Tuesday October 23, 2018
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EXCLUSIVE: Cricket- A Fair Game or Farce!

The recent India-Pak match witnessed bouts of crazy hysteria and violence

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The Indian Cricket Team
The Indian Cricket Team
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– by Salil Gewali

Any sports are for recreation, for the inner rejuvenation. It is intended to add joy and happiness to life. It is also intended to help build a sense of friendliness, to make everyone cheery. This automatically increases the warmth of kinship.

The sporty audience who enjoy the event should feel they are de-stressed and have become bouncy, not at all belligerent and hateful. Of course, every sport contributes to increase our efficiency as it lubricates the mind, and considerably helps us to be focused on a job we do. But these days, particularly by watching the never-ending cricket matches, we notice that the surge of negativity overwhelms many of us.

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Cricket audience in India

True, the cricket audience in India has for decades been so worked up by the media that a good many have become excessively obsessed with this game. Obsession with particular sense objects is itself harmful.

Needless to say, in favor of the cricket many others exciting outdoor games have been deliberately undermined. 90-minute brisk and lively football game is unjustifiably overshadowed. Just imagine how countless fans, particularly our youths, are wasting their precious times of their lives being only glued to TV’s screen to watch overstretched cricket matches.

Maybe over 80% of their minds are taken over by the “chitchat” and the attachment to the ceaseless cricket. One game ends and immediately another begins! Have they not adversely affected the academic pursuit or carriers of the millions of our youths?  For many crazy fans everything is relegated to backburner during the cricket season. I, being an erstwhile cricket fanatic, consider myself as one of the addicted victims which I realized pretty late. It only fills me now with loads of remorse that what I gathered over the decades from this game are bubbles of nothing.  It rather literally kept me far away from the realities of life and family obligation et al.

Very funnily, if one’s son gets sick or fails in the exam he will not definitely break the window panes in fury but when India loses the cricket match he might break the TV set into pieces, or rush for the binge drinking or get into a scuffle! Yes, you drink more and get high when India wins, and you also drink more and go wobbly when India loses! I guess, this a win-win game for you.

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Excessive idling away of the precious time will certainly hit back at us later. Naturally, our inner being and situation demand from us more realistic and pragmatic engagements and perseverance so we are capable of facing the life’s misfortune and challenges head on.

The recent India-Pak match witnessed bouts of crazy hysteria and violence where some people smashed the TV sets, pelted stones, shouted the slogans of Moordabad/Jindabad. Is this what we should expect after a cricket match? Cruelty, enmity should not be the vocabulary of any sporty activities. No sports should be instrumental in making the audience into a frenzied mob! But due to addictive Cricket, a good many have become abnormal to a certain degree. Has BCCI ever kept an account how many sane persons become insane and act violently and sometimes become brutally hurtful to the people around? Alas, this body which can’t even “control” the cricket management how could it control the audience who are already overdosed with the hooking game?

Here is another bane of the cricket. One can’t overlook how the flood of money is ceaselessly gushed into this particular game, and how the corrupt practices find their best expression here?  The secret nexus between the “bookies and cricket players” is no joke? How can the audience tolerate when the integrity of the game and the players are doubtful. Well, how many such unholy ties between the bookie and players and other felonies should break out to bring us to sense that we are well into the false game of illusion where our “faith” is merrily crushed into powder? The players whom we adore and call oh dear icons, are trading their own souls for petty money behind the pitch. I think no one disagrees that boom-boom farts of IPL stink to high heaven which its cheerleaders can’t suppress.

No wonder, the media often touts Virat Kohli as a role model for the youth and many fans highly idolize him. But soon after India lost the match to Pakistan some of his ardent admirers cracked in a rage — Kutta-sala Virat Kohli. I think it is never a fair game!

Salil Gewali is a well-known writer and author of ‘Great minds on India’. Twitter: @SGewali

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Virat Kohli Grabbed The Position of Top-Ranked Batsman in ICC Test Batting Rankings

Virat Kohli became the top-ranked batsman top-ranked batsman in Test cricket for the first time in his career as he ended Australian Steven Smith's reign of nearly 32 months.

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Kohli emerged the lone batting star for the visitors in the 31-run loss at Edgbaston. Flickr
Kohli emerged the lone batting star for the visitors in the 31-run loss at Edgbaston. Flickr

India captain Virat Kohli on Sunday became the top-ranked batsman in Test cricket for the first time in his career as he ended Australian Steven Smith’s reign of nearly 32 months.

Kohli scored 149 and 51 in India’s 31-run defeat in the first Test in Birmingham against England and has gone up by 31 points, according to an International Cricket Council (ICC) release.

“The 29-year-old right-hander from Delhi also became the seventh India batsman and first since Sachin Tendulkar in June 2011, to top the rankings for Test batsmen, which were released on Sunday morning following the conclusion of the Edgbaston Test,” ICC said.

Kohli now leads Smith (who had held the top spot since December 2015) by five points, but will have to maintain the form in the remaining four Tests to finish the series as the world’s highest-ranked batsman.

Tendulkar had joined South Africa’s Jacques Kallis in the number one position in January 2011, but had dropped to second spot following the Jamaica Test in June 2011 after he had missed the three-Test series against the West Indies.

Virat Kohli. Flickr
Virat Kohli. Flickr

Apart from Kohli and Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Gautam Gambhir, Sunil Gavaskar, Virender Sehwag and Dilip Vengsarkar are the other India batsmen to have achieved number one rankings during their careers.

However, at 934 points, Kohli has become India’s highest-ranked batsman, 14th overall, on the all-time tally of points. Kohli had entered the Edgbaston Test on 903 points, 13 points behind Gavaskar, and is now ahead of the ICC Cricket Hall of Famer by 18 points.

If Kohli can deliver another strong performance in the second Test at Lord’s, then he can break into the top-10 by leapfrogging Matthew Hayden, Kallis and AB de Villiers, whose highest points tally was 935 each. Donald Bradman (961) and Steve Smith (947) are the two batsmen sitting on top of this exclusive list.

Kohli, who powered India to the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup title in 2008 and then won the prestigious Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy for ICC Cricketer of the Year in 2017, is the 76th player to top the Test batting rankings.

He is also the number one ranked ODI batsman, but is ranked 12th in T20Is, 220 points behind number one ranked Aaron Finch of Australia.

Top-ranked batsman, Virat Kohli. Flickr
Top-ranked batsman, Virat Kohli. Flickr

However, in the rankings, India’s Lokesh Rahul 19th (down by one place), Ajinkya Rahane 22nd (down by three places), Murali Vijay and Shikhar Dawan, who now share 25th position after slipping two and one spots, respectively, have lost ground.

Following the Test in Birmingham, the batsmen to lose ground after the Edgbaston Test include Alastair Cook 17th (down by four places), respectively, and Ben Stokes 33rd (down by five places).

In the bowlers’ table, Stuart Broad of England and Mohammed Shami of India are the two bowlers inside the top-20 who have dropped their positions, while James Anderson has retained his top position but his lead over Kagiso Rabada has been reduced to two points.

Broad is now ranked 13th after falling one place, while Shami is in 19th spot after sliding two places.

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Stokes has compensated for his double failure with the bat by taking six wickets in the Test, including three of India’s last four wickets. For this performance, he has been rewarded with a rise of four places, which has put him in 27th position.

India off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has gained 14 points following his four for 62 and three for 59, which means he now trails South Africa’s fourth-ranked Vernon Philander by just one point.

Pacer Ishant Sharma has collected 19 points to move within 13 points of 25th-ranked team-mate Bhuvneshwar Kumar.

England’s 20-year-old Sam Curran is another fascinating story from what was a nerve-wracking 1000th England men’s Test. The left-handed all-rounder scored 24 and 63 with the bat, and claimed match figures of five for 92 with the ball, which not only earned him the player of the match award but significant gains in the latest rankings.

In the batting table, Curran has jumped from 152nd to 72nd, the bowling table has seen him rise 49 places to 62nd, while in the all-rounders’ category, he now sits in 37th position after jumping 58 places. (IANS)