Hair rising

Hair Rising !

Many years ago GB Shaw was reported to have said “Cricket is a game played by 11 fools and watched by 11,000”. Those weren’t the days of the match referees, ICC, International television et al. The numbers would be so very different now! If the 11,000 folks who turned up to watch a cricket match got him aghast, wonder what he would have to say of the millions that turn in now! Not to speak of the ‘Cricket’ that goes on in the field.

Darrel Hair fines Pakistan 5 runs for ball tampering, with no evidence. (The Umpires are the lord of the rings you see). Pakistan plays on. Tea break is called. Everybody has thier fill of tea or whatever. The tea starts working, and Pakistan suddenly says, “Country Honour”. “No iota of truth” and so on. And don’t show up post tea, in protest.

Darrel Hair and England walk in, only to see the Pakis are not in. They walk up & down a couple of times, pull the bails off, and declare that Pakistan have conceded the match and announce England to be the winners. By now, the tea has gotten digested. Pakistan say bye-bye to all what they said, and Inzamam and the boys come into the field to play. But Darrel Hair is nowhere to be seen. He is offended and upset, and stoically maintains “Technically, the games over!”

There are 20000 fans who paid money to watch the match. Millions tuned in through TV. Advertisers and media buyers have career stakes in each match. But Darrel Hair doesn’t budge.

The next day ( and for the ensuing days), i wake up to find this hogging the headlines. “In 129 years of cricketing history, this hasn’t happened…” And so on and so forth. Among the most interesting were the following

1. “Pakistan seek India’s help”
2. “India says it is Pakistan’s own business” (Day one)
3. “India to stand by Pakistan” (Day two)
4. “Show me the money, and I’ll go”, says Darrel Hair
5. Darrel Hair says he said that under stress!!

And so on. And the battle rages.

Cricket is religion they say. Some day there are going to be Osamas, George Bushses and infidels in the world. “You are on our side or their side” type of crap. I don’t want to be the doom sayer. But the signs are strong!!

Just imagine, for a moment, if the same would have happened to India. There would have been protests all around the country (as usual). So much so that parliament could be brought into picture (as usual). MPs would have fisticuffs (as usual). Some ambassador would have been summoned (as usual). The Ministry of External Affairs would have issued a statement (as usual)….We would have found one more religion to do all what we do.

As for cricket itself, Hair Rising. To say the least. Isn’t it.