Merging cricket with comedy

Merging cricket with comedy

When you merge stand-up comedy with a sport that is followed fanatically by a majority of the country, the result is bound to be interesting. That’s exactly what happened at Opus when British comedian Andy Zaltzman, who’s also the writer of ESPNcricinfo through his weekly blog ‘The Confectionery Stall’, performed his comedy show ‘Cricket vs. The World’.

In Bangalore as part of four-city tour, Andy took the audience through anecdotes and analogies about his life and career, his relationship with the sport and celebrated the unique connection of cricket to Indian culture. Being the political satirist that he is, enough and more puns were made alongside witty commentary on the present state of affairs in the international cricket.

The show was a look at how we turn to cricket, amongst other distractions and diversions, to distract us from the problems of the world. It touched upon a variety of issues like global politics, India’s relationship with Britain, Sachin Tendulkar’s retirement, cricket administration, economics and Danny Morrison’s heroic use of the English language. City-based comedian Praveen Kumar hosted the show, keeping up the light mood with his self-depreciating jokes and mockery of the world at large.

The audience, many of whom were clearly fans of cricket, seemed to appreciate Andy’s routine. They laughed a all the right places and seemed intrigued by the way in which cricket was made comical.

“I’ve heard Andy’s podcasts and followed his blog and it was a pleasure to watch him perform live. His routine was hilarious for cricket buffs like me though I’m not sure whether those uninterested in the sport would follow,” said Soham, an attendee.

Andy was happy with the response he got and said that he hopes to perform here again.
   “I’ve been doing politically-themed comedy for many years and writing for ESPNCricinfo since 2008. So blending cricket and politics seemed a logical step. I think my ESPNCricinfo work has given me a bit of an audience here and I hope to come back and perform in India again in the near future. Bangalore crowds seem generous and enthusiastic,” said the comedian after the show.

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