There was a time when I was very young, when I was in school, that I was a big fan of Cricket. Those were the days of Kapil Dev, Gavaskar, Dilip Vengsarkar, Krish Srikanth, Viv Richards, Larry Gomes, Ian Botham, Mike Gatting. you get the picture. Right? Those were the days when I used to watch even Test Cricket matches for all five days. We used to resent the rest day given so that the players might get some rest, in the middle of the 5 day match. And why did we used to have so much less cricket those days? Those were the days when One Day International(ODI) matches were like festivals. Especially, the ones between India and Pak. Those were also days of negligible media over-doze. Cricketers were paid honest salaries and except for one or two you hardly got to see anyone endorsing products. We had Kapil’s “Palmolive ka jawab nahin” and Gavaskar’s OCM suitings commercial. Match fixings was unheard of. BCCI stayed off the media glare.
Fast forward to the current day. There are so many reasons not to like cricket(atleast for me):
- BCCI. The controlling board of cricket is a cess-pool of deviant activities. The government had granted BCCI tax exemption, under Section 11 of the Income Tax Act, on the ground that promoting cricket is a ‘charitable activity’ under Section 2 (15).(Read more at: http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/bcci-it-tax-income-tax-cricket-ipl/1/248917.html). This organisation is rolling in money but is always finding a way to escape taxation. Due to this money power BCCI has gotten into a habit of arm-twisting even its governing body, the ICC, so much so that BCCI dictates what it will abide by and not abide by in the anti-doping standards drafted by ICC. Not only that, BCCI viciously opposed and got its way when it was sought to be brought under the purview of RTI. Given that BCCI represents our country in all cricketing activities in India and abroad and given that it enjoys government subsidies in taxes it is only logical that the people of the country are able to pose questions to them like any other government organisation and get answers. But BCCI has become a bully which is heavy at the top with politicians who manipulate the government of the day to get whatever BCCI wants. And since BCCI is such a big power hub there is a shameless power struggle always brewing in there. Recently, it has been how N. Srinivasan has shamelessly tried to stick to the President’s post inspite of being the owner of an IPL team. Such flagrant disregard for any morality is the order of the day at BCCI which, in my opinion, makes it the most disgusting organisation in India.
- Players. There are many success stories where some talented players have come from under-privileged upbringing. The tallest among such players is Sachin Tendulkar. Then there are players like MS Dhoni, Rahul Dravid, Azharuddin, Sehwag, etc. Cricket has made some talented players such big celebrities that many a times it seems that the success has gone to their heads. They start to throw their weight around. There are players who miss training sessions, of the many reasons, also due to late night drinking sessions. Like I mentioned in #1 the players think so much of themselves that they don’t want to abide by the regulations anymore like the anti-doping regulations drawn up by ICC. Basically, as a third party viewer who has seen them rise from humble beginnings to this stature it is disgusting to see their vanity. Why are our players so vain? After all they are only tigers at home. Abroad they have consistently lost series after series. Even at home they are pretty inconsistent. These are the players who are idolized by the fans. I can’t speak for the fans, though, but I can’t take it.
- Match-fixing. Match-fixing in cricket is so rampant that you never can tell which match was genuine and which was fixed. The cases which are caught are the tip of the iceberg. Players like Srisanth who have openly fixed matches claim on TV that it is a temporary setback and they will be back on the field soon. Given the amounts that are available to players who are willing to bite the bait you can’t blame the players too much. The country is producing thousands of players who in contention for a BCCI cap that it might seem only logical for a budding player to take the money and indulge in spot-fixing. If he doesn’t get caught then he will be rich and can continue doing it in more matches. If caught then he anyway has the money. It is a win-win for the player. Now, as a viewer why should I spend my valuable time watching these jokers strut their stuff and then see them mostly lose?
- Over-saturation of cricket. BCCI has seen the money and it wants more of it. This greed has resulted in the birth of Indian Premier League(IPL). For two to three months day-in and day-out there is only cricket on TV. Previously, there were 8 teams. And now there are 10 teams. This has resulted in an exponential rise of the number of matches played. Thus more money for BCCI. What this means is that we get to watch more of BCCI’s greed, the player’s vanity and match-fixing galore. I can’t take it anymore.
- Other games overlooked. In this country cricket is a religion. This, in spite of our illustrious presence in games like hockey, shooting, badminton, boxing, wrestling, Kabaddi and a few more that I can’t remember. I feel that such adulation for a bunch of undeserving idiots is unfair for the sake of these other games.
Things have come to such a point where I am not sad when India loses and not happy when they win too. Why? Because, firstly, I don’t know if the match was fixed and secondly the team is so very inconsistent that when they win a match they are increasing their chances of losing more matches because our players are the biggest upholders of the law of averages. They try to keep a good record of below average winnings. So, I think, I have developed my own defence mechanism to shield myself from the ups and mostly downs of the Indian Cricket Team. If there is something that is too over-rated other than Kim Kardashian’s arse it is the Indian Cricket Team.