Anil Thakraney: mxmindia to blame for cricket debacle!

12 Dec,2012

By Anil Thakraney


Haha. I am sure the editor-in-chief of this portal had a minor heart attack when he read this headline. Sorry Pradyuman, couldn’t resist it! The point is: While many theories are being belted out on this subject, I am entirely convinced it is the media and marketing in India which is behind the poor show of the Indian team.


Let me explain: Regular readers of this blog might remember my post in March this year, on Virat Kohli, after the young man’s excellent test cricket performance in Australia. In a nutshell, this is what I had warned about: Imagine the excitement inside corporate boardrooms as brand managers salivate at the prospect of signing multimillion dollar contracts with the lucky dude. And also inside the buzzing rooms of editors and programming heads, as they plan huge spreads for the new-found hero. Too much adulation and quick riches can easily go to Kohli’s head, he’s still very young, a 23 year old lad. We have finally found a real match winner in the cricket team, a player who doesn’t get intimidated by huge targets, and it’s in the nation’s interest that we carefully nurture this rare talent.


Well, no one listened to me (as usual!), and Virat already looks like a pale shadow of himself. And indeed this is the malaise with the entire Indian team. It’s foolish blaming the IPL for all the problems because international cricketers also play that format, but it hasn’t affected their test cricket skills. It’s a clear case of loss of appetite for success. When you are already being worshipped in the media, if you are already signing lucrative endorsements deals, why would you crave to do better on the cricket ground, why would you push yourself hard?


I think Indian cricket is paying a huge price for the obsession this nation has with celebrity. We don’t give people time to evolve, we don’t give them time to showcase their real talents, even minor performers quickly become stars. As an example, consider the case of starlets like Sonakshi Sinha and Parineeti Chopra. A couple of films down the line, and they are already in the glossies and in the ads. This is a recipe for disaster.


It’s easy to see many careers have been damaged due to premature attention. The same thing will happen to Cheteshwar Pujara, and frankly, I see no way out of this morass. Our cricket team is destined to be inconsistent; we have to live with that. And it’s we who are to blame for this.




PS: For fashionable women, landing up at a Page 3 party in the same dress as another guest can be a disaster. This emotion is captured very well in this Harvey Nichols ad. Sure, some women can even get murderous in this situation. Enjoy!


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