1. It’s not really cricket anymore, is it? This tedious sport was originally invented by red-faced Englishmen to give them something to do between cucumber sandwiches and fox-hunting. Over time, Kerry Packer introduced the one-day version, which made way in recent times to the Technicolor slogfest that is 20-20. 20-20, as any proper cricketer will tell you, is not really cricket. 20-20 is to cricket what Miniature Golf is to Golf.
2. One of the main reasons I watch football is that ad breaks in football appear every 45 minutes. There’s no way around it. No interruptions for 45 minutes + added time. Then you put your tv on mute and go get your beers while the ads play. With cricket, it’s every over. And in between there are those annoying bars at the bottom that tell you Vodafone phone rates throughout. And how do we celebrate a crucial moment in the match when a batsman hoists the bowler for six to win the match? Not by witnessing the scenes of celebration in the crowd or the ecstacy on the batsman’s face. Abrupt cut to a Reliance ad that flashes on and off telling you how happy they are as a brand that somebody scored a six. Do you see a Nike ad every time a player scores a goal in football?
3. Not only is cricket one of the most boring spectator sports in the world, it is one of the most boring participation sports in the world. Remember when you were a kid and you ran off to the nearest playground to play cricket? What did you want to do the most? Bowl? Bat? Maybe keeping wickets did it for some. But did anybody really like fielding? This is my main problem with the construct of this sport. Fielding. What is the point of fielding? How is it fun? Why is it exciting? From what I see it’s mostly just standing in a place. There’s a term for that and its called ‘loafing’. Most other sports involve all participants all the time. Football, basketball, tennis, hockey. In cricket, of the 13 players on the pitch, only 3 are actively playing. The bowler, the batsman and the wicket-keeper. The rest are just standing or walking around the place. There is no feat of athletic prowess involved here unless you are one of those specialist fielders at silly point or wherever who fling themselves to the ground at regular intervals to stop the ball. Bravo. If this is a sport then watching a pair of goldfish in a bowl would qualify as an X-game.
4. Where are the personalities? Great personalities are often image-drivers for sport. One tends to think of Michael Jordans, Boris Beckers and Eric Cantonas when one thinks of basketball, tennis and football. Cricket had its heroes too. Viv Richards comes to mind. But the big difference is that basketball, tennis and football have heroes that drive the modern game. For every Jordan, Becker and Cantona, there’s LeBron James, Rafa Nadal and Lionel Messi. What does cricket have? Dhoni. A pockmarked hillbilly and an assorted selection of unwashed rabble like Sreesanth, Harbhajan. And there’s this other guy with an abnormally large Adam’s Apple that betrays at least three generations of inbreeding. Who else? Kevin Pieterson? Afridi? Ponting? You got to be fucking kidding me.
It’s a dull game played by dumb, ugly people watched by dumb, ugly people. I’m fully aware that over 98% of India would disagree with these views. Enjoy your dumb game you fucking halfwits. Remember to clap every time you see the pop-up ad that announces the sixer.