Post-Colonial Issues With The Rajasthan Royals

Like many people, I was initially drawn to the Rajasthan Royals because of their underdog story. The cheapest team! The one with all those Indian unknowns!

The narrative has some good things going for it: first, it shows off how much Indian cricketing talent goes unnoticed (hint, hint, national selectors); second, it shows how players can be spotted, picked, and then nurtured in a collegial atmosphere; third, it upended all our assumptions about quality and money.

But there’s a little post-colonial problem, alas. Watching the IPL coverage, I feel like too much credit goes to Shane Warne rather than the players themselves. We have a team that is almost completely run by white people (even if its owners are Indian), who are usually praised for helping the young Indians “mature.” You saw this best in the 18th match against the Delhi Daredevils, when an out-of-form Graeme Smith supposedly guided a mercurial Yusuf Pathan to victory. The scorecard says something different: Pathan, 62* off 30 balls; Smith, 44* from 46.

Am I reading too much here? Perhaps. As Tishani Doshi recently wrote,  Warne has clearly turned a corner on his brash side and is almost always ready with an encouraging word. But it’s always the same framework in the commentary: wise Warne, young Indians; knowing Warne, brash Indians. You can almost hear Rudyard Kipling nodding in the stands.

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10 thoughts on “Post-Colonial Issues With The Rajasthan Royals

  1. Som says:

    Nice observation but I still believe if there was no Warne, there would have been no RR. Of course Warne tends to get more than his share but this is how things happen. We are a nation of hero-worshippers and find one everywhere. RR is a fascinating story and Warne is its undisputed hero. Smith is its grand patriarch, YP its dynamic next gen commander…so on and so forth. And seeing how Warne encourages others — read YP and Kamran’s rich tributes to the Aussie — I don’t grudge him for hogging all the limelight.

  2. Amy says:

    I tend to agree with Som. While Warnie may not be their ultimate saviour and the only one to take credit for their success, he has provided more than a helping hand for the younger players to have confidence in their abilities and perform well.

    Of course, they perform well because they have ability, but Warnie is a far more competent captain than some of the other captains in the IPL. He’s made some crucial decisions which have helped Rajasthan win a few matches.

  3. Q says:

    I see what ur saying but without Warne, RR would not even be a team. Whatever those kids achieve it is because of Warne.. he has guided them and nurtured them.. seriously.. That aura will remain even if Warne turns out to be the most expensive bowler this year, which he is, and even if its YP and Jadeja bringing the team victories – Warne will continue to get the credit.. which is fair I believe, cos if they fail it is warne who takes the blame.

  4. Jrod says:

    What part of the Post Colonial argument explains the exact same love for Dhoni last year. Big personality winning captains tend to grab the headlines.

  5. duckingbeamers says:

    But JRod, Dhoni is from India and a much-loved captain (perhaps too much so). Look, I’m not saying Warne shouldn’t be loved or respected. He’s clearly done much for his domestic contingent.

    I’d just like a little more attention given to the actual players themselves, who for the most part are Indian, unknown, badly paid, and entirely obscure.

  6. Jrod says:

    DB, Kamran Khan seemed to get a bit of attention, as did MS Gony last year. If you want to outshine Warne or Dhoni you need one hell of a back story. I Don’t think post colonial has much to do with it.

  7. Samir Chopra says:

    DB: Its funny. I know exactly what you are talking about. Amy and JRod have no idea on the other hand. I’m convinced now this is one area where the twain shall never meet.

  8. Avon Barksdale says:

    Not only the Royals…
    The Deccan Chargers, the winners, had a white english CEO, Tim Wright,in charge until January this year who then left under mysterious circumstances.His departure is now the subject of a multi million pound writ.
    A white Aussie legend Adam Gilchrist,as captain,a white Aussie coach, Darren Lehmann and Mike Young, a white fielding coach.
    In addition , two key backroom men are Aussies too; Fitness and Conditioning Coach, Steve Smith, and Physiotherapist, Dr Sean Slattery.

    So a valid observation all round from Ducking beamers.

  9. ElectricEel says:

    Lousy KKR too had a white dysfunctional dick, John Buchanon

  10. sonicrafter says:

    Great work buddy, continue the good work.

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