Social Media And Cricket




The advent of internet and web media has revolutionized every field, every aspect of life. The knowledge process and outlook of the present generation has been much advanced than the predecessors. With the world at the finger tips through the internet, one is provided a lot of avenues to explore in every walk of life he chooses. Earlier generation which gathered its knowledge through books, is now fast forwarded by the present one who have everything at their doorstep through the boom of internet.

Social Media and Cricket

Social Media and Cricket

Cricket, our game of interest and passion is no exception too. In the good olden days of pre 1970s, radios and newspapers formed the basic source of knowledge regarding the day to day happenings. With the newer media in name of televisions and live telecasting of cricket matches, the fans awareness of the game increased leaps and bounds. The days before internet and websites made their entry, cricket knowledge was based on the televisions and visual communication along with the newspapers and sports magazines. Towards the end of the millennium, with the advent of internet, the cricketing websites made their debut and started live coverage of matches. Fans no more had to depend on television for updating of the cricket events. In such scenarios, the interaction on cricket was restricted to the discussions among the friends and known.

Following the heat of internet into the media and advent of cricket websites, the social media which was introduced for the socialization of people made its appearance into the life of fans. The websites like Yahoo and MSN messengers earlier were however more specific among the known contacts and discussions were mostly limited to a handful of people. Later developments like Orkut, Facebook and Twitter has been a revelation with respect to the cricketing interactions.

While Orkut provided a simple version of discussions, Facebook and its forums became the hub of the fans. Here the interaction grew beyond imagination with people pouring in from every part of the globe. The earlier generation were restricted to discussion among themselves, present generation is able to widen its knowledge by the discussions with a larger circle. One also gets to know about the opinion of people in different cultures and with various traditions.

Those days the knowledge of a fan on Gary Sobers or Vivan Richards is much lesser compared to what the present set of active fans know on a Ricky Ponting or a Sachin Tendulkar. It has a lot of advantages where a fan gets to respect the opinion on other people. Newer opinions are formed and the outlook of the game widens considerably. Wisden used to be the almanac on cricketing matters and still continues to be so. But today the websites provide data on cricketing achievements at the click of the key unlike the browising of pages through a book.

Discussions in online forums have also helped fans to have a wider perspective of knowledge on the domestic and unknown players. Earlier, unless one happens to be an avid follower and takes his time to read on the domestic matches of other countries, he will not be certainly equipped with the adequate knowledge.

Another aspect of these online discussions has been the multitude of views a fan is able to get. With a newspaper article, the opinion is basically restricted to the author’s view on the particular match or player. But now with these forums, one gets to know the widened views among the fans from different cricketing countries. The analysis and dissemination of the finer nuances of the game by the highly knowledgeable persons, the basic opinions on a player tends to get altered.

Another interesting aspect of these online forums is the friendship that evolves with the likeminded people. From a personal point of view, I can say with assurance that few of my online friends have helped me a lot in changing my outlook of the game. Respected senior and promising youngsters have a scope of interaction which is likely to benefit both the parties. The current trend of sharing the knowledge and data has taken the fans to the next level in cricket watching without doubt. Gone are those days when pen pals alone formed a way of having international friendship. Now an Indian, Australian, Pakistani and English fans get to share their views not just on cricket but in other aspects too. The online friendship can help a person to widen his sphere of activity and incorporate a better ability into his activities.

However as every dog has its tail, one major disadvantage of these discussions are the banters which can sometime lead to unwanted fights with people whom you do not even know in real. This has led to some uncomfortable environments in the forums through those arguments. Another aspect is the display of too much of jingoism by people which can be irritating. Here again a fan (normal fan rather than the true lover of the game) is forced to form opinion against a player or a team, developing a sense of hatred. In days without those discussions such things are less likely to happen. Too much of jingoism and display of hatred can lead to people avoiding the fan who may have been knowledgeable otherwise

Twitters have been a different kind of environment from Facebook wherein a fan is able to discuss with the players too. The updates by players in their twitter pages provide us, the fans a peek into their life which was earlier impossible. The trending by those in hot seat also provides us the information much earlier than we can get through websites or newspapers. Also are the possibilities of discussing the game with reputed personalities like David Lloyd or Harsha Bhogle has been made possible by this fabulous trending. This is something that can be unthought-of before social media entered.

Concluding, one cannot deny the fact that social media has improved the knowledge of the game in the fans. It has helped us to get a wider angle look into the picture which was earlier left to the authors. It has helped people to get good friendships and increased the awareness not just on cricket but in other aspects too. If the good sense can prevail among the people and better environments can be there than what we have today, it is going to help us in a long way to enjoy the game. So let us thanks people such as Orkut Buyukkokten and Mark Zuckerburg and Evan Williams, Biz Stone, Jack Dorsey their likes for providing us this space. Personally I would like to thank every great mind that helped me in understanding the game better.

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Author:

Dr.Arvind Subramanian is a Dental Surgeon from Chennai, India. A native of Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu he, like most other youngsters of India, he is a fanatic fan of Tendulkar and a hardcore Cricket buff. He has a great interest for Writing and writes on various subjects from Medicine to Arts and Culture to Cricket. He is also a good classical dancer and performs on various Sabhas and Art Centres often and is also an orator He is about to pursue his higher studies in his field. You can find him in Facebook here: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1409700718

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