April 01, 2007

Our teaming masses

So one had spent an entirely ludicrous sum of money and stayed awake all night and half the morning on multiple occasions to catch the Homeland's national team in televised action, in a contest as distinguished as the World Cup of Cricket. One had braved the neighbour's persistent complaints, intense office-hour sleepiness and repeated viewings of a deeply irritating S. Khan/P. Zinta car commercial that seemed to go “Ek haseen .. khwab hai humne .. dekha-dekha-dekha”. And then the Team had to go and knock themselves out.

And we have gone and turned into a billion blue blistering barnacles, anchoring ourselves to our recollections of that exhilarating Sharjah summer and that NatWest Trophy run-chase, clinging to the memory of that special evening at Lord's many years ago, while seething and screaming at the state of the team today. Despite the best dimaag-thandofying efforts of the folks at Videocon.

With the exception of One cricket fan. For the One does not seethe or blister. One does not mope longfacedly after a defeat. No. For one is nothing if not Solution-Oriented.

Ruminating or mulling over the situation can yield Insights, people. And, with characteristic perspicacity, one has reached the Crux of the Matter. Which is this : the Indian cricket team is underperforming because it suffers from a lack of reservations. No, it's not that they're uninhibited - most of them are fairly reticent sorts, especially when batting. We refer to Reservations. Where are the quotas, people? How can we uplift the Teeming Masses if we prevent them from Teaming?

Clearly, things must be done. The time has now come to formulate an Action Plan, with Bullet Points.
  • Five places must be reserved for SCs/STs/OBCs.
  • Two places must be reserved for civil servants and defence personnel, or their relatives.
  • Two for ex-servicemen.
  • Two places for the descendants of freedom fighters.
  • One place for NRIs.*
The mathematically astute reader might point out that this is already too many, for a cricket team comprises of but eleven souls. There then arise two options:

a) A senior official could consult with cricket's governing bodies and lobby for the number of players in a team to be increased to 200,000,000 so that all the children of the country are given the opportunity to shine.

b) We could take players who fit into multiple categories, hence reusing the same individual to pacify different groups. For instance, a person who hails from a backward caste, has what is called a defence background, and lives abroad would be a near-permanent fixture in the side. Cricket can always be taught.

What is important, people, is that the gross under-representation of certain groups in the team be rectified. We are a democracy, after all.

* Well, a little self-serving never hurt anyone.