There is article in today's "The Hindu", Chennai edition titled "Fruitful day for Indians" commending the performance of four Indian cricketers playing the English county cricket. I was very happy that Indian cricketers have at last performed well at the English county. But I was astonished and anguished at how our sports media misguide us with their luring titles. They have listed the performance of the players as below :
- Dinesh Mongia gave 19 runs of 4 overs and took a wicket, in addition scored 39 runs with the bat. Can be described as "Not a bad performance" at best.
- Irfan Pathan took 3 wickets of 4 overs for 16 runs. A good performance and matches the title of the article.
- Harbhajan Singh stated to have bowled very miserly giving just 22 runs in 4 overs. Even a person with modest cricketing knowledge would accept the word "miserly" to be a misnomer here and that this is at best a "deplorable" performance by the baller.
- Our famous Sourav Ganguly scored 10 runs with the bat as opening batsman and gave 30 runs of 3 overs taking one wicket showcases his worst decline in cricketing standards and our super journalist calls this a fruitful outing.
Even considering it only 20 over matches, it cannot be said to be creditable enough to be called fruitful.
Is it that a great Newspaper like "The Hindu" does not have a quality sports reporter or is it that the definition of performance among the media has become synonymous to non-performance that even deplorable outings like the one above is termed fruitful.
Tomorrow if the media finds a two year old boy of an affluent father walking on his own, they might snap his photos and immediately portray him as the future "Jessy Owens" of India, a great athlete in the making.
In India, the media definitely uplifts and encourages the sportsmen, but to an extent that they kill the sports in them and make them at best a good model. Like they say "Amirtham" ( the divine nectar) beyond a certain levels becomes poison, so does media glare to the sportsmen.
The same thing is being done to Sanya Mirza in tennis. Her second round defeat to the Russian at Wimbledon is glorified like a Championship victory by the media, where in fact she had earlier defeated this same player in straight sets in Dubai Open. Her performance has in fact gone down. The player herself is misguided by the media glare and she too is happy with her deteriorating performance. I do not say media should have put down Sania, but they should have given her a cautious encouragement to an extent it does not make her complacent.