With some, radio and internet trumped TV and tickets

Everybodys game

New Pitch : Imran Khan at the Chinnaswamy stadium.  DH photo/Chethan Kumar“For many months, I badgered a relative before he agreed to lend me his transistor during the World Cup,” an obviously delighted Basappa said, as he still struggled to tune his radio.

In the days of live television, when access to the stadium has been limited to only those who can afford it, Basappa has no choice but to loiter around the streets learning about the game’s development through radio as he makes a rupee or two.

Crippled for life, with both his limbs lost, he says he absolutely loves cricket. “I have seen people play cricket near my house, but I have never seen an international cricket match.”

People like Basappa, among many other patrons, are those who keep cricket commentary on radio alive. And for those who have grown up on the radio it comes as an absolute delight.

Speaking to Deccan Herald, 69-year-old Gautham Kumar, who manages a professional cricket team, recollects commentators like Alan McGilvray of the Australian Broadcasting Company (ABC) who was among the most recognised voices in the 1950s.

“I have learnt all the technical aspects of the game from Alan. None of the modern television commentators can capture the game like him, despite having the aid of replays,” says Gautham Kumar. Many more from the old school still root for the radio.

While, Basappa has that piece of technology with him that enables him to experience the colour of the game, Imran Khan, an MSc (physics) from the Mumbai University has the power of internet at his disposal. Khan was not here to watch the match, his visit to India’s Silicon City, clashing with the big-ticket game, was here to popularise his betting website: “mydaringbet.com.”

Betting is still illegal in India. But a confident Khan says: “We are in the process of finding an elegant way of taking bets without violating any law of any nation,” adding that he will start taking bets in next big cricket tournament.

Stating that his intention is not to encourage greed, he said: “All I want to do is ‘legally’ create a common platform for betting.”

Such is the power of technology. While Basappa will probably still continue to stay the way he is using his technology, Khan could find himself leap-frogging into an entirely new world.

 

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