Wednesday, September 12, 2007
The super 5's.
Those in the sixth decade of their life in India might fondly look back on the sedate , tolerant pace of life in their childhood. Television had not yet made life,per se, a function of time, where you behaved like a statue, and stayed motionless, when india were 8 down, Sachin and Harbhajan batting , with 3 balls remaining and and 5 runs needed to win.
In those days, you basically had your nose to the grindstone studies-wise, and occasional bouts of disobedience tended to make you quietly switch on Vizzy's commentary of some cricket match, which you surreptiously listened to, as your mother explained to the neighbours how you were busy studying for the prelims.
The skies did not fall if you lost, and even if you won, at the end of the day, the tired cricketers probably got back into a train at Churchgate station and rode home, standing inthe compartment door, cursing umpire so-and-so in their tired minds, worrying about getting back to office the next day. No motorcycles, cars, huge cheques, but just a trophy.
Everything had a natural pace, with a noticeable lack of desperation.
Television taught the subsequent generations to expect more and more, faster and faster. A guy bowling at 130 miles per hour could smirk via-a-vis someone excelling at 129.8 miles per hour. One learnt how to be dissatisfied or exult for the most insignificant reasons. Everyone wanted more.
At the end of the day, the bandwidth of our minds was fixed, and so our attention spans decreased. And there was a great minimization, of what we did and what entertained us.
The days of "do it now" and "do it fast" had arrived.....
Today, 5 day testmatches have degenerated into one day internationals. Now that we have had enough of those, the 20-20's are upon us. And lets not even think about income generation, audiences , cricket boards, avarice, profits, politics etc etc
Switch to what would happen in 2020.
The year , that is.
Coming up, the Super 5's.
Each side gets to bowl 5 overs. No one can bowl more than 1 over.
There is no LBW, but there is HOW, otherwise called Hip Obliterating Wicket. A batsman trying to face a possibly high ball by twisting to a side and presenting a hip, not only gets hurt badly, but he will be docked one run. Shouting HOW'zzat will now take on a new meaning. Anyone whose run count goes negative must go back to the pavillion. And so you need to score nicely before trying such acrobatics.
There will be beepers set into the ground, where the bowler is supposed not to over step his mark. Every 2 beeps, and the bowler will bowl the next ball with his alternate hand; a right hander will bowl the "punish" ball with the left and vice versa.
There will be special circuitry incorporated in the balls and the bats, so that everytime the bat and the ball touch/snick/scrape, there will be visible sparks, enabling erring umpires to make decent decisions , and never mind the singing, hooting, waving audience. Anything hitting the pads will not even raise a whimper.
The third unpire sitting in comfort inside the pavillion, will hear an almighty clang in his ears corresponding to the spark, so as to wake him up from an English or possibly Soth African, Indian, Pakistani or West Indian stupor.
Beginning with the first over , all fielders will be within a radius of 10 yards. Every consecutive over they will move 10 yards further away . This will introduce a new concept of "delicate wristy batting" which would lead to something similar to "placed" shuttles in badminton, where guile and not power is the requirement.
There will be NO Duckworth Lewis calculations. The algorithm in use will be the latest Abhyankar Gokhale rule, which takes into account monsoon wind speeds, greyness of clouds, aeroplanes flying overhead, and , finally, certain sweet tasting items being placed strategically on the pitch.
Microphones placed near the batsmen will be automatically connected to an automatic translation system similar to the United Nations, so the quality of on-pitch "chirping" can be monitored, irrespective of the language and dialect used. This information will , again, be fed to the third umpire, and will also serve to keep him wide awake.
The third umpire has been made significant in the scheme of things, after a West Indies umpire functioning as one was found nodding off to sleep, because the ground umpires refused to refer anything to him. Rumor has it that his phone was always busy.
In case of a tie after 5 overs each, each side would nominate a batsmen who would face 3 balls blindfolded. The batsmen to make the most ball connections would win for his side.
In case the tie still existed after this, each side would then nominate a bowler to bowl blindfolded, to sighted batsmen. The side to connect most balls would win.
In case this again proved equal, as per the latest ICC rules, both the teams would exit the championship.
Microsft and Intel are in the race to design the chips to be installed in the sparking bats and balls. There is an ongoing litigation over whose logo the players should wear, and Mr L. Yadav, president emeritus of the ICC, has suggested a compromise in the form of a logo saying "Doodh" , as a fashionable version of the word "Dude".....
An additional point of worry has been introduced due to the advent of some newer cricket playing nations like China, Bulgaria, Albania, Brunei, Russia, and Iceland. The influx of fake circuitry and rogue softwares cannot be denied, and the BCCI has recently met where Mrs Chakde Dhoni-Sehwag , the chairperson, appointed the cricket software firm of Kumble & Dravid to investigate things........
In the meanwhile, great celebrations were the order of the day in Bandra ,Mumbai, where youngsters Arjun Tendulkar and Samit Dravid were being felicitated for their grand success in the singles and doubles events in the recently concluded US open Tennis Championships.....
And Sachin Tendulkar, out for a walk at the Promenade after the felicitations, looked up at the sky, almost lifted his hand up as if he were carrying a bat , then thought otherwise, smiled to himself , shook his head and carried on....