Test cricket is not a three-hour Bollywood epic, or an ’80s-style four-hour Springsteen concert, or even a day at the beach. Test cricket junkies are more than just quantifiable “consumers” of cricket; they are emotional participants in an unscripted drama that becomes days of their lives.
– Sharda Ugra “The Sport That Makes Clocks Melt”
The title, Fire in Babylon, promised much. But do you really think that Sir Isaac Vivian Alexander Richards (KNH, OBE) and Cuthbert Gordon Greenidge (MBE) were in any way pioneering post-colonial heroes?
…batsmen before them had been the best in the world in their time. But those players played before the Age of Television, before the Age of Packer, before the age of handsome contracts in County Cricket.
I kept thinking back to Sobers. I wonder what he would say about Fire in Babylon.
“You might not like it, but it is the way of business. And if business has imposed its values on IPL, that’s only because it was invited, even entreated, to do so, in order that the maximum sums be extracted from the sale of franchises. Face it: the money changers aren’t in the temple, they were sold the keys to the temple; and since then they have changed the locks.”
– Gideon Haigh
from Sphere of Influence: Writings on Cricket and its Discontents