The love of a sport, to me, would always manifest in actually playing it. If I were to ever sit in front of a television to watch a match, any match, it would be for the love of the sport of couch-potatoing. Incidentally, I am quite confident at my chances of becoming a world champion. But that will have to wait till the Olympics-organizer-guys wake up to the mass appeal of the sport.
The only reason I have ever seen matches in the past has been for the entertainment, the company and the fervor of the company. I remember this one match, probably the only cricket match I have ever seen without getting into fist-fights with Vaibhav, my brother, for the control of the remote. It was a World Cup match, a quarter-final, India vs Pakistan. And Ajay Jadeja kicked ass. This is pretty much the most information I can recollect about any cricket match so far. This, in stark contrast with Vaibhav, who rattles off cricket statistics like the talking encyclopedia every Indian man is.
Anywho, apart from that one match which gave me one of my first crushes in my own personalized version of recorded history, there are barely anymore I remember anything whatsoever about. Then why is it, that as a nation, we are all such maniacs about this sport? My profound take on the deep issue at hand, is that most of us enjoy it because most of us enjoy it. Which makes it a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Don’t get me wrong. As long as it is something that makes people happy, that leads to such elation, such celebration and such (albeit misplaced) sense of national integration, I don’t mind whether it is cricket or Rakhi’s swayamvar. What I don’t understand is the insane nail biting, the GPRS usage that shoots up as cricinfo pages are refreshed every 30 seconds under the tables of high profile corporate conference rooms during matches, the celebrations over someone else’s achievement (Yes, Sachin may just be God. But what is that to you unless you are a priest?). The riots over matches with rival countries. The (seemingly pointless) statistical rattling – The fastest century. The highest score. The most wickets. The lowest run rate. The highest strike rate. Test match. One-day. 20-20. And don’t even get me started on the IPL melodrama! Somehow it never makes any sense when I think clearly (and I tend to do that for most part of the day. May be thats what I’m missing!).
Let the bashing begin.