Thursday, 21 February 2008

How much is that Hoggy in the window?

The one in the Australian tail?
Much has been made of the IPL auction and the way money's been thrown about almost indiscriminately at the various players. Cricinfo has a summary on the auction, with a picture of SRK and wife looking like Yash and Avanti Birla -wannabes, and there's another on what the team compositions are like. There's also loads of stuff floating around all over the net on the merits and demerits of the league and stuff, and I've blogged on it as well.
There's been a lot of comparison with other sports and sporting leagues, especially football and the EPL. As it happens, I just finished reading Fever Pitch by Nick Hornby. It's an account of his life as an Arsenal fan, and that too as an Arsenal fan when they were rough, middle-of-the-road plodders rather than the extremely rich Francophone plodders they are now. There's something deeply personal about the way he talks about his total obsession with the club. It gives an insight into one aspect of club football that the commentators on the IPL have not touched on much-namely, the fans. It's different from international sport, where you'd almost always support your own national team. With clubs, you choose whom to support, and it's not necessary that those around you may agree.
The book got made into a movie with Colin Firth, then another movie set in Boston starring Drew Barrymore, with the Gunners replaced by the Red Sox (digression: last year when the Red Sox won the World Series we had a guy from the Boston office here in Bangalore with us, and he was trying to explain how crazy people in Boston were about the Red Sox, so he referred to the movie; I don't think he was too pleased when I told him that the movie was an adaptation of a story originally based on soccer).
The book stops in 1992, the year that the EPL was set up, before money really started flowing into English football through TV rights and all the international players started flooding in. Arsenal has since then become a richer and much more successful team, with a large worldwide, but I wonder if the fans are anywhere as fanatical these days.
Cricket, especially in India, rarely seems to care too much about the fans - as long as you've goto your TV on, it doesn't matter what you really feel about the game. And even the administrators would probably laugh at the thought of going and watching the game at the ground. Maybe with the IPL we might see a change. And with it, we might see some interesting fan literature as well.


  1. I watched the Red Sox win on TV here. Bit anticlimactic, because they swept four straight games. Apparently there was a near riot when they won in 2004. This time police were deployed in large numbers -- Fenway Park is a stone's throw from my department.

  2. A stone's throw away, you say? Then I suppose it's a good thing there wasn't a riot. Wouldn't want anyone to test that assertion, now would we?