Cricket commentary in India has more cliches than you can shake an English Willow at, as Ravi Shastri reminds us everytime he picks up the mic. So when a cricketer decides to join politics, the temptation to go down the pun route is too difficult to resist for sub-editors in Indian organisations. Which is why, after bowler Praveen Kumar said on Sunday that he was joining the Samajwadi Party, we got a lot of this:
Kumar, a medium pace bowler known for his swing, once featured regularly in the Indian men's national team at various levels and he continues to play in the Indian Premier League. He is originally from Uttar Pradesh and announced on Sunday that he was joining the Samajwadi Party after having met Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, who faces the tough task of battling anti-incumbency in Assembly elections that are less than six months away.
He didn't just make his entry into politics on Sunday, though. He also jumped into the pun game. "I am a kid in this field," Kumar said. "As of now I will try to learn it (politics)."
Kumar's Team Indian compatriot, or at least a parody of Ravindra Jadeja, tried to spot something of a trend here.
Indeed, Kumar isn't the first cricketer in active politics. The last few months have been spent attempting to figure out whether Navjot Singh Sidhu, a cricketer-turned-TV-fixture-turned-politician would be starting his own party in Punjab (he did). Sidhu was never reluctant to use the pun-machine on his own.
And S Sreesanth picked up a Bharatiya Janata Party ticket in his home state of Kerala for elections earlier this year, although he was unable to top the table. The puns were strong with this one.
Perhaps the most famous of all, though, is Pakistan great Imran Khan whose entire political career seems like an extension of his cornered tigers speech in the World Cup in 1992, with a dash of ISI-inspired sloganeering thrown in. Also, cricket puns
Kumar, of course, is unlikely to achieve, or even reach for, such lofty political heights. Instead, we'll make do with some more Twitter cricket punnery.
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