Your IPL Update from Beyond the Boundary

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Tim’s IPL3 Shorts – Your guide to events beyond the boundary of the IPL – Forbes’ fourth biggest sporting property in the world.

How is the exponential growth of India’s mobile phone subscribers and Tony the Tiger linked to the biggest stories in the IPL this week? The answer: in more ways than you can imagine…

500m Missed Calls

700,000 videos of IPL3 have been viewed using mobile phones via m.iplt20.com.  Users have been able to watch Karbonn Kamaal catches and see the ball race away to the Vodafone boundary triangles as the Knightriders (sponsored by Nokia) and the Daredevils (sponsored by Idea) challenge for points, perhaps to secure a place in the Airtel Champions League? Users can grab a cup of tea during the Maxx Mobile timeout. Or perhaps make a phone call or send a text, as India’s mobile phone subscribers are expected to top 500m in 2010.

No Complaints for ‘Club Lounge’ Shots

Shots of film stars and owners in the ‘club lounge’ are commonplace.  So too as they sit in the dug out among their players.  Smiling, supporting, commiserating and more as they follow their team’s fortunes.  In stark contrast, Premier League football coverage offers an occasional glance towards the director’s box, featuring stern faced businessmen, surveying their investment.  The IPL has yet to embrace the solemn-faced importance of it’s footballing counterpart, but who is to argue if it means more shots of Preity Zinta?

MRF Blimp Flop

We have become accustomed to viewing spectacular shots taken from various blimps at cricket matches.  A bird’s eye view of the playing area or the stadium in the foreground as we look over the bustling landscape of an urban centre.  Sadly no such shots from the MRF blimp during the IPL.  No scenes over the garden city, of Old Delhi or of Churchgate.  Surely we should be looking down from the ship, not gazing up to the inflatable advertising hoarding? But what would be the commercial sense in that?

Singh is King Fined

Against Deccan, Harbhajan Singh rescued the Mumbai Indians by bludgeoning a quick fire 49, then capturing 3 wickets with his bowling and taking a wonderful catch. With regards to his outburst at the dismissal of Tirumalaseti Suman, the Sikh tweaker pleaded guilty to a ‘Level 1’ offence relating to “excessively audible or repetitious swearing” resulting in a $15,000 fine.  Harbhajan raised his game and was rewarded for his commitment; it was unfortunate that his passion overflowed. A price worth paying for a match winning performance.

Singh isn’t King, or fined.

Yet unpunished was Yuvraj Singh, spotted mouthing a particularly unpleasant obscenity in response to a deftly tickled boundary from Tendulkar in the Mumbai/Punjab match-up. Excessive and repetitious it was not, but nonetheless obvious to those watching on television. No fine, not for Yuvraj nor the television producer who allowed the profane scene to be aired live to millions.

Earn Your Stripes (or buy them at auction)

Vijay Mallya, head of United Breweries and known for the Kingfisher brand is a huge investor in sport.  He sponsors two football clubs in Kolkata, has interests in horse racing, owns the Force India Formula One team and of course the Royal Challengers Bangalore, affording him great coverage for himself and his brands.  A proud South Indian, Mallya has spent significant amounts on memorabilia of 18th century ruler Tipu Sultan.  The alcohol ‘baron’ has acquired through auction various weapons from the armoury of the ruler, who famously opposed British rule in South India. Yet the most famous artefact remains in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London: ‘Tipu’s Tiger’. The life-size carving features a tiger attacking a European soldier, whilst an organ inside the piece imitates the roar of the beast and the groan of the victim.  Tipu Sultan, known as the ‘tiger of Mysore’ once remarked ‘better to live a day as tiger than a lifetime as a sheep’. It can be assumed that the stripes that adorn the Royal Challenger’s uniform are not borrowed from the mascot of Frosties cereal, Tony the Tiger.

Brace Yourselves: Scandal Imminent

The inaugural IPL featured Harbhajan Singh slapping Sreesanth. ‘Fake Player’ blogged anonymously in IPL2.  Although there was a deluge of activity prior to the event, as we ease into the halfway stage and beyond, the tournament is again ripe for a scandal, a surprise or a shock.

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