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Saving Private Srinivasan!

There are rumours floating around the State Chief Minister’s health. A huge water crisis is staring Chennai in its face. The Metro construction seems to have run into some major problems and the city’s traffic issues are getting from bad to worse. Garbage is piling up on every street and the crime rate is zipping up. On a week like this, we appropriately take up for discussion an even more grave matter: the lack of IPL team for the city.

After the Justice Lodha Committee recommended that Chennai Super Kings (along with Rajasthan Royals) be suspended from the cricket league for two years, we expected the knowledgeable Chennaiites to hit the streets and protest, like by forming a human chain or something. And how right we were, except that the human chain formed was in the form of a long line to the theatres screening Baahubali. Otherwise, Chennai has been quiet to the travails of Chennai Super Kings as if it were some insignificant issue like the precarious power situation in the State.

Elsewhere, media speculation has it that CSK players themselves might take over the team and run it. In which case, in one fell swoop, the most dazzling symbol of modern market economics will become operational on the principles of a cooperative society. That is bit like an item dancer becoming a Pentecostal nun.

Anyway, as a leading Chennai-centric publication we have a responsibility to the city and we cannot let it be the only metro in the country without an IPL team. And we racked our brains on how to salvage Chennai’s reputation and by extension CSK’s, this is what we came up with. What you are about to read may look silly and downright outrageous. But in our defence, we will say we are a humour column. But the owners of the CSK had no such excuse when they made the submission that the team’s value was Rs 5 lakh, just costlier than a Maruti Alto.

Change The Name: Among the actual suggestions doing the rounds is that Chennai can continue have an IPL team if CSK transferred its ownership and probably changed its name. You think this is bizarre? Yes? Well, sorry to tell you the truly bizarre part is just ahead: There is real legal space for CSK to pull this off.

Anyway, if this logic can pass muster, we think it is only fair to accept if Gurunath Meiyappan makes the reasonable request to the learned courts that he be allowed to undergo a name-change operation. So if Gurunath Meiyappan changes his name to — and we are not suggesting that he should choose this — Sunny Leone, we guess the matter solves itself. The only downside to this cast-iron plan is that in the future internet search for ‘Hot pics of Sunny Leone’ may probably lead to (the formerly) Gurunath Meiyappan raising the paddle in his hand at the auction table while whispering into the ears of Stephen Fleming.

Change The Man: But if the courts, for some inexplicable reason, fail to accept the name-change plea, the CSK mandarins must come right out and honestly declare that Gurunath Meiyappan is — rimshot – no real person. He is just a high-end computer graphics image. For a team that told the highest court of the land that Gurunath was just a cricket enthusiast, this claim sounds more rational and reasonable.

Or perhaps the CSK can even argue that what we saw at the CSK dugout was a robotic doppelganger of the real Gurunath Meiyappan, while the actual Gurunath Meiyappan was catching the same IPL game at his home on a giant TV not even bothering to mute out Rameez Raja and Danny Morrison. And the Courts — as per Geneva convention — are bound to be sympathetic on anyone who had already endured Rameez and Danny’s commentary.

Change The Method: The BCCI, left to itself, would have handled the whole betting scandal in the IPL in the most dignified manner possible by refusing to address it. But unfortunately, the BCCI has had to take some hard decisions because it operates where the Indian Supreme Court’s writ runs.

But suppose tomorrow it announces that it will operate from Mauritius, a beautiful offshore location where irritating extraneous forces, like the country’s law and the courts, have no reach, no one can touch Srinivasan.

If companies can have their base in Mauritius to avoid pesky taxes, why can’t BCCI, as an autonomous body, have its headquarters there to avoid peskier laws?

Also, a tournament that has been run in South Africa and UAE and whose major attractions are players from Australia, West Indies and South Africa is being called the Indian Premier League, we think, when you come down to it, the shift to Mauritius actually seems a lot logical.

We would like to give more suggestions, but we are hard pressed for time and, more importantly, Baahubali is about to start.