Politics and cricket should never go hand in hand. That’s usually the theory forwarded by purists striving for the good of the game.
But Monday was different, as both cricket and politics were affected by similar incidents in two different parts of the country. While the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) maha-rally organised by UP Chief Minister, Mayawati, to mark the party’s silver jubilee in Lucknow was marred by a swarm of bees, an army of moths besieged the IPL match between the Rajasthan Royals and Delhi Daredevils in Ahmedabad.
While the UP government ordered a high-level probe into the ‘incident’, the cricketers were more ‘sporty’, getting on with their business once the swarm had left.
As the spectators trooped into the Sardar Patel Stadium in Motera, they were greeted to a sight of lakhs of moths, whose number kept increasing as the floodlights came on.
“Moths are common during this time of the year,” said a local. A Gujarat Cricket Association official at the ground said, insects are usually attracted towards light. “Such insects are common in February-March. It happens more so because the Sabarmati river is close by. There is a lot of greenery along the river and insects breed there,” he said.
Daredevils’ Amit Mishra said, “It was difficult to keep the eyes open. But I doubt anything could have been done to avoid it. The situation got worse after the match got underway… but it was not possible to use insecticides.”
Paras Dogra of the Royals said, “Helmet ke andar ghus rahe the (They were getting inside the helmet).” TV commentator, Harsha Bhogle, couldn’t resist saying to AB de Villers on the mike, “If you keep your mouth open a little longer, you will turn non-vegetarian.”
Mayawati considered the bees’ incident a conspiracy, but cricket goes on come rain or sunshine. After all, politics and sports are two different ball games.