Tuesday, April 22, 2008


Alright, so I'm big enough to admit that I was dead wrong about the newest incarnation of Cricket that has invaded the Subcontinent, and is sweeping the world right now. You haven't heard? Well, blimey, mate! Where've you been??? It's called Twenty20 (not to be confused with Twenty-Twenty, or 20/20) and is basically the same version of the game played in a limited over series of 20 overs apiece. Now, if you don't know what the hell I'm talking about, then I'd suggest you better go over here and take a look at the post that I made on Mefi concerning this. There's a lot of basic stuff that you can gleam from there, and it'll give you a basic understanding of the game. Especially if you're an American who's into Baseball; apparently, Cricket is the richer "cousin" of America's Greatest Pastime. Who knew??? And if anyone of you yanks out there is getting perturbed by the comparison that I just made then you ought to know it wasn't my words that I was quoting, but one of the Cricket loving Gentlemen in the post that I just mentioned.

Anyway, what I was trying to tell you was that in the heat of the moment, I'd completely written off Twenty20 Cricket as just a fad, as a strange and absurd phenomenon that would die down in the heat of the night. And that all of this hoopla that was being made about it was all for nothing. Well, I couldn't have been more wrong.

Not only has the game launched itself marvelously amongst the people of India (and no doubt the world, or those who are lucky enough to get a chance to watch it; one of my friends says that in Australia it's on Cable and he doesn't have access to it, so probably not everyone is going to get the chance to see it live, on-screen). Which is also a problem for the Cricket crazy fans wanting to attend the matches in the Stadiums, but aren't able to because of the exorbitant (by India's standards at least) prices.

Another new (if a bit bizarre) phenomena is the introduction of Cheerleaders (yes, you heard me right--those pretty dancing girls with the pom-poms) doing their stuff in the middle of a Cricket Match. In the middle of a Cricket Match I hear you say!? Well, this isn't your Daddy's or Grand-daddy's old sport now is it? No, this is a whole new ballgame, in which the team management will do anything to lure in the crowds any way they can--marketing, advertising, and even a little bit of skin if that'll get people to fill the seats, which I doubt there is a need for, but perhaps it just adds to the atmosphere of the electricity charged format of the game).

Of course, I have saved the best for the last: what is truly enjoyable about this new era in Cricketing history, is that we have seen nothing like it. Up until now, the only two teams which would face off against one another would be the ones representing their national colours. All the players would be of a single nation, and thus we'd have all the rivalries that would obviously be associated with it. Who can forget the kind of tension that unfolds whenever Pakistan is poised to play a match against India, or England against Australia? These are what true die hards of the sport live for. But now, things have taken a dramatic change (and for the better I think)! What we are seeing today is the union of players from across the globe. Australians, playing alongside Indians, who are playing alongside Pakistanis. Members of fraternities which would not even thnink twice before making sure that you were sent home packing are now playing with those same players that they were not long ago pitted against, and are cherishing it in a way that has rarely been seen before. How often do you see Shane Warne hugging his Indian teammate for the catch that he's just made, of another Indian to boot.

Who would've thought this day would ever come.

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