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Wednesday, February 24th, 2010 | Author:
Test Cricket Field Settings

Test Cricket

Let’s travel back to the glorious 1970s. Joel Garner, one-fourth of the fearsome West Indian pace battery is hurling the ‘cherry’ in full throttle to the Little Master, Sunil Gavaskar, on a deadly Barbados pitch. The result – Sunny went backfoot, and hit an impeccable cover drive for a boundary. The shot was met with a vociferous applause from the Barbados spectators and the West Indian players alike. Can we see this kind of behaviors in the shortest form of the game today? The answer is a resounding ‘no’. Test cricket was, is and will remain the pinnacle of cricket. It brings out the real character of the player. Old timers still say test cricket is what separates the men from the boys.

Test cricket is all about technique, skill and uncertainties, which sadly 20-20 cannot emulate. While much as been written about 20-20 cricket as the ‘new kid on the block’, the truth is far from what is being projected. Sure 20-20 is glamorous; more action packed than a Bruce Lee or a Tarantino flick, and is loaded with more cash and bling you can ever imagine. But does it have the soul, the essence of the longest version of the game? No, 20-20 is what I call the Bollywoodization of cricket with less of cricket and more of SRK or Mrs. Shetty.

Hashmi with Cheerleaders in T-20 Cricket

Hashmi with Cheerleaders in T-20 Cricket

Personally speaking, I still prefer test match cricket. Think of the Ashes, or the India-Australia series, or the India-South Africa series, or the Basil D’ Olivera trophy. Can 20-20 come anywhere closer to the excitement generated by test cricket? Never in a million years. While test cricket is about tradition and grace, 20-20 is all ‘wham bam, thank you maam’. The IPL for one is destroying cricket in multiple ways and we see no end to this madness. Modi and his band of robbers are doing what they do best – destroying cricket and making millions. The auction for players in the IPL resembles the auction for slaves in the Roman Empire. And it isn’t just the auction! The cheerleaders, inept commentary and ‘expert opinions’ will make a true cricket lover switch off the TV in disgust. Move over soaps – the IPL is here and will give you a run for your money in disgustingly low standards (or lack thereof!) of television programming.

Where will you come across “DLF Maximums” for an over-boundary or Lalit Modi’s images every 30 secs? Nowhere! Yes, the IPL has changed cricket, its dynamics, but for the worst. True connoisseurs of cricket still consider test cricket to the ultimate form of the game. The IPL will continue to make millions and who knows we will have new teams like Meerut Marauders or Darjeeling Dynamos or Kochi Killers, all competing for ineptness and meaningless matches. Look what 20-20 has done to players like Binga, Freddie, or Bondie. They have retired from test cricket to ‘prolong’ their careers on other ‘versions’ of the game.

Long live test cricket. May the legacies of Bradman, Hobbs, or Hutton rule over the mediocre 20-20 ‘thought leaders’. After all, a Mozart symphony is always superior to a ghetto hip-hop number.

Wednesday, April 08th, 2009 | Author:

The Indian team’s win in New Zealand is sure to maintain ripples in the rainbow nation. In less than 10 days the second version of IPL/ t-20 descends Cape Town, The date is 18th April.

The 20-20, I would call this format of cricket important, as much cola and burgers are in our lives. It successfully provides an instant gratification and fizz which lasts, maybe for a while. I hardly remember what happened last summer ( IPL India debut off course). Barring a few episodes where Preity Zinta providing free hugs and SRK refusing to bring his glares down. Oh yes, the white cheer leaders, they made a little news since they were skantily responsible for culture erosion. I fumed after watching former Indian skipper  Sourav Ganguly who sat like a duck, selecting cheer girls on a television show. Sourav, you have better things to do than this.

Looks who is saying, everybody. Shah Rukh, Mallya, Preity, Modi. Irrespective of their non-cricketing background, they are the ones attracting more flashbulbs. Modi says,” IPL will re-define marketing.” True, he as an astute businessman who knows how to mix politics and cricket and all for his own benefit. He has a good exposure of selling toothpastes, soaps and detergents. Lalit Modi

Indians are deprived to watch a game in India because of security reasons, as the cops will be deployed to control unruly mobs and rogue elements intending to disrupt peace. Understood, In that case we can do without an IPL in this season and wait. I was exited to watch a game in newer picturesque venues like Vizag and Dharamsala (hp), not anymore.

Consume and getaway, gulp-enjoy and forget it is the mood like in the IPL circus. Rahul Dravid was thrown like an unwanted louse, pathetic to hear that. Ganguly is exposed to a multi captaincy format, which he should be getting used to a little more as the big day approaches. Was Coach Buchanan brushing up his management skills? He says delegation of power/responsibility will balance the team. Really?

The performance Indian team has shown in the test series in New Zealand this summer and winning eventually in more than three decades, is worth providing praise. This win will definitely raise chances of building brand India, especially our prized captain MS Dhoni and Gautam Gambhir. I am not against IPL or the 20-20 format of cricket, or biased towards traditional cricket. Only concern being it (the game) should not be reduced to a marketplace where there is auction, buyers, sellers and everybody comes with a price tag. I also fear the ‘ghost of betting’ returns after a hiatus, as these kinds of arragemenet provide an easy access to launder money.