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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Chp 343. Why I don’t like cricket - I

Well if you’re thinking this is just a rant by somebody who is crazy about football and doesn't understand the game of cricket, you’re mistaken. I was never born with a grudge against cricket – my dislike for the game grew through the years.

Here are the main reasons why I don’t like cricket -


1. The association of cricket with patriotism


Many of my friends do not know this, but back in school (Tamilnadu) I used to play cricket and was even a pretty good fast bowler! Surprised? Yeah its confession time I guess. Today I act like I do not understand the game at all, and even irritate my colleagues with moronic questions like “Which team is batting first? Ok. And which team is batting second?”

I stopped playing cricket in college as I concentrated on my main game – basketball. From school BB captain to college BB captain, I’ve never known a more satisfying pleasure than sweating it out on court every evening and converting a fade-away 3-pointer with a swiiiish. After college, I moved to Hyderabad where my good friend Pawan would come over during the cricket Asia Cup (2004) and we would cheer our asses out for our national team.

But it was there that I started meeting certain type of people who associated cricket with jingoism – the fanatics. Sure, when India is playing, I will cheer for my country. But why the eff should I watch a boring test match? And how does watching India play a test match make anyone more “Indian” than the other???

At first, I thought that was just the mentality of some people, but as I started traveling more around India, from Lucknow to Delhi, Chandigarh, Mumbai, back to B’lore etc, this disturbing cricket fever (or should I say plague) has infected far more people than I feared. If you ever say you don’t like to watch cricket, expect people to stare at you in disbelief, some even going to the extent of calling you a traitor! And most of them even assume cricket is our National Sport! Lolz.

Sure our Indian cricket team has won more laurels than other Indian sports (if we don’t count the 8 Olympic gold and 1 World Cup title won by our hockey team of past), but nobody has the right to force anybody to like any sports. And I have never even hated this game in the first place – it was such people with their more-patriotic-than-thou bullshit attitude who kept spewing out their fucked-up ideology at me that made me dislike this game today.

Now, if India plays, I just lock myself up in my room and watch the game on my own, cheering for every six and four we hit or every wicket we take. But I will not become one of those obnoxious blockheads who are quick to judge anybody as unpatriotic just because the game of cricket doesn’t appeal to them.

If you don’t believe me, try writing a blog post about cricket and criticize it, maybe even calling it a stupid game – you will see lots of angry abusive comments about how you have no right to say such horrible things about cricket and your country, even though you have not mentioned India anywhere in your post, and that you should be lynched or thrown out of India for such a blasphemous post.

Such is the fanaticism. And such is the reason why I distance myself from this game today. It’s not the game. It’s the people. And the media just loves adding fuel to this fire, don’t they?

When our Indian football team plays against other countries in the AFC, or when our hockey team plays in international matches (there’s the upcoming Sultan Azlan Shah cup tournament in Malaysia), or when Paes, Mirza, Somdev etc play a tennis match, I never accuse any of my friends who don’t follow such tournaments of “betraying India”, because interest in a particular sports has nothing to do with patriotism.

Yet, many people believe you either love cricket or you don’t love India. Just cricket, cricket, cricket. No other sports. Even when India is not playing! - WTF, I’ve been asked why I wasn’t watching the Bangladesh – South Africa match because every Indian should be watching it! I’ve faced similar questions last year during the IPL tournament too when my loyalty to India was questioned because I’d rather watch an EPL match than an IPL match. For fuck’s sake, an IPL team consists of many foreigners. Where’s the patriotism in that?

If you and I join this unruly crowd of delusional cricket lovers not interested in any other sports, then the day when India will not excel in any other sports approaches closer and closer. No viewers = No buzz = No sponsors = No tournament = No players. The death of all the dreams and hopes of every other Indian sportsperson whose only fault is because he or she was excelling in some sports other than cricket.

Now what is so patriotic about THAT?

I’m not saying stop watching cricket this World Cup. If India plays, I wish them all the best and will definitely be there cheering for my country. But if somebody shows no interest in the game, don’t assume it’s because that person doesn’t love this country – he or she just finds the game boring. Simple as that. I love physical sports but chess bores me to death. If there’s a World Cup for chess and India is playing in the “Finals” against, say, Russia, I will definitely NOT be watching the “match”. Doesn’t mean I’m unpatriotic. I’m just bored.

Why can’t some of you see it this way?


[To be continued - Reason #2. Advertisements and over-exposure]


25 comments:

Tetea said...

Oooh! Finally, someone I can relate to. :)

mangbuhril said...

yelp!! a balanced and rational view on the subject

Rascal Crowe said...

I tried to comment and stared at my screen for 1 full minute realizing I know nothing about cricket. You got some good points there though.

daniel said...

Reminds me of my student days in Calcutt when a friend used to say,if you just ask 'Koto ?' to a guy listening on those tiny transistor radios, they simply assume you were asking for the score and rattle off the cricket scores!! Such is the fever in India.

illusionaire said...

@ Tetea: :D

@ mang: thanx :)

@ Rascal Crowe: lolz... :)

@ daniel: True. I was studying in Kolkata before I moved to TN, during the days it was still called Calcutta, and we used to play cricket almost everyday (with tennis balls) in our hostel. Such fun we used to have then :) There is nothing wrong in having such a fever. We all do. But at the same time we shouldn't judge others who may not share the same passion with us :)

odzer said...

Any game that you play for 5 days and then don't even know who won has some issues.....

U Mazami said...

I don't like cricket.... I love it! I will no doubt be calling you again on Saturday and enquiring whether you are watching the England - Sri Lanka match! India could end up playing England in the finals - that would be exciting. Nick and I would love for such an outcome, with India winning of course!

aduhi said...

so how many more posts... i mean points are going to follow?

illusionaire said...

@ odzer: True :)

@ U Maz: lolz feel free to call me up anytime. And hope your England wins so that you'll meet my India in the finals. lolz. :D

@ aduhi: A few more points, but they will all fit in the next one post. Short ones :D

caribou said...

Hotupa, i thuziak hi ka rilrem zawng tak a ni e. Cricket hi kan uar duar a, a s seh hun a thlen meuh chuan engmah kan ni si lo.

baruk said...

true true. wonder whether it's everywhere tho. here you're a criminal if you don't like rugby! actually worse...even the *crims love rugby!

H.Vangchhia said...

(...my dislike for the game grew through the years.)

The same goes for me too. the more i play the more i dislike the game.

illusionaire said...

@ caribou: Nia han tih vak thei pawh ka ni lo a nih hi a...

@ baruk: lolz. I guess sometimes we all take our group passion a little bit too seriously :)

@ HV: hehehe :D

Zaia said...

'interest in a particular sports has nothing to do with patriotism,' a dik lutuk. Hmanah, football kan en thu kan sawi a, kan vai thian pakhat chuan, 'One Day em ni?' a ti hem mai!! :)

ThereIsOnly1WorldCup_FIFA said...

I hate cricket because we promote it at the cost of other far more promising and entertaining sports that more than 9 nations play. Imagine if we invested a tiny percentage of cricket money in athletics or tennis or hockey or volleyball or football... But no, sponsors will shag Yuvraj to advertise Revital instead. 'nough said. Good post btw.

U Mazami said...

Yessss.... India are on their way to the Finals! Hoping for Tendulkar to get his 100th 100. Just thought I'd keep you updated with what's going on in the world cup!

illusionaire said...

@ U Mazami: Lolz, was watching the match in office, so I know :) Great match indeed!

@ Ajay: haha, I knew this was you, Mr. ThereIsOnly1WorldCup_FIFA. True in this sense, where hardly 10 countries play to qualify for the cricket world cup while almost every country in this world play to qualify for the football world cup. And yesterday we beat Pakistan 3-1 in the AFC qualifiers, so our football team is better than ever. Its not far now, when our Indian team will qualify for the World Cup one day. Jai Hind.

@ Zaia: lolz... nih duh hmel. hehehe :D

mangbuhril said...

one more thing, it's a pity that almost all the football ground in the country are used as a readymade cricket ground...

Vikram said...

Kima, I share your views regarding cricket. A section of the Indian population has made it the end all be all of Indian identity. But this form of mixing nationalism with entertainment is not peculiar to India, it is present hugely in America, especially with regards to American football. Even though they dont play other countries :P

But from an economic perspective, I am happy about the immense popularity of the game in India, especially now that we have some kind of popular domestic league. It generates great economic activity and is something we can perhaps even start exporting (like England does the EPL) one day if things go right.

dearleader said...

"judge anybody as unpatriotic just because the game of cricket doesn’t appeal to them."

Uh, there are people who do? ಠ_ಠ

illusionaire said...

@ Pure Leader: Yup, there are many people like that, sadly.

@ mang: Indeed :(

@ Vikram: True. My only worry is, the common man doesn't get much from all this. Like for example, for the football world cup, a lot of tickets were available for the public, and the cost wasn't that high. For this cricket world cup, hardly 2000 tickets are available for the common man while the rest went o corporates and sponsors, and such tickets costing around 1500 bucks are being sold in the black market for as high as 50,000 again!

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Rufus said...

This can't work in fact, that is exactly what I consider.
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Prosper said...

The chap is completely right, and there's no skepticism.
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