30 Mar 2018

What’s culture got to do with cricket?

Disclaimer Alert: I am not a cricket fan. So before all you seasoned followers of the game start, I’d like to own up to that. Not a cricket fan. Not a cricket player. Not an expert.

Phew! Now that that’s done, I’d like to say two things that will make the next few paras make sense.

  1. I do not live under a rock. Which means I do know what’s happening in my immediate universe. And I do get to know stuff like Trump’s latest tweet, the death of the last white rhino and a ball tampering incident that came to light.
  2. If I did slink back to under the said rock there are people who will discuss this with me or tell me about it or share articles, tweets, links and so on, in the vain hope that I venture out and know what is happening in my immediate universe. Which then takes me back to Point 1.

In this case it was friend NB who decided that I needed to take heed of a situation that could well have a cultural slant to it. Some tweets, links and articles later, I was hooked.

What’s stumped me the most…

So here I am. I am intrigued. I am appalled. I am somewhat shocked and shaken. I am watching the world watching a whole ball tampering fiasco coming to light. And in bits it’s about a game but if you step back and look at the larger picture it’s about winning and if you take a 30,000 view, it’s not about a game or winning.

And while all the fans are talking about sandpaper and vaseline and blades and earlier episodes of ball tampering, all I can think of is that there’s something much deeper here. Much that is beyond the pitch and the stadium. Beyond the willow and the bales. Beyond the Aussies and the South Africans. What’s stumped me the most is that is more about a culture and a generation.

Yes! It’s about a culture and a generation

There’s something in our DNA that makes us behave in a certain manner. Now no culture ever ever condones, encourages or even talks about dishonesty. But there is a proclivity to certain things that could have led to this kind of behaviour. You’ll ask what it is. And I will tell you – it’s based in the dimensions of culture and I want to take a deeper look at it.

So maybe it’s time for an action replay

And that’s what I wish to do. Examine this slowly. Create a commentary on what really went wrong. When. How. Where. Because there are some things that lie beyond the dressing rooms of the hallowed cricket teams – they lie in a culture they were born it. And you ask,

What’s culture got to do with cricket?!!!

And sure I can tell you there’s lots.

But all that… tomorrow

This is not something done in a day. So watch this space… and I’ll be back tomorrow to give you my viewpoint on what could have very well contributed to this inglorious incident.