November 20, 2015 Srinivas Nyapathy Writes
The ALLSTARS T20 Series that concluded recently in USA was interesting to watch . It was more like those veteran Tennis matches, we get to see ffrom time to time. It is very nostalgic and exciting to see our old Tennis stars weilding racquets all over again and smashing the ball. Though there’s hardly any seriousness in these exhibition tennis matches, its surely pure fun.
I first thought, ALLSTARS T20 series is also something similar and is being played for some Cause/ Charity. But was surprised to read Sachin Tendulkar saying that he’s picking up the bat again to globalise cricket through ALLSTARS CRICKET T20 Series. I thought, If it was “”Cricket for Veterans”” that he wants to promote, it might work but, regular Cricket, No.
To popularise present day Indian Cinema/ Bollywood, you do not tour the World with Raj Kapoor’s B & W Hits of the 60s. If you do, its not Indian Cinema/ Bollywood of today that you are trying to globalise or popularise. You will be giving the global crowds a wrong picture. That’s precisely what ALLSTARS T20 Series is doing by promoting “Old” Stars Cricket as present day International Cricket. This is where ALLSTARS T20 Series fails, if their intention is to globalise Cricket.
If really globalisation is their intention, Sachin and Warne should select teams from the top international stars playing cricket actively now, to showcase Cricket globally. A B De Villiers, Virat Kohli, Steve Smith, Miller, McCullum, Stuart Broad, Dale Steyn, Bolt, Chris Gayle and the likes. ..But they chose what is similar to the Raj Kapoor example, by taking old “hits”.
If this present concept of ALLSTARS T20 Series is used to promote Cricket globally, its a very sad way to do it. Cricket deserves something better than an “OLD”STARS T20 Circus to promote it globally.
Ideally players get into their national sides in their 20s. To play at the International level, you need to be agile, raring to go..but these ALLSTARS matches, comprised players who have all retired, most of them years ago, 29 players in all, averaging about 43 years of age. Cricket is a lot about strength and stamina. That has not come though at all in this concept of globalizing Cricket. For the global audience, to whom this series is supposed to introduce Cricket, the sport being played by aged people seems to convey that Cricket is for people in their 40s.
If i want to introduce my kids to football in 2015, I will travel miles to show them Messi playing football, not an aged Pele. With ALLSTARS T20 Series, you get Pele , not Messi.
Trying to popularise the game globally, taking the game to a completely new audience, is no laughing matter. But there was hardly any seriousness on some faces in this series. Do you expect the American/global crowds to take this promotonal series seriously, when they see a batsman singing Bollywood songs loudly over the wireless mic, while facing upto a fast bowler. Yes, we all know Viru used to hum songs while batting, but, to do it when he is presenting the sport globally, seemed shocking. While playing regular matches may be Viru used to hum to himself, to calm his nerves. Though we read about it later, We never ever really heard him singing. But now, in this Series, to see him and hear him singing loudly over the mic while facing a fast bowler, seemed very silly. It makes a mockery of someone’s intentions, to globalise the game.
Is the ALLSTARS T20 Series trying to convey globally that this is the seriousness with which cricket is being played World over presently ?
Is this the Circus they want to showcase as “International Cricket”, globally ?
Oh please, someone stop them.
Cricket is a gentleman’s game. Of strategy, skill, endurance, teamwork and glorious uncertainities. Its much more than just a duel between a 5.50 Oz ball and a piece of Willow. We should not forget the fervour with which the game is followed by fans worldwide. It’s a Religion in the Subcontinent, that has a GOD, who is worshipped worldwide.
Seriousness, intensity, youthful agility, that’s so evident in present day World Cricket should come through in the ALLSTARS T20 Series, to make Cricket popular globally and to showcase the game in the right way.
I feel, these Stars should play ALLSTARS T20 Series just to enjoy and entertain the fans. But If they still tour the World (with the same concept), in the name of globalising the game, they are insulting the way International cricket is played today.