Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Thursday, April 12, 2007


By Sabhanaz Rashid Diya

Ever since the venue for the next World Cup has been announced, Indian TV channels have been boasting about their darn cricket team. At least, one national cricket team player would be found grinning, commercializing almost every product; holding a regular glucose biscuit packet (haar ghar main Sachin! every house as a Sachin) or riding bicycles (hero ke liye Hero chahiye you need a Hero bicycle for the hero).

This year, the Indian TV channels with its music directors, ad firms, producers, sponsors and movie stars scratched their heads and came up with their new slogan 'ooh aah, India!' supporting the Indian team. Their main commercial featured the echo of “ooh aah!” from thousand of supporters with the five cricket stars, running for Pepsi and turning into tigers. They stole OUR tigers! If they had to give an animal, they could've just given their national bird, peacocks running on the field or something! You'd think with a multi-billion dollar budgets, Indian cricket could've come up with at least, an original mascot (if not, competent players). It seems fate has a sense of humour: the real Bangladeshi tigers defeated the “ooh ah” dream team (and pretty badly at it).

The much-disgraced “ooh ah” team couldn't make it to Super Eight and Mandira Bedi was stuck with 'extraa innings'. The “ooh ah” supporters couldn't take the downfall of their cricket team. They started burning the haar ghar main Sachin posters, shaved their heads and this crazy lawyer dude even charged the national team of breaking the people's trust in court! A 17-year old kid from Bihar had a heart attack when he watched India lose to Bangladesh and died. Groups of youth even carried out mock funeral of the cricket team members. Not to mention the Photoshop editing they did, portraying Ganguly as a barber, Tendulkar as a tea-seller and Dravid as a piir. According to the fans, the Indian team is no longer good enough to play cricket! The Indian student community beat up my friend's brother who goes to college abroad since he was the only Bangladeshi there. Kapil Dev even went on record to say the entire Indian team should be replaced. And this is the same Indian 'tigers' that were glorified and idolized by their media before even the WC was underway.

Since Bangladesh on the field whipped the Indian cricket team, Mandira Bedi has been straining her utmost to recover the injured Indian pride by taking cheap shots at us on 'extraa innings'. The woman has no knowledge about cricket and is on the show solely for the “visual entertainment of the Indian male demography”. We've crushed the Indian pride miserably and just beaten the No.1 team in ODI ranking, South Africa!

So, here's a message for Indians everywhere -- DO NOT even consider stealing our national cricket mascot! We're the real tigers!



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