Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Cricket fever and national loyalties

The India-Australia cricket series was expected to be the end of an era of Australian cricket at the end of which former Australian captain Ricky Ponting would retire and present captain Michael Clarke would be faced with rising competition for his post. Instead in three test matches a host of Indian cricketers may well be facing the axe and the challenges to their places on the team. The Indian captain has already hinted at an early retirement from the game to concentrate on the shorter version of the game. The Indian press is at the throat of the IPL for the dismal performance of the Indian team.

Is it fair to go beyond the likes of the so called greatest player in the world, Sachin, the great wall, Dravid and the very, very special Laxman? Are we over reacting? I can’t help but think what it would be like for people similar to them in other fields. In the church the trio would be granted halos and venerated as saints, with the church excommunicating anyone who would dare to raise their voice against them. Then why are we reacting in such a way to the thus far 3-0 verdict?

The BCCI is a profit making body with no attachment to the government of India and no binding to contribute to the field of sport in India. Why are we expecting good things from this body then? They are in the entertainment and money making business and they are being true to their calling. Has the BCCI marketed cricket as a national game which should be seen as a part of one’s national commitments and loyalties? Are we non-Indian if we don’t follow cricket and are interested in what cricketers do? If the BCCI has enticed us into this path they are at fault and should be held accountable for misleading an entire nation.

Sport has been misused for creating national loyalties. But will those who do not have any interest in contributing to the coffers of the BCCI be accused as being un-loyal to the republic? As others sportspersons clean stadium seats, carry bags and do manual labour to chase their dreams, the BCCI chooses where to dine! Can such things be allowed in a country like India? This indeed calls for doing something un-loyal in the interests of the country.