Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Watching Cricket - What is it all about, really?

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?


Anonymous said...

Blasphemy.......i say Blasphemy....

May our Saviour Lord FSM forgive you!

Anyways, if we go by your projections it's a bit more than 2 hrs.....considering the second innings.

And also it's a boon for procrastinators like me Shruthi...:)

Suresh said...


I don't like cricket too. This is for an entirely different reason.

I am a HUGE fan of Tennis. It was in 2002/2003 i guess(don't remember clearly), the final grandslam of the year the US Open was set to begin. On the first day of play, when I turned on the television(Star Sports), I was surprised to see Cricket(India's match) being telecast. I switched channel to ESPN to find Cricket being telecast there too(same match). I finally went into a fit of rage when I saw the same match being telecasted on DD too.

Same match on 3 channels? How u ask?

ESPN - Hindi Commentary
Start Sports - English Commentary
DD - Hindi Commentary

I was a Cricket fan. But since that day I've boycotted it. :)

The Live telecast of the US Open resumed the following day.

PS: This comment was totally irrelevant to the post but I just had to share this piece of info.

Nirwa Mehta said...

Hey! I totally agree with you there!! I think test matches are the silliest thing to happen in this game.

I just enjoy watching few matches when India is playing, that too if it is against Pakistan, and yes, last 5-7 overs! :P that's it! :P

Anonymous said...

Blogging and commenting is also waste of time..

Anonymous said...

For a surgeon, a 5 hour inside the operation theatre is a delicate work of art; For others it is just stupid and boring.

In other words, if you have no clue about something, it is either boring or waste of time.

Just admit that you are clueless and move on.. No need to waste disk space and time on it.

Shruthi said...

Harsha, ha ha! :)) And you have to tell me what FSM stands for, you know ;)
Second innings? But doesn't the total time also double?
Ah, we have a reason now - procrastination!

Suresh, the name of your blog says it all "Serve and Volley" ;) Yeah I know.. I have faced that problem too - cricket in every channel when a really important tennis match is on.. I totally understand!

Nirwa, :) - Exactly - the last few overs are fine - especially if it is a close match!

TOI rules, well, I feel that it is not, and I can give you reasons for it. Similarly I want to know why you watch cricket. If you don't have valid reasons, pulling in another subject and calling that "also" a waste of time, is not really a valid response! Can you try again? ;)

Anon, not necessarily, you know. I can understand totally how interesting a 5-hour surgery can be, even though I can't understand even a bit of it.
And here, I am admitting I am clueless about cricket - and asking you to explain!

Anonymous said...

Hmmm...the game is roughly around 8 hrs, if u include the lunch brk. So the second innings (played by the other team) doesn't double the time.

And regarding our saviour Lord FSM....




Anonymous said...

I am with you in that minority and believe it or not, for the exactly same reasons. "Time". Some people have on schedule to "watch" a game for whole of saturday - that priceless saturday which is one of just 104 weekend off we get in a year.

But whats more a waste of time than watching is discussing about it. Hours are spent analysing the results even after the match by the common man which will result in nothing.

Once Bangalore times carried half a page article about an arranged debate by college people as to who should have been picked and who should have been dropped for the team. Half a page! And today's youth talking on some decisions they dont even have control to change. And it does no good to people!

And I wrote a mail to editorial against such an exercise (dint know about bloggin then!), which got published :)

Many who know me recently dont believe that, once I was a hardcore cricket fan. Much like them. Had the stats at the tip of my tongue. Had opinions about every selection, about every change in bowler, opening combination. Used to follow other countries' matches too. Used to watch repeat telecast too.
Then it happened - heart break. When South Africa drew in that semis with Australia and failed to reach finals. This was the second time I really wished and wanted SA to win. Heart break resulted in an oath never to watch a match completely and thats maintained ever since.

There is another strong reason why I dont like to discuss cricket. Its because of the excessive exposure it gets in the media which has resulted in the negligence of so many other games. Negligence to so many other talented sport persons.

After that all I am interested is just the "results". Not to forget, I do enjoy India's victories. I do enjoy good cricket. I do enjoy good write ups and good commentary. Cricket is a good sport and there is beauty and talent in it. But do not expect me to remember who won in yesterday's match and who scored century a day before :)

PS: I guess this comment is not what you expect and I have no answer to your question :)

Anonymous said...


Let's take bowling for example. Cricket isn't just about bowling, batting and fielding anyway. But let's take bowling as an example..

To you and me, bowling is like throwing a stone at something. But bowling is an art. There are so many different things you can bowl for example - jaffa, spitrock, dosra, outswinger, inswinger, legbreak, offbreak, flipper, yorker, googly, offspin, legspin, leg cutter, offcutter, arm ball, beamer, drifter, floater, shooter, "donkey drop", zooter, .......

Just go to BBC sports site and try to understand how each of them are bowled. It is only the _very_ skilled that can do that. Calling this game boring/"waste of time" is ... well, I'm speechless.

That's why I compared it to surgeon's art. Cricket is NOT about winning or losing - if you thought it was just that. It is about so many things.. I know you will ask what are those things specifically. Instead of wasting mine and your time, I'll just grant for the moment that "you are (always) right about cricket". Happy ?

Anonymous said...


A time conscious guy spending 9 paragraphs on cricket ? :-)

The fact that we are all here blogging using papa's/mama's/corporate's money shouldn't be talking about wasting time and money ? Ever thought on that ? Want to have a discussion on that ?

Shruthi said...

Harsha, Oh thank you :)

RK, thanks a lot for sharing your thoughts. I am not looking for answers as such... I am looking for viewpoints, and a healthy discussion - and your comment is just perfect for that! And I agree with you completely about the endless discussions.

Anon, I am not that stupid to think that I am "always" right! I have my opinions and you have yours! I am not belittling cricket. The different kinds of balls that you have mentioned totally bowled me out. I confess I had no idea about them. And I know very well that there are hundreds of subtleties in the game which I don't know about, and might never know about. But that doesn't stop me from saying that the game takes too long! That is a fact, isn't it?
And it might not be about winning or losing - but don't tell me you would watch cricket if none of the matches had any result. The wait with bated breath to watch who wins - isn't that what makes a sport interesting?
And no, I am not asking you to explain further, since it is going to waste so much of your time, which you'd rather spend watching cricket ;)) [Ok, that was a joke, just in case]

Anonymous said...

NO ! A serious cricket student/lover watches the game for wonderful display of skills (if the players out there had the ability) - not for win or loss. cuz these skills are difficult to demonstrate and master; plain and simple. You have to try to learn them to believe.

I do NOT watch cricket as much as YOU probably do - not for the time reasons, but my daily routines are different (nah, I don't sit on the computer all 24 hours). For that matter, I do NOT even have a television at home. Most often the cricket criticizers are either too biased or downright ignorant.

Man, what am I trying to say here.. Let's not spend time trying to save the nation's time. Let's start the time saving effort individually amongst ourselves and by the time we are done (spending all our time productively), the nation would be done too. In other words, we will never done, and so will the nation.

Shruthi said...

Anon, Ok let me agree that it is almost an art. But all said and done, it is just a game. I am not trying to save the nation's time - there are a hundred other ways that we waste time - but I am just wondering what makes people give up so many things to spend entire days watching and discussing the game. And more importantly, whether it is worth it.

Viky said...

I'm seeing that by the time I write a comment of any considerable conviction value, the points are being mentioned by others.

For the sake of preventing redundancy, I will not comment on this. This will go as long as the "Open request to Bangalorean" post and people will start typing their fingers numb, but there will still be things to be told.

I just want to know what you think of GOLF???

Shruthi said...

Viky, And you have very cleverly refrained from mentioning your views on the subject ;)
Golf - I don't know much about the game, not enough to comment on it.

Shammi said...

Boy, am I ever in agreement with you! It's not just cricket, it's any sport, really. For years my brother and I fought over what to watch on TV - he'd want to see any sports channels even if the matches shown were from "adi kaalam" black-and-white first-ever cricket/football/golf/rugby/any damn sport telecasts. And I'd be willing to watch nearly anything else. You know what G B Shaw said about cricket - something like "11 fools watched by 11,000 fools" - only now I guess it's more like 11 billion fools! :)

Viky said...

I will leave you guessing it, Shru.

There is an interesting thing which comes out of your reply. You say you don't know the game enough to comment on it. From which I infer that you know cricket enough.

It is on this point that I can classify ALMOST all comments on this post (saving a quiet niche for my comments). Those who know the game and its nuances better than you, will obviously feel that your description of cricket and the time spent on it is nothing short of sacrilege.

Others who share your degree of knowledge of cricket OR are huge fans of other sports (contact or non-contact) OR are playing (or have a sibling who plays) some other game at any considerable level, are bound to feel that the attention given to cricket is more than necessary.

I am drawn to a comment which was on your post on Bismillah Khan, where some guy asks Ustad to teach him shehnai when he would come to India for six months. Ustad said - In six months, you won't even know how to hold a shehnai. Such was his knowledge on the subject.

Now, if you would say -What is listening to shehnai all about? It is but a pipe, it would not be fair to the art in the first place, right?

Anonymous said...

Hey, India won :D...(despite Brian Lara, let me add)!!!

Being a rabid cricket fan, I have to disagree, of course. And we no longer get to watch cricket (damn those waiting while loops and if conditions), have to be content with clicking Refresh on scoreboard-pages instead!

Dunno about waste-of-time..its about the sheer pleasure and adrenalin that you get when you watch a good match, or when you see Sachin on song, or when Warne conjures up one of his devious little deliveries..its just magic!!

Inder said...

hahah... here we go... to the never ending debate...

well, it is pretty simple. if we like something and are interested in it, it means a world to us. if not, it means nothing. some may not like cricket. some may dislike snooker, some may dislike all sports. some may dislike music, literature, art, science, ... that doesn't mean that what one dislikes is of no worth.

we watch, read, write, think and discuss about cricket because we are interested about it. 'worth', 'usefullness' - they are all realtive terms. what is worthy to one may not be the same to another. if we are not interested in a thing, it is better not to get into it. the 'interested' ones are not compelling the 'not interested' ones to understand and appreciate what they are interested in. so, i think it is not fair to criticize the followers/admirers of what we are interested in.

"11 fools watched by 11,000 fools". what the crap. may be he ws just joking. if mr. bernard shaw had really meant what he had said, that statement alone is enough to nullify every bit of respect i have towards him. how can one be so judgmental?

to me, cricket is like any other sport. and sport is like other things like art, literature, science, music, etc... :)

Supremus said...

Any sport and I mean any sport is the same. Either you are in it, or you are out of it - time is immaterial.

Anonymous said...

an one time comment I did to express my views. am time conscious but not so much that I dont converse/communicate with people. Infact, I spend too much time on mails/reading books :)
I can tell you that I am bloggin on my money :)
For you blogging might be waste of time and money and for me watching cricket might be that. Is that wrong different people enjoy different things. I watch movies over and over, very well knowing that I am wasting time and money. But thats something I enjoy doing, so I do. Is something wrong with me if I do not enjoy watching cricket. If I am different from many others?
What I basically meant was discussing result will not affect much, discussing the selection process does not change it!
After all, like beauty, "waste" is defined by beholders eyes [sic].
Anyways, India won today :) Cheers !

Sudhakar said...


I respect your view ,though I completely disagree with you (all the reasons are explained by many anons).

the example you have taken to conclude " the actual action in an 8-10 hour match happens for just 1 hour. Fancy that!" is absolutely ridiculous.. Rest everything is perfect .

Anonymous said...

Bernard shaw's comment draws me to this quote - If pigs can fly, this place would be an airport.

It is easy to come up with stupid quote -- is all I'm trying to say.

Anonymous said...

Anon :- My dear friend, you forgot to mention so many types of balls; I know you were only giving a sample. you missed "top spinner", "half tracker", "bouncer (perfume ball)", "full toss", "half volley", etc..

God only knows how many different types of cricket shots one can hit - Ask Dhoni (he sure has some 50+ strokes not listed in the books).

Anonymous said...

Shruthi: Highlights wud be the best form of Cricket for u.... (or rather anyone???). But live action is something u have to experience to appreciate.


Shark said...

Every sport is unique in it's own way.
Ok there is long jump, short put etc which just takes minutes to finish. But that's how "they" are played!
Cricket is different! Yes it's a long game.. and that's the beauty of it.
If one is not interested in a sport one is free to ignore it. No point in being amused by people who spend hours watching the game!

People have interests... some people enjoy doing somethings.. isn't that simple enough to comprehend?

I can sit on the banks of a pond and just watch the moon for hours... that's miserably boring for some people.. but I enjoy it.

It's the same way with cricket! If people who enjoy the game, understand the nuances of the game like to spend their time watching the game rather than going out what's wrong with that?

Cricket is just another sport and it's played in a certain way... if that interets you watch it.. else there are 100's of other sports which you can enjoy ;-) But that does not necessarily mean that cricket is boring.. It's just plain "you are not interested" :)

Anonymous said...

Since cricket is deemed to be too long, Twenty20 came about ...

Some reasons to watch cricket:
- Others (classmates, office-mates, relatives) talk a lot about it and to fit in you start watching and before you know it, you are bowled (over?).
- Men are supposedly born with sport- (and gadget-) loving genes.

BTW, unrelated to this but related to the previous blog on anons was there a double entendre in anony'mouses' / 'mice' to mean they are cowardly?? ;-)

Shruthi said...

Shyam, ha ha! And about all kinds of sports - I wouldn't mind giving up the TV remote for a couple of hours.. not for an entire day ;)

Viky, I do not claim to know cricket enough. But I do know that I know next to nothing about golf. Though I don't know much about cricket, I hear about it all day long, and if I switch on the television, I see something about it in half a dozen channels. It is very difficult not to get to know anything about it with it all around!
About the comparison to the Shehnai, I don't think it is an apt example. If the shehnai player played on TV all day, with ten breaks between each note, then I would have protested against that too ;) -- Well, I don't think I explained that too well, but you know what I mean. And yes, I do know what you mean, too ;)

Ranjit, Ah, see, here we have a reason, and a die-hard fan ;) Adrenalin while watching a good match, but when watching a not-so-good match, what drives you? ;))

Inder, very true. I hope I did not sound like I think that cricket is worthless, and I am not criticizing the fans either. I just wonder what is in this game that makes people want to watch it all day long, even though the bits of action are few and far between!
Some credit to GB Shaw, please! :) When he has quipped on subjects on which we agree with him, we praise him, otherwise, we look down upon him? ;)

Supremus, philosophy, huh? Perhaps you are right. But I wonde what makes a person like one sport and dislike another.

RK, "waste is in the eyes of the beholder".. heh heh ;) - That is very true, you know! ;)

Shruthi said...

Sudhakar, can you explain why the actual action in an 8-10 hour match happens for just 1 hour. Fancy that!" is absolutely ridiculous.." -- it makes perfect sense to me!

TOI rules, I guess both your comments are directed at other commenters.. so I will just say "hi" to you ;)

Shunti, Yeah highlights are great - only sixers and fours and wickets - perfect for me ;) And live action - in a stadium - I have experienced and enjoyed it, and have written about it here.

Shark, you have given me perhaps the best explanation - that of sitting on the bank of a pond and watching the moon for hours - I can totally understand, and relate to that.
Oh.. there is nothing wrong in watching the game for hours.. but at the cost of everything else - that is what irks me! For example, as much as I love watching the moon, I wouldn't do it all the time, you see - there is lot more to life. That's what I am trying to say!

N, your first reason was the very reason why I started taking an interest in cricket in the first place, coz everybody was talking about it and I was feeling left out. But the more I learnt, the more vociferous and interested the others grew - and I couldn't, or rather, did not have that much interest to keep up with it!
And about anonymice - heh heh - no no - I ain't no hinter ;) I put things across as they are!

Unknown said...


I dont say i'm for cricket or against it! I used to watch cricket before working. I dont know i used to do multitasking! watching cricket, readin a book when its boring or say, solving problems or puzzles. Once the match gets interesting, i used to watch it!

I enjoy watchin cricket but i am not able to now. I just go to some site which provides online scoreboards n just skim thru the scoreboard periodically if i feel my job is boring!

Anonymous said...

Loved the post as well as the comments.

Cricket, as we all know, was invented by the English, in England. England is a cold country. People were tired of remaining inside their homes and were waiting to come out into the sun to get tanned. Some went to the beach and after the game's invention in the 18th century, some went to the ground to watch the match, so that they could get baked in the mild sunshine, and enjoy a drink in the bright hot weather.

Even the men playing the game loved playing coz the weather was just fine for them to play.

And the economy was doing pretty well, so were the people. And they thought, playing a Cricket Test match was just fine enough. Remember, Test matches in those days were of 6 days duration with a 'Rest day' in the middle. All this suited perfectly for the people of England.

Unfortunately, India was under British rule. Cricket was introduced in India by them. And even after they left, what remained was the English language and the game of Cricket. The game is ill suited for the extreme temperatures in India. And of course, we people love to simply sit and enjoy life, which is why we love Cricket, doing post-mortems of the matches played in 1985 Benson-Hedges cup, talking of the SIX that Miandad hit off Chetan Sharma, .....

Anonymous said...


I enjoying watching cricket for the following reasons:

- For all the cricket statitics it throws at me,
- For the various expert (and few not-so-expert) commentators' views, reviews, siddhuisms, jeffery-isms, etc
- For the adrenalin rush when a tight match is going on
- To study and understand the various strategies that are used, should be used, should not be used
- To observe the players' pshyche, their determination, courage and all
- To predict the outcome of each player's or captain's or umpire's actions
- For the fact that I love cricket controversies :-)
- and lots more.

The 1hr or so of bowling is just part of all these ;-)

Yes, we do watch a full one-day match sometimes, but usually if its an interesting one!

But yes, you have a point that people shouldn't 'waste' their time, but that is if they don't understand it and have better things to do :-)

I am yet to meet a person who watches all matches, including test matches for all five days!

Bottom line, its an individual's taste and he/she may not understand another person's likes/dislikes.
I have just tried to answer your Q, 'whats watching cricket all about?' and nothing more. :-)


Anonymous said...

hey hey hey.
Thats the beauty of the game dear lady.
I do agree it takes lof of your time but thats worth it. :)

I can understand what you dont like about cricket.
This post reminds me of an addvertisements. Probably of a Beer Company which started promoting its brand using Mineral Water after the ban on adds for Alchohols.

This adds starts with a Couple Dining in a hotel. Suddenly Husband gets up and asks her wife that he will be back from he washroom. He comes back after sometime. And then Again after sometime he asks for the same thing, goes back and comes back after few seconds. This happens thrice when her wife gets suspcious. Then she goes after him just to find him enjoying a match of cricket with other people.
Thats so true.
We love Cricket.

PS: By the comments on your blog I gota confirm this thing that most of the girls think cricket is boring for 8 long hours. :)
Girls will be girls :)

Inder said...

of course. we can't accept whatever one says just because he is a genius in a particular field. can we? a statement made in public is bound to draw responses - positive or negative. mr shaw could have stayed within his limits by saying that he doesn't like cricket. when he branded those who play and watch cricket as fools, he clearly went beyond his limits. i wonder what his response would have been if someone had said him that writers in general and play-writers in particular are nothing more than worthless pathetic day-dreaming losers :P

Viky said...

Full confusion only :D

Tell me, as clearly as possible, what is it that you have against watching cricket?

Deepak said...

" So many beautiful moments overlooked!"

They don't come more beautiful than Warne's ball to Gatting or Laxman's double in kolkata, you know?

Nice post though. While I'll passionately defend cricket, I'll say the same things about golf that you say about cricket. I guess, as someone pointed out, blame it on ignorance.

Shruthi said...

Sandesh, I confess I have done that once - when a match was particularly interesting ;) (online scoreboard)

Bellur, wonderful analysis - I wonder if anything else needs to be said after this ;)

Chaitanya, thanks a ton :) I can understand those reasons perfectly ( I am not saying I would do the same, but I can completely understand why these reasons are valid).

Mukund, and needless to say, boys will be boys ;)

Inder, he would have had a fantastic witty reply to that too!

Viky, the main thing is that it takes too long. That much time once in a while is totally understandable, but regularly - it worries me. I know what you will say - let people do what they like best - but what to do - we are like this only.

Deppe, ;)) Maybe I should say "other beautiful moments in life?" ;)

Viky said...

See, the game is such. What can you do about it?

Haven't you met enough people who ask you "How can you read such fat books? And that too not once in a while, but regularly. I could never read so much. I read only comics. Or I watch the movie, when they make one."

Get my point? You do it, because you enjoy it. You know the pleasures which are hidden in curling up in a corner with a book in hand. Similarly, those who are well-versed in the game wait 8 hours to watch that one ball that pitched in front of one wicket, but uprooted the other.

What would you reply if someone comes to you and says "You always keep reading such fat books. Tinkle Digest is ok, I can finish it while waiting for a bus, but Bill Bryson? Harry Potter?"

"People spend two-three days reading the same book!! And there are no illustrations either. Fancy that!!"

"Reading books - What is it all about, really?"

You cannot explain the joy you find in reading books, can you? Because you love doing it, and given a good book, you will procrastinate things that can wait (like cooking, for example. ;) Ok, don't kill me for this). Similarly, those who love cricket will stop doing all that can wait, and sit and just watch.

You can say how men will be men, and keep chewing this gum in other fora, seeking your answer to what watching cricket really is, and the men here will go home wondering how women will never understand cricket.

Viky said...

And in line with the mood, let me put this here. I'm sure you will enjoy this.

I asked him what was wrong - he said, "Nothing". I asked him if it was my fault that he was upset. He said it had nothing to do with me and not to worry. On the way home, I told him that I loved him, but he simply smiled and kept driving.

I can't explain his behavior; I don't know why he didn't say, "I love you too". When we got home, I felt as if I had lost him, as if he wanted nothing to do with me anymore. He just sat there and watched TV; he seemed distant and absent.

Finally, I decided to go to bed. About 10 minutes later he came to bed. I decided that I could not take it anymore, so I decided to confront him with the situation but he had fallen asleep.

Today India lost the cricket match again. DAMN IT.

Anonymous said...

More than the game itself, watching a cricket match offers the common (wo)man hours of release from the pressures and tension of the daily life. In a country like India, where the entire population is centred on one thing, rooting for one team, the feeling can be quite exhilerating. So I dont think it's so much about the game itself, it's about what the game means to people - from "timepass" to national pride.

Shark said...

For example, as much as I love watching the moon, I wouldn't do it all the time, you see - there is lot more to life. That's what I am trying to say!

For people who love the game.. CRICKET IS LIFE! ;-)))

Anonymous said...

A not-so good match...is there such a thing?!!!

Yeah, if you mean the Bangladesh vs. Zimbabwe kinds, yeah those I am sure nobody (not even those countrymen) watch!

Shruthi said...

Viky, point taken. I understand perfectly :)

Cellphone maja, that makes a lot of sense! Spot-on analysis, I must say!

Shark, Ahhhh I see ;)

Ranjit, heh heh ;) you can't bet on that, I am sure! ;)

Anonymous said...

Viky: Well said. Here is my virtual online gift to you (if you had not watched this already).


Viky said...

Its a pity the link doesn't open from office, Anon at 1.45. Oh yes, Shru was right. Will all Anons name themselves. Saying Anon at 1.45 feels like I'm Chandler, talking to a door. "What would you know? You understand only the 'knock-knock' jokes"

Anonymous said...

THat has some of the best balls ever bowled in the history of the game ! Whenever you could get to watch those - Takes just a couple of minutes for the video to finish.

Mysorean said...


Since cricket speaks to almost everyone in the Indian population except a few like you, the BCCI (Board for Cricket Control in India in case you thought it was a waste of time to know the expansion because the same thing can be conveyed in a split second using an acronym) has decided to support and encourage a shorter version of the game called Twenty20. That should save some time for the people who waste the entire day watching an ODI(One Day International, sorry for the inefficient usage of time)! Hope you find that there's something in it atleast. Really!

Shruthi said...

Anon, just to clarify, when they show a series of balls, and fours and sixers, I really enjoy watching. I even watch with my mouth open. Soooo can I check out the video too, please? ;)

Viky, Ha ha!! That's a good one ;) don't remember watching that scene, though!

Adi, I hope so too.. I don't want to be the odd one out all the time ;)

Viky said...

Shru: I don't know which season it was. But it was on TV a few months back, and I remember literally ROTFLing at it.

Esp. because I was dishing out the "Knock Knock" jokes to all and sundry at that point of time. :D

Viky said...

Shru: It's season 9. Monica says another guy at her workplace is a funny guy, so Chandler gets all worked up and begins to make fun of each and everything there is - the couch, the door and everything.

So he goes to the door, and cracks a joke, and when it doesn't laugh back, he says "Yeah, what would you know? You understand only the 'knock knock' jokes."

Anonymous said...

Hmmmmm .... come to think of it, wasn't televised sport the forerunner of today's hugely popular Reality Shows ?

Agreed about loss of productivity, but the passion is fulfilled. It is amazing that it gives every viewer a chance to opinionate and that may be a great social normaliser.

Is there more to cricket, socially, than the game and passion and the statistics ?


Anonymous said...

I am going to send a link to this post to my husband - he is a compulsive cricket fan, and has always wondered why I don't like cricket. I am sure I would never have been able to put it in better words :).

Pradeep Nair said...

I was so mad about cricket in school. One of my English teachers was partly responsible. To me cricket and English went together.

This teacher in his English classes introduced us to many well-known cricket writers and the prose they used. Cricket is one game which has a huge amount of English literature associated with it. CLR James is one, EW Swanton is another... I think most of English literature, be it of any period, has profuse references to cricket....

That's how my interest in the game began. And, I discovered it is a game like chess... wherein lot of thought and deft movements and strategies come into play... It's I guess much more than a bowler bowling and batsman hitting and a few fielders chasing the ball...

I was addicted to the game... played, umpired, coached...

The betting controversy was a big blow... My interest since then has never been as intense as it once was.

I will never attack you for your views on cricket... for it is your prerogative to hate it as much as it is mine to love it.

Good post...

AMODINI said...

I totally agree - what an absolute waste of time ! One dayers I can still countenance, but those unending 4-5 day matches . . . And, to top it off, they sometimes end in a draw.

anumita said...

Cricket in India is a popular religion just like baseball in the US. Anything that gives you pleasure, affects you so deeply, is never a waste of time... whatever it is.
There is no set rule or condition about the way one spends his or her time, in life. But it's the only thing that's entirely our own, to do with it, as we please. So what's considered waste for one could be a irreplacable treasure for another :)

Anonymous said...

Anumita: great comments :)

Silkboard said...

Waste of time, yes. But if masses want to, whats the problem. we should be allowed to do what we love to do. Watch moveis, blog, chatter endlessly in canteens, sleep for 10 hours each day etc etc.

But why waste time 'only' on cricket? If some of the time could be used for another sport as well - would be better, you know, some more choice on what to 'waste time on'. This line of criticism is a valid one.

Vijay said...

The 10 second calculation is wrong Shruthi. For you have only taken the bowlers' standpoint and not that of the batsmen. When the bowler does all the action(s) of rubbing and licking (no pun intended :)) and then delivers the ball, the 10 second duration is already over. And now, one has to take into account the batsman's capabilities. And believe me, when you have just half a second or less to react when bowlers at the pace of a Bond or Lee bowl, you need reflexes, and sharp ones at that. And besides, fielding might seem boring, if it is a test match. But in one dayers, it is an integral part of the sport. So, all put together the mathematics would be more like -
1. 10 seconds for bowler to successfully deliver the ball
2. 10 seconds for the bowler to retrieve the ball and bowl again(if the batsman hasn't scored runs off it)
3. And 60 seconds or more if it is a single,double or 4 runs or 6 runs

Taking these calculations into view, and assuming there are 20 boundaries, 80 singles and 20 2's in one innings, it comes to

20*60 = 1200 seconds
80*60 = 4800 seconds
20*60 = 1200 seconds
180*15 = 2700 (average for dot balls)

That sums it up to - 9900 seconds which is easily more than an hour and nearly 3 hours !!. And this mind you, is for one inning. So all put together it is 6 hours of complete action. Agreed that there can be games where innings can be much shorter due to the inability of certain teams. In such cases, this duration will automatically come down !

I totally understand what you meant when you said, it gets to be dragging at times. But I would sincerely wish you watch the full 8 hour Australia V/S South Africa match played at the Wanderers where South Africa chased down 434 and overhauled it on the same day. That is what a cricket match can be. True, that with a game featuring Australia, the game is almost always a forgone conclusion. But then, that's what the game is all about. And since Indian cricket still has only 8 other major nations to contend with, it continues to get exclusive rights, so to speak, from the Indian public. While Indian hockey, is getting battered, because other teams have progressed or emerged(Spain,England for example).

Once Indian sports matures, love for cricket will come down, which is what any Indian Sport lover wants. An equal digest of all sports from India.

Remember, cricket is the only game, where the captain has to marshall the resources on the field all by himself. No other sport has this kind of pressure or tactical requirement. So that needs some doing. Spare a thought for those who have led cricket teams especially the captains from India and Pakistan, and the kind of pressure they must have been under.

After having written the comment here, I realise that, it is long enough to qualify as a post on my blog actually :) But, good that you have brought out this debate in blogosphere :)

Unknown said...

hey! you busy?? no posts since a week!!???

Al Nims Media said...

Watch soccer, hockey, tennis instead. Have fun, save time!

Anu said...

thanks for the good post Shruthi.. You know what I did.. Sent the link to your post to my husband and to all my friends who are really crazy about cricket.. ;)

anandanubhava said...

All i can say is, india is a country wher ppl love to slack, from work !! take umpteen breaks, leave etc & have no where to go.. so what do they do? watch tv - cricket all day. Needs no brain power or talent to b glued to the tv does it!
besides, in all sports tht many many countries play (like, football, swimming, track n field, tennis, etc) india is so down below, like the depths of the pacific drop.
So, what do we do? Idolate cricket.. which only a handful of countries play!
its like the US, which conducts baseball INTERNATNL tournaments.. when only it plays tht sport :-).. of course, they excell in lots of other sports too.
so, maybe cricket DOES need lot of skill.. am sure it does. But, its too long, wastes too many ppls time.. brings country to stand still.

Shruthi said...

Viky, Heh heh... good one.. Chandler has some of the best lines among the six!

GG, "social normaliser" - that speaks volumes!

Emma, heh heh.. I am sure he dissed the post wholeheartedly ;) btw, now you know why I wrote this ;)

Pradeep, interesting :) Sad about how the betting controversy let down lots of people... but the interest did not really wane, did it! And correction... I don't "hate" cricket.. I just don't understand what all the fuss is about, that is all :)

Amodini, yeah.. that is one thing I still cannot understand!

Anumita, absolutely! :) That is the very reason I wanted to know what it was that makes this such a passion for some. I would say the same about, say, WWF wrestling..., for example.

TOI rules, for once, I agree with you.. heh heh ;)

Silkboard, yeah, that is one of my all time grouches!

Vijay, thanks for the detailed explanation. It is definitely worth being a post in itself! Ok, I will give you credit for that. Maybe the actual action takes longer than I can make out. Still the non action time is too long ;)) OK OK got your point! ;) And yes, I did watch that match you mention.. the whole of it actually.. for the simple reason that there was continuous action in that! Such games I like!
Your comment about captains - though I cannot understand totally how much lies upon the shoulders of the captain, I think I know what you are talking about. Hadn't thought of it that way.
I only wish, like you say, other games were given as much importance. If not anything else, we would have a wider choice! And I don't think, even if that happens, interest in cricket would come down. And no loss, really, as long as other games are given equal importance.

Sandesh, yeah.. slightly. Will be back in a little while :)

Kishor, Heh heh.. yes!

Anurama, err.. I hope nobody sent you back mails cursing this post ;)

Anand, perfectly put! ;) ;)

Anonymous said...

aayo yaar khele cricket,
dudh pike khelo yaar,

aay naya season suhana,
khele hum milkar yee khel,

Bowling bhi oor karnge batting,
siti buss tum bajana,

century hoo yaa half century,
karna hai ball ko boundry paar,

aayo yaar khele cricket,
dudh pike khelo yaar,

ground hoo yaa hoo gali,
banani hai hame team nai,

Please formulate the lyrics for this song yourselves

Anonymous said...

Nobody says a word to Cricket. Okay?

Anonymous said...

well said shruthi. Cricket fans talking about a "tight game" have probably never witnessed the atmosphere when Nadal and Federer just walk into the court, or when schumacher takes position.

Im (and nobody for that matter) is belittling cricket...but whe you talk about "moments", put into perspective any moment in cricket with the tire-bursting incident that happened in Schumacher's last race....that tore the heart out of me.

If cricket had Don Bradman, football had Pele, F1 had schumacher, golf has Tiger Woods...basketball had Jordan.

And then, you have people like Arthur Freidenrich(how many know of him) who's dedication to their game and what they have given is unsurpassed in cricket. WIthout him, there would not have been any Pele or Ronaldo.....

On the other hand, 8-10 hrs is too much for me to spend on watching commercials, when I derive enough satisfaction out of watching a keenly contested football or tennis match.


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Anonymous said...

Well, I am from the majority group!
Lets start with your assumptions that there is only 1 eventful and interesting hour in the game. Now, what exactly is "interesting"? Does it mean that hitting a four or falling of a wicket is interesting? What about 2 overs of relentless pressure which "yielded" that wicket? What about the excitement when the ball whizzes past the off stump and misses kissing the bat? What about the talk a batsman has with himself that changes the game? What about the change in field placement that does the trick?

Honestly, I am not blaming you! Its just that you dont love the game. If you ask me about golf, I would react just like you. But, there are thousands who love golf. What about those millions of housewives who watch tens of soap operas daily? What about those software engineers who spend more than 4 hours on hosur road and listen to the audio crap called FM radio?

As I write this, I remember a Bertrand Russell quote - "The time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time"!

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