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Cricket, ugly cricket

Bikram Vohra (Spotlight) / 17 May 2012

Big mistake. Being born Indian and not being a cricketer. That is like being a scorpion and not stinging. It’s in your nature, nothing you can do about it.

 And I would have been so good at not playing, like okay half a million and I’ll bowl an extra no ball besides the three in the deal.

You want to sweeten the pot, okay fine, I’ll give a snick to the wicket-keeper on ball 3 and we are all happy bunnies. That’s another 250 thou and that is a great offer because I am in a good mood. It’s free enterprise, right. I love all these VIP celeb cricketers babbling on about the glorious game and the traditions of the sport and the honour and dignity that goes with it and there are old hon and dig writhing on the floor being stomped on by anyone with a little bit of business sense.

Think about it, people. These cricketers are not saints. They are not Mother Theresa. They are performers so they perform and if you ask them to do tricks they do tricks. The thing is they want money for their tricks. So, fine you want to pay me to non-perform let’s hear the sum of money.

Imagine you are in your office and your boss walks in and says, son (they never say, daughter) you have a great career ahead of you, what I am going to do is buy you a four-wheel drive, invest in a villa on the Palms, the frond not the trunk and triple your salary if you promise not to do a good job, actually, no, let me say, do a bad job deliberately, please, do we have a deal.

You’ll first think he is barmy, touch of the sun, summer is here, then the merit of the argument will seep in, why not, dude doesn’t want me to work, okay, chief, chief, can you bung in a round the world first class ticket with hotel vouchers and you and I, we are okay.

Makes sense to you? Of course, not. But it does to people who do things other people want to watch them doing. No one wants to watch you work so that’s why you don’t get the free villa.

So, they make money, loads of it, for opening shops, for cutting ribbons, for just appearing and I don’t why it is called corruption. If a franchisee wants to give a bonus so be it. Cricket and corruption are also buddies, they live in the same house, what sort of profound sting operation do you need to figure out these guys must be doing it all the time…it is now intrinsic to the glorious ‘uncertainty’ of cricket. 

I love it when folks express shock and disbelief. Yes, sure, you live in lala land where milk ands honey flow through green pastures and the sunrays dance on your kitchen floor. Get real and smell the leather.

What does it need for us to realise that this is exactly what you would do…bowl a no-ball for a million bucks, wipe out the white line, my daddy is a postal clerk you know, a million bucks, give me a break, I’ll gallop down half the pitch and bowl underarm and stand on my head and roll over for that kind of bread seeing as how 90 per cent of the human race does it anyway every day and gets peanuts for sucking up and rolling over and laughing at the boss’s jokes. 

At least there is big money here.

You know what, leave these toddlers alone, they don’t count for nothing. Go for the big boys if you have the guts. Start at the top, where it stinks. Get some massive memory Cray computer and feed in the results of these IPL matches and the consistency with which huge runs have been scored in the last ten odd balls and how many last ball wins recorded and how chaps who were gardening at the wicket suddenly got this inspiration to whack the ball over the ropes in a series and the tightest of bowlers just as suddenly started sending full tosses (searching for the block-hole) and donkey drops. Then tabulate the results and ask two questions.

What are the odds that this closeness factor could occur so frequently? Ten thousand to one??

Has any tournament, including the last four IPLs, ever had such a neck and neck ongoing drama?

Hmmmmm, Mama can I please be a cricketer…you can then live with me on the Palms.

Bikram Vohra is Editorial Advisor at Khaleej Times. Write to him at bikram@khaleejtimes.com

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