Warning: This is an attempt to get over a creative rut that seems to have hit me for about a month now. The reader will have to find out if the rut has been ended at his own peril.
The other day, I was sitting at the old cubicle half sleepy, browsing the internet. One minute, I was a blithe techie, blissfully unaware of projects, browsing the net before my pre lunch siesta, when just like that, the meandering train of my thought was brutally derailed. My eyes fell upon a news article that instantly killed the peaceful feeling that spreads through your body when you’re about to fall asleep at work. Suddenly, there was more adrenaline in my system than anytime in Steve Irwin when faced with one of those monster crocs (or alligators, I never understood the difference)
The cause of my panic was an article about the ICC taking cricket to new lands. It was initially funny. They were apparently pinning their hopes on promoting cricket in Switzerland. I even chuckled when I imagined a bunch of stern Swiss bankers (that’s the only profession there isn’t it?) taking the field. I somehow couldn’t see them making diving stops on the field, or responding to some hard Aussie sledging.
But it was a single sentence that I almost missed, that caused me to sit up straight and stop crunching on the bourbon biscuits I’d flicked from the pantry on the floor below, long enough to utter a curse. The article was dated a couple of days earlier, but I hadn’t seen any articles in the papers condemning the ICC, no letters from readers in support of the Indian team, no demonstrations, nothing. I checked again, and did find that someone had burnt a bus in Mumbai, but any the brief hope of that being a show of support of some sort died when I saw that was just the MNS at it again. And then it hit me.
This was one of those things that changed the course of history without being noticed until it was too late. Like some legislator introducing an innocuous looking law, but before you could say ‘Saddam’, he’d used it to become the despotic dictator of some mineral rich state for the next 30 years.
I read the line again just to be certain. There it was “.. and the ICC also plans to invest in popularizing the sport in China..”. If you, like me understand the significance of this statement, try to relax. Breathe in deeply, the panic will pass.
If there is one thing India can tell the world they’re good at, its cricket. And also churning out more engineers each year than the total population of most countries. But most of these promptly denounce the said years of education, and get an MBA or generally keep a low profile. Now cricket on the other hand, is something the populance goes nuts about. But thats only because the national team has some spots of success on and off.
So if cricket was introduced in China, what happens to us? China is a country obsessed with sporting achievement. Look at the number of medals they won at the Olympics. If these guys get going in cricket as well, phoot! Indian cricketers might as well hang up their boots and go back to their day job (acting in advertisements) and Lalit Modi can forget about hugging Preity Zinta after every other IPL game. We were knocked out of the last world cup by Bangladesh for crying out loud. We cant possibly face up to lean mean Chinese teams.
At this point the reader may wonder if I am exaggerating. Definitely not, dear reader. Few may take to it at first, but if Russel Peters chances upon a bunch of bumbling Chinese blokes trying to play the game, you can be assured it will be on his next show. And then the game’ll be all the craze in China. Every man worth his salt in China will be trying his hand at the game. The government will establish an academy that will rigorously train young Chinese kids from the age of four for cricketing glory. Believe me, it wont be long before they’re ready to knock us off the big stage. Of course, if the game spreads in this particular fashion, they might carry over the Russel Peters impersonation onto the field, but the opponents wouldnt be laughing.
There is only one way to avert this impending doom- convince the Chinese that they have more important things to attend to. Tell them the importance of supplying cheap computers, watches, mobiles and toys (even the lead laced ones) to the world. Give them something to keep them happy. Tell them they can have Nepal or Bhutan if they want to. And someone please get Russel Peters to poke fun at Haitians or Nigerians or some other people far away from China for a while.