Sunday, November 16, 2008

Third class words; First class games.....हेडन साहेबाचे जग अणि वक्तव्य .......

I have been, actually, thinking , about the world. (Despite various people hinting at my inability to do so).

I know.

So have George Bush, Obama, G-8,G-20, and some (un)sporty types in the Southern Hemisphere.

Thanks to a French economist called Alfred Sauvy, who used the words "Tiers Monde" (a third or one third), and NOT "Troisieme Monde" (third in rank), while defining the First, Second and Third worlds, based on his understanding of the French revolution hierarchy of priests, nobles and commoners, we now have a great situation, where George Bush, Michael Hayden, Sarah Palin et al, belong to the First World; I ,
along with the entire Indian Cricket team, belong to the Third World; and Obama stands out as uncategorized because he is a genetically 50% Third world president of a First world nation. And remember, there used to be a Second world, but it collapsed beginning with the Berlin Wall.

Thanks to Obama, and the current economic crisis where First world Types did mistakes of Third world proportions, today, the lines between the worlds , in some situations are getting blurred. Information Technology is one such sector, Novelists writing in English is another, and before we forget, there is Cricket.

Cricket started out , they say, in England somewhere in the 13-15th century, played by children in farmlands across Kent and Essex . That was its purest form. Somewhere around the beginning of the 17th century, adults kind of took over , and it slowly became the game it is today. However, there has been considerable research to show that the game was played in then Punjab region of India as far back as the 7th century , according to a (First World) Researcher, Derek Birley, writing in the Social History of English Cricket. By and by The First world types colonized all over the world, sometimes Third and sometimes First, (world, that is), and the natives of the Third world , one might say, renewed their cricketing proclivities.

What is interesting to note is that the first Australian team to tour England, in 1867, was made up of indigenous Australian players. From then till now, has been a huge leap forward for Cricket, with different types of cricket, the setting up of Cricket Control bodies, and well as the exceptional exposure that cricket got and continues to receive , thanks to the communication wonders like television.

So it is with a sense of despair that i wonder about certain folks like M. Hayden Esq.

Inviting a Third world team for a series, putting English words in their mouth despite knowing that they speak different languages and swear in different languages, orchestrating a crisis at odds with the spirit of the game, and then calling someone from the opposing team an obnoxious weed, and having an evil First World laugh over it during a radio interview , is simply not done. Not in any world; Third, First , or even half.

Then he comes to the same Third World country, to play in something called the Indian Premier league, under an Indian captain, all for a huge payment, huge in First world terms, paid by the Third world types. Its then all about getting to know the (Third World) culture, befriending the "natives", being surprised that they are actually decent blokes, and going back to Australia , pockets jingling.

A year later he is back, the main support of their batting lineup for tests. It so happens, that they do not have their best bowlers who have retired. Happens to all teams. The First world team is beaten 2-0 in the Test series.

Back goes Mr M Hayden Esq. Seething. Blaming animals and weeds doesn't work. So he gives an interview saying they played in Third World conditions. Like what ? Human beings used to move sight screens which were causing problems. Batsmen taking their time to face the ball. And never mind the 5-star accommodations, outstanding hospitality, stupendous local welcomes, good transportation everywhere.

Hello . The game has umpires. Some Australian players even "instruct" umpires about catches as happened in Sydney. Slow over rates are something that the game penalizes, whenever the umpires so indicate. If the batsmen from the Third World were deliberately taking time to face up to the bowling, the umpires besides being from neutral countries (some of them, First World), were certainly not blind.

Purely, as a phenomenon, I wonder why M. Hayden Esq. does this. There were 10 other members in the team. But other than the captain who chewed gum, spat it on to his hand ,then rubbed those hands before flinging the ball to the bowler, and who, in an effort to save his match fee, lost the last game, and said the usual things post-match, no one else had anything to say.

So I did some research.

The Name Hayden has some Welsh Origin, from the Celtic word Aidan, meaning fire. Definitely hot. Temper, I should think. Figures.

An 1880 graph of Haydens in various occupations shows them to be majorly in the land owning farmer variety and not the slogging worker variety. So First-Worldish.

The English origins of the name Hayden, indicate that it has something to do with "hedging-in a valley or being hedged in by a hill.

Its possible that his ancestors could have come from the US after doing the civil war.

Then I found that , in the US,
the name ranked in the Top 1,000 most popular boys' names intermittently through the last two decades of the 19th century, consistently through the first three decades of the 20th century and then intermittently until the mid 1980s. In 1986, the name returned to the Top 1,000 most popular boy's names for good. In the 21st century, the name ranked in the Top 1,000 most popular boys' names every year from 2000 (128th) through 2006 (73rd). (All this isn't important, but just tells you Haydenian statistics)

But surprise surprise.
In 2007, the popularity of the boy’s name Hayden ranked 44th in Australia. The highest rank for Hayden worldwide.

Just goes to show why Hayden plays for Australia, why he instigates so many fighting episodes.

Just think. here was a person, a real First World type, chaps working for him in the fields , he was named after fire, obviously after seeing his temper, and then he feels hedged in .

By a 2-0 loss.?

P. S. On my way to research Gilchrist now.......


  1. It is sad that Australia, the country that produced the world's greatest player, is repepatedly producing the world's most arrogant [not just aggressive] players.

    Wasim Akram has come down heavily on Hayden saying that India is a hundred years ahead of Australia which is a village in comparison!


  2. Great post and so beautifully crafted as ususal.

    I haven't been privy to what is going on in the cricket or listened to all the media reports. Most of which I never believe anyway. All I know is that Ponting is the only one getting a terrible time in the media here.

    However, I somehow doubt that the Indian cricket players live in anything but first World plus conditions whatever that actually means these days anyway. They would be so removed from the average person these days it would not be funny.

    So I would imagine that both teams are on a level footing in many respects. Which just brings it back to sporting prowess. Shame elite sports people cannot accept defeat graciously without making excuses but by the same token their competitiveness is what gets them into elite sport in the first place I guess.

    And, as far as Vivek's comment about Australia being a village, why stoop to these kind of comments. Yes I am guessing if your cricketers came to where I lived they would think it was a village. They live in mansions and are millionaires. Personally if we were 100 years behind everyone else (which we aren't unfortunately given I have lived in a few countries) I would be more than happy. Progress has bought us what after all? Quotes from cricket players, maniputlated by home media outlets, taking up valuable news space and head space?

    It's such a shame that sport, because of the vast injection of money it and its players get, is able to get so much media attention.

    I think its about time we realise on the sporting field as well as off that no-one is any better or worse than anyone else and while the playing fields may not be level in life we all are equal on the biggest sporting field of life.

    Good manners and respect for others should never be lost. And that includes those who think its ok to keep calling people monkeys even though it means something vastly different in other cultures even though not their own.

    Maybe we should put sport in context. It is, after all, only a game with a bat and a ball. It's not rocket science.

  3. Just to clarify: I have quoted Wasim Akram's comment verbatim. He talked about Australia being a village, not me.
    Suffice it to say that Australians see cricket as a game, in India [and I guess in Pakistan too] it is almost like a religion. Comments like those of Hayden evoke very sharp response.

  4. Vivek I too read Wasim Akrams' comment, and thought the "village" thing was a bit uncalled for. You dont run down entire countries because one person makes comments that rile. But what Hayden said was totally unacceptable, and he seems to be making a habit of it.

    Lilly Wasim Akram is a Pakistani ex-fast-bowler/commentator on ESPN, and he doesnt represent India. Comments made by our chaps like Sunil Gavaskar and Harsha Bhogale (also from ESPN) are certainly more to the (cricketing) point.

    I am one of those who pays equal attention to the non-cricket aspects of these tours, and while not overly struck by guys completing 5 digit runs and 3 digit wickets, I have never seen any other Australian players making such comments, publicly that is. Steve Waugh led Australia for a number of years, but such was his (publicly observed) captaincy that folks here had the highest regard for him as a person, and do so to this day.

    And its really not about who lives in what type of n-world conditions. International matches demand that there be a certain level of comfort for the players, visiting or local. That is provided. None of the Indian players live in mansions, including Sachin Tendulkar, ( and the public will actually love it if he does). A lot of our players come from extremely humble rural backgrounds, and we dont grudge them facilities on par with visiting teams when the are chosen to play with India.

    Notice that Ponting is getting a lot of stick in Australia for losing the last test by bowling the wrong bowlers , but these are cricketing things.

    The post was about a guy who continuously triggers controversies, in every India-Aus series, in a very offensive manner. Its just not cricket.

    He brought in the First World-Third world stuff.

    I would have been quite happy, with simply, one World .....

  5. Third World is his conception and just goes to show which world Hayden belongs to. Thanks to their 10th grade speed of bowling and their extra attacking cricket they lost and lost 2-0. To digest this is going to be difficult, they simply are not used to this. But than people take time to get used to new things. Lets give the obnoxious fella (or mate should i say) a break.. he and his team had a shock... and they are just learning to live with it.

  6. i know as much about Cricket as I do about Swahili. I still found your post interesting.

  7. Money changes the pace of wickets and the nature of the swing ! As much as we would like cricket to stay the way it was in whites and five days, with one rest day thrown has changed !

    The world has changed and cricket ( & other sport ) is just living upto it.

    What is important is to keep the context of sport ! The spirit of the competition should not be sacrificed at the altar of television / media / promotions !

    I find it repulsive when TV channels promote a series as the 'revenge series' repeatedly showcasing some unseemly incident that happened somewhere..!

    Someone, has to lift the right finger. And send some folks back to the pavilion. The media included !

  8. Was it Desmond Morris who compared sports matches to wars ? They certainly don't seem to do anything for peace and mutual understanding.

    I believe human beings will be largely wiped off the surface of the earth before they are able to find peace and wisdom.

    So I guess, why not enjoy the match, while we're waiting ? (but I'll switch over to Fashion TV if you don't mind lol)

  9. Cricket was a game of manners before Australia's Packer and Co of television owner fame (and others) transformed players into monied types whose job it was to provide dramatic vision and sharp comments for insatiable media appetites. Mores the pity.
    And may I say that all nations have suffered in this way - not just Oz?
    Why is it that golf, for instance, is still a game of manners? I say because the etiquette so central to the sport has survived unchanged, unlike those of the game of bat, ball and wickets.
    June in Oz

  10. Such in-depth research done with your usual finesse, on such a "boorish" subject....but a 2-0 victory margin does give us a lot of space to gloat, dig deep (to the philological root of the name)and indict.

  11. hitch writer,darlene,kavi,helene h,june,sucharita sometimes something gets you mad and bothers you, and blogging happens....Thanks for tolerating an outburst.....

  12. I stopped following cricket ever since it became such a business and players started behaving as though the pitch is a battle field.
    But I loved the discussion here.

  13. Bravo!

    your posts are absolutely First Class!!

    majaa aali