The official response has been revealing. The team’s website referred to it as “poison pen writing of the dirtiest variety, but far too many factual errors“. But according to our man, there are frenetic attempts to smoke him out. In an entry headlined When the Going Gets Tough on Tuesday evening, after a rain-interrupted victory against Kings XI Punjab, the impostor says: “In Cape Town. Laptops hv bn banned. I’net removed fm rooms. But posts wl continue thru SMS, relayed by my bro in India.” Not exactly William from Stratford-upon-Avon, but you get the gist.
For my part, I think it’s an ingenious construct. Anonymous authors always raise interest, because they combine literary analysis with who-dun-it clues in the curious public. Besides, so much of the IPL involves spectacle and made-up hyperbole that it is appropriate that this season’s biggest attraction would not be the real IPL matches but the question of whether one of its players exist or not. It has all the elements of a perfect post-modernist, deconstructive mystery, much like the Sokal Hoax, when a physicist intentionally wrote gibberish to see if a post-structuralist journal would publish it.
Meanwhile, Uncle J Rod has been all over this story since it first began rocking the boat. Recently, Well Pitched also accused Sanjay Bangar and Aakash Chopra as the blog’s authors, as the pair was asked to return home this season (for extremely dubious reasons). The blog, however, has continued onwards, so the hunt continues.
Bangar, by the way, used to write a very good offical blog for Cricinfo, along with two other domestic Indian players. It was actually worth the web space it occupied, and I was often surprised by Bangar’s prose, which was more polished and nuanced than you’d expect from an athlete.