The Gentle game

“I bowl so slowly that if I don’t like a ball I can run after it and bring it back”

– J.M. Barrie

 

I’m an Indian (and I have my adhar card !!!) and like every other Indian kid was exposed to a lot of cricket- on TV, on the grounds, on the roads, on the sidewalks, in the train, in the gossips in the newspapers  and in the classroom. Cricket was an integral part of my TV viewing schedule and watched even a Bangladesh v/s Zimbabwe match because I did not want Andy Flower to make runs. It never felt ridiculous that the slow, languorous game that goes on for days together and a spectator wouldn’t have missed much even if he missed out on an entire day of a game!

 

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 No, I’m not here to curse test cricket and other forms but a few candid reasons why I stopped watching the Gentleman’s game.

1)  It was just too slow

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I know many would argue that this is the very reason why T20 was introduced and arguments on those lines but still, there is too much of idle time. I can make pop corn, eat it, wash my hands, play a computer game and still when I come back, the bowler would be running in to bowl. All the tactics and field settings might increase the anxiety, but for me it just got too dull.

2) No Global Adoption

I wouldn’t consider a a country a World Champion because they are the best amongst some 12 countries. Now, that’s the definition of being statistically insignificant. Yes, no one stopped the other countries from participating but the very fact that no one else decided to show up tells one that hardly anyone cares. Maybe India with its billion people is a main reason why it can still be considered a popular sport. I want to see more countries play this sport. I’m bored of the same ties.

3)  They Play It Too Often

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Maybe because there are such few countries playing the sport, they keep on playing so that it gives an impression that everyone is playing cricket. The same two teams keep on playing each other all the time till they know each other so well that you wouldn’t be surprised the players paying visits to the opposition’s relatives.

4) Football is simply more interesting

Come on, let’s accept it. I was introduced to football and it just took the carpet off under my feet. I was thrilled. The through balls, the lofted pass, the perfect free kick, the sweet volley and the thundering bullet; all are very strong visuals. Short, crisp and to the point, football is a true global sport. Let’s play more.

5) Saurabh, Dravid,Sachin, Rohit ,Virat, is no longer the way he was

I loved the time when the Indian team was dependent on Kohli. That man is genius. He still contributes significantly but I hate it when he’s not playing. He’s almost always a motivation the watch. Respect.

 

6. A Wretched Viewing experience

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When a wicket falls, we expect to see the replay quickly and not a Pepsi ad. If something exciting happens during the last ball of the over, we don’t like missing any part of it. “Strategic Timeouts” may give a chance to push in even more ads but to us, they are nothing but a nuisance. These are not extravagant demands but basic needs for the people watching cricket on TV. Sadly, the BCCI and the broadcasters  have always taken the Indian fan for granted and the commercialization gets obnoxious at times. I cringe when my favourite commentators suddenly start talking about the virtues of a car or mobile like two-bit salesmen. If you want people to watch your programme, the least you can do is to make sure that you don’t irritate them.

Well, that’s all. I don’t have anything against cricket but well,  ”Dear Cricket, you just weren’t sticky enough.”

P.S. I still sit down for a India-Pakistan game for old times’ sake.