Mar 28, 2007

A Billion Blues

The media is now crying hoarse about the dismal performance of India's cricket team. All the while the media and the marketer's greedily loved hyping up the 'Blue Billion' (Pepsi's pet phrase), but all went in vain as the team lost twice and failed to make it to the next round (Bangladesh and Ireland are two notables who made it).

Infosys founder NRN advises the cricket establishment to follow processes and not mock it (referring to the massive political interferences plaguing selections and engagements). The system is so riveted by indiscipline, greed and corruption that it does not let good players emerge. Even the so called stars take it easy once they begin to enjoy power and money. Finally there are some calls for big and struggling stars like Sachin Tendulkar to retire. These stars are resting on past laurels and pulling along to keep their batting averages against minnows like Namibia, Kenya and Bermuda [see Shekhar Gupta's editorial in Indian Express and Ian Chappel's call to Sachin to retire]. Real performers like VVS Laxman who have won tough matches against strong teams have languished for not playing the political game.

This sorry state of cricket reflects that of sport in general in India (see this list of the Athens 2004 Olympics medals per million population). And believe me this cricket loss will simply pale in comparison to the performance India puts up in the upcoming 2008 Beijing Olympics. China will leverage the platform to the hilt showcasing its new wealth and the tens of medals it will win to proclaim its rise in the World. Don't be surprised if they even overtake America's medal tally. Our establishment will be happy if we bag a single medal (like in the 2004 Athens Olympics), or may be not even bother.

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