The Whole Cricket Scandal

Harbhajan Singh There was that huge controversy over Harbhajan Singh making racist comments about Andrew Symonds, it was all over the news, and edged out ethnic violence in Kenya, Intel’s war with the OLPC, and the near end of the high definition format wars. Quite strange really that Indians are so untouched by ‘monkey‘ but so outraged at ‘poppadam‘, it has to be something to do with the religion and Hanuman and stuff like that. One would think that the people who find it offensive if people of another religion visit their places of worship would be the first to stand up against racial comments. Odd that, I didn’t see any of that.

Cricket Itself

It’s a boring game, really, and not particularly exciting except for the last few minutes but people still play large sums of money simply to have the chance to sit under the hot sun along with other sweaty tired people like them and talk about how advanced their nation is because they’re good at cricket. Perhaps, it’s the whole thing about cricket being a gentleman’s game. Or perhaps not. It isn’t. Not to the wildest imagination. It is a violent game, filled with unsportsmanlike behaviour, lies, cheating and a stupid adherence to so-called tradition to the detriment of fair play. Even worse, it has never been a gentleman’s game at any point of time when it was played between countries. Really, even under the watchful eye of the cliché police one is forced to quote George Orwell. Get over it, cricketers, you’re no gentlemen.

Racism

A touchy thing, racism, and one that Indians are not amateurs at. We’re professional bigots, talking about the stupid dalits, evilly reproducing people from other religions who hope to take over India, white men who defile our temples, heck we’re Masters of the Art. However, I doubt Harbhajan Singh intended to make a racial slur. As Pipe pointed out, he probably said “Teri maa ki…” :D

Well, okay, maybe not, but one has to stop and think: are words like ‘poppadom’ and ‘monkey’ really so offensive? I mean look at them – one is a food item, the other is an animal. Here we are, the most intelligent species on this planet and we spend our time calling each other the names of food items and animals and then we let our tribal blood boil and unleash modern-day animal screams. Douglas Adams was right about the dolphins.

I used to be a great subscriber to this anti-racism business, before I realised how stupid it is. I am now an anti-bigot, too much anti-racism is fluff that covers up real events. And words… words… words are just that, words — they don’t hurt you unless they’re from someone you care for, they don’t kill you or maim you and they don’t rip out your soul. Harassment’s a different issue, bullying’s something else: If someone comes up to you every day and puts you down, it’s not the fact that that person uses particular words that’s bad for you, it’s the fact that it is repetitive harassment. That sort of stuff can hurt people, really, reduce productivity, and drive them to feeling unappreciated and depressed. If a bunch of white kids pick on a black kid because he’s black the real offence is in the fact that they’re picking on the kid, the colour of his skin is less important. Think people, grow thicker skins not heads.

India, Twenty20 and my friends

Twenty20 World CupSo the Indian team won the Twenty20 World Cup. I missed most of the match because I’m not into cricket much. I did see the last few balls though, and it seems like it ended rather nicely. People got what they paid for and stuff, if they went to actually watch the match. To quote what I saw that day as I set the page on auto-reload:

19.3 overs – WICKET – Misbah-ul-Haq c Santh b J Sharma 43 – Pkn 152
The floodlights come on. Misbah tries an unorthodox Ashraful-style flick over fine leg – and is caught by our old friend Sree Santh at fine leg! INDIA HAVE WON BY FIVE RUNS – what a finish!

19.2 overs – Pkn 152-9
A low full-toss – and Misbah’s clubbed it over long-on for six! Six now needed off four balls.

19.1 overs – Pkn 146-9
A priceless dot ball as Misbah goes down on one knee but makes no contact. 12 needed off five balls.

Apparently, this victory has spawned a bunch of jokes, some of which are good, one of which I remember. Pipe told me this one:
– “Knock Knock”
– “Who’s there?”
– “Misbah.”
– “Misbah who?”
– “Misbah five runs.”
Ha ha ha, probably one of the best knock-knock jokes I’ve heard in a while.

Then there was Danny’s smart-ass remark on the train the day after the Twenty20 World Cup final. “Kalam should be happy. India are the World Champions in 2020.” Yeah, he’s a smart-ass.

Misbah five runs…[chuckle]

Why Zidane butted Materazzi

From the Guardian,

According to the BBC, Materazzi said, “I wish an ugly death to you and all your family,” and then told Zidane to “go fuck yourself”.

If you ask me, this is a sad end to Zidane’s career (he announced that this would be the last he would play in competitive football), and though I can understand him getting angry, I do not condone his reaction. Unfortunately, Materazzi got just what he wanted by making Zidane angry. It’s sad, and it frustrates me that one of the best players we’ve ever seen has to go out this way.

Au revoir Zizou, vous êtes un dieu toujours.

UPDATE: Each passing day involves another lip-reading expert making another decision on this.
UPDATE 2: Zidane’s explained what happened.

Football, Germany, and Klose.

This video of Klose is a perfect example of his brilliance. 4 years ago at the World Cup in 2002, I judged him harshly, thinking he was a one-trick pony only capable of using his head (no wait, I meant it as in, “only capable of heading the ball”). The way he’s played since then has made me look like a nutcase for having said that. Oh well, that’s perfectly fine by me, and a good enough reason to watch Werder Bremen play.

In this World Cup alone, I’ve learnt what a horrible judge of footballers’ talent I’ve been. Lucky it has no effect.

The World Cup itself has been a bit dissappointing, particularly because I didn’t get to see Brazil v Germany again. That match would have been interesting, especially since the German team at this World Cup plays such an interesting game (something you wouldn’t expect from the old one).

EDIT: I just saw Schweinsteiger’s goals and woah, is that guy a holy sniper or what!