I’ll start this post with a little trumpet-blowing and calling myself “active” on the social media “Twitter” over the past year and a half. I mostly spend my time ranting cricket or blocking ‘bots. Twitter, I found, is full of fellow cricket fans, who love the game a lot. And like every-thing that is made of people, there are categories to differentiate the people. I thought, a new twitterati must be given a guide to help understand who falls under what category, so he/she doesn’t end up following me and think Ravi Shastri is why I love cricket commentary.
Drum roll (OK, stop it, all 3 cricket teams I like get bowled out before your drum rolls can end.)…
Probably the most famous category of all. If you don’t know where you are, become this, you will have many to protect you. Recognized by periodical chants of “Sachin Is God”,even if he is not playing the game, even if India is not playing in the game. Sach is their life.
Identification marks – Sachin Tendulkar in their twitter DP, or “Sach is Life” written in their profile. Whatever the outcome of the game, they will assure you that SRT will win the world cup 2015. Along with his son (whose bio-data is also known quite well). Easier way to spot – the ones who switch off the TV or walk out of the television room when Tendulkar gets out. Since 1989..
2. The hard-core Sachin Fans
Slightly more cricket-ing nature ones involved here. Some are natural, others recruited from the Sachinist group. Crouching tiger, and hidden dragons them, will prowl at you and mince you to pieces if you say one word against His Highness. Writers, journalists, reporters, legends etc fear confrontation with this group.
Identification marks – twitter bruises on you. Sometimes filled with un-parliamentary words that are often used in parliaments. Also, they will tell me I attracted more views to this “over-rated” page, because I re-arranged the letters “N-i-c-a-h-s” in a particular manner and made it appear at multiple locations on this page to popularize it.
Affiliated group – “I Hate Steve Bucknor”.
3. The hard-core “Dada” fans
Like the title suggests, fans of the Prince of Calcutta, Saurav Ganguly make-up this space. This might sometimes need a requirement to learn Bengali, but mostly, they learn “gali” through conversations.
Identification marks – “I <3 Dada” written across their DP or bio, constant references to off-side, and first to enter and last to leave any conversation than contain the word “captain”.
Affiliated Group – “I Hate Greg Chappell”
4. Team India Haters
Mostly English speaking, residents of England or Australia, who contribute to the world of cricket by creating a healthy battle-like atmosphere. On twitter, of course.
Identification marks – lots of Vaseline, ironic references to ICC’s world rankings, “I love DRS” written in their BIO.
Affiliated group – “Indo-Pak Unity Group”
5. Sir Donald Bradman is the Greatest
In short – we have not seen him, but we know he is the best. Because all scriptures say so, and I am under no obligation to believe Barry Richards is better. Identification marks – voracious reader of books on cricketing history, nostalgic weep at the mention of John Arlott’s name, Tendulkar hasn’t impressed enough.
Affiliated Group – “Mathematical Group for Rounding of Numbers”.
6. No Way Bradman is the Greatest. I have proof.
Internet savvy, modern day, corporate ready ‘twitteratis’, more adept with the mouse and keyboard hitting permutation than enjoying the game. They can prove that Bradman doesn’t rank among the top-5 modern day cricketers in some way or the other.
Identification mark – internet browser’s home page is CricInfo Statsguru, sometimes stutter when asked “How many tests has Bradman played in India?”. Usually at the receiving end of the other groups mentioned above.
Affiliated Group – “Gayle Is A Legend”
7. The Highway
Media people, mostly television, self-appointed chief selector of Indian cricket on screen, who pick questions making round from twitter and sounding them on air as their own and then starting a non-stop ranting that makes you feel safe twitter can’t talk.
Identification marks – utterly confusing tweets on the game, which will later be superseded by the most popular voice doing the rounds.
Affiliated Group – “I Have No Clue About DRS, But Will Take A Side. And Change Sides Often”
8. New Age Fans
Ever so lively, bubbly fans, unaffected by the turmoils suffered by their cricketers at myriad foreign lands. They are why cricket still simmers even if it is out of gas.
Identification marks – Usually have their favourite player’s photograph in their display pic. Tweet about the game very rarely. Usually tweet in the same manner as – “Ooooooooooh, Raina looks cho cute” when he grins after misfielding or “Mahiiiii, I LOVE YOU” in a yellow jersey.
Affiliated group – “I play IPL cricket”
Based on geographical location of self or heart, these domestic keyboard warriors show good concern to their regional/domestic cricket. In-house fights prevail, most common (in India) being the ones from The Knowledgeable Chennai Crowd, the Mumbai’s “Khadoos Army”, Delhi and considerable volume of voices from other prominent Ranji teams’ fans. This usually ends with which We-Know-There-Is-No-Way-He-Will-Be-Selected player should have been selected.
Identification marks – constant outrage at governing board and leading cricket score lending sites at the non-existence of live-updates, plan to pen the book “How To Improve Domestic Cricket Structure”.
Affiliated Group – “IPL Is Ruining Cricket”
Of course, I might have missed some group. I am sorry to you, fellow of “Fans of Amla’s Beard”, “Monty Is A Legend” and “KP. Keiron Pollard. That.Is.All.” etcs. Will you be kind enough and help me by describing it in a comment below? Thanks.
We’re still friends, right?
(This article first appeared at http://i3j3cricket.com/2012/02/23/cricket-fan-tyutter-tastic/)