Who can deny that sartorial cricket
Once a colonial priority to keep the morale
Of English merchants, sailors, soldiers and bureaucrats
And help them escape boredom,
Has been transformed into an Indian cavalcade.
We no longer yearn for membership
To English clubs and cantonments,
Marvel at the intricacies of wristwork,
Feel excluded or less privileged to play the game
We have our own masters from Ranji to Tendulkar.
Since 1835 we have been anglicized and deracinated
To replace the white sahib’s values
Of amateurism, imperialism and ethnocentrism
With our own oriental magic of
Family pride, regional superiority, national prowess.
There is no character building through sport
As once the English schoolmaster
Of the elite missionary schools claimed,
But oily patronage, social hierarchy and specialization
To reach to the top and make a kill.
We are so animated by the competition that
We have forgotten events in Libya, Japan or Tunisia
And converted cricket into self-promotion
Joining hands with the satta bazaar to participate
In cheap thrills of a carnivalesqe enterprise.