Monday, June 08, 2009


Strategic Time-Out Withdrawal Syndrome


It's official - I have diagnosed myself as suffering from strategic time-out withdrawal syndrome. I would never have thought it true, but it is now fact that our hero Lalit Modi's unashamed attempt at milking yet more dollars out of his IPL baby has forever impacted my T20 spectatorship. After sitting through six weeks of meaningless 7.5 minute breaks at the end of the first 10 overs, I now find myself unable to handle a game of T20 cricket where players simply continue with the game at that juncture.

The "innovations" introduced during IPL2 have made such an impression that I find it almost blasphemous that I cannot make my way to the fridge to seek refreshments after the first 10 overs without accepting the immoral and undue risk of forgoing the next boundary or six (or wicket, if the batsman's having a really rough day).

Surely this farcical exclusion from the ICC's premier T20 event is unnerving the players. How else could one explain Her Majesty's own losing to the reviled Dutch, Chris Gayle pulverising the last nation on this planet that upholds the primacy of Test cricket or Scotland's fielding disasters against the woefully boring South Africans?

A strategic time-out may have even given Danny Morrison enough time to tutor Anil Kumble on the art of modifying one's voice tone and pitch to lull the viewer into believing that the smashing of balls out of the stadium was indeed an event about which to be excited. While his commentary career is in its infancy, the good word has it that Rameez Raza and Ranjit Fernando are standing by to personally welcome Kumble to their exalted club.

After finally desensitising the cricket loving public to their various cash-grab machinations over the years, could the BCCI not have arm-twisted the ICC into utilising that bastion of American sport commercialism, the strategic time-out, during the World T20 - to provide a better product for the paying and watching public, of course? Where are these great minds when we require them most?


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