Speaking of Indian batsmen, whats the one thing international bowlers shouldn’t do to them? “Oh you cannot bowl to their pads, batsmen from the subcontinent will just milk you for runs using their flexible wrists, batsmen from the subcontinent are such wristy strokemakers.” We get it. WE’RE SUB-CONTINENTALS. WE GOT WRISTS PEOPLE! MUTHAFLUCKIN WRISTS!
If only commentators were allowed to swear on-air — maybe the language might freshen up then. But, more seriously, why do we end up with these commentators? Ashok Malik had an unbelievably interesting column in Cricinfo recently about the business changes in cricket television (including T.R.P. guarantees sought from advertisers), and how they’ve stymied the commentator:
What did the cusp of 2007-08 mean for the television viewer? This was when, to quote an IPL franchise CEO, “cricket telecast began to be legislated far more closely in India”. The BCCI – and the IPL – took charge of telecast properties. Channels lost autonomy. The BCCI would now hire a production company to produce the pictures and audio and sell these in real time to the channel that paid it (the board) the highest fee.
This convoluted model had one major implication for the viewer. It reduced if not effaced the integrity and independence of the commentator. Indeed, the decline of the commentator has been the untold but unstoppable story of the decade. From being among India’s most articulate authorities on cricket, Sunil Gavaskar and Ravi Shastri have become the BCCI’s in-house commentators, signed on by the board/IPL for its cricket matches.