Pre-retention Meeting: IPL Captains

Note: This was originally published at Khelnama a few days ago.

Transcript of a private meeting held between the IPL captains ahead of the deadline to retain or release players from their teams. This is the third in a series of meetings, so it wouldn’t hurt to check out parts one and two for a bit of background.

Dhoni: Once again, I’m glad you guys could make it.
Jayawardene: Of course. The IPL is only 6 months away, we need to get planning!
Vettori: We were all pretty bad last year.
Gambhir: Yeah. Even we, the champions, had a winning percentage of barely 65.
Jayawardene: Aren’t you going to take attendance? I mean, it’s proper conduct for a meeting and all.
Dhoni: Proper conduct. That’s funny, coming from a guy who tosses the captaincy to a random teammate whenever he feels like it.
Jayawardene: Hey, I don’t -
Vettori: Just call out the names, MS. We don’t want a fight here.
Dhoni: Fine, Dan. Okay guys, if you’re present, raise your hand.
(Four hands go up.)
Dhoni: There. We’re all present. Now can we start?
Gambhir: That doesn’t make any sense. How we do know who’s absent? They’re not here to not raise their hands.
Dhoni: Look, just do the math. We’re the only available IPL captains. Deccan’s gone, Pune and Punjab’s captains retired, Dravid is off giving some lecture somewhere, and Mumbai -
Vettori: So why do we have two reserved empty seats over there?
Dhoni: For Mumbai. Just so they don’t complain about being underrepresented.
Jayawardene: So you invited both Sachin and Bhajji?
Dhoni: Neither.
Gambhir: Rohit Sharma? Karthik? Rayudu?
Dhoni: Nope. Akash Ambani.
Gambhir: But there are 2 chairs... oh, right.
Dhoni: Don’t worry, he won’t show up. It was a courtesy invite. I doubt he’ll be attending any kind of meeting any time soon.
Jayawardene: Okay, now that attendance is sorted, let’s begin! I have an ODI to get to in a couple of hours. If it doesn’t rain.
(There’s a knock at the door)
Gambhir: Okay, what food did you order this time and which forgotten cricketer will be delivering it?
Dhoni: Actually, I didn’t order anything...
Bhajji: Let me in, guys! I’m the Mumbai captain! Sachin said so!
Dhoni: Sorry Bhajji, but I’ve seen the news. You can’t make decisions on players if you yourself are going to go into the auction!
(loud Punjabi curses are heard fading away as Bhajji leaves)

Vettori: So, I’m planning to offload Saurabh Tiwary. He was pretty expensive and is totally useless down the order. What do you think?
Dhoni: Sure, whatever. Also get rid of Zaheer Khan. That guy’s an awful bowler now. And he’s getting fat too.
Jayawardene: What? You called him the “Sachin of bowling”, like, yesterday.
Dhoni: Opinions change. He’s dead weight, Dan. And Mahela, you should lose Umesh and Aaron. They will be useless this time, Indian fast bowlers never last too long.
Jayawardene: Huh? They have been nothing short of excellent. Why would I -
Gambhir (suspiciously): Wait, what’s going on here? Why did you really call this meeting?
Dhoni: Exchanging ideas, of course. So I could give you expert player trading advice. No other reason.
Vettori: Come on, MS. You’re clearly trying to trick us into releasing the best Indian pace bowlers because yours suck.
Dhoni: Noooo, not at all. I’m just - okay, you got me. I need a win, guys. I win, I get my mojo back, I do well with Team India too. Don’t we all want that?
Jayawardene: Yeah, no. I’m leaving.
Vettori: Me too.
Gambhir: Bye.
Dhoni: That went well.
Akash Ambani (holding a samosa. or six): Did I miss the meeting?
Dhoni (smiling): Er, no. I need to talk to you about Munaf Patel...