Cricket Tournaments to become TV Reality Shows

6 October, 2009 at 13:32 3 comments

I hardly watch cricket (or any sport for that matter) but as an ode to the teams that make the finals of major tournaments like the Sunrise Badminton World Federation World Champoinships 2009 in Hyderabad or recent ICC Champions Trophy 2009 in South Africa, I witnessed the boring match between Australia and New Zealand. In other words these sportsmen deserve my attention for the hardwork they put in and luck that went their way. Yes, I am that vain! Going through some articles on Cricinfo during the telecast, I noticed that it was billed as a Trans-Tasmanian rivalry or something but the match did not live up to its name what with the stadiums being empty, low scores and all. I mean it is expected right? By the time people reach the finals, they are tired and expectations are setup so high that 9 times out of 10, they fail spectacularly. So drowsy was I that I did some midnight surfing and came across the “I’m a cricketer, get me out of here: The next world champions will be decided by a TV reality show” article (reproduced in entirety after the fold) by self-proclaimed humorist Anand Ramachandran whose employer ‘Bellyful of Dreams’ is behind the Cricinfo Page2 foray – that unholy connect with the IPL and beyond through a bunch of content like “Off the Record”, “Fan vs Fan”, “Rule from Hell” and “EyePl TV” which are blatant ripoffs of concepts elsewhere. Anyhoo…

With cricket facing a number of challenges, such as low stadium attendances, falling television ratings, and England, the ICC has come up with a novel way of coping with the first two. From next year, the sport’s august body has decided to dispense with cricket matches altogether, and decide the world’s champion team by means of a TV reality show. “We’ve listened carefully to the complaints from fans. They feel Test cricket is boring, ODIs are meaningless, and Twenty20 just pyjama cricket. So we’ve realised that people actually don’t like cricket at all,” said ICC chairman David Morgan. “We’re hoping that the decision to bypass any actual cricket altogether and go with the internationally proven ‘reality show’ format will help increase viewership and revive our coffers… er, the game,” he added.

The show will feature the world’s leading cricketers competing for supremacy by indulging in thrilling activities such as sitting around in a locked house, burning toast, demonstrating their fear of lizards, competing for the affections of a B-list celebrity, and saying mean things about each other. The winner will be decided by audience voting – which virtually ensures that, unlike at actual cricket tournaments, India will win every time. There will also be a panel of judges whose main functions will be to yell at the cricketers, wear strange clothes, and remind the audience that they actually once existed. Initial rumours have seen the emergence of names such as Stuart Gillespie, Brendon Kuruppu, Rajinder Singh Ghai, Wasim Haider, Ian Austin, Rod McCurdy and Kailash Gattani as frontrunners. “We’re not confirming or denying anything. I can only say that our panel of judges will be a collection of top class no-names, has-beens and former B-listers in finest reality-show traditions,” said a spokesman for the production company that has the contract.
While the idea may have found favour with the powers-that-be, many players, with notable exceptions being Darren Gough and S Sreesanth, seemed unsure about their reality-show prowess. “I’m not sure, mate. We’re a pretty good cricket side, but with all this reality-show business, I don’t think we’d stand a ghost of a chance”, said Australian captain Ricky Ponting, sending a terrified Shane Watson scurrying for cover. “I think it’s a good idea. It’s an opportunity for us to conquer our inner demons and overcome the spectre of the pay dispute,” said West Indies skipper Floyd Reifer, ensuring that Watson would not reappear for the day. Veteran Indian spinner Harbhajan Singh was delighted at the news. “Awesome! This gives us a way to meet two of our commitments – cricket and reality-TV appearances – in one go. It would be even better if the reality show was about us shooting TV commercials. That way we’d be able to cover three major activities at the same time, leaving us with more free time to… er… ah…” he trailed off, unable to think of anything else Indian cricketers can admit to doing publicly. “A reality show isn’t all that different from a cricket match. It’s got lots of the same elements – incessant infighting among competitors, mean-spirited and sadistic authorities, gratuitous slo-mo shots, shameless commercial exploitation, and results that look a bit suspicious. So I don’t see a huge problem for players and fans to make the jump,” said a confident-sounding ICC CEO, Haroon Lorgat, summing up the situation.

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    Entry filed under: Life-Theories, Sports, WebXP.

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    3 Comments Add your own

    • 1. Cricket Tournaments to become TV Reality Shows Match Web  |  6 October, 2009 at 15:38

      […] Read the original post: Cricket Tournaments to become TV Reality Shows […]

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    • 2. Cricket Betting  |  6 October, 2009 at 19:00

      Already there are a lot of reality shows in which the cricketers are acting. I came across most of the young Indian players and some Pakistani cricket players in a dance show on one of the Indian Television. The episode between Harbajan and Sreeshanth in the IPL reflected a reality show.

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    • 3. Yuvaraj  |  26 October, 2009 at 20:37

      Roles have changed slightly now. Greatest of Our Time debate.

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