Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Team India?

Talk about subversion. I'm watching the ICL India XI get their caps from Kapil Dev as I write this. Very, very interesting. This moment is one of those that philosophers love; it shows that something we took to be a conceptual given, is actually more a matter of convention or arrangement. For as long as we've known cricket in India, it was assumed that there was only one 'Indian' team. And the BCCI was its lord and master. This India XI, for trademark reasons, I'm sure, is called the "ICL India XI" and not just the "India XI", but its an India XI as much as the BCCI's XI is. Team India might be the team we call the "Indian team" but really its just the "BCCI India XI", just like the English team at one time was the MCC XI (before the TCCB and then the ECB took over).


Blogger David Barry said...

Surely World Series Cricket is a better historical comparison than the MCC.

In terms of the official archives, the distinction is quite clear. The name of the country (and nothing else) is used in full international (official) matches, and never anywhere else. So when India plays a tour match against New South Wales, it is really between New South Wales and Indians.

For a long time (until 1976/7), England's tour matches were played under the name of MCC, but their Tests were always played as England. (With a bit of hand-waving over the early Tests in the 1800's.)

1:09 PM  
Blogger Soulberry said...

Every celebrated monument began as a little hole. The larger the envisoned monument, the deeper 9and wider) the hole became. Then stones or bricks were added...painfully, geometrically, over time...till the monument was complete for celebration. Every era has its monuments...the seeding intent, time, and deeds within, will burnish them too with a memorial sheen.

Nations began as caveside clubs. Culture and heritage was built around the fire at the center of such. Out of the millions of such fires in thousands of caveside clubs, it is one or two, which survive with their ethos to the present point of time. It is the survivability of that ethos through so much of time which often enshrines them with validity. There must be some reason why one fire survived over another after all.

Time also adds along newer monuments, often with greater relevence to the current point of time, an immediate validity, and perhaps a future monumental one as well if this fire burns for a humanly comprehensible and instinctively understood span of time.

Legitimacy is what men provide through their acceptance of what is essentially campfire talk. Human history suggests so and cricket is a small component of it.

WSC is a monument now, relevent then but not yet a monument; today it serves a historical reference purpose. Such is the case with all...few monuments endure as working institutions without modified relevance. MCC too..

9:42 PM  
Blogger Q said...

The same can be said about the ICL Pakisan XI and the planned ICL New Zealand, ICL South Africa, ICL Sri Lanka and ICL Australia.

As I mentioned on Well Pitched, soon the ICL will be competing against the ICC rather than the BCCI.

7:18 AM  
Blogger Samir Chopra said...

David, yes, perhaps the WSC is the right entity to compare the ICL to. However, the point I was trying to make in a broader sense, is that when people say "thats my country's team", they are just speaking about the group put together by the organization 'in charge'. And the 'in charge' here just means 'doing it in a situation where they've become the only ones'. Had WSC stuck around long enough, long enough to enter into the consciousness of a generation of spectators, the confusion over which team was the 'real Australia' would have been pronounced and genuine.

SB: I would agree with your yardstick for measuring literature - the survivability criterion, that is. I was just trying to point out that the existence of the ICL XI reminds us of the origins of the BCCI. That the BCCI is not identical with some mystical entity called "Indian cricket". The ICL needs to survive, and it might not, but it will have hopefully reminded some people of how things got to be the way the things are, and how things could change in response.

Q: I'm glad we're in agreement.

7:37 AM  

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