Cricket, Celebrations & Cash

Yipeee.. We are the champions.. Reminds me of the famous song by Queen. India did the unimaginable, the unthinkable and the unexpected. We won the Cricket World Cup. I guess the euphoria of winning cricket’s premier event will take some time to die down. The celebrations have begun and no one is planning yet to stop it. Lo! behold .. you have IPL-4. I guess the magic of Indians will spill over and am bracing myself to hear a lot about them in the coming days.. Oh just a rejoinder.. We have a few more matches.. I think 90+ matches

True that a sporting event success is unparalleled and as a society, we need to celebrate the same. However, what amazes is the tune of gifts, showers, plots, awards.. phew… one looses count of them.  Everyone’s patting each other’s back and there is no dearth of ballad singing of maestros and legends. All said and done, one needs to look at the fundamental questions arising out of these situations

  1. Celebrate Cricket History – BCCI is mandated with running the sport and is definitely a cash-rich body. As an organization, it can felicitate the cricketers and reward them handsomely. However, why are the individual state governments jumping onto the bandwagon of announcing crores of rupees? Is the tax-payers money so cheap or do we intend to request more money from IMF or ADB?
  2. Cricketers are already paid handsomely. There used to be a time (when yours truly was young), when cricketers played the game for passion and the payoff wasn’t handsome. Liberalization and Capitalism ushered in a new wave of contract oriented cricket coupled with Advertising. This meant that the cricketer went from being just a player to player and brand ambassador. The payoff was excellent and today’s cricketers are literally making the moolah. What is the point of giving them more money? Isn’t recognition in terms of awards sufficient?
  3. In the corporate industry, the relatively senior guys (10+ years) quote a famous phrase during their interviews, “Organizational Parity“, which means everyone at a particular level (and performance) are treated at par. As a society, there will not be an ideal state where this would be achieved, but one should strive for the same. The recent turn of event throw up a valid concern. Do we celebrate others sports in an equal manner? Atleast, I couldn’t see similar awards or plots (wow) being handed over after CWG? C’mon.. India came second in a major sporting event, yet we didn’t celebrate. Is cricket the only sport we would like to advocate as a country and society?
  4. Bharat Ratna: Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar is an amazing human being and crickter par excellence. Majority of us like him, some may have issues with him, but none of us fail to acknowledge his batting prowess. These days, media carries stories of people mentioning or lobbying for Bharat Ratna to be awarded to him. While in a general sense, he is worthy of it, why do others want to be too suggestive? Why are we putting our federal setup in an embarrassing situation? Neither can they announce immediately nor ignore. Each of them has a cost attached and I guess we can do less with more pressing issues at hand. Last, but not least, do we want SRT to be felicitated after asking so much? Won’t it be plainly better if he was acknowledged independently without any of us asking for it

The choice of path is an individualistic one and we have been endowed with the power of choice by our maker, God. However, we human species have been blessed with an equally potent power, the ability to think and reflect. I guess God wanted us to think, reflect, analyze and then make a choice. I guess the time exercise the power has come….

Postscript: To the external world, I may come across a frustrated individual who couldn’t make money. On the contrary, I am a huge fan of sport and passionate about my idols, to the extent that I follow Pura Cup games, Under-19 games, Zimbabwe vs Bangladesh Games, First class cricket in England and the Associate countries tournament.

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