Cricket in India: The fanatic billion & their unexplained obsession
This piece is exactly what the doctor ordered & may make you feel that your choices could be better than your stats suggest. To get the theme going, let me throw a few clichéd commentary bits & make you feel agitated towards this insanity. Please bear with me as the next few paras would be crucial, it will go right down to the wire & we will witness a nail biting finish.
Being born in the subcontinent, we have the highest regard for creativity and being different from the crowd. Be it our love for the favorable skin color, gender preference of the unborn, career choices or our favorite actor. We are even good at convincing ourselves that we should be proud of the choices (or lets say the blind following) we make.
Speaking of the choices we have made, some are beyond my understanding. I have more idea how our universe came into being than of how/why one particular sport became our religion.
Both topics are open for debate & I wish to extend my theory regarding the latter. We aren’t tolerant enough to speak openly about the former anyway. So let us talk about the religion we all believe in collectively — Cricket.
The game is fairly complex, with many versions adopted & enough dynamic to grab someone’s attention. So is soccer, baseball, basketball, hockey, boxing & taking offence. Still we are much glued to cricket (& taking offence) & we literally don’t give a rat’s ass towards even our national sport. Not like everyone around the world is equally crazy about it, in fact, only as much as only ten fuckin’ countries play this sport. Four are from the subcontinent & the rest were colonized by the same aggressor. Some clues are being dropped here.
I wish to list down some possible explanations:
Wasted people with tonnes of free time:
The original form was a 5 days game and played about eight hours a day. An entire fucking week! We surely have a lot of free unproductive hours at disposal & can spare a week for one game. After a week or 40 playing hours, all three results are possible. Imagine following a game for this long & the result is a draw. How can an entire week be not enough to determine a winner! Consider taking a sick leave for watching a game, you would need a fuckin’ vacation for this. No wonder other developed countries are not bothered about this game.
Not too much running around:
We are not the most active people by any means. We are known to be lazy. Most of our popular inventions as forms of exercise that can be done in a horizontal position. That is the only reason we came up with Yoga and Kamasutra. Cricket isn’t physically demanding & our professional players can play until their kids can play in U-19 tournaments.
Does not require a specially designed playing area:
We are poor. Dirt poor. We need sports which are economically feasible. All you need is a flat patch of land, a single piece wooden bat, a fist sized ball and any small stationery object such as sticks or a chair as stumps. We need no fancy equipment, apparatus or even a particular level of fitness/nutrition to be able to play this game. Makes me wonder how a bunch of white rich dudes came up with this game.
Being a witness in our own game:
We Indians are a chilled out group. We love witnessing things from a distance even if it’s involving us directly. Like observing the decisions made by our parents about our lives without our consent, nevertheless we enjoy the show. Cricket is a game in which one side plays one innings and the other watches it in the meanwhile. We are also so afraid of overcrowding the playing area that we rest 9 of the required 22 players perpetually.
Use of IT skills in the game:
The love for technology is unparalleled to any other race. We have already conquered the Silicon Valley with our recruits & soon we will cram the orbit of our planet with our low cost satellites. Add to the fact that we have trust issues. We have multiple referees to check the fairness of the game & still we take it to the next level by replaying the recordings of the game, by pausing the live game to make or amend a decision made during this now stalled game. We came up with several million dollars worth technologies to help take a decision which still does not have an accuracy level of 100%.
One pointlessly long story short, we are restricting ourselves to a game that requires much of our time & emotions. There might be few reasoning that can be done to understand this craze but none of which is digestible. I even feel pukish by the clichéd expressions by our famous cricket commentators who didn’t have anything new to contribute since Sachin played his 100th game, more than a decade ago. Our colonizers gave us something in return of the spices, gold, freedom & dignity they took from us. It is time that we moved on from our inheritance. Much said, ironically in a language passed on by the same lot.
End credits: There are so many things that happen around us which go unnoticed. I wish to decode it one at a time. If you folks have a similar nagging thought about anything, let me know, maybe we can dissect & analyze it. Of course it will all be based on a made up not backed by any facts kind of fantasy tale. Don’t tell me at one point you didn’t believe witnessing meteor showers make your wishes come true.