India’s Gambhir Issue




India's Gambhir Issue

India's Gambhir Issue

2G radiation has hit Indian cricket and before you say “I told you so” let me clarify it has got nothing to do with Sharad Pawar. The 2G in this case, Gautam Gambhir whose presence in the qualifier against Mumbai Indians while not being 100 per cent fit, has led to a furious `club vs country’ battle on the airwaves. Angry television anchors have decided that this is THE most important issue facing the country today. After all, India travels to the West Indies soon after the IPL, where its captain, a gentleman called Darren Sammy has said, the Windies will defeat India.

Damn.

Those who stand accused include KKR, SRK, GG, BCCI, IPL. How come Gauti was allowed to play and aggravate his injury ahead of the `crucial’ tour to the West Indies is the question. Didn’t he remember he is the captain for the one-day tour? Did KKR force IPL 4’s most expensive player at $ 2.4 million to play the crucial match? Did the BCCI look the other way? Can a club game be deemed more important than an India game? And lastly, was SRK so adamant about KKR getting into the final so that he could show Ganguly his place and his 6 pack (or is it 8-pack?) by taking off his shirt at Chennai?

The country deserves to know.

I find this entire discussion nauseating. Subjects for discussions created and thrown at the viewer. If this 45-day jamboree of pyjama cricket is only a `club’ affair, why have the TV channels been going overboard creating special shows for the IPL with retired cricketers and models discussing the Gayle storms and Malinga slingers daily. The other day, I even heard someone mentioning on TV that IPL 4 has been a bore; no slapgates of the Bhajji-Sreesanth variety.

And say, Gambhir did not carry an injury but got hit during the match. Would he still be hanged for being `careless’ while batting? What is the guarantee that the final of the IPL will not see a casualty?

When IPL began in 2008, it ushered in an element of pop patriotism. Of cricket fans rooting for their respective city teams. Hyderabad discovered fake love for Gilchrist and Punjab for Brett Lee. The same fans were nowhere on the scene when their Mumbai played against Tamilnadu in the Ranji Trophy. Or Karnataka versus Bengal. The Badrinaths, Ashwins and Pathans who play to packed houses in the IPL perform before empty stands in the premier domestic championship. No TV station evinces interest in which cricketer plays a Ranji semi-final, carrying an injury.

The fact of the matter is that a super greedy BCCI is out to kill the game by pushing cricketers beyond a limit. Cricketers have been reduced to robots and they cannot complain because they are being paid to use their bodies. To run, to dive, to cheer.

And if the Windies tour is indeed so crucial, the same judges at 9 pm should haul MSD, SRT and ZK also for choosing to skip the tour. And ask if they shouldn’t have skipped their duty with CSK, MI and RCB respectively to prepare to travel to Port of Spain.

The media is barking up the wrong tree. If it is so concerned about cricket and cricketers and Indian pride, mount pressure through a campaign for lesser matches and more rest for the players. This trend of `Did Gambhir do the right thing by playing the match’? SMS Yes or NO to xxxxx’ is more of a Gambhir samasya for Indian journalism.

Courtesy: The South Reports

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T S Sudhir

Author:

T S Sudhir is Executive Editor with `The South Reports'. Earlier, he was Editor (South) with NDTV from 1995-2011.

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