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Dirtscapes

Read. Suffer. Try to Enjoy.

Impressions From My Cricketing Armchair

Our boys put up their usual pusillanimously brilliant performance come crunch time, in the ICC Trophy. To no one's surprise, really.

Prior to this, there was a fantastic ad campaign/song from the official cola sponsor, with grandiose, slo-mo visuals of the entire nation (typical Rajasthani peasant with colourful turban and humungous moustache included) going into an apoplectic fit when our 'boys' would step into the ground to play. Hoo Haa India, Aaya India! was the catchy, inspirational war cry with a tagline saying 'The blue billion rises'.

The TV coverage too was faculty numbingly good. Contrast the matches of yore, which were dull, staid affairs with you know, knowledgeable commentators who spoke only about (gasp! gasp!) cricket, or the stray earrings in the crowd. There was too much emphasis on the game, with dry tidbits about correct technique, player temperament, and the general beauty of the game. Booooooring. The answer? Washed out TV stars with a couple of old cricketers, who want to 'wed cricket with entertainment'. Brilliant idea. Especially when the bimbos root for a cricketer based on how good looking he is, and the ex-cricketers cringe, and look sideways at the camera, wishing that they really didn't have to do this for the money. Which really warms the cockles of my (you know what). When a TV star says stuff, and gives his valuable critique, you really know it's worth the time and effort. He has to know, right? Considering he is on TV, and well, the match is on TV? See the connection? Took me a while, but I got around to it. Was a real matter of national pride to see our TV hosts engage in verbal diarrhoea in Hindi, with the non-Indian guys grinning goofily at the camera. Then they were asked for an opinion. Immediately on launching, they would be cut short with more entertaining banter in Hindi. Awesome. (Didn't blame the goras if they had blindingly racist thoughts at that point in time. I understand.)
Then we had path-breaking contests like 'Best Ball which didn't get a wicket today'. Was kind of expecting 'The best looking reserve member', or 'The best dressed stadium sweeper'. Was heartbroken when they didn't show that. Maybe next season. Hope (and you know what) floats.

But the best, and I mean THE BEST part was bringing in a Tarot card reader before each match, and getting her 'predictions'. Which obviously were true, as long as you 'interpreted' them correctly. Cricket evidently has gone beyond the realm of going out there and trying your damnedest to win/the bookie biz, into the metaphysical and occult. Cool.

True to form, the true billion MINUS the blue playing 11 rose. (I have a lingeringly eerie suspicion that somehow there weren't quite a billion people watching the games to begin with). With another round of media-induced introspection.

The BCCI is now planning to move to a performance oriented pay structure. How about a ban on advertising contracts for the first 2 years at least? Which is in both the advertiser's and the advertisee's (sic) interests.

Maybe if there was a little less hype, and a lot lesser in your-face-playing-with-your-sentiments advertising, each Indian loss wouldn't rankle so much. With increasingly glaring media exposure, and news of hefty note-counting-machine-crashing endorsement deals, your average Jai is BOUND to expect a little more from these ‘superstars’ and forget that they are human. Not when he pins his hopes on them for a few moments of ecstasy in his otherwise pleasurable life.

The reaction of the other nations to our models is quite amusing... they just can't believe their freaking luck when they are asked to endorse stuff here; compared to the strictly workmanlike existence they lead back in their homelands. Which is a good thing for the game actually. Because you can see the fire in their bellies when they are out there on the field, giving it a hundred percent match after match. They probably play because they want to, and not just because they can. They just can't believe that the Indian cricketers get paid so much, in spite of not exactly distinguishing themselves each time on the field.

There was a furore in India over Ponting's behaviour when he was accepting the winner's trophy. The Aussies have apologized, and it has evidently gone down well. I have just one thing to say. All you geniuses launching into the Aussies, a small suggestion. Win a tournament for a change, and show us how to accept trophies gracefully, first hand. That would shut me up. Real good.
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12:19 AM, November 11, 2006
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh boy! Oh boy! LMFAO :-)

"True to form, the true billion MINUS the blue playing 11 rose."    



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