Cricket. I’m one of a tiny segment of outcaste Indians who think it’s the second most boring game in the world (golf, of course, tops the charts, but I shouldn’t be saying that. I know you folks think it’s the ultimate business game).
So like most women, I flirted with cricket during the Imran Khan days. It was always a pleasure to watch the way he ran—especially when the camera was positioned behind him as he fast-bowled his way to fame.
But then Imran got into politics and married Jemima, who began to cover her head and oil her hair—and that was when I switched to soccer. The men are so much more athletic, they even wear shorts—and there’s a world-full of Imrans to pick from.
But even if I’m not interested in the game, I’m intrigued by the Indian relationship with cricket. I’ve never seen a celebrity bob up and down the popularity charts as vigorously as Sourav Ganguly. And cleaning up all that plastic after a match gone wrong is no joke in India.
I just read in the sports pages (I knew I would have to do an edit on cricket so I forced myself to go through that section this week) that Sunil Gavaskar’s singing a different tune. Gavaskar, who said he would never return to Eden Gardens as a cricketer after he and his wife were showered with tomatoes in the mid-1980s, now apparently believes that people hurt you because they love you.
“Why would they hurt you if they did not love you?” Gavaskar said after receiving a lifetime achievement award in Kolkata. “Today when I sit back and reflect upon it, I understand that the crowd’s gesture was only spontaneous,” Gavaskar is quoted as saying in the Hindustan Times. We have a different theory on Page 12.
This week we’ve got a Caribbean special travel section (Pages 16 and 17), and a cricket books special (Pages 18 and 19). There’s also a great story on how this is going to be the year of the sports film in Bollywood (Page 11). The good news is that Dev Anand is not making another cricket movie (we still haven’t recovered from the trauma of 1990’s Awwal Number).
And for those of you who don’t care about cricket, read Jared Sandberg’s take on Indian call centres (Page 4) and R. Sukumar’s piece on graphic novels that are made into movies (Page 19). His hot tip: Don’t watch the currently playing Ghost Rider and the forthcoming 300. Enjoy the issue. And less cricket next time, I promise.