Friday, March 02, 2007

World Cup --- Chapter !

My highest score in cricket during my 20 years of glittering playing career is a remarkable 12 which I scored against a very strong bowling opposition of three girls, two of whom bowled underarm while the third attempted to bowl over arm with an action and expressions similar to that of a drowning project manager who apart from not knowing how to swim, suddenly remembers during those last frantic moments that he has not yet applied for the reimbursement of the canteen bill for yesterday's dinner and has also forgotten to disapprove the leave plans of Mahesh and Aniruddha and approve that of Ragini and Jyothika.

As far as my bowling is concerned, although I may not have taken wickets that regularly (a lifespan being a unit of my regularity), but I assure you that I am quite a terror with a cricket ball in my hand.
Strangely, after a pretty decent runup for a person with my degree of lankiness, once out of my hand, the ball attains a brain of its own with an uncanny desire to epitomise Camus' abstruse philosophy of The Rebel. If I aim the ball at the stumps, it usually reaches the second slip (full toss) and if direction is not a cause for rebellion on a day, then the ball usually soars just 5 feet above the stumps....Barely missing them, a cynical reporter would say but we sportsmen do not usually react to media reports as it affects our performance.
During one such flight of one of my deliveries, the late nature poet William Wordswoth appeared and parting the clouds, sonorously recited the following lines dedicating them to my ball.***

"Ethereal minstrel! pilgrim of the sky!
Dost thou despise the earth where cares abound?"
***(I mean the cricket naughty one)

Anyway without sounding too pompous (psst..I have held 3 catches also ....okay 2), I would delve on the news piece which caught my attention today.

The Board of Cricket Control of India is truly a master when it comes to understanding the game of cricket and the concerns of our often run-parched, performance-dry and advertisement-hungry national cricketers.

It was announced today that a team of National Security Commandoes who provide Z-category security to our politicians (to avoid being lynched by the common man) , alongwith a Bomb Disposal squad would accompany the cricketers during their month long all-expenses paid vacation to the Carribeans which some senior members have been told also coincides with the World Cup dates !!!!
Some players have of course voiced their displeasure at this odd coincidence and while squarely blaming Jagmohan Dalmiya for this fiasco are suggesting having a relook at their contracts once they come back from their vacation. Their argument is plain and simple : No one works during vacations apart from Indian software engineers.

The Ministry of External Affairs have said that the commandoes will accompany the players everywhere they go.
I mean, isn't this streching it a bit too far? Was this really necessary ?
We understand that the BCCI is aware of the level and kind of performance that this team will dish out and thus is naturally bent on taking all necessary precautions for the safety of the players.
For if they are harmed, who will wear those Nike T-Shirts and on whose underwear will Sahara print its logo and pay an additional Rs.10 cr for that must-display clause in the contract.
We completely understand and empathise with the BCCI's cause and concerns but commandoes and Bomb Disposal squads?
When Salman Khan can live without fear in India after genocidal performances in movies like Hello Brother,Lucky and Maine Pyar Kyon Kiya to name a few, what fear should Indian cricketers have ?
We Indians have accepted failure and mediocrity as a way of our lives isn't it so why bother.

This is a complete waste of money I think, just like the Rs.4,680 crore provision allocated for the Rajiv Gandhi National Drinking Water commission and the Rs.720 crore allocated for the Rural Sanitation Campaign in the Union Budget of 2007-2008.
While the money in the first Drinking Water scheme would attempt to quench the undying thirst of a few party workers of the late Prime Minsiter whose name adorns the scheme, the second would of course be used in such a manner that the Finance Minister will have to allocate more funds under the same head of Sanitation next year to clean the filth resulting from the misuse of the funds in this year.This is cyclical and we Indians accept this.
Similarly I am sure sending out Black Cat commandoes with the cricket team too is unnecessary and a sheer wastage of the taxpayer's money.

On seeking the opinion of a few members of the side on this latest development their reaction were as follows :

Rahul Dravid : "Ya ,the boys are performing well now and we are confident that we will beat Bermuda.......The commandoes can come back during the Super 8 stage. Great to have Ganguly back in the side."

Sachin Tendulkar : "Ya, I mean its fine you know. Well ah yes....I can use one commando as my runner you know. Ha ha..."
"He can open fire when I am given out. Sharad Pawar has told me so. Great to have Ganguly back in the side."

Anil Kumble: "No comments" ....(Thinking )...."If I bribe 3 of them and get them to frighten Chappel, then maybe I can get to play the Bermuda game. ...Do they tap thoughts too these days? "

Virendra Sehwag : "Mere pass Ma hain ............"

Greg Chappel :(Shouting) "Well it'll be tough to beat the Australians with just bats and balls and 4 pairs of 33+ year old legs. Why don't you try to coach such a team without black cat commandoes..Huh"
Just as the cameraman raised his right hand to adjust the lens Chappel toned down taking him to be another Oriya slapper and added,
"We are open to ideas from all quarters which positively impact Indian cricket. Please don't get emotional.Great to have Ganguly back in the side."

Irfan Pathan: "Are you kidding me ? Do I have an option ? Vengsarkar Sahib has asked 4 of them to particularly point their guns at me when I am on the field."

Sourav Ganguly : "Ha ha ha ha ha .....Ha ha ha ha"...(Dancing like Mamta Kulkarni did in Karan Arjun and singing.......)........"Jai Ma Kali"
Sreesanth, Uthappa and Dinesh Karthik forming the rest of the dancing troupe.

Wishing the Indian team with all the best of luck for the World Cup.
They would need loads of it, to live upto even half the expectation of the Pakistanis.


HP said...

Pretty Good Post!

Keep Inkin!!


Unknown said...

Sorry to point this out sir ji..
but i don't think there is any book named as Rebel by Kafka..though there is one by Camus with the same name.
Aashish Singh

Wanderlust said...

@Ashish - Thank you Sirji for pointing this out. Error Rectified.
Slip of a rebellious keyboard you see.

Unknown said...

are boss humein "Sir ji" keh ke kaahe le rahe ho hamari..
aap stud log ho..
i always revere u ppl..

Ellie said...

Ah! Someone is back to blogging! [:)] I thought u were buried in some snowstorm in UK!