Saturday, January 21, 2012

Warne with a microphone

T20 cricket has its critics and issues. But it has some really cool things going on as well.
I have not followed the Big Bash League (BBL) - the franchisee based Australian domestic competition which in its first season. I watched it for half an hour today and I had a terrific experience.
Shane Warne was bowling with a microphone attached and he was taking the TV viewer literally through each and every ball that he was bowling. I knew that this was something that was happening in this tournament, when this Mccullum dismissal had happened a few weeks back.
Nothing of that sort happened today. While I was watching, he bowled 3 overs to a couple of old adversaries - Herschelle Gibbs and Paul Collingwood. And yet, as he took the viewer through each and every delivery of his, I got a glimpse, an insight, a little peak,  into the mind of probably the most fascinating character - the game has ever seen. I also got to see and listen, how he makes every delivery of his - an event in itself, each ball that he delivers -  has a life of its own; how he speaks on the field and tries to get into the mind of the batsman; how he attempts to bluff and double bluff the opposition. This was genius at work and as a viewer, you could not get any closer to see him work.
A T20 match perhaps doesn't allow Warne to have an elaborate setup and deception that perhaps a long test match spell would offer. And yet, post his retirement from international cricket, we have been privileged to see him in short cameos playing T20 cricket. He has been wonderful to watch while playing and captaining Rajasthan Royals and now with the microphone on while bowling for the Melbourne Stars.
I am not sure, we will be seeing test matches with players speaking while bowling or batting any time soon. Perhaps we should keep it that way - I don't know. But this format of cricket did provide me something different and special. And it was terrific fun.

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