Tag Archives: T20 World Cup

Hey Indians, how about strapping some balls on?

In the last three overs of the Indian innings in the final, I knew a storm was brewing.

We logged on to Facebook to check out Yuvraj Singh’s Facebook page, and we found people trolling him. Some of the posts were really funny. We scrolled down some more, and then there were few that weren’t very funny, some that were poor attempts, and finally, some that really lacked in taste.

Which is why I wasn’t surprised the next day when I read the news of Yuvraj Singh’s house getting stoned. People wished that he had died of cancer, than to come back and play in the final.

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Whenever such an incident comes up, there are two common explanations.

The first explanation for it is that we are an emotional people. That we love cricket as a sport, and it is the frustration of a people whose only bright spot in life and popular culture is films and cricket.

Which is an absurd explanation. If we were really passionate about the sport, we would know that a team sport is dependent on the entire team. If they scratched a little more, they’d also know that a team sport is dependent on a variety of external things – luck, strategy, playing conditions. And if they really had an IQ of 80+, they’d know that it is really difficult to hit yorkers outside the off stump.

The second is that it comes with being a sporting icon. When people love you, you enjoy the success, the grandeur, the fame and the wealth. If you go through the Ups, you also have to grin and bear the Downs.

Ahem, no?

Because we are not fucking Taliban??

Because we are a supposed civilised democracy in 2014?

Come to think of it, what really did he do? Did he fix a match? Did he pursue and hack someone to death? He had a bad day at work. In the way that you and I do. Now when your boss asks you to come meet him, do you stone his house and blacken his face?

Na. He has power over you.

'Kya gaandu log ho yaar, tum log?'

‘Kya gaandu log ho yaar, tum log?’

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That is the second thing about the mob frenzy.

Have you ever seen anybody stone the house of politicians? What about N.Srinivasan – the guy who has been accused of running a betting racket? Or A.Raja? Or Suresh Kalmadi – that other Indian who was really passionate about sport?

Or the police officers who roam the streets like modern day Razakars? Or the builder who built that shitty road outside your house? Na. No, sir.

You know why? Because they are powerful. Because if you try to get near their house, their bodyguards will punch you till your small intestine becomes your large intestine and your liver becomes a dier.

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And so we always choose the easy preys. Actors, authors, cricketers, social workers, and women in pubs. Those not powerful enough to defend themselves.

If somebody was watching from Uranus, they’d shake their heads and laugh. Ek toh all the 100 crores of us follow only one goddamn sport. A sport that only eight other countries play. Bangladesh toh simply does timepass.

It’s sad in a pathetic way.

Thoughts on the T20 World Cup

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.

kohli against pace-spinkohli off side-on sidekohli overs 1-10kohli strike rate in 1st inningskohli choice of abuse                                                           (Since October 2012)

 

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!

 

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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.

Indian skipper MS Dhoni shown not giving a fuck in a Press Conference

Indian skipper MS Dhoni shown not giving a fuck in a Press Conference

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.

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