Friday, December 24

Trying to Get Back - I

The first in (hopefully) a series of posts to get back into the writing habit- and finding the time.

Again, amongst tumultuous (happily so) times, I am trying to keep pace with the cricket. Indian cricket is at a terribly dull phase that promises to continue till at least Feb when the Pakistan team tours here on an itinerary as yet undecided. It is virtually January, the tour is little over a month away, and there is still no clarity on where the matches are being played and when. But for a board immersed in politics and legal battles on many fronts, I suppose the cricket is last priority. Who can blame them, I suppose. Power, money and international clout is far more important. In the bargain, someone, somewhere will find some way to administer a game that is left, largely, to run on its own- feed off its own money and its fans’ passion.

Talking of passion, it remains relatively inexplicable and heartening in equal measure, to see the Bangladeshi fans turn out in large numbers to watch their team play insipid and largely pathetic cricket. Barring flashes of brilliance (Ashraful’s century really was deserving of that adjective), and some general entertainment (like at the end of the first ODI), there is little for them to cheer about. Yet they shout, scream, and Mexican wave themselves into a frenzy that is wholly admirable. While the craze for cricket in India can often be attributed to the lack of even distantly world class sports stature in any other sport, in Bangladesh even the cricket team isn’t really world class. There is also little else (I may be wrong here) the nation participates in, sport-wise. And the people are probably starved of any sort of entertainment. And, more charitably and most hopefully, they probably love their cricket enough to come out in droves to see a team doing really well, even if that team is hammering their own.

The other subcontinental cauldron of passion, that epitome of talent, inconsistency and inexplicable waste- Pakistan- got pulverised in Perth. While the result itself was acceptable, the manner in which it came was absolutely spineless. Of course, clamours have begun for Woolmer’s head and Inzy’s paunch- neither of which can really be held entirely responsible.

Then there is Mr Akhtar- one of the most entertaining characters on and off the field in world cricket. Shoaib gets some advice- you should bowl fast. Then he gets some more- shorten your run up, you don’t need it to bowl at your pace. And of course, he comes out with a gem- “How can an airplane take-off without a runway?”
No answer for that one, Shoaib bhai.

I read a brief report that also stated that ESPN Star’s appeal against a Kerala High Court order has been postponed to January, meaning Doordarshan will telecast the remaining two ODIs as well. Why would a Kerala court decide that ESPN’s exclusive rights of the series in Bangladesh still called for a telecast on DD? Who can blame Prasar Bharti for the apathy? Half the telecasts it gets (most, actually) are de facto because it is a government body (supposedly autonomous), and it doesn’t really need to make too much effort.


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