Somebody asked me what I have against cricket.
Actually I don't have anything against the game. It is just another sport, with its own set of (strange) rules. In fact, I really like playing cricket. I think its good fun, as long as I am not fielding. And especially if it is played with a piece of cardboard as the bat, and a crumpled-up newspaper as the ball.
I am digressing. What I want to say is that there is just one thing that I don't like about cricket, and that is, that it goes on for too long. Far too long. Ok, even that is fine. If the players really want to stay out all day and sweat under the sun, it is their choice. I can even understand spectators in the stadium watching the match with interest. It can be good fun, like I found out first hand. But what irks me is that millions of people sit around and actually spend(I dare not say "waste") hours and hours watching these endless matches on television.
In case you haven't noticed, the actual action in the entire match happens for probably just ten percent of the entire duration of the match.
How, you ask. Consider this.
A bowler measures his paces, does the run up, and bowls. The batsman hits the ball, the fielders scurry around, and the batsman takes a couple of runs. If you measure the time this entire bit of action takes, you will see that it measures up to just around 8-10 seconds. Most balls take even lesser time, but I will be generous, and take the average as 10 seconds.
A one-dayer has 50 overs, that is 300 balls are bowled.
Total time taken to bowl all the balls = 300 X 10 = 3000 seconds = 50 minutes.
Ok, let me consider other miscellaneous things, and conclude that the total time taken is 1 hour.
So the actual action in an 8-10 hour match happens for just 1 hour. Fancy that!
The rest of the time is spent in looking around, licking the ball, rubbing the ball against their clothes in unmentionable places, tapping the bat on the pitch, adjusting the helmet, adjusting the pad, doing half sit-ups, making gestures with arms, wiping sweat, and what have you.
And the entire nation sits glued to the television, watching men perform these ordinary actions for 9 hours, just for that 1 hour of actual action. And they spend at least half of those 9 hours again, watching the re-telecast.
And this is just the one-dayer. What about a test match? For five days, the nation thinks of nothing else. And at the end of it, many times, you don't even have a result to show for it.
There are very few cricket matches which I think are really exciting. In most of the matches, you get to know midway, which team is going to win. After that it is just a matter of waiting. And what a long wait! What pleasure do you get, really, in spending so much time watching a match, the conclusion of which is a foregone one?
And also, how many hours are wasted each year watching old matches between random countries, the results of which are already known!
It makes me restless. It makes me cringe. I dare not even start to think of what all these people might have been doing if they hadn't been watching this match. So many productive hours wasted! So many opportunities missed! So many beautiful moments overlooked!
I know I am in the minority, so I know I should be ready for a sound thrashing from all of you. But seriously, watching cricket makes no sense to me. What is it all about, really?