In a few hours, a two month tumultuous relationship between Cricket and Bangladesh will come to an end.
Once again, India will play Sri Lanka. It is probably a testimony to how much the two play each other, that I have more knowledge on Sri Lanka’s bowlers than our own. One assumes the two teams play each other so much that they barely consider each other opponents anymore. Probably warring cousins of the same family.
Also, as a picky, disgruntled, judgemental viewer, I have many a bone to pick with the tournament.
Firstly, why another tournament in Bangladesh? The crowds are sparse, and the ones that are there wave Bangladeshi flags in a New Zealand vs. Netherlands match. And their government goes ahead and bans its citizens from waving flags of the opponent team. Which is a regressive step many would argue. But let me subtly remind the reader that India pressed sedition charges against a few students who supported Pakistan in a match. And after all this, Irony came into the picture when they started playing K’naan’s Waving Flag on the loudspeaker.
Which brings me to the music. What is with Bangladeshi music? Blood is fighting to burst out of my ears when their songs play on the PA System. Not only are they loud and tacky, they completely drown the voice of the commentators. And to add to the terrible songs, there is an announcer in the stadium?
Who is that guy, really?
You’re watching a match, ignoring the people who’ve painted themselves as yellow tigers, and then you ignore the songs, and think fondly of Ravi Shastri and his cliches, when the guy with the mike starts off –
AAAAAASHAKALAKASHAKALAKABOOMDHADAKASHAKALAKAKIKORCHHEEEEEEE- and the entire stadium goes ‘Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy’.
If Tony Greig was alive, he’d walk up to the guy, tap on his shoulder, and deliver a resounding slap on his face.
And if the noise and the songs isn’t too much, there are the unwanted statistics. If you look at the coverage of this tournament, you’ll find that as a viewer, you’re bombarded with statistics.
Let’s assume Virat Kohli has come on to the pitch.
On the screen, you’ll find numbers describing his total career stats – like any other tournament would. But then, the goodies start to flow out.
I understand statistics give a context to the game, but seriously, all these statistics? They rob the match of any meaning whatsoever. And yet, one fears these are things that will stay. Because information is power. And India has all the power in cricket. And with great power comes great electricity bill. When will the goddamn match start, damn it, I’m going nuts!
The other thing about this tournament is that Dhoni is back.
During the Asia Cup, the team felt hollow. What Dhoni brings into the team might be contested by his haters today, but you can see the large gaping hole when he isn’t in the team.
The guy is probably among the Top 3 finishers in the game, has a calm head, has improved leaps and bounds in his wicketkeeping, and yet people will find something to crib about all the time:
‘Saale ka daadhi pak gaya, behenchod. Kyun khel raha hai woh?’
And yet, nothing seems to affect the guy. Being the Captain of the Indian Cricket Team is a very stressful position. Just a little less stressful than being RahulG’s speechwriter. But it is very stressful.
And Dhoni has mastered the Art of Not Giving a Fuck.
He has the World Cup and the Champions Trophy with him. In a few hours, he’ll be vying for the T20 World Cup. If he fails, people will bay for his blood. If he wins, they’ll share selfies on Facebook with a cute cat and get 150 likes.