Lately the once stately game of cricket has given way to the ultra short form of the game which goes by the name of twenty- twenty cricket. Those of you who don’t know what this is that it means that the same 11 fools of each side fight it out, instead of fifty overs each side, twenty overs each side and get done with it. For an old timer watching this form of cricket it is nothing short of blasphemy. The sight of a player scooping the ball over the wicket keeper’s head, leaving the wickets exposed in an attempt sweep the ball pitched outside the off stump to square leg, trying to reverse sweep and ruefully seeing the stumps shattered, to say the least is ugly. But look at the stands. They are full and over flowing and the cricket administrators love this format and so the advertisers. Hell with the art and all for the bang and the punch.
The Indian team, not well known for physical fitness exited without a whimper from the recently concluded champions trophy event held at the hallowed fields of Lord’s at London. These players had recently finished a grueling six weeks of the same form of cricket called the Indian premier league. Many had carried niggling injuries. But that is not the cause of the debacle. The real reason was the lack of hunger to win. Fat cats will not fight. Only hungry, lean ones will. These cricketers who are multi billionaires have lost their zest and love for the game and thus were deservedly thrashed.
Adding insult to injury their old time rivals, the Pakistanis won. Here was an example of what happens when one plays for pride and national honour.The Pak team collectively put up a performance to show the world what motivation can do. They were hungry for a win and I shared the pleasure of an average Paki in seeing this talented team beat the rest of the world.
But my grouse remains. I don’t like this form of game. I am deeply worried that in my old age I will be forced to watch more of this cricketing nonsense.