Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Once There Was Magic In Cricket

Cricket Magic
Nothing experiences happiness like a good game of street cricket

[Image Source: 500px.com]

Carnage, hammering, Storm ... these are words not associated with anything pleasant or positive. And yet, such reactions are invoked when people watch the game of cricket, more so in the new format of T20 Cricket. Its entertainment, and less of sports, so to speak. A gamble where you take the best possible scenario which otherwise would be impossible to observe and throw in a bunch of rules to keep the events tight and compact and create an concoction that's explosive, to say the least, as an outcome.

I have been a cricket fan since childhood. But that has drifted into another dimension now. Cricket for me is a shadow of its former self. A gentleman's game gone wrong. Something that was meant to be passionate now gets bid upon. Players are so busy playing for their clubs and country that they have lost out on the passion for the tribe, so to speak. When the tribe keeps changing, you are no more bonded but merely a part of something. With big money being poured in and the natural high of fame and pseudo power makes one simply corrupt.

Its not just the players or clubs or institutions, but also the fans who have started shifting alliances. And that for me is the death of a game. Or at least the decay having set in.

But the game is rocking and hugely profitable. Player are earning wages unheard of. The clubs are as rich as most football clubs in Europe  The format is nothing new. Its simply an adaptation of that the game of football saw as it evolved. So if football is not being critically looked at, why is cricket? An interesting question for which the answer lies in how much you you see your team as a team, i suppose. Club football is something that happens year after year and then there is the world cup which happens once in four years. Alliances change as patriotism takes over. But once its all over. The club legion takes prominence and life goes on. Thats not the case with cricket. And there, I believe, lies the problem.

I am no expert in this game nor a big fan in any remote way. But as a mere observation, I just want to speak out about the game that has taken a wrong turn. being commercial is not bad, but the risk of commoditization is in the culture of supply demand. That's not what sports is all about. Or at least that was not how I saw sports as.

Tickets get sold, sponsors get their hands full, clubs and player have a ball and the audience gets entertained. End of the game everyone goes home happy and content. But then, life goes on and the events of the game are forgotten just like the last movie I say, as I step out of the movie hall. If sports does not invoke strong memories, the olympics would be just one big party and nothing else. But that's not what it is, is it?

I hope people save the game while they can. Perhaps by picking up and bat and ball and hitting the nearest street corner or park for a innings of fun. You will probably get the point I am trying to make.