Mumbai. After Ricky Ponting allegedly broke an LCD TV in a fit of rage inside the dressing room at Sardar Patel Stadium, Motera this Monday, Pepsi Co., one of the leading advertisers and sponsors of the 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup, has asked the Australian captain to feature in their ongoing “change the game” campaign that currently showcases cricketing gems like “helicopter shot”, “oopar cut”, and “palti hit”.
If Ricky Ponting agrees, he would be promoted as the progenitor of a new “TV tod” shot (literally meaning break-the-television shot) and some of the random hook or pull shots played by him in the past would be presented as the practical execution of his trademark “TV tod” shot.
“We can show him smashing an LCD TV kept at a shoulder height in a hotel room when he is irritated at not being able to find remote control at a time Rakhi Ka Insaaf is being broadcast on a channel,” an advertising copywriter visualized the proposed ad, “Then Rakhi Sawant comes out of nowhere in his hotel room; she slaps him and then challenges him to try the same on the cricket pitch if he was a real mard.”
“We would assort some random hook and pull shots played by him in the past, which would appear as if he is smashing an imaginary television set kept at shoulder height in the air,” the copywriter defined the “TV tod” shot for the Youngistaan i.e. the young generation as defined by the soft drinks company.
Ponting has been offered an undisclosed sum for this endorsement deal, which is also being dressed up by the marketers as an exercise in his “image makeover”, as the Australian captain is not exactly a favorite among the Indian cricket fans for his antics.
While Ponting is reported to be excited about this whole image makeover thing, sources say that he finds the whole concept of learning a hook or pull shot from someone like Rakhi Sawant a little too absurd. And why call it a “TV tod” shot when it’s already called hook or pull shot in normal cricketing parlance?
“We are explaining to him the ideas in our current television commercials,” a representative of Pepsi Co. said, referring to the “change the game” campaign, “If Virender Sehwag can learn a late cut from Ranbir Kapoor and we can call it ‘oopar cut’, why should it be so bizarre if Ponting learns a pull shot from Rakhi Sawant and we call it the ‘TV tod’ shot?”
“Isn’t Kevin Petersen’s ‘palti hit’ just a reverse sweep, and have you ever seen a grass chopper or cane crusher machine in rural India being turned clockwise, which we successfully presented as the inspiration for ‘helicopter shot’ by Dhoni? Come on!” the Pepsi guy reasoned and rejected all apprehensions of Ricky Ponting.
While the Australian captain was still hesitant about the whole idea, Rakhi Sawant, who has been analyzing cricket and cricketers on a couple of television news channels of late, is reportedly excited about playing the coach of Ricky Ponting by slapping and challenging him to perform.
“Rakhi and Ricky, oh jejus!” she said.
(originally written for and published in leading Indian newspaper DNA)