I’m a Cricket White-winger

Sports

I’m a Cricket White-winger

Illustration: Juergen Dsouza

I

used to be a fanatical follower of cricket while growing up. There was a time when I could cite the ICC Top 10 Rankings for batsmen and bowlers from memory and spit statistics like Harsha Bhogle on steroids. However, as India take on England in Edgbaston today, I’m no longer the savant I once was. As the sport has evolved over the years, shorter formats have become more popular than the hallowed Test match, which I blame for my reduced love for the game. In a post-IPL world, claiming Test cricket is your preferred format is akin to saying you love Porcupine Tree at a Mika Singh concert.

For me, watching a Test match on TV today is like visiting a lovable, elderly grandparent in hospital. It brings to mind the sweet memories of days gone by, but also thrusts the bitter realisation of fast-approaching death in your face. The impending death of Test matches has been discussed ad nauseam by cricketing experts, but nothing drives the point home as fast as hearing laypeople, who only follow T20 and dare to refer to themselves as “fans”, call for the format’s abolition.

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