The cinematic visualisation of the game called cricket (which, as a ‘tradition’, is believed to be equivalent to many others in India), was pretty much well-depicted in the Oscar-nominated Bollywood tale, “Lagaan”. The film signifies the impact of storytelling in the evolution of humans as social beings.
The golden era of Indian cricket is indubitably well-documented in many formats. Especially with the advent of accessible technology, the masses are just a few clicks away from the treasures of India’s cricketing history. Yet, the live audience hasn’t diminished over time. In fact, with the rise of young superstars and the inclusion of various formats in the game, the graph seems to be rising, in terms of attracting global fans. In my eyes, this has also been complemented with a proportional rise in the number of young players, and an improvement in the quality of their skills – all of which probably emphasise the existence of a better future for the game.
The players, the series wins and the records have unquestionably been piling up. This may well serve the purpose of storytelling for the present generation and the ones in future. However, the ‘real storyteller’ in an ongoing match is something which, in my opinion, Indian cricket has been missing for long.
Truth be told, in my eyes, the commentators are as important to the game as the players and the umpires on the field. Especially from the perspective of the older times – the live telecast of the matches on the All India Radio signifies the importance of cricket commentary and commentators. In those days, the radio relays definitely created an intense atmosphere in numerous courtyards, agricultural fields, offices, railway platforms, marketplaces – the list goes on.
The relevance of this specific mention holds a deeper relevance, because, for me, the dramatic intensity of the game has been lost somewhere – irrespective of the six sixes in an over in the 2007 T20 World Cup, or the occasions where a six off the last ball clinched the deal. However, this perception of the lack of intensity is also very much triggered by the presence of quality products in other sectors of entertainment.
However, the special agenda of The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to include vital resources to Indian cricket (in the form of commentators) is noteworthy. But, the lack of any intrigue in their representation of the drama of the game is somehow affecting the true spirits of a genuine commentator and an observer. A commentary is not only about citing facts, scorecards, records, and chutkulas (jokes). Commentary involves being gravitational pulled towards redefining the game in its truest spirit for its viewers and listeners.
This game has an enormous number of legends and moments, which need to be relived through the words of the storytellers – right in the midst of a game. Being the world’s richest cricketing body, the BCCI must scout for genuine storytellers to upgrade the face of Indian cricket wholly as a package and also bolster our legends’ reputations in the businesses in which they have been invincible. Thus, the commentary box awaits its superstar.
Featured image used for representative purposes only.