Stumpy the elephant is facing mammoth problems. The mascot for the Cricket World Cup 2011, it was picked by the International Cricket Council (ICC) via a global online contest for designing the mascot. But cricket lovers say the elephant is far from appealing, or appropriate, for the event.
“That’s just not good enough as a mascot for the World Cup. A-five-year old could’ve painted it,” feels writer Tomojit Basu. According to the ICC, the jumbo has been chosen “keeping in mind the qualities of the elephant, who is an enthusiastic and determined young individual”.
And that’s exactly what the game’s followers are finding bizarre. “Cricket is all about agility, speed and reflexes… you can’t have an elephant as a symbol for it,” writes London-based web professional Kanika Tandon, who is an avid cricket lover. Law student Deya Bhattacharya says, “an elephant is hardly an animal that would signify the fervour of a sport… it should be called ‘sloppy’ rather than Stumpy.”
The blue elephant has got trunks up from some, though. Former Indian cricketer Akash Chopra finds “nothing wrong” with Stumpy. “In any case, the focus will be on players, not the mascot,” Chopra reasons, even as he confesses to liking the Commonwealth Games mascot Sheroo more. “Stumpy is super cute,” says literature student Ranjabati Das. Still others suggest more experimentation.
“We should keep pigs and cows as our mascots man, what’s the obsession with elephants and tigers!” posts Nikhil Ghanekar online.