Perhaps it is the end of cricket as I knew it. The tenuous boundary between sports and entertainment has blurred to a greater extent again. Yesterday, unbelievingly, I watched the commentator speaking to the umpire on the field and even asking him why he disqualified a bowler as he bowled above the waist. The umpire seemed upbeat, jaunty and a bit of a show off, smiling toothily and all. And in snatches I could see the man who set off these trends – yes the great man who put IPL together – signing autographs. As if he is a great star himself, some gall this.
When the bowler was disqualified he came to the umpire and had an argument and on national television, watched by 30 million people, (I could hear clearly) he said the word, "F***."
When I say end of sports, I mean an activity that tested strength, endurance, stamina and a state of mind which can take defeat with the firm resolve to do better next time. Alas, alack, that is no more. If you want to see this activity you will have to order a CD or a video cassette (those were the days) and sit and watch graceful men playing a game with concentration and dedication.
I guess Cricket will become something like World Wrestling Federation (WWF) where players grab the mike and try to shout each other down and beat each other with chairs and whatever. Only in cricket it will be bats and stumps that will be used. So be ready to see a Dheerendra a.k.a. Undertaker and a Stone Cold Man. Extreme entertainment. Some prognosis of it is already happening.