The Crotchet’s Corner

My perspective about all things inconsequential

Tone it down, guys !!!


It was with considerable interest that I read a recent article by Gideon Haigh on Cricinfo’s website. He has written about how cricket commentary has deteriorated into a spectacle that promotes the commercial end rather than the game. You can see this at


I was particularly amused about his reference that “the IPL is bearing out JK Galbraith’s observation that television allows for persuasion with no minimum standard of literacy or intelligence.”


This reminded me of what I had written in one of my pervious posts on the IPL.


Gideon Haigh, is a respected English-born Australian journalist and writer, who has also been involved with Wisden’s Almanack. His views are usually incisive and forthright, and I tend to agree with much of what he has said.


With the IPL having run about two weeks now, it has got rather irritating when the action on the playing field has been described with a commercial slant injected in between. Sure, the sponsors are ponying up big money and deserve a mention. And, indeed, the IPL is not the traditional cricket format in terms of all that goes with it – the hype, the so-called city franchises, the mix of players of varying nationalities, the American-style cheer-leaders, etc., and is, therefore, free to innovate in any which way it chooses to.


Yet, a wicket is a wicket, a sixer is a sixer, and having the former described as a “(Sponsor name) moment of success” is a bit thick. Come on, the batsman made a mistake and holed out, the fielder did a fine job in taking the catch, and all credit to the latter. Where does the sponsor come in, and how is it the sponsor’s moment of success?


Describing a game with a rich dose of superlatives is all fine, and when you up the ante with raised vocals in order to inject greater excitement, it is also acceptable up to a point. But, when the hype and hyperbole exceeds the credulous, then it begins to get a bit much, and you are tempted to hit the mute button on the audio and stick to the visuals.


You cannot satisfy everyone all the time, and the IPL as well as its television broadcasts will attract some degree of criticism. Which is only to be expected. Kerry Packer’s World Series Cricket made people sit up and take notice because of its very unique and interesting packaging and presentation.


Yet, in the ultimate analysis, if the game is described in a banal and superficially hyped-up attempt to engage the lowest common denominator, it will surely lead to a dumbing down of cricket.


That would be unfortunate.


April 27, 2009 - Posted by | About this and that, Cricket | , , , ,

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