Cricket may be a common religion in India, but for news channels in the country, it has various faces. While for serious ones, it means former Australian cricket captain Allan Border analysing the technicalities of the game. For others, it is all about gaining eyeballs by introducing an unkempt Rakhi Sawant on the screen.
Cricketing news, in this season of ICC Cricket World Cup, will see it all.
From 1983 to 2011, everything has changed. We won the World Cup when we were underdogs. And, in 2011, the biggest threat to Indian cricket team seems to be the massive expectations we have from the team. In an event I attended a few days back, Imran Khan, the one of the greatest cricketers from Pakistan, had blatantly blamed Indian media for putting the extra burden of ‘hope’ on the team. He said, “The biggest threat for the Indian cricket team is not any cricket team, but Indian media.”
Meanwhile, along the lines of ‘Big Boss’, a Hindi news channel has recently started a reality show around the Cricket World Cup. While in my opinion this show seems far away from cricket, it is more like ‘Tadka’ in simple ‘Dal’. In the same way, many Hindi news channels are all set to woo the viewers. Apart from this, many news channels are ready with their legion of reporters to get live updates of each ball from ground zero. Also, many have already roped in legends of the world cricket for their shows.
Apart from general news channels, business news channels, too, are zeroing in on the business part of the game. Though many are busy with the Budget coverage plans, they cannot, however, afford to keep cricket away from their content line-up.
The news channels are suffused with cricketing news, but in accordance to the colours that suit them. Many have taken the traditional route of covering cricket, while some are experimenting with the ‘religious sentiments’. Soon, the ratings will tell that which is getting more popular in this season of the cricket – news coverage of sixers or what is sexier.
I won’t be passing my judgments yet… I just have the TV remote in my hand.