Eleven gladiators living out the aspirations of a hopelessly besotted country…they want to see victory…Everyone, the players and their viewers manipulated by a greedy power hungry board, and the rich media that loses million dollars if the team loses, on the periphery are punters.
In the middle of all this is an extravaganza, and one of the favorite teams, the Pakistani team loses unexpectedly, the next day their manager Bob Woolmer is found dead. By the evening we have a major TV news station asking an audience in all seriousness, “How does our audience think Bob Woolmer died? A. Was he murdered B. Did he have a heart attack C. Did stress raise his blood sugar levels” A-ha…there are of course trained coroners sitting in the vast populace across India.
Now the Indian gladiators are there, they are rich heroes…and suddenly they lose to the small guy…..their houses are broken, and even worse their mock funerals held….the gladiators have fallen - kill them!
I am no great fan of cricket; my family loves it, especially my nephew. Increasingly I find myself distancing from it. The sheer media hype, blind following, ecstasy, glitzy promotions, power games put me off totally. Yet, it crowds all around you, and you can never ignore it, on it is pinned the aspirations of almost 1 billion Indians and of course the huge media. And when you hear the death of a cricket coach, you wonder what it is all about....it is just a game, a spectator sport - right?
Of course countries have gone to war over football matches in South America, and ordinary people are ready to sell their kidney to buy a ticket to the world cup games. We all need our gladiators,let them fight,and if they fail, everyone has their knives drawn out….it is a case of dishonor before death…
But for now, may the luckiest gladiator win…at least may he remain alive.