Saturday, May 19, 2012

The IPL Franchise Owners - Entertainment Value

It's fun to see the IPL franchise owners. They are an odd lot, accompanied by an odder lot of people around them. Some behave like hysterical fans, some behave like they are the ones who are actually playing, some are absent totally. But when I noticed the problems the KKR franchise owner has been having with the MCA officials and the way the RCB owner courted controversy over his player's molestation charges, I decided that its time to take a look at this lot - whose job is rather thankless, much like the umpires or the cheerleaders. I decided to give them the space they need and rank them on their entertainment value. Sometimes they provide more drama than the cricket as we can see!

1) Kings XI Punjab
The one that takes the cake for sheer entertainment value is  Priety Zinta because she is worse than the most hysterical fan any side can ever have. Flag waving, jaw dropping, screaming, jumping, nail biting and cheering her side along, the pretty owner of Punjab XI steps free of controversy mostly. She is great to watch except when for her exuberant hugs to the players and her take on the game occasionally which she does in an American accent. Why Priety, why? 'It's not just batting and bowling, but fielding is important,' she said in all seriousness the other day.

2) KKR
SRK closely follows her because he usually arrives with an interesting bunch of people. He is interesting himself as he takes victory laps around the field after his side wins (my man isn't that the player's job) and is constantly waving at the crowds despite looking totally tired. Funnily I felt SRK was looking happier when KKR was losing than when they are winning. (Has he not grown out of his Baazigar days - Haar Kar Jeetne Wale Ko Baazigar Kehte Hain?) But messing up with security walas is not befitting his status - he ought to have a team that sorts out the security people and stuff. Why is MCA banning him though? Jealous? Bd sports? I support SRK on the fracas - franchise owners cannot be banned because of security people's issues.

3) RCB

Siddharth Mallya should be on top actually because he is really the most unpredictable of the lot. From tweeting gross details of his dates at late night parties to kissing India's hottest babe Depika Padukone in full public view  the irrepressible Mallya is great fun. One does not know what he is up to and one also suspects the even he does not know what he is up to sometimes? But for fun quotient he is right up there.

4) Mumbai Indians
Neeta Ambani gets as animated as any school kid at her team's fortunes. Her reactions are so genuine that  at times you feel sorry for her for getting a team like that. The Mumbai Indians have no heart for their franchise owner however and they merrily keep winning and losing really close matches, giving gaalis and getting into fights with all and sundry. But she is there all the while with one of the most expensive teams, most expensive support teams, most number of people on the ground and still having to fight for every win. She is supported by some die hard fans like her sons, Anu Mallik, Vidhu Vinod Chopra and others.

5) DC
Gayatri Reddy, the young owner of the DC team is all poise and grace as she supports her team through thick and thin - actually change to - mainly thin. She is not easily excited and keeps her emotions in control which is a good thing when you have a team like DC because you cannot afford to burst out into tears often! At best she allows herself a big smile and a hearty clap for her team. A composed and supportive owner she is always there for the team - despite the team being almost never there for her. But still the smile on her face when DC won yesterday was worth watching - she truly supports DC - which is amazing after their performance this year.

6) Rajasthan Royals
In the absence of Shilpa Shetty we have to do with Mr. Kundra who gets the odd Bollywood face along with him for increasing the fun quotient - like Harman Baweja for instance. Remember him? Harman actually did a cricket movie the name of which I forgot. Kundra is articulate and gets the right bytes across but we'd rather watch the more emotional, constantly praying Shilpa Shetty any day. Next year perhaps!

7) Delhi Dare Devils
The GMR scion sits on the franchise owner's sofa (which is in a rather exposed and dangerous place in the ground if you ask me with balls flying around like missiles) with his young children. If I am not mistaken it is Kiran of the GMR group who manages the Hyderabad airport and the Delhi one too perhaps, who sits in the franchise sofa often. I have never seen him speak not have I seen him animated over the game. Delhi is winning all games comfortably so the GMR guys are pretty cool about it - as if they know the result already. 

8) Pune Warriors
The Sahara group scion is easily spotted in the Pune games. I have not seen him get too animated either. he sits with a bunch of his friends and associates quietly and watches the fortunes of his team as they dip and dip and dip this season. Nothing much on entertainment value as the Pune Warriors are a dignified and reserved lot - not prone to jumping, hugging, flag waving, kissing and molesting their players.

8) Chennai Super Kings
Who are the owners of this side? Where are they? How do they look? No one knows. The only thing we heard was that Srinivasan's son threw a tantrum in Mumbai and was taken to the police station or something like that. Now that was interesting because until then we never knew who the owner's of this team were. Anyway with him visiting the police station and the bars in town, there's no one around to take support this team. Poor Dhoni has to do it himself!

That then is my ranking on the IPL franchise owners and the entertainment value they provide. Thanks guys you're all doing a great job!

No comments: