Monday, September 24, 2007

Cricket- the biggest file!

Oh yeah! We have it! A cricket world cup after 24 years! India has etched its name into cricketing history, having won the maiden Twenty20 world cup! And the frontrunners of this victory are nothing short of demi-gods for the populace of this country now for cricket is not a sport. In this subcontinent it is a phenomenon. And it metamorphoses into a fever, when two countries, co existent with a nearly six decade long relationship of hostility and cautious contrivance, compete against each other in this sport.

What is the sport indicative of to be recipient to such a status, distinct from the other sports? Cricket enjoys popularity pervading all sections of the society. To consider cricket as an unproductive activity may deem you to be a non-patriot. It binds the country together in a way the national holidays have ceased to. After all, independence has been achieved. But a new cricket match between the parent nation and the child nation means a fresh challenge, a challenge to insist that the parent will always be superior to the child, and the challenge for the child to exhort the development of his identity. And this insistence on a nationalistic identity finds acquaintance in all ages because cricket is youthful. The young thus connect with it, the younger see their future in it, the old see their youth in it. Because cricket is one game that every boy in the country plays, it is the national sport above the indigenous products like hockey, polo, chess or badminton.

It may have been a while since some violent upheavals occurred at the grounds and the crowds may appear well behaved, but no Indian still supports the Pakistani team. If he does, he is deemed to be an outcast, and this is when contingent betting is considered as a thing of the past, or so it seems. The 20000 plus people seated at the rims of the grassy grounds and above that, and some millions who sat glued to the television from the stroke of the clock at 5:30 to the fading of the lights at 9 are more than just spectators. They are participants of the game, to whom the victory of their team matters more than it may to the players themselves. The atmosphere in the stands is exuberant, actual festivals may not seem worthy of the festive spirit of the occasion, classroom and office gossip may cease to relate to anything other than Dhoni’s locks and yuvraj’s swearing and the like for the next week and a half, the soaps ratings’ may be recording a low, the essence of the phenomenon is that the victory is addressed in the first person plural rather than being credited to just the Indian cricket team. The victory in the game is seen more than a victory of its national heroes, it is seen as the victory of the nation.

Victory in cricket is seen as the victory of the nation and a defeat as the nation’s defeat, even when the sole sport may not even be a coherent indicator of the failure of efficacy of the nation’s sports administration, leave aside it being representative of the entire country’s machinery. But then such symbolism is only momentary. What drives this passion amongst the populace of the two countries is that unlike the existent history of the two countries charachterised by hostility and coldness, the cricket ground is one where there are results. A victorious result is reason for celebration and a defeat is enough quid pro quo for frustration manifesting itself into violence and other condemnable forms of heat, light, sound and muscular energy.

The cricket ground is a miniature representation of the aspirations of the two countries’ populace. Each wants victory. None can tolerate defeat. The leaders have just to realize such, and deliver a result where both are victorious.
Till then who is to deny that an Indo-pak match with drinks, snacks and friends is fun to watch? And it’s a double treat, when its with a win! Way to go India!

No comments: