The cricket world cup started and now the whole nation is gripped in the cricket fever. Bulbul Sharma wrote a very funny article Television is my rival in love and marriage in the Sunday Times on 13th February. I highly recommend that you read it in original, but I can’t stop myself from quoting a few excerpts from the same.
I became a widow at 22. My husband was alive and well and sitting right next to me, munching on a packet of chips.
But he did not respond to my voice and when I looked into his eyes, I saw a rectangular shape glittering with tiny men dressed in white. The terrible cricket disease that he caught in his teens had taken him away from me in the prime of his — and my—life.
Then describing the addiction further, she writes
Our daughter (yes we did manage somehow to have one, perhaps it was during the monsoon) is called Sachina and the first word she spoke was “out”, raising her chubby, little finger to the sky.
On one end, we have such cricket fanatics, whereas on the other hand we have George Bernard Shaw. Almost everyone has heard his opinion about cricket. He famously said “Cricket is a game played by 22 flannelled fools and followed by 22,000 fools“. Shaw’s statement is very true. In this is the age of Cable television, only the number is wrong, it is not 22,000 probably it may be 220 million. However what most of them don’t know is Shaw himself loved watching cricket. Cricket historian C.L.R. James wittily observed – Shaw “sneered at the games, but could not keep away”.
What is it about cricket that enthrals the millions? There are many games that require a much higher physical prowess. There are many games which are lot more spectacular. Many games which are full of thrills. But none of these games, with the exception of just football, have this kind of following. Is it the glorious uncertainties of the game where the fortunes fluctuate every minute? Is it the skill of the players? Is it the individuality of the players in the team? Or is it the endless opportunities that the game provides for hours of heated arguments? I can never make out.
What do you think?