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Will cricket be a watersport?

What would Indian sport be like sixty years hence? Maybe some clues lie in what is redefining India now, writes Akshay Sawai.

cricket Updated: Aug 15, 2007 02:02 IST
Akshay Sawai

The internet, global warming, scientific and medical progress and S Sreesanth's first break dance, then break-opponent's-head-with-a-beamer attitude.

Al Gore is worried that global warming is not melting the girth of his waist. He is equally worried that it is melting icebergs and mountain ranges. It could happen, therefore, that by 2067 Eden Gardens has turned into Sodden Gardens. With water all around, aquatic sport would become the most popular of all disciplines in Kolkata and elsewhere. Swimmers, rowers and sailors would abound. India would win medals at the Olympics. Speedo will finally end the reign of the VIP Frenchie. Even land sports will reinvent themselves. Cricket, for example, will have a wet version.

You may wonder how our cricketers would move about if they play in water. Simple. The batsman will hit the ball and set off on a run in a speedboat. Sreesanth will run in to bowl in a – you're right – a speedboat. The spinners will use slower boats for their run-up.

This was a global warming scenario. Let us now consider eco-scientific advancement and its likely consequences as could be seen in the world of sport.

It could be that one of the races of the 2067 Formula One calendar is held on the rings of Saturn. Or the moon. For this one special event, Ferrari would change their symbol from the prancing horse to a prancing Neil Armstrong. The podium girls, the motor sport equivalent of cheerleaders, will wear costumes made from space suit material. The good news for India would be that by then at least, Narain Karthikeyan would have made it in Formula One.

In cricket, if India are playing England in Manchester in 2067, don't be surprised if you still see the names of Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and Sourav Ganguly on the scoreboard. Given India's weak bench strength, it could be that the Big Three are still playing for India. Else it could be that using the technological facilities of the era, the Indian board has sent clones of the originals to Old Trafford, which by then would be Very Old Trafford.

Back in India, sixty years after the release of a film depicting a rousing World Cup triumph of an Indian women's hockey team, enough stadiums in the land will finally get Astroturf. And politicians will cease to head sports federations.

Or will they?