Cricket's religiousity

Some people say Cricket is like a religion in India. What most people understand about religion is not something doosra wants to discuss at this point. Many wars (most of it) have been fought for the cause of organised religion - many more are to be fought in this world of different herds.

There is hardly any faith in cricket in India, though media likes to hype it up as a religion.

Oh well, India won the Twenty20 World Cup. They almost pulled off an exciting defeat from the jaws of victory... but, then, it also makes you wonder about the 'divine script' of this religious game.

After winning the T20 world cup, India's new captain - Mahendar Singh Dhoni said:
“It (Twenty20) will catch up in India because they love fours and sixes and excitement,” said Dhoni. “There hasn’t been that much of Twenty20 cricket in India so far.

“We’ve had a domestic circuit but not many people come to watch the domestic matches. I’m sure it will catch up and be huge in India after this.”
Game, set, match - BCCI. Millions of dollars will now be pumped into this Twenty20 Indian Premier League.

Talking about religion, it was quite amusing what Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik had to say:

“First of all I want to say something over here. I want to thank you back home Pakistan and where the muslim lives all over the world. We gave our 100%, India have a strong batting line-up. We did well to restrict them to less than 160 but our batting didn’t come through. The Indians bowled really well and we played some bad shots. That’s why we ended up on the losing side in this game.”

Hey dude, doosra is not a muslim. And doosra is not ashamed to say Pakistan came across as the most improved cricket team during the Twenty20 WC. Pity they lost to India.

We live in such times of rapid religious polarisation - and it was quite a diplomatic goof up on the part of the Pakistani captain to thank all "muslims". India was playing Pakistan in the final of the T20 World Cup; it wasn't a battle of religions.

It's just a game of cricket, you dumbo!

The Pakistani cricket establishment would have thought they got rid of the Beardies; the current captain better grow a beard or get dropped from the team.

Mukul Kesavan has blogged about Malik's religiousity:

It is one thing to be publicly religious—Shahid Afridi thanked Allah and Matt Hayden and Shaun Pollock are proud, believing Christians—quite another to declare that your country's cricket eleven bats for international Islam.

Shoaib Malik chose to make it our business by saying it in team colours at the end of the ICC World Twenty20 final. He said something that goes to the heart of cricket's loyalties, its culture, its plurality of race and faith and language. If Shoaib took in nothing else about the final, he must have noticed that the bowler who took his wicket was called Irfan Khan Pathan, that the Indian team's most visible cheerleader, the guy who was hugging Indian players in turn at the end of the game, was one Shah Rukh Khan. I feel a residual distaste in even mentioning their names because both Shah Rukh and Irfan are admired in India for what they've achieved, not who they are.
My man of the tournament was Misbah -ul-Haq. I wouldn't be surprised if he is made the captain - soon.

RP Singh was easily the best bowler of the tournament. Umar Gul too showed glimpses of his ability. What I really liked about RP Singh is his ability to keep a cool head - even when he looks to attack the batsman.

Sreesanth's TV heroics - pumping fist, staring at the batsmen, telling the batsman to "fuck off" after getting a wicket - can be attributed to a subculture of 'Suresh Gopi Films'. I still believe Sreesanth has a tendency to chuck the effort ball. Call it optical illusion, and prove me wrong by sending him to the university in Perth. Malcolm Marshall - one of the best fast bowlers I have ever seen - never intimidated the batsmen with cheap stunts like that of Sreesanth; he let the ball to create fear in the batsman's mind. Sreesanth will disappear from the scene - if he keeps going with his stunts.

Andre Nel and Sreesanth have a lot in common on that count. Both are idiots.

That boy Rohit Sharma should be in the Indian XI from now on. He has a very good approach to the game and really good hands to play almost all the cricket shots. Why the hell India played Karthik ahead of Sharma is a big mystery.

Another interesting story that came out of the Twenty20 WC was Sunil Gavaskar's remarks at the end of it. Sunny, who has been a master at rowing two boats at the same time (his son is in the rebel league - and Sunny is in the board of the official league!) - heaped praises (indirectly) on the ICL initiative to unearth new talents from rural parts of India.

Sunil Gasvakar specifically mentioned Kapil Dev as the greatest Indian cricketer, and emphasised the fact that Kapil was from Haryana.

India is ready to welcome the Twenty20 cult. It is not a religion yet.

1 comment :

  1. Knock Knock
    Who is it?
    Misbah Who?
    Misbah 5 runs ! :p