What if I say, I am not a cricket fan? With the World Cup extravaganza on, it is akin to blasphemy. Well, don’t throw that shoe on my blog.
Once upon a time, I ‘used to be’ a cricket fan. A fan and not a fanatic! But that was before innumerable ‘Gates happened’…..Cronje Gate, Woolmer Gate, IPL Gate to name a few. Worse, the betting scandals and murky deals dampened my enthusiasm. Now whenever the minnows beat the favorites, my cynical suspecting mind goes for a six. Also I believe that after thousands of crores of unaccounted money starts pouring in the game, then teams may win or lose; the sport surely looses.
The current fever is already giving me the shivers. Various channels are dissecting every ball. Given the propensity of Indians to talk and dispense opinions, it is but natural. We can animatedly discuss one ball, for an entire week. Everyone has an opinion.
Leave alone lesser mortals, the legends of the game have arrived in hordes. From an amiable Ranatunga to a suave Sir Viv, all dressed impeccably; perched on cricketing stools dispense cricketing gyan. The only prominent cricketer missing in action is the Aussie 'Spin king 'Burly who is busy with Hurley. The ESPN Star Sports will pay thirty-six commentators Rs 20 lakh each for the ongoing World Cup. That’s a swinger! So when pointless matches mean nothing to you then these masters of the game English them into meaning. Get ready to taste your cricket; spiced by Chris Gayle and served by Allan Border.
But can someone enlighten me as to why the Hindi speaking viewers have to tolerate R S? No, not Ravi Shastri, but Rakhee Sawant! The Hindi channel Aaj Tak has Loud Mouth Sawant making silly points about cricket with gold dust smeared on her twin assets. Seriously I pity the girl (?). She wants to show all but unfortunately no one wants to see her no balls. After checking herself and pouting in every mirror Veena Mallik displays her fine legs on India TV. What does she know about the game? Well, she is an ex- girlfriend of an ex-cricketer. The English channels are still betting on the noodle strapped Bedi. No not Bishen Singh. Now do not imagine him in noodle straps. I am talking about our very chic Mandira Bedi! Another pair of fine legs on display belong to Ms Chopra who is tantalizingly perched on Times Now studios. No not Priyanka, but Roshni Chopra. You can get bold or caught depending on your taste.
Undoubtedly, most exasperating of them is the mandarin of metaphor, the Turbanator. No, not Bhajji but Sidhu! Sachin may be master blaster on the field but Sidhu is the rhetorical blaster off the field. A book by Geoff Tibballs, ‘The Bowler is holding the Batsmans Willy’, has a chapter dedicated to Sidhu. Forget Sidhu’s quote on Piyush Chawla, ‘He is as confused as a child in a topless bar’. Thats passé! Bush’s Bushisms pale in comparison to Sidhu’s Sidhuisms. You don’t agree? Okay then catch this one. While describing Sachin standing on his toes to play a shot he says - ‘he played that like a dwarf in a urinal’. Now you believe me?
The final word belongs to the erstwhile Little Master who minces no words. Diplomacy is not his forte; unlike Bhogle. His favorite dart board is the Australian team which has already started smashing LCDs. I wonder why they hate electronics so much. Remember the Aussies threw a washing machine out of the window during the CWG? Why mate? Aggression or attitude, you decide.
How can I forget ‘dada’ who looks more like an MBA graduate with spectacles and a dignified demeanor? Impossible to think that he once took off his shirt in front of millions!
The pressure cooker situation is yet to arrive when we enter the semi-finals. Till then commentators are milking the ball. Right Shastri? Or are they firing on all cylinders? Right Raja? No, not A. Raja. But Rameez Raja!