Thursday, February 24, 2011

I DO love cricket - it's so very English

On the Traditional
"I DO love cricket - it's so very English" - A quote by Sarah Bernhardt, a french actress of the 19th century. (What? 19th century? French Women and cricket? Women and cricket? Women and sports?....Hallelujah!)

No surprises, the drug 'Cricket' was injected in the human blood-stream long before you and me were born. It was during the time of the revolutions, the war, the deaths and the hatred, that the first ever international cricket match was played. Interestingly, though, it didn't involve England. It was between the United States and Canada.
Though the origin of cricket dates way back to a 16th century england club cricket, but it gained popularity during the last two decades before the First World War.

This was also known as the 'Golden Age of Cricket', seeing the rise of, statistically, the greatest batsman of all time - Sir Donald George Bradman.

On the Contemporary
With the advent of Twenty20 format, the 50-over(ODI) format is under threat of losing its sheen. 20-over fun is fine - Agreed; but you don't get to see those classy cricket shots, much. Infact, it is mostly about haywire swings and crazy "lappebaazi". You don't get to see the likes of Sachin Tendulkar and the cover drives; all you see are the likes of "The Helicopter shots" or "The baseball swings"..
But, what disappoints me the most is that there are over 105 cricket playing nations and over 190 football playing nations, from which just 14 play the Cricket world cup, while 32 play the football mega event. Countries like China - the largest population, can't even come up with a competitive team of 11. Interesting to note, that they are not even an Associate member of the ICC. 11 from over a billion people? I mean, come on!

On the Craze
I am a normal, working Indian bloke, living alone with my laptop and no TV. Let me tell you, watching a match on TV makes it so ...umm..predictable. TV has made it so easy these days. Becomes boring sometimes. What makes watching a match more exciting and enjoyable? How about.......
  • Refreshing regularly for the score update ??
  • Rainy weather, sitting under a shelter of a street-side dhaba with 5 other cricket lovers, hot tea, pakodas and maggy, 1 radio set, 1 All India Radio with Arun Lal's(English) and Maninder Singh's(Hindi) elucidative commentary ??
  • Shouting and HI-5-ing when the radio rants "Ye BSNL chauka....connecting India" ??
  • Waiting for Online streams to buffer that stopped right before the second last ball and turns back on for the last ball ??
  • At a sports bar, stadium-like feel, beer in hand, Sachin creating another record. Better than TV isnt it ??
No matter where you are. No matter what the occassion is. No matter how busy you get. You - an Indian - will have time for checking the Cricket score.

On the ICC World Cup 2011
Cricket Frenzy is back again in the subcontinent. With 14 teams battling it out once again for the ultimate prize - The World Cup. With fever pitch excitement, the TRP ratings of the Saas-Bahu Serials are bound to go down. I am sure quite a few of you must have created your fantasy team as well and are competing for prizes yourselves. It's a good thing, why should the fans lose out when the players earn so much ?
With the sale of match tickets under a scanner, fans worldwide are facing disappointment on the non-transparent governance by the organizers. For example, for a stadium capacity of over 30,000 the number of 'Public tickets' is just about 6,000, which is ridiculously low. Where the hell will the rest 24,000 go? - to the ICC and the local associations of course. Who cares if the 'real fans' get to see their team play or not ?!?
Another incident involving the preparations at Eden Gardens, Calcutta as well as the Wankhede Stadium, Bombay, has spilt dirt over the faces of lax organizers.
But, the cricket-fever just wont die down! Indians across the globe are hoping and praying for yet another India-Pakistan match and India maintaining its unbeaten run against the Pakis. An India-Pakistan World cup match, specially when the event is in the sub-continent and with all the political tension between the arch rivals, becomes a MUST.

On the 'GOD'

"Cricket is something very, very special to me. It has never been about owning this or that car and the other things that come with this life.. An obsession with money or worldly matters was always thumbed down. My only dream was to wear the Indian cap and the Indian colours. In that respect, my childhood dreams have come true…"
                                                       - Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar
I just hope, this world cup proves to be the cherry on the delicious career cake Sachin has baked for over two decades. And the dream - of watching and cheering for India, playing the finals at the Wankhede stadium and the Mumbaikar wizard spellbounding the crowd, one more time - shall live


  1. This is marvellous...m run out of words to describe this dude....nice attempt

  2. Well compiled Rachit..!

  3. Thank you Neelam and Simran :)


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