Prince vs King

Today, the Prince of Calcutta takes on his erstwhile kingdom in – what is being called – the most anticipated match in this year’s IPL. Calcuttans and Bengalis the world over have chosen this match to teach Shah Rukh Khan a lesson for treating our Prince badly.
Today, I am in a minority among Bengalis (and Indians) as I support KKR – like I have done for the last five years.

I hate Sharad Pawar. I hate N Srinivasan. I hate whoever the Chairman of selectors is. But I don’t support Australia when they play India. I have a million grouses against the way Indian cricket is run but I still scream my lungs out when Dhoni plays the helicopter shot to hit a six. And I share this hate-love emotion with a billion Indians. I cannot think of a single Indian – except probably Srikkanth – who loves BCCI.

Strangely, Bengalis and Calcuttans have chosen to do the opposite. Probably because IPL is not real cricket and more of a carnival. I am sure if Sourav goes on to coach, say, New Zealand, the same people will not cheer for them when they play India.

Since the grouse is against the owner and not against the city, the anger should also be directed that way.
Don’t buy KKR jerseys. Don’t buy the products SRK endorses. Boycott brands which sponsor KKR. Most importantly, don’t buy the stadium tickets. By paying big bucks to go to Eden Gardens (and cheer for Pune), you are actually strengthening the franchise (and thereby reducing the chance of someone else buying it out).
Support Kolkata, not SRK. 

I love Sourav Ganguly. But not more than I love Calcutta.
This is my city and my team. And I will not let a stammering ham take it away from me.

Go Kolkata!


kaushik said…
Oh, but Kolkata have already shown that Saurav is above the team by supporting SA when they came to town, just after Saurav was dropped from the town.
1. Nicely put, as usual. Exactly my points, though I'm not the most ardent IPL follower.
2. "Stammering ham". :D
Rahul said…
You mention that "strangely Bengalis and Kolkatans have chosen to do the opposite, Probably because IPL is not real cricket and more of a carnival." THis arguement is a meaningless excuse.

I am sorry to say that one of the most shameful events i have had to endure as a Kolkatan was not the 1996 semifinal or 1999 Indo Pak Test match. It was a one day match against SA in 2006 or was it 2005. When Ganguly had been sacked from the team and Dravid was the captain. The people in the stadium booed the indian team and supported SA. I am sure you would agree that it was a real cricket match. I dont think that nowhere in the world has such a shameful thing happened. It was humiliating. Their ire was against Mr. Chappell (without going into his skills as a coach, it was forgotten that it is the selection committee and then the senior board officials who decide on sacking of such influential players).
I have spent my entire life in Kolkata except for 4-5 years when i studied and worked in Bangalore and Mumbai. They have had their icons in Dravid, Kumble, Tendulkar in the modern era. But the people there have never made them larger than the team itself, larger than the sport itself.
And that is why we come under a lot of ridicule from the rest of the country.
Anonymous said…
Very poorly written. No sense of direction. Disappointed.
sharmistha said…
ya agreed that bengalis and people in kolkata shd/wd support for KKR but somehow where is the emotional connect with the team???This time even the korbo,lorbo song is not heard so many times...and one tiwari and one shukla dont really make the team quintessentially kolkata does it.
PWI seem more like a calcutta team what wt subrato roy owning it and sourav ganguly captaining it :)

So somehow this time round dont feel the "taan" for KKR,somehow....though as a team they are playing wonderfully well!!!
Archana Bakshi said…
Kolkata Bangaali's themselves don't support KKR. Without Dada, cricket for Kolkata and a team named after the city is like paani puri without the paani, appeals just to some. Regardless of how he plays, he should be in the damn team, even if as an associate batting coach.
"Probably because IPL is not real cricket and more of a carnival. I am sure if Sourav goes on to coach, say, New Zealand, the same people will not cheer for them when they play India." True that, it is a carnival. Tell me honestly, do you for that matter watch IPL for great cricket like we all do while watching the ICC World Cup?
Take Mahendra Singh Dhoni and put him out. There will be an uproar amongst the Indians. Take an Indian who plays good cricket and make him sit a match out and put people who're not Indians in that team. Irritating, right? Similarly, take a Bangaali out of Kolkata's team and have everybody else in it. Ouch.
Very obviously, over New Zealand, we will choose India, because we are Indians. But that India is unified by regions, ethos, cultures and languages. A team named after Calcutta, playing in Calcutta without Calcutta's ace cricketer in it? Well, that does sound wrong, doesn't it?