As a teenager, I used to stay up late and listen to cricket commentary live from Australia, on my tiny Transistor Radio, late into the night. Cold Delhi nights, curled up in bed, the volume was turned low enough to not wake up my mother. (Dad of course was listening to his own radio.) It was a feeling reminiscent to lisvening baseball games on the radio. The lyrical poetry of the commentators who called the game, made the sheer drudgery of test cricket, which lasted almost five days, and ended with no result, worth staying up.
Of course those days, I cheered for different heroes then. I did not root for Derek Jeter or marveled at the amazing pitching of Roger Clemens. Then it was Sunny Gavaskar, Kapil Dev and Mohinder Amarnath. In those days India did not win much, but still it was all for the love of the game. However in past few years there has been a youth revolution, and Indian team has become fairly good and it even went to the world cup finals, where it was summarily beaten into pulp by the Australians.
Perhaps, that’s why the current Test series being played down under is of special importance. India beat Ozzies in their own backyard, lost one, drew one, and now are tied 1-1. The fourth and final test is currently being played in Sydney. I live in San Francisco, where there is nary a chance of watching the game in a neighborhood pub. So what does a fan do? Turn to the Internet. I have been staying glued to MSN Australia and Wisden Online to keep track of the game. Like the transistor radio of the 1970s and 1980s, the broadband connection has become my window into the world of cricket, with games being played in some exotic locale faraway from my current city of residence.
It brings to mind, another very vital question: is broadband allowing us to take little bit of our past, our history and recreate a little of home across the seven seas? Gawker brings New York home to me, while MLB.com makes sure I don’t miss the Yankees when they are playing. The New York Times is still there, piping fresh every morning, online. What do you think?