In his own words, the Fake IPL Player, better known as "FIP", lies somewhere between the known and the unknown realms of the cricketing world. Over the past few weeks, FIP has been the talk of the town, dishing out boundless entertainment to many, while giving sleepless nights to some others.
Just as the biggest cricketing extravaganza of our time—the "IPL" started, we witnessed the rise of an alleged "insider" who disclosed spicy gossips about the IPL on his blog, drenched in his own sarcastic style.
While he was in general merciless, describing his "fellow IPL elite," he was especially brutal about a select few, not even refraining from the use of some abusive words. No doubt, his popularity escalated with every alleged nasty spill.
Maybe it's this thirst for anonymous fame, an addiction to attention, which made him reappear even after he had posted a RIP video bidding goodbye to his ardent followers. He was at the end of some harsh criticism for not disclosing his identity then, even after hinting that he would; but he was not the one to be bothered by that.
And now there are vehement requests from the "fans" on his blog and on the Internet in general, that he keep posting his blogs in the upcoming ICC T20 World Cup as well. More gossip, more entertainment, more juicy stories about the personal lives of cricketers... more, more, more!
Do you really want to see him in the ICC T20 World Cup?
Is the fake IPL player, a super-hero or a super-villain?
Is what he is doing ethical, comical, desperate, necessary, justified, or just outright disgraceful to the sport?
Haven't we had enough?
Critics of FIP say that it is easy to hide under the cloak of anonymity, hurl abuse at others, point out weaknesses, and "entertain." His style of sarcastically portraying cricket, creating controversies, and weaving fables of how immoral some cricketers are is less of a journalistic effort and more of a hollow diatribe.
He has done nothing but disgrace the sport, hurt the feelings of some folks forever and make a large number of people believe something that isn't true.
But there are also those who believe that he is only giving us a "reality-check." The questions he has raised, at least about some people in particular, were controversies long before the emergence of the FIP, and the blogger has simply put them under the spotlight again, creatively so.
The ICC T20 World Cup, though huge, won't be as glamorous as the IPL. But still, quite a few want the FIP to indulge them with yet another set of well-scripted, funny, sharp, blogs.
I neither like the FIP, nor detest him, and I don't really care who he is.
Have his blogs been entertaining? Let me put it this way; he is funny, he is smart, and he knows how to engage his readers.
But what has the FIP achieved through all this? Apart from anonymous glory, of course.
Did his sarcasm help "his team" succeed? Will his proposed efforts to enlighten us about the reality of cricket, really cure the vices or even turn us away from them?
And if FIP is what his name suggests—just a fake, and it was all just a publicity stunt for the IPL, was it worth it?
Sometimes standing on the edge of the known and the unknown, the good and the evil, the right and wrong, we ourselves forget which realm we really belong to.