And some thoughts on the Reliance Cup….so far.
The Ambanis, who have staked so much money, have not got enough mileage out of the game and others, who have offered little prizes and sponsored a few columns, are getting much more exposure. And, I think, it is churlish on the part of Indian cricketers to have refused to wear the Reliance there would have been no World Cup in India and consequently the Indian cricketers earnings would have dropped considerably.
And let's face. Outside India and outside Gavaskar, no manufacturer will get an Indian cricketer to endorse his products and pay the criketer for it. As I said - outside Gavaskar, who is India's only international personality.
As for the cricketers writing, I think one cricketer writes as well or as badly as another. And I would any day have a good, established, professional cricket correspondent writing than say a Dilip Vengsarkar K. N. Prabhu, who, I think, has retired prematurely like Gavaskar.
Coming to the tournament proper, I believe there is little to choose between the teams and it could be anybody;s game. And though I fancied England at one stage, after yesterday's panic performance, it may be dismissed. Between the West Indies and Pakistan, I prefer Pakistan, and between Pakistan and India, I prefer India, but only just. And, if have any money to invest, I would suggest you put it on Australia making it to the finals, and, probably, even win the finals.
And, between Indian television and Pakistan television, I would give my vote to neither. Both have got more cameras than they know what to do with, and they have yet to master the technique for slowmotion, especially in the run-outs.
And, I do not know if you have noticed that it is not only the Indians who are after money. All the cricketers from all the countries are after it, except, perhaps, those from Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka. And they are probably indifferent to money because nobody is offering them any.
And what I find more annoying than cricketers holding out for money is the older generation cricketers who observe that in their days they did not play for money.
And it is sad but the only ex-cricketer who is still making money out of the game - and probably more now than when he was playing is Pataudi.
And I do not know who taught Kapil Dev the philosophy - somebody has to win and somebody has to win and somebody has to lose; he is using it too often these days. And, before the tournament ends, he may have to use it a few more times.