Thursday, March 22, 2007

Dark side of a silver cloud

And it is final now. Bob Woolmer was killed. Latest news from NDTV says:

The Jamaican Police have now confirmed that Pakistani cricket coach Bob Woolmer was indeed murdered.
Cricket, now, is not as simple as we used play on streets. Neither it is as simple as South Africa chasing 434 target successfully. Till yesterday we knew that it's money which is having the first say on who will win or lose. But happenings in recent past are indicating that money is having the first say on who will live or die in cricket.

A benign coach was mercilessly murdered by somebody or some organization that really does not know or do not want to see cricket as gentleman's game. We proudly say that it was Jagmohan Dalmiya or Kerry Packer who brought money into the game. But people with loose morale are taking the heart of the game away. We call it 'The game of glorious uncertainties' but now it is on the verge of becoming 'The game of inglorious happenings'.

A two minutes silence and that's it. The show must go on. But are we sure that show is going as it used to go usually? How can I be assured that India-Sri Lanka match, a virtually final match for India, is not fixed? My excitements about a dropped catch or a miscue shot from the bat of well known batsman will always have a tint of doubt. Doubt about genuineness. Who knows whether it was spontaneous?

With technology and brains, the game has reached new heights. Cricketers are role models. They are brand ambassadors of social and commercial organizations. Cricket, at least in subcontinent, is followed by riches and rags. Marketing executives of big shot companies take it as best way to reach out to people. A lot of money is involved and that lures bad elements of society to step into. They came, they fixed and they earned. And now whosoever favors them, becomes rich and who tries to expose them, goes the Woolmer way.

Let's take an oath that we will watch cricket for passing time. Now onwards nobody will burn posters or throw stones at houses of cricketers. Nobody will suffer from heart attack. Nobody will go and buy mobile or coke because their hero is advertising and nobody will cry if their team loses.

Let's take an oath that we will not be angry because losing match against Pakistan is not a national issue. A team of some private body called BCCI lost against another such from Pakistan. Players are not playing for some country, rather they are contract labours(although skilled) of these private bodies. We will watch them like how we watch horses of race course because people are betting on them like that. We have understood that calling it as Team India is an emotional trap. Sponsors are doing the same advertisement in different countries and projecting each country as winner. huh..how funny!?!?!?!

Let me pray for Bob Woolmer's soul. It was an eye-opener for die hard cricket fans. At least now people should be conscious and cautious followers of the game.

7 Comments:

At 11:54 PM, Anonymous Malhari said...

Bob's untimely death was, indeed, very sad. He was a thorough gentelman in the world of Criket.

According to the theory of social science, we are partly and knowingly/unknowingly responsible for everything happening around us.

We, fanatically Criket loving (?) countrymen have taken the game of Criket beyond some unachievable expectations. That has brought gamble and a very high insecurity in the game.

Bob turned out to be the most unfortunate victim!

May his soul rest in peace.

 
At 2:54 AM, Blogger Anand Sarolkar said...

Apt presentation! Once I was also a die hard Cricket fan but now I have lost interest so much that I don't even keep track of Idia's matches...

 
At 6:15 AM, Blogger Ranjeet Adkar said...

Well said Abhijit, I agree with you 100% on this.

However, I, for one, cannot make to move myself away from the game I love so much to watch.

In my younger days, I would be an emotional India fan who would reojoice at a rare victory against Pakistan. Now my emotions are still there, but I do see things from a broader perspective of the game. I see the game now to applaud a goood shot, be it against Indian bowlers and a good ball, may it e against Indian batsmen.

But still, it always pleases the most when Indian team wins a game!

You are right again about Team India being an emotional ploy used by the advertisers. It is only when matters come to courts that people realize that it is a private body and not a national entity.

However, with the population that we have, it will be very difficult to turn things around - it will involve a lot of time, but as you said, a start has to be made somewhere.

Am glad you did it!

 
At 7:29 AM, Blogger Ranjeet Adkar said...

Abhijit,

I forgot to add 2 more cents on your post in my earlier comment. Here they are:

About match fixing, murkier deals, and even murder(!), yes...I agree with you that cricket is no longer the Gentleman's game as it was. There is a lot of money involved and being in the US for a month now, I can see how the money involved even impacts the social laws that a state passes.

The same has hapenned with cricket where lot of bad decisions (on and off the field) have been taken because money and other carrots were involved. With the eye-opening investigations on match fixing, Cronje's death and now Woolmer's death - all these have made the fans of cricket go away from the game.

Yes, there are bad rotten apples in the basket. But let those apples not make us declare the all the fruits in basket as bad. Let us not view everything suspiciously. Doubt's seed in mind, grows with every second because everything one sees is clouded by that doubt. And that being the case, you will eventually lose interest in the game.

I have been successful so far in not clouding my sight, yet clearing my eye sight to focus on the game and the shots and the hits and misses in the game - irrespective of who plays against whom.

Being a human being, I think it is probably natural to be slightly biased towards players from your country, but that is where the bias eneds for me and I enjoy the game - for the sake of cricket.

"Wise men say, only fools rush in".
I am glad to be a fool for this game. :-)

Having said all this, nothing can justify the riots at Kaif's house or stonig of Dhoni's house or what Pakistan players will face when they return home.

So I admire and applaud your oath in encouraging people not to be so emotional and sensitive about Inddian team's performances.

 
At 1:53 AM, Blogger abhijit said...

@malhari: A beautiful comment as I said. emotional.

@Anand: Thanks for compliments.

@Ranjeet: Thanks a ton for your serious and descripive comments. Your comments are nothing but words of a genuine cricket follower. I want people to enjoy cricket, let anybody is playing or winning, but they should not get personal or should not leave track of consciousness. Like how Dwarakanath sanjhGiri says in his article in Saamana that We only made them gods, at least now we should see them as humans.

 
At 5:58 PM, Blogger Joy Forever said...

Bob's sudden murder brings us to another death: that of Hansie Cronje who died in a plane crash, and leaves us wondering whether that was natural too. After all, Woolmer was Cronje's coach when the worst scandal ever (till then) hit cricket.
It also seems too much of a coincidence that a few pages from Bob's autobiography manuscript were never found after the Pakistan team had to evacuate the hotel following a gas leak. Surely Bob was up to something and someone big wanted him out.

Regarding the advertisements, I really wish our countrymen had the brains to understand that this Indian team did not have an outside chance of winning the cup as the sponsors would have us believe. In fact they were nowhere there near the big boys Australia and RSA. Yet they were being portrayed as possible winners in all those ads. This created a huge hollow expectation in the country for which now the cricketers themselves are paying with their property and safety of their family. But we should understand, criticising and personal attack are not the same thing, and however bad a person plays, attack on his house/ family is totally uncalled for.
Let us hope BCCI learns something from this WC and maybe then we'll see some good cricket during the next WC.

 
At 9:37 PM, Blogger abhijit said...

@Joy: I feel Cronie's death was natural. Plane crash killed other two passengers too. Which was needless. But planned accident is also possible.

 

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