Mar 18, 2007

Is it just a game?

The last 48 hours has probably been the most mind blowing in cricket history ever! India lost to Bangladesh. The Irish have sent Pakistan packing home. Bob Woolmer found dead and Inzi retiring from ODIs. Is cricket being played just as a game anymore or has it been taken over by the media and commercialized to a larger than life image? Recent incidents suggest that the latter is more closer to the truth.

Seeing 'minnows' (If I am still allowed to use that word after the performance of those teams in this world cup) play their games with a spirit and enjoyment, brought a refreshing change to this world cup, or atleast I felt so. After all its a game! Why attach so much importance to it that it boils down to life or death. Predictably, Indian fans have stoned Dhoni's house and burned effigies. The media in its quest for readership and viewers have over the years sailed on the popularity of the game. Everytime there is a match or a team selection or a poor performance, there are TV shows with a 'panel of elite members' discussing about what went right and what didnt. These people assume that they know better than the captain who has to take decisions on the field. What has Mandira Bedi got to do with a cricket match? Does she even know the difference between an off side and the leg side? And the Indian parliamentarians have no business other than either commending or condemning the team for its performances.

There is no arguing the fact that Indian cricket is a money spinner like no other nation. Mass commercialization has ensured that cricket is no longer just a game but a business. But atleast shocking incidents of the last 24 hours should pull everyone back to the ground, and treat the game as what it just actually is - A Game.


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