Cricket stadiums – The place where you can howl like a donkey and still be called sane.
Truly, stadiums are places packed with energy where people come in bizarre attires, face paints, banners and what not. While some seem funny, most are lame. The ticket that you get is not only to watch the match but a ticket to fulfill all your crazy fantasies and nobody judges you. Like these drop-men from Castrol who thought, somehow their leaky oil drops could cheer their team. Might be they had a far fetched point of subconsciously influencing drop-the-catch to the opposition.
Keeping all these aside, I somehow don’t understand how cheer works. I mean I do understand that a batsman on ground hears a random noise and somehow guesses they’re singing in praise of him(?) At best it would be like the crowd noise we hear in EA Sports cricket game with occasional applause which too would rarely happen in Indian scenario. If the crowd noise is high, he’s supposed to be encouraged and play well? Else he would just continue with his routine no-so-great batting?
While the cheer itself is hard to crack, there are these enthusiastic, reasonable people waving posters of 4 or 6. Oh yes! Batsman glances around the stadium, sees these posters and concludes “I see more 4’s than 6’s. Mostly people want 4’s. I’ll stick to it”. If you want to boost your team to the fullest, isn’t 6 the right poster? Why would one wave 4? Do they want the team to under perform? While we’re at it why not wave 1’s, 2’s and 3’s? No idea Sirjee!
We Indians are biased in most things and cricket is no exception. If you carefully observe, the whole crowd is biased towards batsmen. Have you ever seen a poster waving LBW or BOWLED or CATCH IT? No. Nobody cares for bowlers or fielders. They need to toil but are not supposed to steal the thunder from the batsmen. They’re like those Ayurvedic tablets. We take them. Even if they work, we would not like to give them credit. Similar is the case with umpires. They’re always seen as dutiful while others are having fun on the field. Nobody cheers for them! I doubt they would get disappointed by un-encouraging audience at times and declare batsmen out at their whims and fancy.
Lastly I’d conclude by saying what Jerry once commented about crowd shouting at stadium
“We won! We won!”
No. You didn’t win. They won. You just saw them win!