Aaah, good, old Eden Gardens in Kolkata. A bastion of the game. An old legend. One of the most storied places to play cricket. Each and every blade of grass has a story. Nowadays, they even ring a bell to start proceedings.

Stephen Fleming rings the bell at Eden Gardens. Image credit: Saikat Das/IPL/Sportzpics

Wait a second, what in the world is happening here?

Would you like an apple, Sir? Image credit: Screenshot

Poor KN Ananthapadmanabhan. He’s a veteran first-class cricketer, having played more than a 100 matches for Kerala. He’s now one of India’s top umpires. But in all these years of cricket, in all these years of practice, did he ever think that this is what he’d have to do to get the match ball?

But then, when he walked out to officiate the Kolkata Knight Riders vs Rising Pune Supergiant match on Wednesday, he met a lady, draped in a black gown, seemingly trying to tempt (seduce?) him with...umm...apples.

Image credit: Screenshot

But our man Ananthapadmanabhan was not going to be fazed. He was out there to do a job. And no amount of women in black or juicy apples was going to tempt him. He waggled his fingers threateningly to dissaude this maiden. And finally he was rewarded.

Image credit: Screenshot

Just look at that smile on his face!

Finally with that over, we could finally start the match. Over, in the Twitter sphere though, there was the sound of collective cringing.

Oh, come on, guys. It’s all cool. After all, you’re at the...