Thursday, June 30, 2011

When Playing on Backfoot!

The game of Cricket, which British left unknowingly, later proved as the unifying catalyst in Indian sub-continent…it mushroomed because it possessed intrinsic healing qualities. Time changed, India also changed, so changed the aspirations of capital with its blind mandate of profit maximization. Cricket, for its salable attributes, easily picked by the cronies with slashing its beauty under the assortment of buzzword-innovation. Even a short glance on lexicon will enable you to know how the word “innovation” is being confused with the all sort of functional attainment.

Test Cricket took decades to shape in Britain and its colonies; one-day format was comparatively easily succeeded but it’s also came into light only after the first World Cup in 1975. But the by-product of neo-capitalist innovation-20/20 Cricket started making million dollars from the time of incubation with undermining even the inherent logic of capitalism. Anyway, this format of Cricket turned out to be transaction oriented…its instant effect enabled Cricketers to delink from their national side; we enjoyed our Cricket World Cup victory less than what anticipated and what we did in 1983. Moreover, India being the host nation of transaction Cricket lost its highly articulated minister Shashi Tharoor for his adventurous exposure to one among many suspicious deals. Why so much power of politics and capital suddenly chosen to chase cricket? Why players earned the entire careers riches in only one or two seasons?

These all happened with surplus investment capital from the backdoor with realizing the obscene profit ahead-public figures were offered sweat equities and addict spectators, a cocktail of unhygienic shadow of Cricket and lethal dances of cheerleaders. A second category of Cricket enthusiasts like me and millions others simply lost the appetite for this wonderful game. The most profound voice on Cricket history, Ramchandra Guha stopped writing on Cricket which personally I missing equally as the glory of Cricket itself. His categorization of Cricket in which he awarded lowest possible points to 20/20 formats seems completely materializing…even worse, the International Cricket Council {ICC} is completely under the influence of transaction Cricket. Though it’s hardly surprising, as its being headed by the same person who with little concern is also looking after on Indian Agriculture Ministry and almost he has equal indifference to the agrarian crisis as on alteration of Cricket’ essential rules.

Who are suffering from putting Cricket on Backfoot? Ofcourse all those who loves being the natural part of Cricket which only allows them to cheer with the men in whites for complete five days! Still most of us can remember the miraculous innings of V.V.S Laxmanand daring resistance of Rahul Dravid against Australia in Eden Garden/2001…similarly the memories of ongoing performance by both on Caribbean pitches will be remain vivid in our collective memory. Hardly, anyone will be like to memorize the struggling Laxman or vulnerable Dravid of 20/20 Cricket!

Embodiment of professional excellence and national expectations, Sachin Tendulkar; who has fan following in billions and from across the globe, too lost that momentum which he usually carry with the national cap. Values matters especially in a society like ours…I am quite sure, World Cricket would never had Don Bradman, Vivi Richards, Sunil Gavaskar, Sachin Tendulkar, Wasim Akram, Murlidharan or even Yuvraj Singh if they were entangled with 20/20 format during the formative years. Simply downsizing ploy against the real version of Cricket will be proved a dangerous exercise for the game itself. Afterall it will be as terrible as replacing the epic works of literature for a commonly standardized text message where frugality of words resonates the awkward foul play with languages.

I am reprising again here from the top that Cricket is a special unconscious legacy from British…two other important legacies-Railway and Armed forces were somehow the planned projects of colonizers. Cricket was shaped and popularized under the capitalism but its interaction in Indian sub-continent largely changed the elitist biases centered within it. Rest big changes came from Caribbean domination on Cricket which broke the myth that white alone can play sophisticated game of Cricket. If such popularization of Cricket with nationalistic aspirations given it a people-centric looks, I am afraid the India based IPL episode will be badly damage the flavor of Cricket and common men’s stake in this game. Private money can’t add sports spirit and ofcourse qualities in game…we can see that in country Cricket and other club sports in Europe…real spirits are no where!
Atul Kumar Thakur
June 30, 2011, Thursday, New Delhi


  1. just got thru al ur views on such foul play f commercializing ckt, gr8 views n gr8 wrds sir....test ckt cant b ovriddn, the real knighthood f ckt lies there nly...shame n dese ipl n othr competitive leagues, making evn plyr lyk caliber f ... d Gayles, seem 2 b content plying in aussie league, rathr fighting bak to d nationl side...n defintely none f d poltician sud b involvd in any infrstctre f ckt, let d expertise deal wid it..Dhananjay Singh

  2. Nice take on dynamics of Cricket-Ashutosh Thakur

  3. Dear Shri Thakur,
    I am not a regular writer--write for pleasure and for my academic interests occasionally, primarily on travel and tourism and NE where I come from. I have four books on tourism, including the five volume Fairs and Festivals of India which I edited.

    I had a quick glance at your blog and am impressed by your varied interests. I am fond of cricket--on which you have written-- but I am a rather conservative follower of the 'gentleman's game'. IPL does not interest me nor do I understand the frenzy in India about the game.

    Anyway, I shall be happy to be in touch.

    best wishes,

    Madan Bezbaruah.

  4. Dear Sir,
    Glad to know,you visited my writing and liked it..I am too a conservative follower of Cricket and that piece was in same spirit to back the men in white instead of the crony ridden IPL that is a strict example of anti-game.It will be my pleasure to be in touch with wishes..
    Atul,New Delhi

  5. Atul, saw ur crisis syndrome in Governance Now, I did like it.
    Remember me? We met in Delhi Conclave last yr perhaps.
    I m easy with yahoo, not fb or lnkdin. That probably keeps us apart. I finished my BERC Mem term of 3 yrs n now back to bank, varsity n the like. I see u r in lot many good things, chalte raho, zor kadam. Read a few of ur pices, sharp (serrated, as u like to say), hot, fiery?
    Wasn't in touch for long long sad days.Will keep in touch now..
    Salahud Din Ahmed (at
    Senior Vice President, Dhaka Bank
    Guest Faculty, Southeast University
    Newscaster, Bangladesh Television
    Former Member, Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission.

  6. Incisive and excellent collection at your blogspot. Nice reading. Keep it up..
    iftikhar gilani/Tehelka Magazine
    new delhi

  7. dear atul
    i went through your blogs and loved
    your piece on cricket back foot. keep it up! and pl feel free to write
    a blog on state of the congress while referring to my book. I would
    eagerly wait for it.

    best wishes

    Rasheed Kidwai
    Associate Editor/The Telegraph