January 5, 2013

Indian cricket

Remembering Tiger

On the 72nd anniversary of Tiger Pataudi's birth, the Hindu pays tribute to him via an excerpt Pataudi: Nawab of Cricket, in which former India player Abbas Ali Baig says Pataudi was one of India's best captains, bringing self-belief and pride to a team that had plenty of ability but little confidence.

Everyone agrees that quite apart from mere statistics, he brought to the game a certain charm, a dignity, and to Indian cricket itself a self-belief sorely lacking hitherto. Adding to his mystique was the unfortunate mishap that occurred in the infancy of his prime while he was mercilessly pulverizing opposing bowlers. It would seem that God, in doing a review of his largesse to mankind, felt that he may have been a trifle over-generous in Tiger's case and sensing that this could disrupt a level playing field, decided to deprive him the benefit of one eye. Anyway, back among mortals, Tiger still excelled, proving to the world that any disability is only as daunting as we make it out to be.

An editorial in the same paper pays tribute to Christopher Martin-Jenkins and talks about the falling standards of cricket commentary in India.

From the very dawn of broadcast journalism, much of cricket's celebrated romanticism has had to do with the labours of invisible men in the commentary box, men with the rare gift of describing the great game, draped in all its finery, to listeners who had neither a front row seat at the stadium nor a television set in their drawing room. The advent of TV may have brought about revolutionary changes and helped popularise the game like never before, but no technological miracle can ever match the narrative genius and appeal of a great radio commentator. In the death of Christopher Martin-Jenkins, who passed away this week after a battle with cancer, cricket has lost one of its last great 'voices.'

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