Thursday, 7 February, 2008

Cricket and Music : A Great Fusion

Ever heard of all eleven players making their ODI debut on a same day?

On 13th July 1974, eleven Indians led by Ajit Wadekar did exactly that. It was India's first ever One Day International.

Since that game at Leeds, a lot of water has flown under the proverbial bridge. Wadekar never played test or ODI cricket after the drubbing in that series. Mike Denness, his English counterpart, played for exactly a year more. Eknath Solkar, India's best close-in fielder, died relatively young at 57. So did Robert Andrew Woolmer. In the meantime, India won the world cup and even hosted couple of them. And the cricketing world almost turned topsy-turvy.

Why am I even raking this up? The reason is, India's next match against SL at Melbourne on 10th February, will see them overtake Pakistan (and all other nations) in maximum number of ODIs played by a team. (India is currently level with Pakistan at 674 games.) Given India's busy season and their increasing thrust on one-day games, they are likely to stay well clear of the competition hereon, very much like Murali's wickets in test cricket.

I am not saying this is a cause for celebration. But it is remarkable that almost half of these matches (332, to be precise) have been played in last decade alone. India may not have the same winning ratio as Pakistan (1.23 in 674 games) or Australia (1.79 in 670 games) , but in between it's first ODI in 1974 and the one they will play on 10th February 2008, India has changed the dynamics of limited overs game so much, that it will force even Kerry Packer to take a backseat.

Before India lock horn with their southern neighbours, Australia will have a first go at them in Sydney, tomorrow. It is a repeat of WC final. Australians have 'handled' Murali pretty well in their last three outings, including the WC final, Murali's figures reading 193/1 in 27 overs! To me this is a contest between top two batting sides in the tournament. It will also provide the much needed spark, that has failed the tri series so far.

As for the fusion, it comes in the form of 'Vasantotsav' (translated as 'Festival of Spring' and also named after famous classical singer Vasantrao Deshpande) starting in Pune, tomorrow. It is an exquisite treat for music aficionados. This year's edition features Tabla maestro Zakir Hussain and drummist Shivamani in a jugalbandi, Violinist L Subramaniam, Sufi singer Abida Parveen, Gazhal king Ghulam Ali and the vintage vocalist Kishori Amonkar.

It is like watching your favourite cricketers play on your favourite cricket ground. Truly a 'Taare Zameen Par' (Stars on the Ground) stuff.

Exciting cricket contests and celestial music, a heady mix, this weekend brings!

13 comments:

scorpicity said...

good one CG... that's the whole point in the current cricket scenario... the fact that they started quite late and piled on the maximum number of matches within this time made them rake in money. Whereas teams like NZ who hardly play beyond what is in the reach of their backyards don't make much and hence all the money-related problems with their players and the rest of the world's stale complaints. However I think this particular year, the Indian schedule is terribly overdone... man, they just don't have a break at all.

So you are off to a concert eh... don't know much about fusion... am all heavy metal :).

Soulberry said...

India begins slowly but catches up like a rash.

Nice weekend coming up eh?

I'm going to dig up my old Kishori Amonkar LP's today...been a while.

Uncle J rod said...

With all those one dayers under your belt you'd assume you would have won more than one world cup.

Naked Cricket said...

Numbers like that are downright numbing. Good one there; but to say that I enjoyed it will mean bring on another 300 odd ODIs in 5 years.

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Straightdrive said...

That's a good one CG. The numbers explain the madness that took place yesterday at Hilton towers. It's time we strengthen those numbers with some good performances.

I hardly get chance in Coimbatore for a music outing. In that respect I have always liked Chennai for its December music festival. I never knew about Pune's tradition. You should be having a wonderful time listening to sound of music. Have a great time.

scorpicity said...

CG... whats up... gone into hibernation?

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