A section from
‘A Jedi shall not know hatred, nor fear… nor love.’ from Star Wars Episode II
FAKE IPL PLAYER
'If he's neither a cricketer nor a journalist, then I know who he is.'
Ashok looked at me curiously.
'He's a poker player.' I said.
'Poker in it's simplest form…' Ashok whispered, comprehension finally dawning on him.
I knew that he knew what I was getting at. Was it possible that FIP had used bits and pieces of inside information to concoct an entire world of conspiracies, scandals and intrigue?
With the façade teamwork, fair-play and ethics falling apart in the world of cricket the FIP seems to be the only real thing happening to the league. The fakeIPLplayer blog that leaked the true dynamics of teams and their after-hours activities took the cricket tournament from the glory of sports entertainment to the realm of reality-TV-sports. Sports fans couldn’t get enough of their favourite and most-hated players lives, the politics with foreign coaches and players, and the true lifestyles of larger-than-life celebrities and tycoons. Voyeurism was the order of the hour.
While very few players (sports and otherwise) in the I?L are spared from FIP's wit, the FIP has his biases and favourites. Team-owners from Bollywood and industry piss him off the most with their inflated egos and misunderstanding of what teamwork is about. Helping the FIP with fodder for his blog are the two fumbling and inept I?L bosses themselves along with their entourage of sycophants.
And of-course the arch villain himself - the commissioner of the I?L - with his Machiavellian manipulations and greed -
To succeed in politics one needs to rise above one's principles. Being a man of low principles, Lalu Parekh had an unfair advantage in this matter. But this alone did not make him special - he was a man who knew how to compromise other people's principles as well.
The commissioner sets a detective to track down the FIP believing him to be a conspiracy against the tournament. The Bollywood boss thinks the FIP is one of his players. The press suspect he is one of them. The hunt for the identity of the FIP is a rip-roaring misadventure for the poor detective, who perpetually believes he has his man in his sights until another post comes up on the infamous blog.
However despite all his flanking attacks at the players of the game and the businessmen of the I?L the book is devoid of malice, or maybe it’s the way the story is wrapped up that makes a satisfactory / feel good ending; with two protagonists' actions being dictated by the best interests of the cricket, a sub-plot love story and an end that signals a sequel.
So what does the FIP stand for? Despite his introductory lines being self-deprecatory he seems to be happy taking up the cause of purity of the game with all his sarcasm over the 'sports entertainment' phenomenon. His exposures of the players' antics only makes the stalwarts look better. His guerilla attacks on the businessmen takes a classic anti-establishment stand. The FIP is Hannibal to the Romans, he is the Scarlet Pimpernel to the French Revolutionaries and he is Robin Hood to King John. He represents the people, and the people have raised the skirts for the FIP because he gives them what they want and he does it with style.
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