s how he accesses its team meetings and the intrigue that’s supposedly happening behind locked hotel doors.
It opens up parts of the cricketing world fenced out for most of us earlier –the team meetings, the dressing room and, the most tantalizing bit, what players do after stumps (no milk-and-bed routine here).
He exists surely. And his blog has been a major highpoint of IPL 2, which has been a little colourless so far – it’s picking up lately but the experience has been nothing like the inaugural season.
But for fakeiplplayer, Season 2 would have been excruciatingly dull. For the record, the major players are Bhookha Naan — a controversial head coach — and Lordie – a former Indian captain.
Bhookha Naan is the villain with his flock of hangers-on and Lordies is this lonely ranger who is battling for his honour – he can’t let another Aussie walk all over him.
The latest twist in the story is that the flock around Bhookha Naan is thinning. And Lordie is playing the statesman, strategizing a rescue plan for the team. The owner is back in India on a dancing assignment.
The blogger remains unidentified. There have been speculation about his identity, but no one has cracked it yet – a former Indian team batsman remains a prime suspect, apparently because he writes well.
The blog is very well written, not something you could associate normally with cricketers past and present, and is funny. It’s a minor achievement to go through it without at least a smile.
But my point is something else. The blogger, fakeiplplayer, is changing the way people follow cricket – they will not be satisfied any more with mere match reports, interviews, stats and expert comments.
They are getting all that anyway – from live coverage and the analysis and more that come with it. There is an overdose of all this in fact, with more of the same stuff coming in the newspapers next morning.
Fakeiplplayer has brought them now a ringside view of things that makes everything else pale in comparison. They will settle for nothing less. It’s not my case to follow the way shown by fakeiplplayer.
But wouldn’t you like to read about strategy sessions? Or about heated team-meeting exchanges? Or how about whom the players are seeing, seriously or otherwise? Why not? Deepika Padukone did get written about a bit in cricketing columns before she moved on to entertainment-only pages.
The writer of fakeiplplayer.blogspot takes it to another level, which may not make sense on sports pages. But, hey, their partying does make for interesting reading.
Everyone is following the exploits of the Sheikh of Tweak, for instance, and Kishan Kanhaiyya. Specially the young rookies who have stepped out of India for the first time – “they are looking for some crumbs to fall by their bedside”.
I can see some serious sports editors cringe in horror with what this blogger is doing to sports reporting – they may rightly argue this is not sports at all – but can you really look the other way and ignore it all?