Thursday, March 23, 2006

Overpaid Stars?

I imagine there's no point, and no thrill, in flogging a dead horse, but I'll do it anyway. For ridiculous situations call for ridiculous reactions. In losing to a second string English team, most of whose members were alien to the conditions they were playing in, the Indian cricket team thoroughly disgraced itself. I do not, for a minute, intend to take away any credit from Andrew Flintoff and his gallant side. Their discipline and perseverance were admirable, and their belief in their abilities was palpable. But what do we make of an Indian side that was bowled out for 100 on Wankhede? In the end, the manner in which it was lost was galling. As many have noted, Indian cricket took a step forward and then two back under Ganguly, whose desperation to hold on tarnished all the good work he had done. The whole Ganguly episode and now the endless debate over whether Tendulkar is the greatest ever, or if it was wrong to boo him are symptomatic of misplaced focus in our cricket, and in our sport in general. So it is in our public life, but I'd rather not discuss that bunch of species or lest my article may carry a stench with it. In the process, the most important aspects are either glossed over or not given the attention they deserve. Who cares if X or Y or Z scores runs or takes a dozen wickets if the team loses? I'm all for treating the game like one, and generally don't tie myself into knots over a lost game of cricket, but when we have professional athletes making decent sums of money, surely we can expect them to deliver? I think it's time to call the bluff. Of our cricketers and our cricketing institutions, that is. They have never delivered consistently, but the cricketers continue to be the subject of much adoration and people continue to flock to stadiums and turn on TV sets irrespective of results. In a way, our cricketing culture is very similar to the English football system, which generates the most money and headlines and has many of the world's best players but England itself has rarely done anything of note before or since the 1966 World Cup. The difference, of course, is that England does make the World and European cups almost every time and does creditably, considering it has to compete practically against the rest of the world. Contrast that with cricket, where less than dozen nations play and even with all the money that the game generates, we are still aiming to become "No.2" and miserably failing at that! For all the grandiose announcements made by Lalit Modi and company, I'm yet to hear anyone say they want to see India calling the shots on the field, in cricketing terms and be the top dog. Instead, we have to be content with watching Modi, Bindra and the rest of the BCCI getting orgasms out of deals they close. I'm sorry, but I don't get off to that stuff, man. - NK
PS: While we're at it, may be it's time for Chappell to stop experimenting in test cricket.

2 Comments:

Blogger unsui said...

NK,
no point in chewing the old lard..tell me did you guys really go to the CWG, I thought some of you would be around to cheer the TT Squad :-)
Will you be going to Albert Park for the F1 race.

I attended my second F1 race see the pics here
http://www.imagestation.com/album/pictures.html?id=2108100207&code=21262136&mode=invite&DCMP=isc-email-AlbumInvite

10:47 PM  
Blogger Wanderer said...

just wrote a blog about cricket starts being over paid,

if you are interested

http://wandererinwilderness.blogspot.com/2006/05/are-cricketers-overpaid.html

1:27 PM  

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