Watching a cricket match has never been more fun! I can hardly wait nowadays to get to see the distended cornucopia of sponsors that every broadcaster gets. Who wants to watch a contest between bat and ball anyway? I’d rather watch the wonderful advertisements that are on display.
Think about it: the discussions between overs used to be shown earlier. The commentators used to give valuable insights on the game, on how it needs to be played, and the various strategies that are most probably going to be played out. But who wants all this nonsense? Personally I’d prefer watching a buck toothed Shah Rukh Khan explaining the virtues of some mobile service provider, than listen to Sunil Gavaskar and David Lloyd taking about the game I love. Steve Waugh can rant all he likes about how watching a match is akin to hell, but “yeh India ka cricket hai BHIDU!!!”
Drinks breaks are air-times brilliantly utilized. Shaving razors, motorbikes, mobiles and service providers all leave me spell-bound. It’s so much more fun as compared to reviewing the highlights of the just-concluded session. Also, I really don’t think anybody in the country is least bothered as to what the two teams will do as regarding strategies. (Take a hike Ramiz Raja; nobody’s listening).
The ongoing India- Pakistan series has managed to do what I never thought will be possible – a further increase in my favourite portions of a match: the advertisements!! Thanks to the millions of rupees flowing into the broadcaster’s kitty, and the billions of people like me who enjoy it, we now have five ball overs. Yes, its true – FIVE BALL OVERS. The ICC better change the rules and say that, depending on when the broadcaster will air his (and our) beloved ads, the first or last ball of the over will be a “trial” ball. Further, if the fielding captain wants to make crucial changes to the field placements, he can take his own sweet time, as us viewers get to see even more adverts.
Being a responsible Indian, I feel I have to do my bit to ensure that our viewing pleasure is further increased. So, I have come up with a few suggestions:
- Use the time between deliveries to squeeze ads. This tactic will especially work when Shoaib Akthar is bowling. (Who wants him to shorten his run-up?)
- When the outcome of a match is decided well before the match, stop the telecast and show only advertisements in a line, repeatedly. This will ensure that the duller viewers will also be able to learn the ads by rote.
- When the batsman hits the ball in the air, use the “air time” of the ball. But just make sure that we get to see were the ball lands, even if we don’t want to see the trajectory of the ball. (An extension of this technique will be when a four is hit, or when a single is taken to long on or long off)
- Name trophies after the brands. After all, it’s them who give all the money. Who wants Border – Gavaskar trophies and Chappel – Hadlee series? They should be renamed as Fosters – Kingfisher cup, Vodafone Ashes, Kingfisher – Airtel – Hutch – Reliance – Indian Oil – Hindustan Lever – Subhiksha – Pepsi – Fair and Handsome Cup.
So there we are. Cricket, being what it is to us, and money, being what it is to them will mean that us viewers will get to enjoy the advertisements for a long time to come. New techniques will be discovered to make it a truly enriching experience. I just hope that this dream never ends and I get to watch advertisements all the time. I’m loving it!
P.S. I was kidding. I have never been more deprived