March 22, 2013

Are you responsible for destroying cricket?

Sidin Vadukut
Indian fans bear the sun as they cheer their team, India v Australia, 2nd Test, Hyderabad, 2nd day, March 3, 2013
If you allow yourself to be braised in the stands of an Indian stadium, congratulations, it must be true love  © BCCI
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When you look at the sheer number of challenges that the game of cricket has to grapple with on a daily basis, sometimes it feel like you're watching one of Steven Seagal's first few major films - what true Seagal connoisseurs call his "insane but not yet batshitly so period".

One moment cricket is cowering in the kitchen as the BCCI sprays everything with machine-gun fire. The next moment cricket is leaping out of a window to avoid being slaughtered by the DRS crisis. With nary a second to catch its breath, cricket is then plunged into hand-to-hand combat with a roomful of kung-fu match-fixers. "Why don't you just give up and die, cricket!" you feel like screaming at the TV out of sheer pity.

But somehow, after some mild nudity, cricket prevails and lives on to see another Future Tours Programme.

For committed cricket fans this cycle of risk and redemption is nerve-wracking. But what they don't often realize is this:

FANS THEMSELVES ARE THE NUMBER ONE SOURCE OF THE DRY ROT THAT IS EATING THIS SPORT HOLLOW! DOUCHEBAG FANS WILL LEAD TO DOUCHEBAG TEAMS, SUCH AS LIVERPOOL, AND DOUCHEBAG SPORTS, SUCH AS BALL BADMINTON. WE MUST CHANGE FROM WITHIN!

But then how do you know if you're a good fan or a bad one? How can you tell that you're the problem and not the solution? Where do you start this self-transformation? How? Why?

Enough with the ceaseless questioning. I will explain.

Answer the following five carefully drafted questions. For each one you will have to pick a response lettered A, B, C or D. At the end, see which you letter you chose most frequently. The analysis at the end will tell you what kind of fan you are.

Best of luck. You have ten minutes. No copying or conferring with other teams. No more than two members per team. And one member per person. (Tee hee.)

1. Which of the following is the name of a real T20 team playing in one of the world's domestic T20 leagues:
A. T20 is not a real sport. Your question is meaningless.
B. Can't think of any teams right now. Delhi Sharks?
C. Glamorcestershiresex County
D. Chennai Super Kings

2. After an excruciating work week you decide to spend your Saturday night with some entertainment and fun. Yay! One of your friends says he has tickets to a cricket match between India and Sri Lanka happening at a nearby stadium. Yet another friend has tickets to an Akon concert. What do you do now?
A. If I wanted entertainment and fun I would watch a David Attenborough box set. Cricket is worship. Akon is worthless.
B. You didn't say what format it is. ODI and all will take forever man…
C. There is simply no finer entertainment for a gentleman than the gentle thumping of leather on willow. Give me those tickets right away.
D. Due to unavoidable circumstances the cricket match has been cancelled. Instead, a Chennai Super Kings v Mumbai Indians match has been organised.

3. Earth has been invaded by a vastly superior alien life form that has decided to subject all earthlings to serfdom. The emperor of this alien life form, Lasith Malinga, decrees that all sports venues all over the world will be destroyed, except one for each sport. If you were the popularly chosen representative of all human beings, say Sreesanth, which cricket ground would you choose for preservation?
A. If cricket can only be played on one ground, it might as well never be played at all. Also, these questions are getting tiresome.
B. Whichever has good parking, food, and plenty of toilets.
C. The only name that beats in the heart of every true cricket fan is Lord's, Lord's, Lord's. Let the aliens take everything else but give me my mother, Lord's.
D. The fully refurbished Lasith Malinga International Cricket Stadium in Chennai will open shortly.

One moment cricket is cowering in the kitchen as the BCCI sprays everything with machine-gun fire. The next moment cricket is leaping out of a window to avoid being slaughtered by the DRS crisis. With nary a second to catch its breath, cricket is then plunged into hand-to-hand combat with a roomful of kung-fu match-fixers

4. Complete this sentence using one of the following. "My most memorable moment from the 1983 World Cup is…"
A. That sucking sound that came when India won the trophy, sucked out cricket's soul, and then proceeded to systematically run this sport into the ground.
B. Pele?
C. That glorious Kapil Dev catch over his shoulder that defies all the laws of physics and optics. How did he see that ball? How did he judge that run? How did he… so many questions we will never know the answer to.
D. That in those golden days there were 60 overs in each innings, leading to 20% more television ad inventory.

5. This will be the last question. You are in a stadium on the fifth day of a Test match between England and New Zealand. The first four days have been washed out due to rain, without a single ball being bowled. Officials expect only about four hours of play to be possible on the fifth. What would you suggest they do?
A. Call off the match. Refund tickets. The vagaries of weather are part of the magic of cricket. Don't you dare suggest…
B. That they quickly organise a T20 match! That would be so awesome. And then I can tell everybody that I went for a boring Test match but ended up seeing an awesome T20!
A. Kill me.
C. The temptation at this juncture is to organise a T20 match or some such. But that would be succumbing to the tendencies of cricket's cheap seats. This would be deplorable. However, given that any cricket is better than no cricket all, perhaps we are overstating the case against the T20 format.
D. The first and only Micromax T20 International between England and New Zealand has started. Please take your seats.

Analysis:

Mostly As: Congratulations! Time travel has been invented. Otherwise it is inexplicable how a cricket fan from the 1880s is still around. Your antediluvian, luddite ways will kill the sport, drive away young fans, and bankrupt associations. Shame on you.

Mostly Bs: Good try "mostly football fan who occasionally watches cricket when nothing else is there to watch on TV". You are the low-hanging fruit that advertisers pander to when they corrupt the game with nonsensical mid-over advertising. Why don't you go back to your Europa Champions Cup Winner's Cup League Trophy Premier El Classico Liga nonsense and count how many away goals your team has to score at home to qualify for the next round. Red card!

Mostly Cs: Hello, Mr Hip O Crit. Your chicanery is shameless and revolting. Your interest in cricket is superficial and shallow. You are desperately trying to fit in and seem sophisticated. In reality you are just a highlights package-watching, online commentary-skimming fraud.

Mostly Ds: Mr. Srinivasan, sir! You are a great man, sir.

Sidin Vadukut is a columnist and editor with Mint, and the author of the Dork trilogy

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Keywords: Fans

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Posted by natty_no_goals on (March 24, 2013, 2:42 GMT)

Another Cricinfo columnist trying too hard. The contrived quirkiness, the plethora of non seqiturs, all adds up to a mess as far as I am concerned and I feel like I've read it all before on here. I found it difficult to ascertain a coherent thread throughout the whole piece, and certainly didn't find it as funny as the author seems to. Enough with the surrealist opinion pieces. Please.

Posted by m23khan on (March 23, 2013, 2:33 GMT)

Actually I see it as the other way. Game of cricket has been rather slow to adapt to modern times and at times presents itself as being in confused state of mind. How can anybody in 21st Century justify test cricket or 50 over matches?

Test matches take days to complete and IMHO, nobody (not even in rural areas of 3rd World I reckon) have the luxury of time to watch those matches. I am sure viewed on basis of commerce, test matches must be money-losing endeavor being pursued just for the sake of tradition. Same thing goes for 50 over matches, nobody that I know of can afford to spend 8 hours of their day watching cricket - perhaps they could have 30-40 years ago but no longer.

Besides, weather in South Asian countries (the bread and butter of cricket arguably) don't have weather which is conducive for test matches and even one day matches can take huge toll on the players.

About time we played only T20 and focus was on domestic leagues rather than T20Is ~ ala baseball.

Posted by justshmad on (March 22, 2013, 23:34 GMT)

Hahahaahahaaaa,,,,, The 'analysis' was so funny I almost laughed my head off.:D

Posted by Adeel9 on (March 22, 2013, 19:37 GMT)

Holy Cow, this is one the best pieces. lol at Glamorcestershiresex County

Posted by cricket_hooligan on (March 22, 2013, 18:40 GMT)

you comments against liverpool are biased. Don't be hypocritical.

Posted by   on (March 22, 2013, 16:12 GMT)

this is the worst article

Posted by rdeepakk on (March 22, 2013, 14:27 GMT)

I thought Page 2 was supposed be funny :|

Posted by Deepakrio278 on (March 22, 2013, 11:06 GMT)

I got 2 C's and two D's,what do i do???and an A

Comments have now been closed for this article

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sidin Vadukut
Sidin Vadukut has been writing extensively about cricket since he started writing this column for ESPNcricinfo. He comes from a family of footballers, who all nurture virulent hate for cricket in general and Basit Ali in particular. Vadukut is the author of the Dork trilogy of office-culture humour novels. By day he is a columnist and editor with business daily Mint. At night, depending on when he gets off work, he goes home or fights crime. His favourite cricketer is Saeed Anwar. By which he means Sachin Tendulkar. Jai Hind.

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