For – India’s Last Week

Why are West Indies cricketers acting like characters in a 1980s Bollywood movie?
Plus, everyone’s buying a football team.
Anuvab Pal
Yesterday · 12:30 pm

Last week, in a situation hitherto unknown to world cricket, the West Indies team touring India decided to leave mid- way through the tour with a few apologies. Something to do with not being paid enough (or at all). So, like 1980’s mill workers in a Bollywood movie (any Amitabh Bachchan father character), they said, hell with it, I’m not working.

It is quite brilliant (and very funny, although not to the players), that a labor union struggle has moved into a cricket stadium. It is logical. Factory workers express their rights in their place of work and stop fixing bolts in a car. Sportspeople can only revolt in their factory ‒ the field. That they didn’t hold up placards with photos of Mao and Che Guevara singing We Shall Overcome and go on strike mid-third over is, I suppose, a blessing. Not knowing the inner goings on of the West Indian cricket board, Indian fans could perhaps interpret it as, “Wow, they dislike Dhoni this much?”

It could set an odd precedent in world sport. Some Chelsea striker or Real Madrid center forward, could, in their respective club leagues, choose to freeze mid-attack on the goal, and say he’d only carry on if his contract was re-negotiated. Or an Olympic athlete could in the 100 meters dash, choose to run in the opposite direction to his competitors to express unhappiness over his incremental bonus. Or a Libyan gymnast could say, “Right, I am not getting down from these ropes unless I am given asylum in Europe.” The can of worms now stands open.


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