T20 off my menu

West Indies team celebrates their World Twenty20 2016 win. Photo: sportsroar.com

West Indies has just won the sixth World T20 held in India. The Caribbean calypsos beat England by 4 wickets in the final and have become the first team ever in history to win both ICC Cricket World Cup and World Twenty20 for more than once.

Yay, good for them! But sorry, I didn’t watch even a single match throughout the tournament. I just caught news about the winning teams from the various news channels. The fast food version of cricket has lost its lustre for me.

When Twenty20 started becoming popular, I was all for it. Forget test cricket, even one-days seem too long these days. So this quick version that is over and done with in a jiffy looked ideal. I followed it avidly at first, especially with the start of the T20 World Cup and the launch of the Indian Premier League. But the attraction soon started waning and now I'm completely off it. I’ve struck it off my menu.

To begin with, I was never interested in cricket – in fact, I always found it super boring. I guess it was mainly because I didn’t know much about it. It was like, what the heck are those guys up to, running up and down those sticks in uncomfortable bulky leg pads?

My brothers are big fans and growing up I remember them being glued to the radio listening to cricket match commentaries. That was the era before TV, if anyone even remembers it now! I just laughed at their reactions, probably when someone got out or batted a sixer, but couldn’t be bothered with the game.

But interested or not, I too listened to the 1983 Indian World Cup triumph on the radio. I was in college then. It was a huge event and everyone was listening to it! I laughed hilariously when the commentator said somewhat mockingly that it would probably be a celebratory national holiday for India the next day.

I learned all about wielding the willow, bowling, runs and boundaries thanks to good friends the Metha brothers, John and Abu, Akhou Keditsu and sports buff Yartenla Jamir. Their incessant cricket talk drew me to the game and I started following it with interest.

Now, the Metha brothers are sporty types who play and are good at various sports – cricket, badminton, tennis and what have you. So there’s nothing surprising about them being passionate sports fans. Yar, as I said, is also a sports buff. Pretty handy at a few of them herself, it’s quite natural that she follows various events enthusiastically.

Akhou is another story altogether – laid back to the point of being lazy, he would do anything to avoid any kind of vigorous activity. The most un-sporty type you’ll come across, but a more knowledgeable expert on all kinds of sports you’ll never find – even some weird ones that you’ve never even heard of. Cricket, football, basketball, tennis, Formula 1 – you name it and he knows all about it, history and everything else between. Not a player but a true sports lover to the core. I would recommend some time in his company to anyone looking to enhance their sports IQ!

Well, all credit to them for converting me to a game I couldn’t care less about. I guess there’s something in the old adage – be careful of the company you keep. Friends do influence us, for better or worse!

But sorry, Twenty20 has fallen out of favour with me, for now at least. 

By the way, I must put in a footnote here: The Indian obsession with cricket is enough to put anyone off the game. It gets tedious - honest!!