Monday, March 19, 2007

Not Quite Cricket

The cricket world cup is on and things connected with it look more and more bizarre. The cricket itself is normal but what happens off it is surreal. Yes, “Minnows” Bangladesh and Ireland defeating India and Pakistan is normal. Remember? “The glorious uncertainties of the game?”

India loses to Bangladesh and the effigies of the players are burnt and their houses attacked, even if it is ‘under construction’ like Dhoni’s.

Shift the scene. Anand wins a tournament and will be rated number one when the world standings are announced on the first of April. “Anand who?” did I hear?

If you heard that too, you have proved my point.

Can we find a reason or reasons or the public frenzy about India’s loss to Bangladesh and the violence that followed it? Part of the blame, perhaps the greater part of the blame goes to the media - both print and electronic. “Disaster strikes India”, proclaims one headline. Oh! Really?

The interminable and innumerable panel discussions on TV keep repeating themselves with inanities like “We are sports crazy nation”. Is that so? How many world champions have you produced? One. Exactly. And he answers to the name of Vishwanathan Anand. If he goes shopping in Bangalore, perhaps he will not be recognised. (Madras, ayyo, I mean Chennai, may be a different story. Being a ‘local’ international hero he is sure to be mobbed.)

The other point is about the word crazy. If we are, indeed, “crazy” about sports we should at least tone it down and not repeat it endlessly and reinforce it. Shouldn’t we?

There was this advertisement for matrimonial agency on the TV. It starts with Sports = Cricket. Do you agree? Hope not. But that is how ‘India’ acts. When I jog in the morning, I do not know the results of the previous night’s cricket match in which India had featured. I start my jog before the day’s newspapers are delivered. But I get the news as I jog because all the other walkers, joggers and the park bench occupants are talking of this. Age and sex no bar. The last time around I heard an old lady tell her fellow walker, “We should not have played thaaat badly”. I knew that “India had lost”. I mean the Indian cricket team had lost!

(I appreciate the old lady’s commitment to her morning walk though. She had apparently watched the match late into the night and had the conviction or will, not to miss her daily walk. Great!)

Now the latest thing on one channel is a tarot card reader! The Media is now strengthening pure superstition apart from whipping up frenzy about cricket. The tarot card reader is a master (or mistress) of obfuscation. She proclaimed earlier on that India might have a difficult day against Bangladesh. She of course did not say how difficult. Difficult enough to lose? She would not commit herself, would she? And the gullible (and incidentally pretty) hostess tells the tarot card reader that she was in fact right! Gimme a break!

Now you can understand the frenzy. Passion without reason.

Now before the match against another ‘minnow’ (who might make mincemeat of the Indian cricket team on the cricket field) the tarot card reader says that it is time for India to stop brooding over the last loss and concentrate on the next match. You do not need tarot cards say that, do you. The tarot card reader seems to know more about cricket than Mandira Bedi.

So my crystal ball says that (;--) ) for the next series Mandira would be dropped and this card reader would be on the panel!


  1. well thanks for the write up. great that india won their 2nd match with the greayest margin. you can also share your comments ar - a digg style indian news site - check

  2. Manju Raman3:22 am

    well its a stupid site - whats so great it?

  3. well you can network with friends and discuss the news. well its yr opinion. i think is hot!

  4. Anonymous12:56 pm

    I think people should stop calling Bangladesh "minnows." Cannot really call the team that beat the number 1 team, SA, in the world that convincingly a minnow. The only minnows I saw in this World Cup was India. They are only able to beat Bermuda.

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