This edition of Satire Saturday isn’t your normal cup of tea, it is a story of how an insomniac finally found sleep after being put in dire straits by the continuous lockdown in the country. But as for several other problems, cricket was there, as a solution, finally, to this lockdown problem.
There has never been a year like 2020 before, this year has become the face of bad omen and all the possible things that could go bad to mankind. Rightly so, for an insomniac, the year was the worst bad dream, oh wait, nightmare, and his worst trouble. So far, he has tried to do everything for him to go back to sleep but none worked - not even watching YouTube videos, not your old highlights of watching Sunil Gavaskar tonk the ball and not even MS Dhoni’s performance against England in the 2019 World Cup.
Terribly tired of the past six months, the insomniac had given up on all measures and decided that he would invite his friends over for a FIFA party but lest did he know, they were all cricket fans. A cricket fan, even in his dreams, would be happily watching an old cricket match, fantasizing the results. His friends were no less, as they all in unison jumped up and down on his couch in a bid to let them gain control over the remote.
For an insomniac, it was just a ‘remote’ which made it worse for him but for them, there was a whole new world waiting in front of it. And then it began, they turned on the TV and switched to the channel which was televising the Caribbean Premier League, West Indies’ premier T20 competition. Some even call it a ‘Carnival Premier League,’ for the right reasons, entertainment, fours, sixes and plenty of runs on offer. High-scoring thrillers, multi-talented superstars and a brand of cricket that has well been established on T20 cricket, everything that the shortest format is all about in a country that still holds the T20 World Cup four years from their win.
As you read, how would have it really helped the insomniac, who has struggled to doze in over several phases of lockdowns in the country? It didn’t, as the cricket fans started going gaga over the tournament. But unluckily for them, on their screens, that particular night was the clash between St Lucia Zouks and the Barbados Tridents, the winner of the previous edition of the competition. An interesting round of cricketing action was supposed to be the theme of the night but as it turned out, it was three-and-a-half-hours of a painful journey, which had more twists than your Bollywood movie.
A total of just 181 runs across 40 overs, if it was an ODI encounter, it would have been called as ‘boring’ but this CPL, the most entertaining T20 competition which some argue is even more entertaining than the freaking IPL. If you think 181 is a good score across 40 overs, CPL is for you for sure! In a format that has been largely - if not entirely - dominated by the batsman, this tournament was the exact opposite.
If there was anything that hated every T20 norm, it is this year’s CPL, where 140 is the average score for a competition that has the host of stars - Andre Russell, Kieron Pollard, Chris Gayle (oh, he opted out) and several others who helped Windies win the 2016 T20 World Cup. The matches are exactly the opposite of what T20 cricket is all about - excitement, thrilling cricket and a lot of runs on offer (minus cheerleaders). On top of that, you would have to wait late at night, wherever you are around the world, to watch these games. In terms of the competition, there is Trinbago Knight Riders, who have already won six out of their six games, qualifying for the play-offs of the tournament while St Lucia Zouks, too, have made it, on the back of five wins.
You would assume that this is the late stage of the competition, aha, they had you there, right there when you assumed so, I would like to tell you that only six games have been played thus far. For a premier T20 competition, in six games, you cannot be outright qualified for the next stage. That can only show either of two things - the side is dominant or the league is lopsided. Well, truth be told, the league is neither; it's terrible at it's best.
On Sunday, when Darren Sammy’s side led them to a victory, defending just 92, you should have known that there is a huge disparity in the tournament and it’s nowhere close to even being called a T20 competition. With only two venues available, the pitches are taking a beating with curators hardly getting much respite between match days, so much so for being a ‘Carnival.’ However, it is a carnival but a one in 2020, a carnival where the rides are rusty and old that no one would even risk their kids on it and a fest, where the food is so mundane that no one wants to lay their hands on it.
While for the cricket fans, despite having live cricket action, their hopes have been dashed by the sans-thrilling action in the Caribbean, for the insomniac, he finally found the long-lost sleep that he desired. That’s how friends, CPL put the guy to sleep, zzzzz!