Somewhere in the early part of the year, some media persons and critics realised that India, the number one Test team in the world, was playing way too little Test cricket, the ultimate pinnacle of the game. What followed was a week of constant cries for having a more prominent Test calendar, with headlines exposing the BCCI’s myopic outlook towards the more ‘serious’ forms of cricket, as the treasurer grinned from ear to ear with cash rolling in from domestic T20 tournament aka IPL.
What followed was a simple story that the apex cricketing body has been repeating time and again. The board made all the experts of the game and the media happy, or rather shut them up by including two more Tests in the Australian series. It was just a matter of chop and add, the initial slot for seven ODIs was chopped down to three and two more Tests were added. After all, it would be sheer madness to even fathom the shortening of the grand Indian Premier League’s more than month long schedule and a lot more sane to do away with international matches against top-notch nations like Australia and New Zealand.
So, all were happy in zombie land and we, the worshippers of the game, were more than happy with the outcome. BCCI had done what they do best - please everybody, make money and stay arrogant.
Now, after a 2-0 drubbing of the mighty Australians in the Test series and a 1-0 ODI washout (literally, as two matches were spoiled by rain God), the esteemed ‘critics’ and concerned ‘media persons’ have had another epiphany and are crying foul over the fact that with just 3-4 odd months to go for the World Cup in the sub-continent, there is severe dearth of ODI cricket.
What will the Men in Blue do with just a handful of ODIs before the biggest event in cricket’s calendar? Why the hell were the ODIs chopped off, was a reporter’s crystal cracking shriek just after the series. The problem is that the very reporter was shouting with same fervour for more Tests and less ODIs a few months back. Such is the poor state of sports journalists these days that even they forget what stand they took last night, though the passion is still unperturbed; in fact, they have become even more dramatic than Lalu Yadav’s speeches or an African preacher’s sermons at that.
Shout anything, supply it with load full of grammatically incorrect ‘breaking news’ and ice it with a savvy editor calling in his eminent panel for the treachery to the nation and there you have it, the day’s biggest news. And we love every bit of it, heck, even my mom prefers the action packed sequence of a news channel over a drab soap opera.
Leaving that discussion to another day, it seems that we are more concerned with ‘pleasing’ all, a trait well learnt during our centuries of colonisation. We please all, be it the barbaric Australian athletes who made a mockery of the palatial accommodations during the CWG, the high headed officials who make a mountain out of a mole hill or the ever so high moral critic who has a retard of an ideology among many others.
When will we learn to execute a proper plan for the coming years and not just bank on the sensations of a moment?
The BCCI is a magician’s body. They will somehow come out with a way to please the same bunch again with another myopic solution matching the myopic cries of the media and the critics. The only minor loss in the entire transaction is ‘Indian cricket’ itself.