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HindustanTimes Wed,03 Sep 2014

Regional Takes

Tweet spate on Slapgate, Virat-Gauti hate
Chetna Keer Chetna Keer, Hindustan Times
April 22, 2013
First Published: 09:17 IST(22/4/2013)
Last Updated: 09:19 IST(22/4/2013)

For the social media, it's as much a season of tweet 'n' trolls as of Tweeple tempers that soar more than balls.

Cricketainment now spells so much social media action that somewhere captains pack a punch into Twitter trolling, somewhere temperamental Tweeple sound so stung by Slapgate that they don't let slapping 'dogs' lie and set old controversies rolling.

Season Six of the Indian domestic league is also as much about art imitating life as about life imitating art and how!

Mouths more foul

Somewhere it's the players driving the punch line of cricketainment commercials, somewhere it's the "punch" line propelling the players.

Recent action that has seen tempers on the field rising higher than Chris Gayle's sixes can be attributed to a jingle for a soft drink brand that is now an anthem for T20.

So, if cricket lovers are crying foul about Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) skipper Virat Kohli and his Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) counterpart Gautam Gambhir turning foul-mouthed, it's more a case of life imitating art. Or, art irritating life.

Seeing their stellar performance in the spirit of the tagline for its soft drink commercial, Season Six sponsor Pepsi should star as its new brand ambassadors Kohli and Gambhir: "Yeh T20 hai boss, na tameez se khela jaata hai na tameez se dekha jaata hai!"

Slapgate spurs spate

If this previous season T20 tagline has found takers in present season's skippers, the new catchphrase for cricketainment 2013 "Sirf dekhne ka nahi" also has a taker in a pacer, whose temperament is known to be as fizzy 'n' frothy as the soft drink-sponsoring league.

Seeing that the Virat-Gauti spat had begun drawing parallels with his infamous imbroglio involving Mumbai Indians' Harbhajan Singh in Season One, which became a "hit" in league folklore as Slapgate, Rajasthan Royals (RR) bowler S Sreesanth took the "Sirf dekhne ka nahi" catchword a tad too seriously.

He was not to be caught being a silent spectator to media comparisons of the Virat-Gauti hate with his own signature Slapgate. Far from "sirf dekhna", Sreesanth swung into action, where else but on Twitter.

So, tweeple were treated to a spate of tweets on Slapgate: "Every one blaming me Nd always writing and talking about slap gate??… It's just tht … it's sad to c .the media still talking about it… really feels bad..slap, thappad,,,???really..it's not wht u all know."
Memory of Slapgate saw the RR think-tank keep the temperamental bowler away from his team's clash with Mumbai Indians, starring his bête noire Bhajji. For, unlike the epidemic that's driving much of Bollywood action, the RR top brass steered shy of seeing scripted a sequel: Slapgate 2.

So, Sreesanth had little place else to air his angst at having been at the receiving end of beating Punjabi "ishtyle" than to go on the social media and not beat about the bush.
And his muse for this Twitter tirade on players who abuse? An advertising "punch" line: "Darr ke aage tweet hai!"

For whom ball trolls!

If the RR bowler turned to Twitter against action foul, the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) skipper took to the micro-blogging site with the aim to troll. And at the receiving end was the CSK's new sensation of bat as much as bowl.

Chennai's spectacular win over the RCB saw MS Dhoni taking to Twitter in playful pokes on teammate Ravindra Jadeja: "When you give Sir Ravindra Jadeja one ball to get 2 runs he will win it with one ball to spare!!"

For all those wondering if MSD's Twitter shots were too tweet to be true, there was more to come: "God realised Rajni sir is getting old, so he created Sir Ravindra Jadeja!"

Being likened to legend Rajnikanth made more a Knight Rider out of the CSK champ, whose action in the stadia has already earned him "knighthood" on the social media, spawning spoofs likening his exploits to that of cyber "troll legends" like American actor Chuck Norris.

Seeing how Jadeja was at the receiving end of none less than the captain himself, one of his fans swung into cyber action. To prop a Twitter clone so funny that it could give even the Fake League Player a run for his money: @SirJadeja.

The tables have thus turned on trolls "jest" now.

And the coke inspiring the Jadeja clone's prompt joke? Another soft-drink tagline, "Oh Yes, Abhi!"


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