Is the IPL obsessed with royalty? Looking at the names of the teams we have, it looks like it. I am trying to explore what went through the owners’ mind while naming their teams. Five out of the eight teams are either Kings or Royals of one or the other kind.
Let me start with Bangalore. The Royal Challengers Bangalore, this is an obvious one. The industrial barrel, I mean Baron Dr Mallya, named the team after his premium brand Royal Challenge or RC liquor. If we go by the actual wordings of the name, Royal Challengers, we might interpret it in two ways. One, they are Royals and are challenging the others or they are challenging royalty. The second one is more apt as anyway 75% of the teams are either Royals or kings anyway. Personally I would have preferred if he had named the team “Bangalore Kingfishers”. Still notice the King in kingfisher. It would have been really cool, like Miami Dolphins or St. Louis Rams. Frankly I expected more flamboyance from Mallya, no doubt he hired Katrina Kaif and now Deepika Padukone as the “Cheerleaders” but it’s Mallya we are talking about here. I won’t be surprised if he builds a new stadium and includes all the people in the stadium for his after IPL party.
Second, we will come to Chennai Super Kings. There is something with Tamilians and the word Super. Maybe it’s to do something with Rajnikant. Rajni is “Super Star”, which means he is God. So anything with Super in its name is a sure shot hit. But, why Super Kings? Again this obsession with royalty. If left to me, I would have named it Chennai Super Rascalas (Chennai being our traditional rivals has got nothing to do with the name). If you visit the CSK wiki site they have mentioned the name was kept keeping in mind that Chennai always had kings who were warriors and hence the name, they also add that the addition of Super gives it a youthful touch. The rest of the country never had any warriors? Only Chennai had warriors, I guess so. At leat they didn’t name it Anna Tamil Cement Madari Strong Team (ATCMST).
Kings XI Punjab! Preity Zinta is one of the 4 owners of the team. Still she is seen in the dugout in the press conference and we even see her hugging anything and anyone with a King XI jersey. So coming back to the name, do they mean everyone who plays for Punjab is a king or have we missed an apostrophe? Meaning it is owned by Kings. The way they are playing nowadays; they should be called Beggars XI Punjab. To top it, they have a prince in the team, Yuvraj. Though nowadays it’s tough to distinguish between Yuvraj and Ramesh Powar. Seriously, a more apt name would have been Chandigargh/Mohali Lions. Lions because, Yuvraj’s father oft says “Mera beta Sher hai” or “Sher ka baccha ghas nahi katha”. Or keeping in mind their performance - Priety Zinta’s behanji team.
Rajasthan Royals. I have nothing against them except for its 12% owner and her business partner cum husband, in that order and the sorry excuse of a sister. Basically owners shouldn’t be in the dugout or try to be bigger than cricket. But, film stars with little or no careers need some screen time and hence we see Preity and Shilpa on screen. I feel they are the coolest team and have the coolest guy on planet as their captain and coach. But, their name leaves much to be desired. Desert Stormers or something like that would have made it way cooler and eye catching.
A professional stunt man or a blind super hero? Daredevils can be either of the two. Delhi Daredevils is owned by GMR group, one of the least seen owners. The name looks ok; I feel they tried to mean they are mean guys ready to fight out of any situation, a kind of mavericks. But, they should have dug deeper into what or who a daredevil is. The point being it doesn’t have the “cool” factor. They could have got some history involved or been innovative. Mind you it a pretty good name. Going by the city’s (Delhi) reputation the name should have been Delhi Arrogants.
Deccan Chargers. Nothing much to write about them, owned by a media group who publish among others South India’s best selling English newspaper Deccan Chronicle. It’s sad that they don’t even have their home ground nowadays. But they have goofed up in one aspect, it’s a city based franchise and you got to have the city name in the team’s name. Punjab and Deccan have knowingly or unknowingly flaunted common sense. At least Punjab is a state, Deccan is just a name given to the whole of South India which also has 2 more teams and one addition next year. So next season I would prefer if DC are named Hyderabad Chargers even though for business reasons they would rather leave it as Deccan.
Last but one and the weirdest name one can come up with, Mumbai Indians. Owned by Mukesh Ambani and run by this wife Nita, the name makes no sense. Before that, the other day I swear I saw Michael Jackson in the Mumbai dugout, than someone pointed out it was Nita Ambani post makeover. Coming back to the name, was it politically motivated? Is it Mukesh Ambani’s answer to the Thakerays? Or my best theory it’s a tribute to all the Indians in the US, popularly known as native Indians, red Indians or just Indians. Why would you call your team Mumbai Indians? We aren’t writing some postal address here, Mumbai India; might as well add a pin code. They could have kept in mind the Maratha sentiment and called it Mumbai Shivaji’s (not to be confused with Rajni, though Rajni is the actual Shivaji) or taking a leaf out of NFL, Mumbai Giants.
Now coming to my favorite team, KKR. Kolkotta Knight Riders, once again the obsession with Royalty. In this case it is justified; one of its owners is SRK, who is the Badshah or King. So naturally his players will be knights. But, there is one exception they are playing in the wrong league. They should be in the Pakistan Premier League, but lost their way and ended in the Indian League. Though Pak and Bangladesh is still the focus, only the money is from India. They even have the best costume, yeah its costume because they are a bunch of jokers. No sane man would wear purple jersey with gold colored pads and helmets and want to be taken seriously. It’s the most hated team playing in a ground that booed an Indian team because one particular Ganguly was dropped. Thankfully they scratch the bottom always. What to say about the team, they have Agarkar in it. For more information visit the #agarkarfacts in twitter. Coming back to the name, I thought all Knights are riders? Or the owners were great fans of the show Knight Rider aired in the 80s and 90s. All I can think of is Kolkotta Commi Bastards.
IPL is vulgar, gaudy, over the top and I don’t even want to start on the commentators, but I am loving it.