In "The Code of the Woosters" by P.G.Wodehouse, Bertie Wooster encounters an unusually confident and strident Gussie Fink Nottle. The newtophile was traditionally the most diffident male in all recorded history, in whom bravado could only be artificially injected via heavily spiked orange juice. Eventually Bertie wheedles out the secret of Gussie's newly acquired spine, finding a rather brilliant stratagem from Jeeves behind it all: Gussie has been surreptitiously maintaining a notebook filled with bold observations about those who would otherwise have caused his knees to knock and melt. For instance, his father-in-law-to-be's soup-slurping skills remind him of the Scottish Express rushing through a tunnel. This drains the enemy of his villainous aura reducing him to a life lower than a debauched salamander, allowing the fish-faced friend to become the 'bossee', so much so that Gussie could emasculate that black-shorted gorilla Roderick Spode as a perfect perisher in footer bags.
Now, the reason why I invoked the honourable Plum is because I have a sneaking feeling that that once obnoxious trundler Sreesanth may have been similarly Roderick-ed. If you are going to strut about providing code-violating malayaalee-accented snorts at your opposition, you cannot be seen to be sobbing as if someone swapped your multi-coloured flannels for Binny shorts. Sreesanth, poor fellow, has defanged himself for life. Anyone who has seen that sorry sight will never ever be able to take a Sreesanth sledge seriously. Even Andre Nel must have been embarassed.
More seriously, I agree almost entirely with Jayaditya Gupta's analysis of the darwaazaa-e-thappaD. This was on the cards and the BCCI is a little lucky that only Indians were involved. Anyone who saw how the under-19 players went about their business a couple of months ago would noted the bad (but condoned) habits of the senior team having rubbed off on them (that some of the juniors were probably seniors themselves is a different but equally disturbing matter).
Shane on you
My IPL viewing depends mainly on whether one person's involved, a certain Shane Warne. On display are the full range of skills - bowling, batting, strategy, and captaincy. It's an absolute treat to watch. I'm sincerely grateful to the IPL for allowing me to watch a little bit of Warne each week. Harish and Aniket would approve.
The shock at the end of the wire
And Aditya Gadre would approve of how much I have followed international club football in the last three months. Each week's EPL has thrown up corkers of matches. Saturday's results were perfect for a neutral. Now, I'd like Man Utd. to go back and claim what is theirs. But for the Champions League (I have dragged myself through part of the night for this as well!), as long as Chelsea lose, I don't care. But a little more of Messi would be nice to see.
And to round off this sports-crazy post, the tennis status quo briefly asserts itself this week, with Federer and Nadal returning for their annual date at the final at Monte Carlo. You know it's been a strange year for Federer when the only title win of the year has been on clay, and it's already April. But he wouldn't quite complain if the topsy-turviness results in wins at Roland Garros and at Beijing - the two most important crowns missing in what must be a massive mantelpiece in his Basel chalet.
Footnote: I was trying to look for some images of the weeping Sreesanth but found it interesting that Google Images turned up nothing. The restrictive media norms by the IPL seem to have resulted in this, so Mr. Modi - your diktat is working!