Monday, September 24, 2007

suck on this, boca-river

The biggest derby in the world is on tonight, and I can't believe I'm going to be watching it. I promised myself when I started watching football that I wouldn't take it too seriously, and it has helped enormously in my appreciation of the game. But football is just me poking fun at other people, right? Unfortunately it's impossible for me not to feel overwhelmed by the fact that a) cricket has changed, that b) we have truckwads of money to spend on it, and c) b) may have something to do with the fact that d) India and Pakistan are in the finals of a ginormous money-spinner of a tournament.

Now lose the fugly uniforms and I might even stop rolling my eyes at how we have proved Simon Kuper wrong and forced our sport into the globalisation straitjacket. Not, sadly, in the schizophrenic but charmingly European way, which is as obsessed with local tradition and a preservation of ritual as it is with providing a free-market-approved, appropriately packaged experience, but in an altogether more unabashed THIS IS THE EVENT SPONSOR'S NAME EMBLAZONED ACROSS MY TRAINING BRA, IT BE RAH-RAH HIPPY-SHAKE TIEM NAO PLS! American way.

But oh hey, the cricket. It is sick how easy Yuvraj Singh is making it look, isn't it? It's like cricket has moved out of the realm of the wrists and on to the shoulders. Not entirely accurate, I know, but I think it's appropriate every time I take a look at his last few innings. I am so impressed by him and Mahendra Singh Dhoni, and this entire culture of exceedingly brash but intelligent cricket that seems to be popping its cocoon under their aegis. I'm sure it has something to do with the Aussie dominance of the game in the last fifteen years [well, greater dominance than before] and their 'you don't like us, we don't care' approach to winning, but, in a rare departure from principle, I have to toe the detestable Times of India line and wonder if it doesn't have something to do with the fact that we are changing. For the first time in Indian cricket the mofussil boys have really taken on the world on their own terms, yes? Without the decadent old brahmins of the metros breathing down their neck. And it's charming and smart and more badass than you - alright, I - could ever imagine. Come on, guys, who does that to the Aussies?

Really happy for Pakistan, too, who look like they're setting their house in order after the maniacal goings-on over the last year. Can I also just say that I am really glad that we have seen the last of Inzamam ul-Haq? I know the guy's a lovely batsman, but he bored me to tears. To think this team was once captained by Imran Khan. Sheesh. Cricket is no fun without a crackerjack Pak team to haunt our footsteps at all times, so premature though it may be to welcome them back from the brink, I'm going to do it anyway. I'm hoping for a decent game tonight, and I don't think it will be a shame to lose a good match to the neighbours, especially considering that we beat Australia and South Africa [and England. LOL.] and - haha - Pakistan once already in a tournament that no one in India, not even the cricketers, were expected to care about. To be fair I'm still not sure it isn't a bit of a Mickey Mouse cup yet, but I think that's just my creaky prejudicial bones feeling the cold a bit. This is going to be huge, isn't it? Who knew that all this slogging could be so much fun?

I will be pissed off if we don't have a Test team three years down the line because of this, though.

1 comment:

  1. I don't think India-Pakistan has the history of Boca-River. The matches have been to sporadic for that. And essentially, River-Boca is a class thing, the "English" River against Italian immigrant Boca.
    I support Boca, and not just because of El Diego. Just home they get Riquelme back at some point. Marriage made in football heaven.