For those who follow cricket (including all Indian men [in blue] as India has only 3 passions Bollywood, Cricket and Devotion and one hobby – Politics over every aspect of life including these 3!) it would be a familiar fact that there are three departments, apart from sledging I mean, in cricket – Bowling, Batting and Fielding.
Then there are Umpires – 2 Field Umpires, a Third (DVR) umpire and a Fourth Umpire that you find only on Indian National Television wherein all the Cricket veterans (presumably) discuss how it could have been different and better than what they enjoyed and their envy of how cricket is glamorous nowadays than their good old times seemingly overshadows their expertise most of the time, but that’s not the point here! And above all there is the spectator ‘Audience’ of course!
Principally every element of this game has a specific anticipated job something like -
Bowler is out in the field to ‘Get the Wickets’.
Batsman is out there in the field to ‘Make as much runs as possible in the stipulated time’.
Fielders are out there in the field to ‘Restrict possibly every run and grab those catches that win matches’.
Umpires, both out in the field and on DVR are there to 'Keep it a Gentleman’s Game with fair decisions'.
Fourth Umpire is an element that, no matter what, would act as the Governor of the entire show.
And ‘Audience’ or ‘Spectators’ are supposedly the element for which everything is being put up.
Started as a ‘Gentleman’s Game’ by the British in their Colonies for self-indulgence and entertainment through ego-satisfaction, it soon became so popular and acquired such a fan-following all over the world that it has become a huge industry today with various brands and flagship products, IPL Twenty-20 being the latest block-buster.
There is something called a ‘Toss’ to start the game and the Toss winning captain chooses what his team would do first, batting or bowling. With a reducing time of Cricket matches owing to the short attention spans and lust for maximum entertainment of the audience, it is jokingly being said that the next format of Cricket game after 20-20 would be ‘T-T’ that is Toss-Toss, the captain winning the toss would be declared winner of the match without playing a single ball, but again, that’s not the point here!
Most of the time this winning captain chooses to bat first for taking advantage of the freshness of the players, pitch, atmosphere and many other factors that assumingly would support to put a huge total on the score-board that would be difficult, if not impossible, for the other team to chase.
Once the game starts, the tempo keeps building with every single ball bowled, every run scored, every catch grabbed and every boundary, over-boundary hit. If nothing of this sort happens and match gets in the sluggish mode with a ritual of a baller throwing the ball without excitement and batsman defending it to save the wicket without scoring runs, the audience starts getting bored, impatient and stops responding, some even decide to leave the unfinished game. If their team is doing well and putting up a paisa-vassol show, crowd supports it in full zeal and the energy in the stadium is something that one can literally feel.
In an otherwise situation, the audience who waited in queues to buy tickets, survived all the traffic and all the hassle to reach their seats, put up with all weather – Sun, Rain, shivering Cold and was looted by every agency they had to interact with right from parking to snacks and beverages; they start reacting vocally to the loathsome performance of their team. Few optimistic souls try to maintain calm and keep their fingers crossed for their team / player bettering the performance in short while.
With every passing (the batsman?) ball these optimists also start losing their philosophical posture and slowly turn vocal about their frustration. Sometimes the crowd gets uncontrollable and physical when it starts interfering the game by throwing plastic bottles and similar things on the field and hurting the fielders standing on the boundary. This definitely brings down everything – the spirit of the game, the moral of the players, the dignity and legacy of the Gentleman’s game. But, thankfully, this is temporary.
All the anguish, all the commotion, all the penance disappears the moment their favorite players puts a Century on the board in less than 70 balls in the next game. The name of the centurion could be heard miles from the stadium echoed in an almost melodious tone… Sachin… Sachin! Sachin himself, apart from all the records he sets or breaks and all the titles he wins for himself or his country, always longs to hear this shouting of his name as some mantra in every single match that he plays!
Now, what is right and who is wrong is not the question here, the thing is to understand the nature of this game and its integral aspect of overwhelming and expressive crowd in this part of the world. This is a culture here and people never complain their suffering unless they are pushed to their limits (of boredom?) and these are the same people who provide the loads of energy to the player by continuous loud cheering.
So what is the point I am trying to make here? Cricket is a game that has transformed into an industry alright, Sachin has retired long back we know and there is no dearth of Cricket experts in our country, in fact there would never be any short supply of experts (particularly channel experts) on any topic that you can think of in this Incredible India, so why I am taking pain to reiterate something that even a kid in India knows for sure. Well, if you remember some of my recent posts… it’s the analogy!
Now I am listing few thing below and let’s play 'Match the Pair'! Replace the original with the new matching element in the game and let’s see if we can find some insight(?), okay at least some sense, in anything above.
Assuming ‘Cricket’ as Gentleman’s game as it was considered in its glorious days, consider ‘Politics’ as ‘Social Work’ as it was in its evolving phase. ‘Toss’ is the Election in the Democracy and elected Government is the Toss-wining Captain who has the privilege to make some decisions that presumably would give him some advantage. If the Captain chooses to ‘Bat’, the other team automatically becomes the ‘Opposition’ who would do anything to get the wickets, restrict the runs and keep the score down.
Fielders are the elected representatives in opposition that support the baller and the wicket keeper to get wickets and trouble the batsman. Umpires are the President, Speaker of houses, Governors of States and all such ‘Governing’ elements who can pass the judgment but have little control over the situation. ‘Audience’ is the Spectator Common Man for whom the entire show is put up, definition of democracy says! And what we are left with are the experts in the Fourth Umpire played by the Fourth Pillar of Democracy – Media! Needless to say that it includes all the channel experts and pseudo-intellectuals.
Now, visualize a One-day match between India and Pakistan with a house full Eden Garden stadium. India has won the toss and elected to bat. Indian Captain Saurav Ganguly brings VVS Laxman with him for opening while Sachin Tendulkar and Virendra Sehwag wait their turn in the pavilion. The batting line-up says that Rahul Dravid will be batting next followed by Sachin Tendulkar and Virendra Sehwag will bat at no. 5. Suddenly everybody in the crowd turns a Cricket Expert who knows every aspect of cricket right from pitch condition to wind speed to slog overs and what not and starts criticizing Ganguly like anything.
Now, Ganguli knows for sure what he is doing and only time will tell what made him take such a decision and how it turns out. But meanwhile the spectators are expected to believe in their captain and support his decision no matter how impatiently they wait to shout… ‘Sachin… Sachin!’
Finally, do I need to tell you to replace ‘Ganguly’s decision to change the batting order’ with the move of ‘Exchange of old currency notes with new ones’ that is generally and wrongly referred to as Demonetization...?
If you get it… Go Cashless as far as you can and if that seems impossibly difficult, try Less Cash! I am not the person to assure you that you will get the opportunity to cheer 'Sachin... Sachin!' but who else could…?
Be an Optimist, Have Faith and Believe wholeheartedly that ‘Best is yet to come’!
Way to go…