What is Cricket ?

SHORT TAKES

                                                      Cricket vs. Cricket

Cricket in India has turned out to be so much fun, more off the field lately than on.

It seems only yesterday when we were congratulating ourselves that under the Srinivasan period Indian cricket had become an adult finally and had joined the global capitalism of cricket. The post-globalisation generation in india, now the prime mover of all markets, does not even know of the pre- Wadekar/Gavaskar era of cricket feudalism, except by reading books – if it reads books at all. Even the ICC of the firangis had to bow to the suzerainty of BCCI. India of the middling classes had found something to be proud of at last. A seat in the UN Security Council seemed imminent.

BCCI

But the era was short, like that of Louise XVI. From the womb of that pride and prejudice was born the Indian Premier League, led by Lalit Modi. And everything changed. Beyond the imagination of everyone. Today the world acknowledges that it changed the genes of Indian and world cricket. World cricket has found its Kumbh Mela through IPL.

Money, sleaze, betting, fixing, girls, booze, drugs were always there – even in the Wadekar era. But today`s scale and splendor is something else. Moreover the latest exposes on the shenanigans of Srinivasan and Lalit Modi have taken us by a delirious storm. And the exposes are not over yet, not by a long chalk. Much fun has been unleashed!

In retrospect Srinivasan will come to be seen as Gorbachov to Lalit Modi as Yeltsin – two stages in the capitalist liberation of Indian cricket.  IPL

And , as we know, there are capitalisms and capitalisms. Srinivasan period`s capitalism was brahminical, constipated, exclusive, furtive, and corrupt. Post Lalit Modi, the djinn is out, and India`s cricket capitalism has become OBC, exuberant, inclusive, flamboyant, and corrupt. More fun, more animal spirits, any day.

Oddly though, that seat in Security Council seems less imminent.

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