Thursday, November 09, 2006

The Dhakka: Pushing cricket to newer heights

Mein to podium se jaa raha tha,
Mein to Cup ko utha raha tha,
Tujhko dhakka laga to main kya karoo?

We as Indians are not new to dhakkas (pushes for the linguistically challenged). Its as rampant as corruption and poverty. In fact it’s the most common contact sport in India.

Arrey boss thoda sarak na...
Abe ye dhakka bukki kaayko karta hai re?
Mein kya jaan booch ke mara kya tereko?

These kind of conversations are as common as Nadeem Shravan songs in the local compartments of Mumbai.

But now the problem it was a dhakka to Sharad Pawar. A seasoned politician in the autumn of his political career intent on turning BCCI into a cash cow where even the toilet seats of stadiums and body parts of players would be auctioned to the highest bidder. And the brilliance of his financial strategy has been to completely decouple performance and sponsorship. Out of team players like Ganguly can appear in emotionally gut wrenching ‘I will be back’ cola commercial and keeping the moolah trickling in.

So the first set of comments came from the normally reticent Marathi brigade of cricketers who practiced their square cuts in small squares of Dadar. So ‘aay lah’ Tendulkar comes up with the first ‘aayi gah’ salvo in a blatant attempt to secure his batting position. Then comes Gavaskar eager to provide his only soundbytes in the Mandira Bedi dominated ICC Champions trophy. Then come the Shastris, Mores, Dandekars and Joshis and everyone who has held bat or broom in Mumbai. It is sad that Rakhi Sawant the leading Marathi light of the neo-Indian culture has not shed any words of wisdom on this topic. May be she did not get time from her busy Big Boss schedule. Even a man of few words on the cricket field like Azhar has used the opportunity to call Australians uncivilized and Sharad Pawar magnanimous so that his life ban can be lifted.

Australian cricket chief Sutherland has attributed the incident as something which can happen when two different cultures meet. Yes one country which has a culture of winning and the other of whining. So what if Rahul Dravid could not lift the cup, we have to spare no effort in telling these Aussies that they lack the demeanour to play the gentleman’s game.

Moreover the Indian award functions are about the presenters and the cameramen rather than the winners. Usually you would have a panel of award givers that would be more than the members of the cricket team so that every constituency and sponsor is well represented. Again the Australians forgot that.

And the famed Indian hospitality. Athithi devo bhavah. but only if he loses the cup.
“Saale aa jaate hai door se, Boost ke commercials karte hai, humari thaali se khaate hai, cricket ka poora paisa yaha banta hai …aur humi ko dhakka maarte hai.” Well that more or less sums up the Indian angst against the Aussies. An apology is needed, why the celebration couldn’t wait till the presenter had stepped down. Kaha bhaag jaa raha tha kya cup?

This is just the beginning of a new set of interesting battles between the BCCI the money bag and the rest of the cricketing world. With more money you also need more soundbytes, more action and more controversy. So like a good reality show you have the incidents “ Shoaib Akhtar slapping Woolmer”and “John Wright pulling up Sehwags collar”. Soon we will have coaches spitting at players and people throwing mikes at each other. The greatest spectacle on this side of the world is just going to get better.


At 5:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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At 8:02 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Dhakka again! With prathiba patil in the race for the top job this is the worst for Mr Pawar.



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