It’s the India cricketers we feel for

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2 minute read

Imagine you work in accounts for a biggish company that leases out some of its office space to other firms. Imagine that one of your company directors inexplicably removes the coffee machine from the shared kitchen and places it in the middle of your firm’s office.

Now imagine that you trip over in the car park one morning and a load of people who work for other companies in your building all point and laugh at you for 16 minutes while you writhe around on the floor with a broken ankle. This is what it’s like to play cricket for India.

Shikhar Dhawan hasn’t snatched away anyone’s coffee. He’s just a guy with a smashing moustache who enjoys batting. R Ashwin isn’t ruling Prosperity House with an iron fist. He’s just an amiable nerd with a deep and genuine love for spin bowling. Even so, when their team lost to New Zealand, people around the world were laughing at them, enjoying their downfall.

Unfortunately for them, India’s players are representatives. Back when they represented the country, this wasn’t so bad, but nowadays they find themselves the public face of their cricket board. They represent a bunch of fat dullards addicted to cronyism and infatuated with Mammon. This is despite the fact that they have pretty much zero influence over what those people do and are in fact being driven into the ground themselves through their poor decisions.

India are top of the schadenfreude hierarchy. They boss England and Australia, who bully the other six major Test teams, who look down on Bangladesh and Zimbabwe, who in turn exploit all the have-nots scrabbling around for international fixtures. The laughter then goes the other way.

England play the West Indies later today. The world can’t wait to see the Windies beat Giles Clarke’s boys and teach him and them a lesson. They then play Afghanistan next Wednesday, which offers the greatest opportunity for schadenfreude in this tournament with India not playing anyone quite so low down in the hierarchy.

Even when you play for one of the least popular nations, there’s always an opportunity to bring joy to the world.


Mike Gatting wasn't receiving the King Cricket email when he dropped that ludicrously easy chance against India in 1993.


Why risk it when it's so easy to sign up?


    1. Okay, swap “Imagine you work in accounts for…” for “Imagine you’re one of the cleaners employed by…”

  1. 1 . 1 3 W 1 / 2 1 . . 1 . / . W 1 1 W . / . 4 . 4 1 . / . 1 . 4 W . / . . 1 . 1 1 /
    1(nb) . . . 1 1 1 / 1(w) 1 1 . 2 1 . / W . . . 1 1 / 1 . . W . . / 1 W . . 1 1 / . 1 . 1 1 1 /
    1 1 1 1 . . / 1 . 1 . 1 1 / . . 1 2 1 . / . 1 1 1 1 1 / 6 1 W . 1(w) . 1(w) . / 4 . . W . . / W

    That’s the Indian innings from yesterday, in full. It’s also a machine code program that can be run on a ZX81 to solve world hunger, but let’s concentrate on the more important thing. Here are some facts:

    One Hero Honda Sixer
    Five boundaries in all
    Nine balls from which more than one run was scored
    Ten balls that got wickets
    A forty-one ball period with only wickets, ones and dots.

    When the two was scored to end that last sequence, India needed those two runs on that ball, and on every subsequent ball also. They managed that twice more from the twenty-three balls they faced.

    For the first time in T20 history, batting was hard and the consequences of a mistake actually mattered to the match. This is cricket. This is what cricket is. Anything else is not cricket, or at least it is cricket stripped of its essential feature.

    The people who run T20 keep going on about how the shorter format is more acceptable to the busy sports fans of today. It has to be short, or they won’t come in. That may be true, but it is worth noting that this match didn’t have any more length than a typical T20. But what it did have was a degree of depth. It proved that T20 does not have to be a one-dimensional slap-fest. Give that curator a medal.

  2. I would feel for India cricketers more if they were paid less than me.

    Is this opinion socially acceptable?

      1. Ultimately, it mattered not. In the end there aren’t enough incontinence pads in the world to deal with the amount of pissing on us from a great height one CH Gayle was doing. Two of the consecutive sixes off Moeen look like action replays of each other.

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