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reverse_swing
December 21, 2006, 10:01 AM
South Asia's cricket obsession
By Boria Majumdar

A recent news report in newspapers across India and Bangladesh drew the attention of cricket fans across the globe.
It quoted the World Cup cricket official Janelle Penny as saying that 90% of tickets for matches involving India and Bangladesh had been sold out much ahead of the championship in March.
Add to this the fact that in Australia, Indians, Bangladeshis and Sri Lankans have already booked the giant screen at Federation Square in downtown Melbourne to watch their teams play.
At a time when Indian cricket is underperforming, such euphoria is surprising.
A billion hopes
And for Bangladesh, which has no chance of moving up much in the championship, the craze is inexplicable unless attention is moved to some startling truths, which go beyond cricket in general and the World Cup in particular.
The craze isn't unnatural because cricket in South Asia has gone beyond being a national phenomenon to a more global or trans-national one.

This is because the fortunes of the Indian and other South Asian cricket teams encapsulate the story of post-colonial South Asia in microcosm - tapestries permanently being woven around the performance of 11 men who carry on their shoulders the demands of more than a billion people.
This realisation once again dawned on me while speaking at the University of Toronto recently.
I was amazed at what cricket implies to India and its diaspora. Words of caution that cricket helps provide an illusion of a national consciousness, inconceivable otherwise, were not entertained.
When asked what was likely to await coach Greg Chappell if India won the Cup, I was in two minds.
Before I could get myself to say anything reasonable, an over-enthusiastic cricket fan from the audience jumped up and suggested, "Chappell may even receive the Bharat Ratna [the highest Indian civilian honour]".
That a non-resident Indian in Canada who follows cricket on the Internet could pronounce such a radical view was revealing.
Cricket for South Asians across the world provides a space where all differences are overcome.
The assertion of an Indian or Bangladeshi identity globally, expression of cultural nationalism or feeling of emotional commonality are all rooted in cricket.
Interestingly, a poll conducted by a national daily in India a couple of years ago on the attitudes of the Indian youth found that more than 50% of the respondents, given a chance, would live in some other country. This figure might have been higher for Bangladesh given the continuing political and economic instability in the country.
Yet all of these expatriates would inevitably stay up nights in the US to watch their country play in England and participate in detailed analyses of their team's strengths and weaknesses in countless internet chat rooms.


Contradiction
The reaction of the global South Asian, a contradiction of sorts in that he wants to escape his country yet embrace its best-known passion, draws attention to two things.
First, cricket is no longer a mere national obsession.
Modern cricket is truly a trans-national phenomenon, which obsesses the cosmopolitan global South Asian who transcends the geographical boundaries of the nation.

This Indian or Bangladeshi is less national and more global, a world citizen capable of casting a critical eye on the tribulations confronting contemporary economic and political life.
Cricket, religion at home and a symbolic flexed muscle in the international arena, is thus South Asia's best-known brand name.
In recent times, Bollywood and cricket have emerged like the ubiquitous Indian curry that is fancied as an authentic flavour of India the world over.
For most people who otherwise have a very vague idea of the country, its current political situation or economic structures, the words cricket and Bollywood, like curry, is sure to at least generate an enthusiastic response of "Oh yes, I know that one, my best friend is crazy about cricket".
Today, it is the culture of Bollywood cinema and cricket that serve as the very distinctive and exotic essence which draws people who would otherwise be uninterested in 21st Century India, which has little to set itself apart from a host of other southern countries.
In other words, cricket, irrespective of the way India or Bangladesh is performing, helps post-colonial South Asia assert itself on the world stage.
In fact, South Asia and its super-strong diaspora have gradually begun to replace Western control with South Asian control in cricket.
One simple fact is enough to prove the point.
In the inaugural match of the 2004 Champions' Trophy at the Rose Bowl in Hampshire, England, not a single advertising billboard was from a local company. Every company advertised was from the sub-continent.
And South Asia, despite being a late and tardy entrant in the contest to win the rights to host the 2011 World Cup, was eventually a runaway winner.
Finally, World Cup ticket sales point to the class differentiation across South Asian diasporas of the world.
Had the championship been held in Europe and not in the Caribbean, the number of Bangladeshis making it to the tournament would be far less.
Higher income
This is because sections of the Bangladeshi diaspora in the US are of a much higher income bracket compared to those in the UK.
While Indians would anyway dominate the event, such is the strength of Indian diasporas in the UK, US or even Australia, for Pakistanis and Bangladeshis the Caribbean offers an opportunity like none other.
It is as if their countries have suddenly shifted next door, making their presence in the World Cup more than a mere occasion to see some excellent cricket.
To round up with a final example of this obsession - the Press Trust of India news agency reported on 3 May from Port of Spain in the West Indies: "An Indian visitor to Jamaica happened to be the first applicant for 2007 Cricket World Cup tickets as official ticket centres were opened throughout the tournament's nine host venues.
"Mr Venugopal, who went on to Trinidad and Tobago, said: 'I want to see India play next year. I am definitely coming back even if that means I spend all my savings.'"
The author is a sports historian and author of Twenty-Two Yards to Freedom: A Social History of Indian Cricket. He is a research fellow at Latrobe University, Melbourne

Source:BBC >> (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/6171549.stm)

SMHasan
December 21, 2006, 10:29 AM
So 90% of the tickets gone! I wish I could be there to encourage the team.

israr
December 21, 2006, 11:02 AM
In addition, I've received the information from Gulf News that the Bangladesh-India match is the only fixture which has been completely sold out, besides the home team (West Indian) matches.

uss01
December 21, 2006, 11:23 AM
hmm i wonder if that's because of the indian or bangladeshi supporters. I doubt if the Indian supporters want to watch a game against the BD. Probably mostly BD supporters based out of the US like the articles said. Which is good cause Hablu and company would feel right at home! Hope they don't get too carried away and try smack every ball for a six!

Mav
December 21, 2006, 01:17 PM
wow..

Kabir
December 21, 2006, 01:37 PM
This is because sections of the Bangladeshi diaspora in the US are of a much higher income bracket compared to those in the UK.
While Indians would anyway dominate the event, such is the strength of Indian diasporas in the UK, US or even Australia, for Pakistanis and Bangladeshis the Caribbean offers an opportunity like none other.

I doubt the validity of the above claims. Not sure what statistical basis he's using...but from what I know Bangladeshis in UK are generally doing much better than in US.

My assumption is, it's because of more Bangladeshis in US and Canada who are more cricket deprived than any other Bangladeshis.

Beamer
December 21, 2006, 01:58 PM
We are going with a large group of friends from USA to see all Bangladesh games. look out for us! With permission, we will like to hold up BC sign for everyone to see.

reverse_swing
December 21, 2006, 02:08 PM
I doubt the validity of the above claims. Not sure what statistical basis he's using...but from what I know Bangladeshis in UK are generally doing much better than in US.



This is entirely opposite to what you actually said.:) According to 2001 census Bangladeshi ethnic group have the highest unemplyment rate. In 2001/02 just over 40 per cent of Bangladeshi men aged under 25 were unemployed compared with 12 per cent of young White men. To get an idea read this >>
(http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&ct=res&cd=3&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.statistics.gov.uk%2Fpdfdir%2F meg1202.pdf&ei=rtqKRei6CKGYnQOnvZyaDw&usg=__Pu_ZTzQOQIrqgO57lwpBeNzOMUk=&sig2=tFbLuvZTDksxhtxIo3NSrA)

Zobair
December 21, 2006, 02:48 PM
I will be there for the BAN-IND match with my family and friends too... Insh'Allah! Beamer bhai we should be definitely meet up!

Murad
December 21, 2006, 02:52 PM
great news..

israr
December 21, 2006, 03:53 PM
We are going with a large group of friends from USA to see all Bangladesh games. look out for us! With permission, we will like to hold up BC sign for everyone to see.

Oh; please do that!

Kabir
December 21, 2006, 03:56 PM
This is entirely opposite to what you actually said.:) According to 2001 census Bangladeshi ethnic group have the highest unemplyment rate. In 2001/02 just over 40 per cent of Bangladeshi men aged under 25 were unemployed compared with 12 per cent of young White men. To get an idea read this >>
(http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&ct=res&cd=3&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.statistics.gov.uk%2Fpdfdir%2F meg1202.pdf&ei=rtqKRei6CKGYnQOnvZyaDw&usg=__Pu_ZTzQOQIrqgO57lwpBeNzOMUk=&sig2=tFbLuvZTDksxhtxIo3NSrA)

Thanks RS. Then definitely the people who gave me that impression will get chased at this weekend :waiting:

Farhad
December 21, 2006, 04:45 PM
Pretty good news........Btw, the writer is the worst Ive seen...:-D Amazing how he could make a rather interesting piece of news, look like the most boring story on the planet. I almost fell asleep reading it! (Ofcourse, i havent slept for 3 days, so dat cud be a a factor :D )

Omio
December 21, 2006, 04:58 PM
I try to get ticket for watching WC,
If i get i will go to WI..

akabir77
December 21, 2006, 05:23 PM
problem with my paperwork else i would have bought the first ticket :( u lucky guys

al Furqaan
December 21, 2006, 08:13 PM
interesting that the India-SL matches are not up to par with india-BD...of course there are far more bangalis than lankans...the crowd will no doubt be dominated by indians. if we can beat out 7-1 ratio, we should be happy. optimally i'd like to see 1/5th of the crowd be BD fans.

ialbd
December 21, 2006, 08:14 PM
mashAllah... it will be 'THE GAME'

Tokyobreeze
December 21, 2006, 09:02 PM
Good to read it..Thanks for sharing..Expecting a nail-biting match between BD-IND where we will come out victorious in the end.Unfortunate that I won't be able to be present in the stadium.But, my heart will be there for sure.

PoorFan
December 21, 2006, 09:34 PM
We are going with a large group of friends from USA to see all Bangladesh games. look out for us! With permission, we will like to hold up BC sign for everyone to see.
<!--StartFragment -->Wish you guys will bring us great victory, yes victory is what we like to see! you guys are so lucky. Wish you all a nice trip.

Tehsin
December 21, 2006, 10:07 PM
The BIGGER the better. :)

We are going with a large group of friends from USA to see all Bangladesh games. look out for us! With permission, we will like to hold up BC sign for everyone to see.

mshakir56
December 22, 2006, 12:49 AM
Thats great to hear ! I am hoping we can cause some upsets in the coming world cup ! Go Tigers ! Hope someone will hold up a huge BanglaCricket.com Banner !

Rihaad The Man
December 22, 2006, 01:21 AM
We should take all the tickets to make sure there are no empty seats in the ground :) .

oracle
December 22, 2006, 07:13 AM
i will be there too, SL and Ind. and sorry, but will not be sharing my bed. thanks.

akabir77
December 22, 2006, 10:39 AM
Please make sure you have spell checked your banners. I am fed up seeing wrong spelled banner held up by BD people in the stadium (not that I am a good speller or something...)

kalpurush
December 22, 2006, 11:44 AM
The BIGGER the better. :)

What about the design of the banner? Any ideas, friends? :-D

Ahmed_B
December 22, 2006, 12:01 PM
Very interesting article. The quoted part below more or less says it all. :)

.... Cricket for South Asians across the world provides a space where all differences are overcome. The assertion of an Indian or Bangladeshi identity globally, expression of cultural nationalism or feeling of emotional commonality are all rooted in cricket.

uss01
December 22, 2006, 12:04 PM
I didn't like some of his points. Specially this one:

"Interestingly, a poll conducted by a national daily in India a couple of years ago on the attitudes of the Indian youth found that more than 50% of the respondents, given a chance, would live in some other country. This figure might have been higher for Bangladesh given the continuing political and economic instability in the country."

How does he know that about Bangladeshi youth. If he cited a poll by a BD daily it would have been more professional. He just assumes that. Anyways, for both youth in India and BD, if they want to do that it's because of economic reasons, does not make them less patriotic. They just want to be productive people and earn a decent living. It would have been better if Mr. Majumdar mentioned that.





Pretty good news........Btw, the writer is the worst Ive seen...:-D Amazing how he could make a rather interesting piece of news, look like the most boring story on the planet. I almost fell asleep reading it! (Ofcourse, i havent slept for 3 days, so dat cud be a a factor :D )

Pundit
December 22, 2006, 08:40 PM
BD has no chance of moving up the championship, writes this Boria guy. Really?? Is that not even statistically possible??

Bangladeshi "diaspora" to the US? What does that mean? Are Bangladeshis fleeing their homeland en mass ?

Sounds like yet another Indian p_ _ _y too eager to look up the dictionary every chance he gets.

Rabz
December 23, 2006, 01:33 AM
who knows, hopefully we can snap up the win against the Indians in the wc match..

irteja
February 24, 2007, 09:10 AM
anyone from melbourne can you please conferm.. will the India Vs Bangladesh Match will be shown live at Federation Square?

fwullah
February 24, 2007, 12:07 PM
Since everybody is saying something, I guess I should, too.

I have taken leave from my job on 18th and 22nd March 2007. Since 26th March is the national holiday anyway, and because Bangladesh's matches will be held on 17th, 21st and 25th March 2007, so I'll be able to watch the matches live, bearing that we have electricity and cable on TV are OK.

Location: Dhaka

kalpurush
February 24, 2007, 01:55 PM
Since everybody is saying something, I guess I should, too.

I have taken leave from my job on 18th and 22nd March 2007. Since 26th March is the national holiday anyway, and because Bangladesh's matches will be held on 17th, 21st and 25th March 2007, so I'll be able to watch the matches live, bearing that we have electricity and cable on TV are OK.

Location: Dhaka

I was wondering why 18th? Now I know...watching games at night and sleeping with a sweet memory at day time! But, pls. no "Day" dream...!! 2nd round is good for us for now>:-D

mhj007
February 25, 2007, 02:46 AM
i just want one thing..if bd could make it 2 the super eight...
Junior

ottawaGuy
February 26, 2007, 10:50 AM
Maann! I'd been saving up to go see the India-BD match with my palsbut i just ended up buying a ps3 with it instead=(

Tigers_eye
February 26, 2007, 11:25 AM
Those of whom are going, this is a check list. Make sure you have all that.
If signs are not made before the game then:

Sheets of white paper (the hard ones)
Packed of color Sharpie (green and red prefered; black will be ok)
Tape (scotch)
head bands
Sun glass
Cheek flag stickers
Flags (big enough for two person to uphold)
Binaculars
running shoes
pocket full of sandwitches / samosa.
if possible a drum (this is the best).

Bannar: Another option is to buy a bedsheets (full size - white) and paint over it. Now you can be creative. Draw wickets, balls and cartoons on it like Tendu getting out.

Don't take water bottles, sharp objects, can openers, cigerates, lighters.

Any sign less than 2 feet won't be viewable because of the glare and stuff. Make sure the letter "i" width are a minimum of 2". Other letters should be proportionate.

Good luck to all of you who are going!! Have a safe journey, and know this: my pair of eyes will be searching you guys on the TV screens!! Inshallah we will be smiling at the end of 17th March.

al Furqaan
February 26, 2007, 04:43 PM
well said Mijan bhai.

also a health tip: TAKE SUNSCREEN AND APPLY LIBERALLY

capslock
March 11, 2007, 12:28 PM
...Another Oval match sold outSunday, March 11 2007




ANOTHER World Cup Cricket match in Group “B” — India versus Bangladesh — to be staged at the Queen’s Park Oval has been sold out.
And Anand Daniel, Chief Executive Officer of the Local Organising Committee (LOC), has said this is because of the Bangladesh victory over New Zealand in their warm-up match on Tuesday last.

According to Daniel, the upset result showed that the World Cup is wide open and will be very interesting. The Kiwis recently steamrolled defending World Cup champions Australia recently in the Chappell-Hadlee Series.

Up to Friday, the encounter between India and Sri Lanka was the only sold out match of the group which will be played at the Oval.

Daniels said Bangladesh have been lifted by the victory and placed them as spoilers in the group. The Indian team on Friday humbled hosts West Indies in their final warm-up match in Trelawny, Jamaica.

Daniels said the other matches in the group are now 70 percent sold out and expectations are that all the matches will be played before capacity crowds. Group “B” comprise India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Bermuda who are coached by former Trinidad and Tobago’s and West Indies cricketer Gus Logie.

The Opening Ceremony for the Cricket World Cup gets going today from 6.15 pm (TT time) at Trelawny and will be carried live on CNMG (Channels 6 and 9). Daniels said yesterday he was confident that Group “B” matches at the Oval will be staged smoothly.

On Friday, Newsday reported exclusively that the venue was struggling to be completed in time for the staging of the group phase of the tournament. There was still a lot of work being done to complete the entrances to the Elizabeth Street and the “Party Posse” Stands which replaced the Carib Beer and Trini Posse stands.

Daniels said whatever is happening on the outside of the Oval will not affect the competition that will take place inside. He said work on the stands was completed and the pitch has been tried and tested so he saw no reason why the matches could not be successfully staged.

He admitted his organisation faced some minor difficulties in completing the stands and sorting out the tickets on their arrival in the country, but said he felt thrilled when he saw the 5,000 capacity crowd at the UWI venue for the staging of the last warm-up match on Friday between South Africa and Pakistan.