Mar 13, 2010

My Cricket watching evolution - Latest choice is on YouTube

IPL's annoucement that the 2010 edition's matches will be availabe live on YouTube, is very heartening. Cricket coverage has really evolved. My own evolution of following cricket has been interesting:
  • Listening to radio commentary: This evolved from listening to the coverage on the good old "Valve Radio" as a family entertainment, to following it in my neighbourhood small  food stall discussing the latest score with any fellow listener. I can also add the incident of sneaking in a "personal transistor radio" in my school bag in order to catch the ball-by-ball scores at school.
  • Watching the Doordharshan B&W TV live cricket coverage in my friend's place: This was the time when TV broadcast started to make its entry in Bangalore (early 1980's) and I would go to my friends or neighbour's place to catch cricket live. These were B&W TV days. I remember watching the India-England series in 1981 at my high school friend Raghavendra's place and watch the live action that included the fabulous Gavaskar Srikkanth innings in the Bangalore Test. Showing no sign of shyness, I would sit in their place through the day's play  except for the 1 hour lunch time, when I would hurriedly walk back home some 3 Kms for lunch and get back again for the live coverage. Raghavendra - if you read this, many thanks!
  • Watching India winning the World Cup in my uncle's place - This was even more fun as I was able to enjoy both cricket, good food and great company of my uncle, aunt, little cousins, and grandmother. And have the convenience of sleepover in my uncle's place instead of walking back home! Prakash Uncle and Jaya Aunty, those were wonderful days! Thank you!
  • Following cricket during early Internet days (Usenet, IRC, CricInfo bot / gopher, etc): This  interesting coverage mode evolved at the pace as the evolution of the Internet itself, as the folks who took this forward were at the foremost in the Internet technology through the times. It feels very nostalgic to remember that I was part of that history which is now called See here for more details on how cricket coverage evolved. 
  • Listening to cricket on short wave radio stations - This was also another alternative to the IRC or  CricInfo avenues. But I could only follow matches involving England or Australia, and very rarely West Indies. Got myself a good shortwave radio in the process.
  • Watching a India-Pakistan Sharjah match in the Univ Texas, El Paso campus Sat TV - Best part of this was that we watched this as a community of cricket hungry graduate students late into the night. Thanks Prakash for joining in the fun of setting this up on that crazy evening!
  • Watching India matches on Dish Network pay-per-view packages from U.S.A - The most memorable of these are the ones I watched in our friend Naresh-Seema's place along with other die-hard cricket fan friends. Every match was a mega party time hosted by our gracious hosts that included dinner, sleepover, breakfast, sometimes next day lunch, and more. The 2003 World Cup was also memorable when we watched this at our home. Watching Sachin's unforgetable innings against Pakistan projected on our living room wall was incredible. (Thanks Raghu for bringing over the video projector!)
  • Internet based live cricket packages (2002-2005) - They never provided the full sense of watching the matches live, what with poor image quality and video feed delays. Maybe the Internet infrastructure at that time was not yet ready for the live video feeds.
Ofcourse now I have access to live cricket having relocated back to Bangalore. But it is heartening to know that there is an alternate means to watching live cricket on YouTube, when travelling.

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