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Why I don’t watch the World Cup anymore. March 23, 2007

Posted by K in contemporary, Cricket.
  • Mandira Bedi
  • Mandira Bedi and Charu Sharma
  • ESPN STAR does not cover it
  • It’s become a circus.

       Ofcourse this is but a personally opinion, but the value of World Cup cricket seems to have been diluted with a slew of minnows entering the party. Ireland and Bangladesh(technically, less of a minnow than Ireland) may have beaten big teams, but I can’t see that as reason enough to persist with this throwing in of faccha teams at the World Cup!! Would it not be a better practice to have these teams play a calendar year, at the very minimum, of international matches against the big league before entering what is supposed to be the ultimate contest in cricket? I’m not into football, but from what I remember, they have qualifiers to determine which teams enter the world cup. I don’t know whether their qualifiers, like the cricket ones, pits minnows against minnows, or if the system is better.

  • One day cricket is becoming increasingly commercial and the spirit is being lost. I used to laugh at those who used to bemoan the ‘good old days’ when I was newly a cricket initiate during the 99 World Cup, but I now truly understand what they feel. I am an old school cricket fan. I make noises when things like Indoor cricket are discussed. I make noises when 20/20 becomes a regular feature rather than the occasional World XI vs Australia/West India/etc. I intensely dislike the masala-isation of cricket.

    I understand that the men who run cricket have a tough job on their hands. In today’s fast paced world, cricket will lose out to sports that require less time and patience, and they have to decide whether to sell cricket or themselves. ANDDD Going once..going twice…SOLD TO THE GENTLEMAN IN RED. Correct my auction(eering?) phraseology.



In other matters, the media coverage of Bob Woolmer’s death is shocking. Yesterday’s TOI, if I remember correctly, had a photo of his dead body on the cover page. Who does that?!!

   Poor Gil Woolmer is being hounded for comments. ‘Do you think this might be murder’. They fools! The woman just lost her husband! Can they not leave her alone?? Thank god nobody has asked her how she is feeling. Or how she felt when she came to know of his death. Or then again, I haven’t been watching TV. Maybe those gems have already been spouted.

 R.I.P common human decency, courtesy and fellow feeling.



1. Enit - March 23, 2007

reason no. 1- Mandira?!!! ahahahahahahahaha
Good one..
I agree.. Cricket has lost its magic.
I miss the good ol’ days.. even though i wasnt a die-hard fan..


2. PALLAVI - March 24, 2007


3. sporadicblogger - March 24, 2007

enit- heh yes. I want to cry every time I see that woman on my cricket screen :((

pallavi-I know. And I don’t care. 🙂

4. Aishwarya - March 24, 2007

About Mandira, I think she’s improved massively over the past couple of years. I’m not sure how much of the hatred of her is because she honestly doesn’t contribute to the show, or because an attractive female in interesting clothing (which is credited at the end of every extraaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa innings to satya paul) is just considered incapable of a contribution. I think it’s been made far too easy for us to hate her and I’m wondering if we’re unconsciously buying in to a lot of the ideas we would oppose if confronted directly with them.

As for Gil Woolmer, I remember during the Gujrat earthquake certain reporters shoving mics into the faces of shellshocked victims and asking them how they FELT.

I myself, of course, am supporting the WIndies. They are My People.

5. sporadicblogger - March 25, 2007

I know I react to M. Bedi because decked up men and women have no place in my cricket. I like it clear cut, to the point, and about the cricket and only the cricket. No Satya Pauls, no Sidhhus, no tarot etc.

6. sporadicblogger - March 25, 2007

Hoy, Aishwarya, could you elaborate on what exactly you mean by – “I think it’s been made far too easy for us to hate her and I’m wondering if we’re unconsciously buying in to a lot of the ideas we would oppose if confronted directly with them.”
Tell tell.

7. Aishwarya - March 26, 2007

This could probably be a whole post in itself.

But to start with – What was Mandira expected to wear when she started doing the show? tailored trousers and jackets with horrible shirts and ties like the rest of the (middle aged male) panelists? Saris and blouses were perfectly understandable. But immediately there was a whole media circus focussing on the cut of her blouses (and the fact that they OMG! had straps) and the assumption soon was that the interesting clothes were ALL that she could contribute.

The show hired her in the first place because she’s attractive and apparently men like to look at a token pretty girl while having Serious Sports Discussion. The show choose to advertise her designer while remaining silent on where the other panelists’ clothes come from.(Which is probably a good thing, because..shudder) Between the people who run the show (mostly male, I’m guessing) and the media and the audience’s expectations of Token Pretty Females, everything is in place for us to think of Mandira as a worthless bimbette whose presence only trivialises Serious Sports Discussion. Even the feminists must therefore hate her, because how are we going to get taken seriously with women like HER on tv? (rolleyes)

And what has she done in all of this? Worked really hard at improving her knowledge of the game so that now she’s actually able to contribute to the discussions intelligently (to my ears anyway, but I don’t pretend to be an expert) and yet somehow she is still seen as a symbol for All That Is Wrong with the game. There’s some serious sexism under all this.

8. Aishwarya - March 26, 2007

Siddhu, however, needs to be removed from TV(and, if posible, the known universe.)

9. sporadicblogger - March 26, 2007

The problem I have is that the bosses at SET MAX (or whatever the company is) decided that they needed a pretty face on their cricket panel. Not that they needed a woman, but that they needed a pretty face. The intention of placing Mandira Bedi there was to get a larger audience, one that would generally not watch cricket, glued to the tv.
I don’t think a majprity of the people have a problem with Mandira Bedi’s clothes per se; its the idea behind it that appals(sp?). Football, or atleast Indian football, has Mayanti Langer commentating. She doesn’t drape herself in drab clothes either, but what is obvious is that she knows her game and knew her game before she sat down in front of the camera. If you’re on a World up panel, you have no business not knowing the game. And it wasn’t just Bedi, she was better than the rest. Maria Goretti didn’t even know what a Leg Before was.
The Mandira Bedi phenomenon might not have been, had she been, and I insist on harping on this, on ESPN STAR. Similarly, Gautam Bhimani would have become a similar Phenomenon had he had the misfortune of being employed by the extremely unproffessional SET MAX people. Simply because professionalism is what ESPN STAR is built on.
Mandira Bedi is reinstated time and again on that screen to serve one purpose-to bring in the oomph factor(I insist in gagging here), and not a cricket factor. That is what gives cricket purists nightmares.
Another interesting offshoot of this masala-isation of cricket is these fair and lovely ads. Girl wants to be a comentator but oops! She is too dark to make cricket sense, so on goes fair and lovely, and she turns fair and lovely and Krishnamachari Srikkanth(another SET MAX panelist; note) can’t take his eyes off her. I can’t help feeling that this ad is somehow connected to the Bedi phenomenon; and phenomenon it is because DD tried replicating it. In fact, every channel(except ESPN STAR 😀 )tried replicating it.

10. kanishka - March 26, 2007

Siddhu is crazy. His jokes are banal or in bad taste or both.

I thank God ESPN-STAR chose to shut him up.

I sincerely hope everyone else does to.

Also, he killed a guy and got away with it. Eek, someone stop that madman.

11. sporadicblogger - March 26, 2007

Yes, I can’t believe he got away with murder. He doesnt even seem apologetic! Made a bleeping martyr of himself over the issue.

12. kanishka - March 30, 2007

heh “Wrathchild” could be about getting back at Sidhu in a demonstrably violent manner:

“Some say it doesnt matter, ain’t nothing going to alter
The course of my destination

You know I got to find, some serious piece of mind”

ha ha ha

caveat – my mom is not a queen; i see my dad everyday.

13. sporadicblogger - March 30, 2007

Hm again 😀 I did NOT get the above reference!

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