Ep 1: A Game of Chinese Whispers

“The toornaamaint will be as good as the opening ceremony,” Humpty Dumpty had declared last week. As time would prove, even Mr. Brainy’s astrologer couldn’t have been this prophetic.

The cricket’s mirrored the opening ceremony perfectly. There are those who fell asleep right in the middle of a Priyanka Chopra performance at the opening ceremony. And there are those from the opening match who are yet to wake up.

They haven’t missed much. It’s been business as usual. Lordie’s come back again. The Night Riders are safely tucked into what they call home – the bottom of the barrel. Gadheja failed against a good team and feasted on the minnows. And, nobody’s managed to lock Kanhaiyya in the lift again.

After 8 successive duds, it took the sixth day to produce one entertaining match, coming as a huge relief to the MCBCI. They feared, if the spate of duds continued any further, the tournament ran the risk of being rechristened Abhishek Bachchan.

Like in the past, the real contests have been away from the field.

Behind the botoxed faces, the arc lights and flash bulbs, behind the backslapping bonhomie and camera-friendly smiles lies a world of mistrust, deceit, and intrigue. In this murky world exist the powers that be. And, at the moment, most of them are frantically searching for the riches they could so clearly see just the other day. It’s a feeling not too dissimilar from that quick trip to the loo that cost you an entire Sehwag inning.

This is how the Chinese whispers go. Mr. Brainy says Slimeball siphoned off all the money. The owners are starting to challenge the theory saying that the only time they saw any money in this was when he was still around. Amongst each other, they are asking if Mr. Brainy’s greed and ego is taking the whole ship down. Moreover, they feel not only fleeced off their money, but also ripped off any chance of winning the tournament. A bit like how teams felt playing in Australia in the pre-neutral umpires era.

What should worry Mr. Brainy and Co. is that Slimeball’s name is being taken very often now in cricketing corridors. That he is in touch with the right people is known. What they should also know is that, if pushed to the edge of the cliff, the same people may not mind jumping onto Slimeball’s ship if it happens to show up.

Don’t believe the advertisements, there’s no mineral water brand that’s uniting the teams. There are 2 cliques – the big three and the bottom three. Off the three remaining fence sitters, the Bengali stud Macho Da will prove to be decisive. At the moment, he’s looking for an invitation to join the big three. If he doesn’t see it coming, he might jump on to the other side spoiling the carefully manufactured balance.

As the undercurrents start spilling out in the open, the edifice of this world is crumbling brick by brick. Will the hyped up league live to die another year or will it implode in this Mayan year of obliteration?

The drama will unfold over the next six weeks.

Disclaimer: Remember, fake is stranger the fiction. And more believable than fact.

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