Friday, February 24

the past, England and some pointlessness

I am all for people expressing their opinions freely.

Yet my first reaction after reading Dileep Premachandran’s latest, was one of disappointment. I always look forward to his pieces, more so the non-reporting kind- opinion pieces or features. This one just left me flat, asking no one in particular- “er, what exactly was the point of this?”.

Sure, there was some reminiscing- which can be pleasing- and lots of honesty, which is welcome. But really, it said little to me besides suggesting that Dileep is holding on to his dislike for the England team and English cricketers for all the wrong reasons. One foot stuck in the past, clinging on to the monotony of Aussie dominance for support, in a time when both that past and the monotony are unwanted.

See, the thing is this- I actually get this concept of ‘anyone but England’. I felt it for years as well, but because of the colonial hangover- not in me but what I saw reflected in some English cricketers. And mostly because they were a boring team, with little charisma for someone who was just finding the joys of cricket and passion in it. Or so I saw it.
But I don’t cling on to it, because I would like to believe I have let this current team start to show me that good, hard, fun cricket overrides any childhood prejudices or perceptions. I don’t cling on to it just because its there.

And oh, I don’t think he’s being racist, not at all. But the point is valid- how would he, or any Indian, react to a similar article from an Englishman? I am, unfortunately, sure there will be defensive reactions, claiming racist bias. So ok, maybe he won’t react thus, and that's fair enough- he needn’t molly-coddle his readers.

I just believe there could have been something in the piece, though, that left us feeling he had moved on a bit, and appreciated the beginning of change in the current bunch- not just on the field, but off it. That he doesn’t seem to acknowledge this at all is what leaves me feeling incomplete; this feeling of having read something uni-dimensional. This is Dileep Premachandran, after all- I really like his writing.

And for the record, I am not now a rabid England supporter, but if they play good cricket and look like they’re enjoying the game and what it has to offer, all it has to offer, I might like them more.

cross posted on Desicritics


Pratyush said...

I feel exactly the same way dude.

I didn't like the English team much in the 90s because they were boring.

The current team is vibrant, energetic and good to watch.

shakester said...

yeah- lets just hope they're npt too good to watch this series!:)