Big boys shouldn’t play at night
Hell yes. Even M S Dhoni, that strong, silent and cocky captain of the Indian team, is not above making excuses for poor showing on the field. He has blamed India’s Caribbean Collapso on the Indian Premier League.
The boys – cricketers are always called boys by their skippers no matter how old they are – didn’t look after their fitness and allowed themselves to go to seeds by the incessant traveling and partying.
We at Hindustan Times went big with it on Page One: the national cricket team was blaming its abysmal performance on partying! Can you believe that? Big boys are not really that big?
We always thought international sports was a lot about partying – before important games, between important games and after important games – check John McEnroe’s autobiography, or that of a Formula I Racer.
Partying is a part of the deal. It is what keeps them going from one game to another – or so I thought. There will be those who will not drink or go out for a month before each big game, but there a lot who do, and still win.
In my opinion the IPL Night just brought out into the open what the cricketers were doing anyway. I have never traveled with the Indian team, but have been told of plenty of partying by veterans of the circuit.
Do you remember the Fake IPL Player, the anonymous blogger who became the star of IPL II for his (or her?) no holds-barred tell-all account of the life beyond the cricketing greens?
Every night after a game, or even before one, the cricketers would go out looking for a game, hitting local clubs for some alcohol and female company. The blogger happily let out all the juicy details. So, what’s different this time?
Oh well, the players didn’t have a World Cup coming up right after the parties. And how come we didn’t hear of the partying excuse after the two matches that we won – you know, saying we won despite the partying? Sorry, that was unrealistic.
But the point is why party when you can’t manage it?
Isn’t this what separates boys from the men?
So, some of the kids – the under-19s and under-22s – got carried away at the parties. But what about the seniors? What were they smoking (or drinking)? Or eating?
It was an easy decision to make – to lead with Dhoni’s excuse. The difficult part was about believing him.
Here is a short answer to what happened MS: India were outplayed. That’s it. No more, no less.