Ranjona Banerji: Conjecture and conjuring on cricket

01 Oct,2012

By Ranjona Banerji

 

After what seems like ages, cricket is back on the top of the news. India’s defeat of Pakistan in the T20 World Cup has shifted the usual suspects – shifty politicians, corruption – to secondary spots. The national obsession has been severely neglected these past few months, except for a few scandals here and there.

 

Cricket’s move away from the sports pages will however depend on India’s fortunes in Sri Lanka. As one of journalism’s favourite clichés goes, brickbats or bouquets will follow.

 

It must be said though that now we are an enhanced looking-for-trouble mode, there was also some excitement over the selection of national selectors, the removal of Jimmy Amarnath and now the attempt to manipulate the selection of a particular selector by some prominent players from a particular part of India.

 

It’s all conjecture and conjuring but that’s what makes it exciting.

 

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Well, cricket may have won over corruption but that does not mean that it has gone anywhere. The battle between RTI activist Anjali Damania and BJP president Nitin Gadkari has led to a larger searchlight being trained on BJP MP Ajay Sancheti and all his companies in connection with Maharashtra’s maha irrigation scam.
The sulking of Ajit Pawar gets pushed further down as a result. The BJP national convention itself created more excitement on twitter than anywhere else.

 

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A holiday for Mumbai/Maharashtra newspapers on Anant Chaturdashi is only a few years old but it seems to be a mistake. The holiday is because vendors won’t deliver the day after the immersions of the idols of Ganapati not because print journalists want a day off. But as far as news is concerned, this is a loss. The day after Ganapati is when people get to see not just pictures of the idols being immersed but also the idols themselves. Further, people get to know how the immersions progressed and the good and bad stories around that.

 

There was a time when Mumbai’s newspapers got hardly any holidays at all and no one suffered for it. Some clever negotiation with distributors and vendors is necessary.

 

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Rajdeep Sardesai of CNN-IBN’s interview with West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee was a bore. Rather than grill the permanently-in-protest leader on her decisions like opposing every economic reform and her party’s decision to pull out of the UPA, Sardesai seemed almost obsequious and conciliatory. Once more we saw Banerjee’s recalcitrance and irrationality, but we’ve had a lot of that recently anyway.

 

Cyrus Broacha on The Week That Wasn’t seemed to agree with this and did his own little spoof on it as well. Kudos to CNN-IBN for taking digs at itself.

 

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