This month four years ago, I started Ducking Beamers: A Cricket Blog. The inspiration for the name came from a moment during India’s 2007 tour of England, when S. Sreesanth (accidentally) bowled a beamer near Kevin Pietersen, who fell to the ground and stared incredulously. I liked the complexity of the event: if Sreesanth had bounced the ball so that it crossed Pietersen’s head — and even hit it — he would have been congratulated by his teammates. The violence of the ball, in other words, would have been deemed ‘acceptable.’ But because he simply hurled the ball at the batsman, he had to apologize.
At any rate, four years ago I was a fresh college graduate interested chiefly in the post-colonial issues posed by the game (CLR James’ book still lay, unread, on my bookshelf). So, I began with a post on Norman Tesbitt, a racist British minister who suggested all immigrants needed to root for the English cricket team as a loyalty test. Then, in early 2008, the Harbhajan-Symonds mess occurred, giving me more opportunity to explore the game’s racial undertones. (It’s embarrassing to read now where I stood on that conflict; I really should have sided more explicitly with Symonds.)
Over time, though, I have become interested in two topics: a) How do cricket fans experience the game now? That is, what has changed about the medium — from radio, to television, to the Internet — and how does this change affect how we ‘see’ the game? And b) Cricket’s troubled relationship with modernity. I have come to look at Test cricket as a crucial and necessary anti-modern space; a tribute to an earlier rhythm of life that did not emphasize human agency or ability, but rather the power of nature and fate. That seems more abstract than I wish, but browse through a sample of my favorite posts below to get a firmer idea of what I’m about.
Before that, I want to say thank you to my fellow bloggers for making this a rewarding endeavor. Despite my best attempts, my blog receives little more than 3,000 visitors each month (IPL and World Cup seasons aside). But I’ll trade any flood of visitors for an insightful comment from Homer, Kartikeya, Devanshu, Samir, or the many other bloggers smarter than I. As they say here in the U.S.: Four more years!
A SAMPLING OF MY WORK:
My first post: “I Can’t Get No Assimilation”
“Celebrity Culture: When Shah Rukh Khan Met Dhoni”
“The Best Cricket Camera Angles”
“Waking Up to the Result on the East Coast”
CRICKET AS ANTI-MODERN:
“Eoin Morgan and the Case Against Modernity”
“Crying for Bucknor/The Umpire as Tragic Figure”
Congratulations, DB! As one of your long-time fans, I want to say, keep it up and continue blogging for as long as you can. Your style of articles, discussing aspects of cricket beyond just the day-to-day results, occupies a crucial niche among cricket blogs.
3 thousand visitors per month is nothing to sneeze at. Based on my experience with another blog I maintain, it is actually an important milestone to go on to bigger things. Get a domain name, put up a logo and header, host your own. Add some guest posts. Do some interviews. Go a little more public. And watch the blog take off.
Great work! Blog years are equivalent to dog years, so you have been at it a very long time indeed.
Four more years! Four more years!
I think you have a nice blog here, I regularly follow your blog.
I am still at the early stages of blogging but I think you are doing a great job.
Carry on the good work.
Well done. Four years is a long time to be blogging. The blogging landscape is littered with the corpses of many blogs (sometimes EOC seems moribund!).
Looking forward to many more years.
Four more years (and many more readers)!
Congrats on your 4 year blog-anniversary!