Cricket is the most loved and followed game in India. It is probably the only sport that most Indian kids play after school. Many players who made it to the national team started out playing on narrow streets [gallis] in India. In this format, the game is usually played with a tennis ball so that people can play without using pads and gloves for safety. Even kids in my college play with a tennis ball. Just get a bat and a ball and we are good to go.
Here is the cracker: the Board of Cricket Control in India (BCCI) has decided to ban all forms of galli, indoor games played by kids and adults alike with tennis, hockey or plastic balls!
An official said, ""We are specially warning children playing cricket without wearing shoes, pads and gloves, or using tennis balls or any non-cricket ball — stop it or face our fury, which will be unleashed ruthlessly, by placing a life ban on you, preventing you from watching any IPL matches, having your thumbs cut off if you persist, or your TV cables blocked out of all cricket telecasts,"
Somebody remarked a little while earlier that "It was always there openly in front of the public. The alphabet 'C' in BCCI stands for control…why cricket or cricketers need control, no one questioned. This is the logical end of it." I fully agree.
This is without reservation – crazy! Who the heck are they to tell me how to play a game cricket with a couple of my friends by setting rules none of players accept in the first place? Is it not total lunacy to hijack a game and use nothing but force to implement ones arbitrary wishes? What is even more surprising is the long line celebrities and cricketers endorsing such an absurd view. If somebody would have told me a few years ago that people -- and I mean the elite could defend such a preposterous view – I would have laughed hysterically at the speaker that it was impossible for so many people to give into such absurdities. After watching the global warming hysteria, I have come to see that most people have no limit for stupidity. Even by that account, banning galli cricket is a far cry.
It really is a mad, mad, mad, mad world!