Sunday, May 12, 2013

There was a Time When Cricket was Played Like This...

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I was watching one of the IPL-6 matches the other day. With cheer leaders cheering for each team to microphones attached to players in the field, viewing cricket these days have become a visual extravaganza. This made me think of a period (mid eighties to mid nineties) when I was so crazy about cricket and how the matches were telecasted during those times. This blog post is about those days, when as a small kid I will eagerly sit in front of Doordarshan to watch those cricket matches. There was a time when cricket was played like this
  • Only one camera was used to cover the entire match and it is placed near the long-off region
  • Only channel that telecast cricket was Doordarshan
  •  If the test match involving India was held in any other country only highlights will be shown in Doordarshan. One has to depend on All India Radio (AIR) for live commentary of all Test matches outside India
  • Doordarshan had only two commentators – Narathom Puri in English and Sushil Joshi in Hindi (I started learning Hindi listening to Sushil Joshi; he uses only 10 sentences to cover the entire match like – khobsoorat cover drive char run keliya)
  • First slip position is reserved for captains.
  • Diving while fielding is unheard of in cricket field.
  • A score of 30/0 after 10 overs or 45/1 after 15 overs were considered to be a very good score in a one day international.
  • Day and night matches were rare phenomena.
  • Colored cloth and white ball were yet to be discovered in India.
  • Field restrictions were unheard off.
  • Cricket even used to be played in ground meant for athletics having synthetic running tracks.
  • If a batsman mistimes a shot, the single camera in the field moves in the direction where the batsman intended to hit and by the time camera-man realize that it was a mishit and spots the ball, the bowler may have started walking back to his bowling crease.
  • Terms like “Physio” or “Coach” were unheard off in cricket.
  • Best cricket reporting was done by R Mohan of The Hindu and the best weekly covering cricket was “The Sports Star”
  • If you are travelling, the best bet to update the cricket score was the pocket radio.
  • Best commentator for cricket in All India Radio was none other than Harsha Bhogle.
  • Slogging happens in one day cricket only after 40 overs are bowled.
  • Test match crickets were meant to end in draw. Rarely did the Test matches ended in victory for one team.
  • No one was talking about the concept of neutral umpires for Test matches.
  • Every April and September there will be a one day tournament played in Sharjah and during the live telecast you could see Dawood Ibrahim and all those big names in Bollywood in VIP stance in Sharjah.
  • Once a series is over, one has to wait for weeks or months before another international series happen.
I am sure I may have missed so many while writing this one. If you use to watch the match those days and feel that I missed few points unique to that era please add here.
To sum up here is a match that falls under that category – India playing Australia during the 1987 Reliance World Cup. Enjoy!
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