Sunday, January 06, 2008

Cheering in a Cricket Stadium 101

Channel 9 is doing a gimmick called "face in the crowd" where they pick an arbitrary person from the crowd and interview the person. I am strong in my belief that if you picked a random sample of Indians cheering Team India from any stadium in the world, the sample would be littered with idiots who'd make you cringe. Let me put it this way - whenever the mike has been pointed to an Indian crowd of supporters and an opinion is solicited, the crowd as a whole or individuals comprising the crowd have never said anything that can be construed as part of human intelligence. They babble some nonsense and makes one feel very embarrassed. Contrast this with our Pakistani and Sri Lankan colleagues who actually stop shouting, pause and speak cogent words that actually mean something.

Both in Melbourne and in Sydney I couldn't help observing the crowd chants. Since the days of "oog Aah Glen mcgrath" - I am interested what the crowd says. I was hoping the Indian crowd would put together a creative cheer that will be reasonably funny. I mean we are a species that make smart comments in movie theaters and really develop mean eve teasing comments. But Here are the top three cheers that the Indian crowd visiting stadiums have managed so far in Australia.

I am patriotic Indian cheer: So, I was hoping some of that creativity described above would be directed and channeled for some very funny cheers. Well! what do you know? The Indian crowd is still sticking with the "zindabad". The crowd goes - "India Zindabaad". Wow! I mean, how 21st century is that? Very funny too. Several decades have passed since the old man with stick marched to Dandi with a host of tired people behind him shouting "Zindabad". Agreed that Team India's running betwen wickets reminds us of Dandi March in super SlowMo. But is "Zindabaad" the best the crowd can do. We've been at it for years together now. On second thoughts, I agree its slightly better than "east or west - India is the best".

Say it again! Sam bhaiyya Cheer: The second popular cheer is saying a persons name with a huge drawl, the first time around and repeating the same person's name quickly the second time. Like "saccccchhhhhhiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiin" "Sachin". Sometimes its a creative "Indiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa" "India". huh?

Sing the Plagiarized Song Cheer: This time I heard a new cheer. I was very troubled by this cheer. They were singing "Oye Oye" from that Tridev movie. I began to wonder what the bemused Aussie crowd would be thinking. They'd probably be thinking "No Gloria Estefan won't get us. Rhythm also won't get us. India won't get us too". Lord praise the Miami sound machine. What in the devil's name is this song being chanted for? Agreed its a change from the boring "we will rock you". But is it better?

A couple of times I heard the 'mann vaaasanai' of "gumtha lakadi gummaaaaava" and the sacred "gumtha lakadi gala gala gala gala gala ooh aaah oooh aaah". I felt terribly happy. But those cheers went away after a brief time. I think an audience that cannot develop a funny cheer automatically condemns the team to bad luck.

Speaking of luck and karma. I think the bad karma of S.K.Bansal is getting back to the Indian team. I was watching the game and thinking "if there is justice in this world, at least some karma - India must get out of jail in Sydney". I am now thinking Lord Varuna who showered us some good Karma to help us from certain to very probable defeats at Lords, Brisbane and New Lands wasn't timing his shots very well this year. He was a day early. I have never seen an umpire single-handed'ly swing a test match so decisively since the days of S.K Bansal and Cumberbatch. The scoreline should read India-0; Aus -1; Bucknor-1. Bhajji is getting a 3 match ban anyway, he might as well call Bucknor a 'monkey' and walk away from Oz Land happily. On the topic of racism, why don't we ban all of Australia because the word "mate" is a racially abusive word in Sanskrit (we could make it mean "son of a badava rascal").

Sunny Gavaskar used to say that the best way to frustrate a fielder is to hit a shot in such a way that fielder thinks there is hope of saving the boundary, he chases, he dives, he screeches but the ball should cross the boundary by a whisker. Apparently that is the ultimate frustration for a fielder. Imagine what the ultimate frustration for a crowd of poorly cheering Indians would be?


Arun Sundar said...

"The scoreline should read India-0; Aus -1; Bucknor-1"

Bucknor, in my opinion should be the "Man of the match". Indians are already too good in Australian soil. To add to it, umpire's perfect decisions! damn..

Anonymous said...


While i agree with you on the fans shouting... the same crap again and again....

I have to tell you a funny incident that happened in Chepauk when i was there in the test between Ind and Pakistan.

everyone was doing the mexican wave thing with the regular "gumathalakadi gummava" and it went 2, 3 rounds and suddenly some on in the crwod started chanting "anna pavilion" down down, i was interested and looked at that direction and saw that those guys were breaking the chain... it was real cool... the chanting went on for 5 minutes and in the next mexican wave anna pavilion had to make up and the crowd started shouting AP up, up... it was cool..

Regarding bucknor, he has lost it... plain simple.... and i have to say aussies are just thiefs... i have to.... they just dont play fair.. they give it and cant take it back.....

- Ganesh

- Ganesh

I said...

There is no Thamizhan in the team. Kumble the captain is from the water-denying state. While the farmer in Thanjavur can't get water, Bangaloreans are drinking beer! enna anyayam. A 4:0 whitewash should teach the bcci to not pick Thamizhs in the team. tasmanian thamizhan bhai bhai. Ponting will stick it to them. WACA-le irukku paaru dhavasam.

And Zndabad is an Urdu word. It should be banned from Hindustan.

Pri said...

errrr mr.i needs to drink some elneer and calm the eff down.

i quite liked 'oye oye'

Hawkeye said...


i dont understand/agree with what you say about the aussies.

what do you mean by "they give but dont take back". what did they steal to be called thieves?

sundar said...

I think what he was referring to is the harbhajan-symonds incident. Aussies are known to provoke the opponents, however they can't take it back. Remember McGrath-Sarwan spat? it was like a street-fight.

Looks like the entire team is backing harbhajan on this. lets see how the course of events develop.

Anonymous said...


I didn't literally mean thief.. it's a term used in the caribbean for cheats, learnt from hanging out in caribbean cricket forums...

when i say they give it and cant take it back... i was referring to their great slogan " what happens in the field stays in the field".. why shud ponting cry like a 5 year old and complain when we did not have proof there was any racial slur? remember Antigua 2003... I think even steve was critical in his book abt that incident.. he is no saint but....Mcgrath Just lost it there... when he resorted to cussing.....sarwan...

i dunno.. i felt sick having watched the game till 2AM and robbed... ;-) and wanted to call them thiefs... maybe they stole my

any way cheers

- Ganesh

heaven said...

'son of badava rascal' LOL :)

Gasquet Fan said...

Aussies are wimps. They complained to mommy of racism on the 3rd day. Ponting has no moral high ground to comment on Indians after this disgrace. He said that the only thing that happened outside the spirit of the game didn't involve Aussies. So he deserves all irrational abuses hurled at him. I'd be happy if Harbhajan accepts that Symonds is in fact a monkey or a lemur and India withdraws from the ICC to form a separate cricket league. We can then watch all these assholes running to India to earn some money.

Funny thing, I didn't watch the match although the stadium was just 10 min walk from my house.

As I see it, Cricket Australia is already fighting a losing battle with Rugby leagues here. I am even surprised that they are able to maintain the tradition of boxing day test matches.

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