Posts Tagged ‘Mahendra Singh Dhoni’

‘India’s cricket reporters too soft on cricketers’

17 January 2012

India Drown Under. Surrender Down Under. Wallopped! Tigers at home, lambs abroad.

The adjectives are tripping off TV screens and sports pages, following the precipitous fall in Team India’s performance in Australia, where the 0-3 scoreline looks less from a cricket series, more from a tennis match.

The blame, as usual, is being laid at the door of the IPL and the surfeit of Twenty20 cricket. The cricket board is being slammed for ignoring domestic cricket, for short sighted selection, etc.

But how much of the blame does the media carry?

Calcutta-born Andy O’ Brien, a former journalist with Sportsworld magazine, now happily settled in Australia, on the debacle of Mahendra Singh Dhoni and his World Cup winning boys, in The Telegraph, Calcutta:

“If one was to compile international media clippings of this tour, mention of Sachin Tendulkar‘s milestone would probably outnumber 10:1 any analysis of the outcome of a Test match or the shortcomings of the Indian team….

“Are Indian cricket fans more interested in Sachin getting his century of centuries or in winning a Test series? Or is the truth that this almost cosmetic overemphasis on the peripheral is a coincidental cover-up of the fact that, by and large, Indian cricket reporters tend to be too soft on their cricketers?

“Not many are willing to bite the proverbial bullet and risk their “contacts” with the team or the hierarchy. If always seemed to me, even when I was a part of this wonderful hardworking group of people, that the business is not so much about writing or cricket, but what contacts you have and can tap, to produce a “cosmetic/glamour” story with banner headlines.

“That trend has grown and as a result many reports now deal with either the mundane or the inconsequential part of the game.”

Photograph: Australian captain Michael Clarke tosses the coin at the start of the third Test match against India in Perth, as captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni looks on, with match referee Ranjan Madugalle (right) and Channel 9 host, Mark Nicholas.

Read the full article: Let go of that cockiness and arrogance

Also read: ‘Today’s cricket journos are chamchas of cricketers’

Front pages from the morning after the big night

3 April 2011

BELLUR RAMAKRISHNA forwards a collage of today’s newspaper from heralding India’s magnificent triumph in the 2011 cricket World Cup (click on the image for a larger view). You can see an assemblage of English, Hindi, Telugu, Malayalam, Tamil and Kannada newspapers, and the odd Sri Lankan paper.

If nearly 60% of the country is below 25 years of age, the collage is a reminder of what 1983 was to nearly two-thirds of the country that wasn’t born when Kapil Dev and his men did ditto—in pre-liberalised India, an age before satellite television, when one-day cricket was played over 60 overs.

Amita Malik, the ‘first lady of Indian media’, RIP

20 February 2009

sans serif records with regret the passing away of Amita Malik, the radio journalist who grew to be one of India’s leading film and media critics, in New Delhi, on Friday. She was 86 years old.

Often referred to as “the first lady of Indian media“, Ms Malik conducted path-breaking interviews with luminaries like Satyajit Ray, Marlon Brando and David Niven before the airwaves were opened up. “Her columns on TV and film were both heeded and feared.”

In a recent column for The Tribune, Chandigarh, she wrote on an NDTV anchor…

“…who reads like a drone and sounds like a tanpura from the next room. With no change of facial or audio expression, she reads so fast that even an expert lip-reader like shall fail to understand what she is saying.”

In October last, Ms Malik spoke to Omair Ahmad of Outlook for the magazine’s 13th anniversary on radio in its 13th year after India’s independence:

“In 1960, All India Radio was the only truly national organisation that reached and touched everybody. Pandit Ravi Shankar even composed the signature tune for AIR. The national programmes produced great concerts by great musicians. Every other Saturday, Hindustani and Carnatic musicians would play jugalbandis, bridging a gap that had existed for many long years.

“The then IB minister, B.V. Keskar, restricted the playing of Hindi film music on AIR, so then Radio Ceylon swamped the airwaves with Binaca Geetmala—a hit parade of film songs—broadcast by Hameed and Ameen Sayani. Keskar had to allow film music back and the Vividh Bharati channel was created. TV was some years away—although the first experimental broadcast of Doordarshan took place in 1959, regular service only started by 1965. By 1967, TV was important enough that I hosted a show on it with Marlon Brando and Satyajit Ray.”

Catty in a delightful sort of way, Ms Malik mourned the demise of Indian cricket captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni‘s tresses in a TV column two years ago in The Pioneer, Delhi:

“There was for me, the sad spectacle of Dhoni shedding his locks for a crew cut. We all remember that famous occasion in Pakistan when president Pervez Musharraf complemented Dhoni on his hairstyle and advised him not to cut his hair. His long locks have long been Dhoni’s own special identity and I was as hurt as his fans to find him unrecognisable with his crew cut.

“The rumour goes that one of the actresses, on whom he has a crush, asked him to trim his long locks. If this is true, all that I can say is: ‘Silly girl’.”

Ms Malik was 84 when she wrote that.

Photograph: courtesy Outlook

Also read: India’s first TV newsreader passes away

A baritone falls silent watching the cacophony

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