By Aashna Gupta
The year is 2018. Men and woke women alike, still have a hard time believing that some
women actually watch sports for non-platonic purposes too. Being a cricket fan becomes
more taxing than enjoyable sometimes when you are a girl in our beloved Hindustan.
Here is the art of watching cricket in India, as explained by yours truly.
To all the aspiring fangirls out there, buckle up and get these tips straight to your head,
because we are about to wreck patriarchy (read: crush some male ego) by simply turning on the TV and watching a good ol’ bat-ball game.
Shit You’ll Come Across
First things first, always be ready for some surprised, (very, very surprised) faces that follow when you are able to differentiate off side from leg. Or when you can tell a yorker from a cutter. Or when you can tell a cover drive from a straight drive.
They will be shocked and perplexed and will simply lose their minds, will probably want you to have their kids too, but in this house, we don’t relent, ladies.
Stay sakth, as advised by Shri Shri Zakir Khan.
Secondly, keep a bat or a knife handy and when the time comes, use it. Use it
very well when that guy asks you to tell him the difference between a no ball and a dead
one. Or when he just wants to know who’s the captain of the opposition.
Seriously, though guys, get better questions.
Unless you ask me what shoe size was Anil Kumble wearing during his 74 for 10 at Kotla or what is Kapil Dev’s wife’s blood group, is it even worth it? Don’t degrade us. It’s comical to see your arched eyebrow slowly relaxing back in shame and your jaw just sitting there, dislocated when we are able to answer back.
Third, learn the dictionary definition of ‘mansplaining‘ on an urgent basis because you, my girl, are going to experience it first hand.
AND VERY COPIOUSLY TOO.
Guys talking about sports act like they are giving TED talks and if God forbid, you ever question or contradict a guy over his view about why Shami or Pandya shouldn’t be asked to bowl this particular over, sky will fall down or better yet a cricket stand will collapse circa 2017, England vs West Indies, T20 (whaddup cricket reference).
Enough Of You Raising Your Eyebrows
Well, leaving all our coping mechanisms masqueraded as humour, aside, I still can’t believe that I need to write a full-fledged article to correct the ego of some guys (yes, some guys only, nice guys exist too) who’d never leave an opportunity to task a woman when she says she watches a sport.
When women defend themselves, we are often attacked by sentences like, “Oh, so go and watch Women’s Cricket na.” or something on the lines of “You watch Cricket or… cricketers?” which just goes on to show how ignorant people can be.
I have been watching and living Cricket since I was 9 years old, courtesy my grandfather, who made me sit down and memorize all the rules and fielding positions and the obligatory cuss words that need to be shouted out after a six is hit or a catch is taken and since then I have encountered a lot of men who have always doubted my sincerity for cricket.
What Can You Do To Correct Yourself, Dear Men?
For men out there, here’s a simple task.
When you meet a woman next time who says that she likes cricket, just try not following up with, “Virat ke liye dekhti hai na?” Just try it once. I swear it’s not difficult. Any other words except these six. Any other sentence might work. You might even say, “Trump is not trash,” and BOY WOULD I BE SOLD!
Get this in your mind, that it’s 21st century. We can 3D print bone implants and Saudi Arabia just awarded citizenship to a robot, so gender equalization in cricket was pretty much evident too, don’t you think? Women watching cricket, being appreciative and passionate about it, is not hysteria.
It’s absolutely up to me if I enjoy my share of the game by indulging in hooting,
cussing and bantering and I am under no obligation to make sense to you. We not only
make up a segment of crazy, frenzied fans but the likes of women like Isa Guha, Melanie
Jones and Anjum Chopra talking much more sense than your Navjot Singh Siddhu or Sanjay Manjrekar is why women’s participation in cricket viewing should be treated with much more seriousness and respect than it actually gets.
My dad and I were watching India play South Africa in its second test match and my mum
just casually looks up from this book she’s reading and remarks, “Virat is useless. Should
have played Rahane instead of Rohit,” and the stunned silence that ensued after that
probably spoke more eloquently than this entire 1200 words long rant.
So the next time, when you see a girl jumping up at the screen when a six is fired, or discussing the recent score with bright, animated eyes, invite her over for a drink and discuss cricket with her like you would with any other guy. You never know if she might be the Mayanti Langer to your Stuart Binny.
Word coming from a fangirl, sons. Take it.
Image Credits: Google Images