OPINION

Cricket Vandalism: A Case for Cricke(rio)t Insurance

November 30, 2006
GV Krishnan

I am not quite sure what Mohammad Kaif did or didn't do that set a bunch hoodlums on vandalizing the cricketer's house in Allahabad. The drubbing Team India got in the South Africa tour triggered street protests and burning of effigy of our players and the coach. Incidence of violence and public disorder in the wake of every other match India plays and the declining performance curve of Indian cricket make good business sense for someone to float, what I would term, 'cricke(rio)t' insurance scheme, as an investment against damage caused to property by cricket vandalism.

As a nation of cricketing nuts we tend to express emotions in quite unpredictable ways. At times, even celebrations of an India win could turn bizarre, as it happened in 2003. In the wake of an India win over Pakistan at Johannesburg, over three years back, the celebration fireworks and victory processions taken out by residents in many towns gave way to provocative slogan-shouting against Muslims in Bangalore, mob attacks on shops and looting at Wadi area in Vadodara, cricket-triggered communal clashes and police firing in Ahmedabad; and cross-border stone-throwing between crowds that had gathered on either side to witness the retreat ceremony staged by the BSF and Pakistani Rangers at the Hussainiwala border post.

Folks elsewhere in the world might find our ways of celebrating victory somewhat disconcerting. But they can't be expected to understand, much less appreciate, how obsessed we are with cricket and how enduring is our hostility towards Pakistan. I heard a politician, Ambika Soni, I guess, telling Rajdeep Sardesai, then with on Star TV, that India was proud to have cricket as a national pastime.

Whenever a crucial match is played by India the entire country gets into a trance and our perspectives can get distorted at such times. This is reflected in a Bollywood movie - Stumped - set during the 1999 World Cup. Raveena Tandon plays the wife of an army officer posted on the Kargil front. Raveena lives in an urban neighborhood where the residents are nuts about cricket. This could be anywhere in India. On the day she receives news that her husband is reported missing in action and presumed dead her neighborhood is in celebration, of India's six-wicket win over Pakistan.

Retired Times of India correspondent, based in Mysore.; hosts MysoreBlogPark, a parking lot for a bunch of Mysore-connected bloggers; writes a Monday column for www.zine5.com
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Cricket Vandalism: A Case for Cricke(rio)t Insurance

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Author: GV Krishnan

 

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