For those of you who do not know of the glorious game of cricket, all I can say at this point, is that it is a wee bit complicated to explain.
Let’s just say that there are 4 versions of the game, in the sense of the duration of one match.
There is the Test Match, where each game stretches on for 5 days. These can be exciting matches, and to be a good Test captain, you have to be an attacking captain.
There is the 3 day version, which is used in domestic matches.
There is the 1 day version, and there is the 3 hour version. In the 3 hour version, to be a successsful captain, you have to be a defensive captain. But, this is not the time or place to start to discuss this.
Sometime around now, the Indian Premier League is being kicked off. This is a tournament where the 3 hour version of the game is played. Film stars own teams, as do some corporates. Players go for a million dollars or more. The opening ceremony is a glittering affair that costs a few million dollars.
In the state of Haryana, a 15 year old girl won the state boxing championship in her weight category, and does not have the money to go to school. She is forced to work as a maid, sweeping the floor and doing all sorts of odd jobs.
While I was in the gym (and, I have finally returned to the gym after a 6 month layoff), I was watching the news channel, where the newscaster was interviewing a senior official of the Indian Boxing Federation. You could only see the man’s head and neck, but by the way the folds of his skin fell over his tie, I could make out he is a very well fed man. I doubt he knows what a boxing glove looks like.
When the newscaster asked him what the Federation would do to support the girl, he blathered on and on about how the state government had to support the girl, and not the Federation. However, “in times to come”, they would try and see what could be done.
This is pure blather and drivel, and all of us can see this. The man really does not give a shit about the girl. All that he cares about is how much money he can siphon off from the Federation.
The Indian cricket team is a rather mediocre team, where players are payed millions of dollars, and schmooze with the film stars. Retired icons (like our batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar) who have millions then try and get free land in Institutes of Technology to set up cricket academies.
If you wonder why Indian sports has not picked up, and why we do not win Olympic medals despite having a billion plus people, look no further.
When a mediocre cricket team is filled with players who are paid millions, despite their general non performance, why would they bother?
Is this a parable of our times? I wonder. I do wonder.