With all the hype and media coverage around the elections and the new IPL season, this writer wakes up finding it difficult keeping the two events apart.

My money’s on this. Mahendra Singh Dhoni will be our next Prime Minister. Narendra Modi will lead the Mumbai Indians to victory. Television cameras, meanwhile, will zoom towards an ecstatic Preity Zinta, amid rumours of a coalition with N. Srinivasan and the Left Front. All parties concerned are wearing Gandhi caps.

* * *

Arvind Kejriwal returns from his tour of Indian rivers — a campaign that brings much delight to the nation’s towel manufacturers; Deepika Padukone wants one — and discovers that he’s missed the finals. He vents his ire by picking up a broom and sweeping the Dubai International Cricket Stadium. Shah Rukh Khan is so touched, he stops smoking for ten seconds.

* * *

The MDMK, suffused with patriotic zeal, decides to rename the sides. The IPL will now be played by the United Teams of India. The decision is heartily endorsed by MaDho, ViKoh, JacKal and KevPie.

* * *

RaGa, meanwhile, decides to cash in on public sentiment and changes his party’s election symbol. The hand now curls around a cricket ball. (Suggestions to have the hand wave a pom-pom were apparently vetoed by Sonia Gandhi.)

* * *

After being slapped by a chicken farmer, Arvind Kejriwal declares that the current election system is faulty. He moots a proposal to have all candidates compete with each other double round robin style, before heading for playoffs. The finals will take place in Amethi.

* * *

The Rashtriya Janata Dal changes its name to Bihar Blasters. Mahuaa News reporters cannot get enough of Rabri Devi in her white jerseys.

* * *

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) unveils an ad campaign to end sledging. Amit Shah is appointed spokesperson.

* * *

The Election Commission (EC) unveils an ad campaign to improve the voting rate during the final stage of the elections. Yuvraj Singh is appointed spokesperson.

* * *

At the inaugural match of the IPL, Rahul Gandhi ends up referring to himself in the third person. He also proposes gender-neutral teams, to allow for “women empowerment.” Varun Gandhi is all praise, but later takes to Twitter to clarify that his comments should not be seen as an endorsement of cousins, women, or cricket teams.

* * *

Arvind Kejriwal is voted in as chief of the BCCI. He quits in 49 days.

* * *

Smriti Irani launches war on Chennai Super Kings for fielding no Muslim candidates. The team management decides to recruit Mohammad Kaif, the Congress candidate from the prestigious Phulpur constituency in Allahabad. The decision of who will now replace him is answered by Sonia Gandhi’s declaration that “what language you speak or which region you’re from does not matter.” Dwayne Bravo is packed off to Phulpur.

* * *

The BJP draws massive crowds at its rallies, now filled with cheerleaders in saffron-coloured miniskirts. Many of them have walked on ramps before, leading to their nickname “Gujarat models of development.”

* * *

In a bid to stop the monopoly of the BCCI and the ICC (International Cricket Council), the cricket bodies of the world propose a Third Front. It collapses. In a bid to stop the monopoly of brand-name cricketers, Arvind Kejriwal recruits eleven ordinary people. The team, owned by Vidya Sinha and Amol Palekar, is named Aam Aadmi Players.

* * *

S. Badrinath decides to do something about not being bought by a franchise at the IPL player auction. He vows to compete as an Independent Candidate. When asked why, he said, “The nation demands an answer.”

* * *

Tired of the betting and match-fixing allegations, Sunil Gavaskar suggests adding a clause in the Jan Lokpal Bill, where an independent body — headed by Hema Malini, Naghma, Jayaprada, Kirron Kher and Gul Panag — will investigate corruption cases. Rahul Gandhi wants to add another clause, to investigate the illegal tapping of the phones of beloved cartoon characters – but an aide pulls him aside and whispers that it’s not Snoopygate.

* * *

Campaigning in Hyderabad, Rahul Gandhi promises voters that all matches scheduled there will have the first innings in Andhra Pradesh and the second innings in Telangana. Meanwhile, a high-profile clash between Chennai Super Kings and Kolkata Knight Riders is cancelled after Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee indicates that she is open to working with Jayalalithaa.

* * *

The BJP, in its manifesto, reiterates its stand to explore all possibilities within the framework of the Constitution to facilitate the construction —– in Ayodhya — of the WV Raman temple.

* * *

The BJP manifesto also promises that captains of teams will be allowed to be absent from games, and that a virtual 3D image will be used to compensate for this absence. The AAP, in its manifesto, vows to bring down the minimum age of these virtual captains from 25 to 21 years.

* * *

The CPI(M) is the only party to speak against the ban of the doosra, which is denounced as being “against Indian culture”, as it involves a change in orientation. Any bowler found guilty will be charged under Section 377.

* * *

The IPL manifesto is unveiled by Rakhi Sawant, who declines to read out the highlights because she is unlettered. Among those that will benefit is the multi-crore fitness industry, as every player will now be required to enroll in gyms and develop a 56-inch chest.

* * *

Speaking of Sawant, she slaps a defamation suit on the EC when asked to “declare her assets” to the public. Meanwhile, her Rashtriya Aam Party is referred to, everywhere, as RAP Party, which explains why Sreesanth is found asking if entry is free or if there’s a cover charge.

* * *

In a remarkable show of solidarity, all IPL teams come together to request the pulping of Wendy Doniger’s new book, Indian Cricket: An Alternative History. An outraged Imran Masood threatens to chop all concerned parties “into tiny pieces.”

* * *

The Indian eleven are given a “clean chit” by the Special Investigation Team appointed to probe into the 2003 riots following India’s loss to Australia in the ICC World Cup. Manmohan Singh utters his first audible words in five years: “Jai Ho.”