Saturday, November 04, 2006

If I were a cricketer

"Right before I put my pads on, I'm watching myself on television. Crap hairstyle, I'm thinking, I don't know what I was thinking then. And no lighting from above next time. It makes my nose look huge. Dhoni's in the next one, selling some uv Brylcreem gel. And I think: that should be me selling uv gel. They missed a trick. Yuvi, uv. Anyway, good for him. The boy's made it. He's now earning, what, 30-40lakhs a deal? Nice. And now Rahul's out. Oh dearie me. Here I was, thinking of advertisements and endorsements, and now I've got to bat. Hold on a second. Out the door, walk like you own the place, tell cap he played well, walk on, no, wait, ask how the pitch played, walk on, say hello to the umpire, listen to Viru but don't hear a thing. I wonder what's on tv right now. This is the part where they cut to commercials. Am I on right now? I hope it's not that Xbox 360 ad. You looked too gawky there, son. Okay, concentrate, concentrate. It's Bravo and his crap slower ball. Blast it into Sidhu's mouth, just as he's talking about airhostesses and bicycles. How many ads does he... Oh hell. Hell. Here we go again. 'Too many ads, I should be punished, I'm a maverick...' Here we go again. Look depressed. Shake your head. Shake it harder, with more energy. Now look angry. After taking off the helmet. Swear and hit your pads with the bat. Maybe I should stop the ads. Then when I'm out like this they'll blame money problems and I can act again."

Well, that was fun! But I still don't understand why people link what cricketers earn through advertising with how badly they play. It's almost as if everytime they appear on screen people think, 'There he is again.' Why grudge them that? If they fail consistently, their contracts won't be renewed. And it's not like they're shooting an ad film between every over. A day or two of their life, for every ad, and it's over. Tendulkar, for example, gives Pepsi ten days of his year. This talk of concentrating less on advertisements and more on their game is nonsense.

2 comments:

Pratyush said...

Agreed completely. There is another aspect which irritates me a lot - people saying players are earning too much money.

Firstly it is free markets and secondly and more crucially for me, sports persons have a limited life where they play the sport and usually command so much money (unless you are a Jordan) in sport and so why grudge them whatever they earn.

worma said...

Rahul, I almost agree with everything you say. In fact, those used to be my line in the defense of players being ripped for their endorsements etc.

But there was a shocking revelation in Wright's book. He said something to the effect that players were missing training (ok, not official camp, but training during break days) due to their commercial commitments.

And we know Wright's times were not really the unprofessional era of Indian cricket. So...if that happened then, can't it be happening even now? Most of the core players are the same.

Ofcourse, despite all this, I really don't think a top player's performance is affected all that much by his endorsements. Perhaps someone with specific weaknesses, not ironing them out during off-season and dedicating more time to commercial shoot can be blamed, but not the players who go through the regular cycle of good and bad form