February 26, 2008



Desi Devils.
The bearded old man of cricket, W.G. Grace (1848-1915), in the instance that cricket becomes a wholly professional sport spake thus: "Betting and all kindred evils will follow in its wake, and instead of the game being followed up for love, it will simply be a matter of £ s d."

Good on WG that he had it all figured, marketing his wares way back then.

Since then however, the commercialization of cricket hitched a ride on a lazy locomotive. She’s a good old game, and that has forever been her bane. From Packer to pjs, always frowned upon. Her doomsayers, like some closet pervert, continued to loathe that which they claimed to love.

Pray, why does cricket make such contradictory idiots out of us? Why can’t we embrace cricket for what she’s worth? And set her free like a bird, like in that Lynyrd Skynyrd song.

If the IPL boomerangs, and sinks all its franchises, so be it. But if the IPL makes an AC Milan out of Mohali and a Barcelona out of Bangalore, then let’s accept that too. Their business models, however, do not dictate whether they will uplift or demean the game.

“Show me the money” was not the evil brainchild of the IPL. Nor was it just a smart-ass dialogue out of sport’s agent, Jerry McGuire’s repertoire. It is the basis of sport’s survival ever since it went pro. If anything, cricket’s been late on the take.

For cricket, unlike any other sport, will never stay put. Her life unfurls in front of our eyes, almost akin to that of a human life. Were we lost in her childhood all along? Did her adolescence annoy us? Are we alienated, now that she’s old enough to buy her meal ticket? Do we not trust her judgment? Do we suspect that she will change in some horrible way – into something we will never quite fathom? Or are we craving for one last hug? Not able to let go.

Worse, it doesn’t seem like a test cricket vs. one-day vs. twenty20 slugfest? It’s a lame, look how much money that guy’s made overnight, argument. Or how they’re selling their souls ‘n’ skills to the Devil Incorporated. Much like the nouveau riche, everybody loves to hate. Give it a few years, this will be old money, worthy of your respect, sires.

And if the bent commie mindsets are agog at the evils of new leagues of club nations, then they should take a chill pill. Or get out - and make some money too!

Have talent. Will sell. Cricket is surreal, but she lives, breathes in the real world.

Childish, how the morality-police creeps up whenever money sniffs out cricketers - the 1st commandment of cricket: when the dirty dollar comes hither, the cricketer will whither. And so, all Sachin Tendulkar’s career slumps are attributed to the ills of money. And from hereon, if and when M.S. Dhoni loses form, you know whom to blame: his Chennai franchise and the prohibitive sums that cannot be mentioned here for obvious reasons – they’re prohibitive!

Of course, going by this logic, the world’s wealthiest people should have been bankrupt many times over. Or at least misplaced their innate abilities to create wealth, thanks to the ruinous lure of money.

For reasons best known to monks who never traded in Ferraris, the IPL is allegedly the darkest hour in an honourable, if not austere life span for cricket. Even before the first million-dollar IPL ball is bowled, they stand in judgment: Not of the cricket, but of the money disproportionately involved. Not their money, not their family’s either, but money with the devil’s designs on cricket.
And then, to add credence, Delhi goes and names their IPL team Delhi Dare Devils. And the IPL anthem: Sympathy for the Devil by The Rolling Stones.

“And look Ma, they even signed on Symonds for prohibitive amounts!” They must be evil! Censor IPL. They’re the Desi Devils! With the odd Videshi villain thrown in!

13 comments:

Straight Point said...

you hit the nail on its head...

whether it succeed of fail...i think they should be allowed this much freedom of at least attempting it...

i think more than players its ex-players, media etc...are stunned by money...

so much so that they have already started spelling doom without having the patience of seeing first ball being bowled in ipl...

Naked Cricket said...

SP, Gladens me to know you think this way! To all the million dollor babies, cheers!

Straight Point said...

cheers NC!!

Ottayan said...

I have never read or heard about this creature 'purist' in any other sport.

meraj said...

i share your views, NC. enjoyed reading them too.

cheers!
m

scorpicity said...

beautiful argument... And i love that Lynyrd Skynyrd song free bird... I turn in my sleep hearing scorpions rip off that intro.

Naked Cricket said...

ottayan, is it purist or prude(ist)?

Naked Cricket said...

m, but when will you share my cricket? cheers, tanks!

Naked Cricket said...

cheers scorpicity! what's the rip-off called?

In the Name Of Cricket said...

Now, there you have me!

scorpicity said...

I forgot the name... its one of the really famous scorpion ballads... they ripped the intro directly without any shame.

miriam said...

Don't know about Freebird, but Simple Man sounds like the Scorpions'Always Somewhere.

scorpicity said...

Ah miriam... you are right... it is simple man and not free bird... messed it up... cheers