The Cricket-less Month
Since I started following cricket, last one month was the first when I intentionally had to switch off from the game that signifies me. Of course, it was easier said than done. But I do not regret and I believe, as an Indian cricket aficionado, the gesture was justified. The very reason is explained below.
The Cricket-less Month: Why?
Cricket is not a mere game for Indians, and there is nothing new in this statement. The sense of nationalism that the gentlemen’s game has instilled in us has lifted the morale of the game by a fair margin. We have our inspirations in likes of Tendulkars, Dravids and Kapil Devs. And they have made us proud of being an Indian umpteen number of times.
But what if we are betrayed of our unconditional faith and belief over the keepers of the game in the country, the Board of Control of Cricket in India (BCCI)?
Champions League T20 (CLT20) was underway in the month of September and October. Despite not being a fan of the tournament, I have followed the same with no less passion every year. And the unconditional love for the game has been the only reason behind that.
As the CLT20 was underway, a week later another big sporting bonanza kicked off in Incheon, South Korea. The largest sporting event in Asia, Asian Games had included cricket as a sport from the 2010 edition.
As a worshipper of the game, it has always been pleasant to see the national team participating in international tournaments. And Asian Games provided a bigger stage. It could have been a bigger extravaganza had Indian Team participated in the same.
But the dreams were shattered into BCCI’s commercial greed when the board decided not to send a team in the Asian Games. The national interest lost the battle with financial interest. The board decided to take part in Champions League T20 instead.
And I found myself deceived and deep in thoughts. Had cricket lost itself into a commercial revolution? Had the commercial acquisitiveness surpassed the sense of nationalism? The country that gave birth to Tendulkar, for whom playing for the country remained at the top of all the desires throughout his career, had left its inhabitants fighting it out against the fellow countrymen.
The Cricket-less Month: A fight within the nation?
When the national team should have been battling it out with countries like Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, the Board chose to prefer the fight
between Chennai, Kolkata and Mumbai. I believe and hoping for a nod from you as well that a sport cannot overpower the strength of a nation. And a Chennai’s win over Kolkata cannot equal the joy that one would get when India would defeat Pakistan in the hockey to win the Asian Gold after 16 years. Even cricket could have enjoyed such applause had Indian Cricket Team taken part in the Asian Games.
By now, you would have understood why last month turned out to be a cricket-less month for me. I registered my disagreement with BCCI’s decision by not following the CLT20.
I know that BCCI wouldn’t have lost a single penny because of my denial, but my respect towards a cricket aficionado and more importantly an Indian inside me rose several times.
Olympic Council of Asia Chief Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah was right on the money when he said,” This is not a sport, this is business.”
Thank you cricket, for being a true companion. I apologize for not being there for a month. But I shall be there with more passion and excitement when India would play West Indies on 8th of October.