My cable operator removed the NEO feed after the first match and subsequent court ruling, and thrust DD National's 7 minute itch onto my television screen.
Now I will not stoop so low as to rant endlessly about the House of Horrors formerly known as DD, its pigheaded refusal to acknowledge that the world has moved on since Baigan Raja was the poster child for daytime television and its aesthetic sensibilities that are only slightly more ghastlier than a Mumbai local. I refuse to do that.
And all this is not say that NEO sports is India's answer to Channel 9. NEO's debut can at best be termed dodgy with an unimpressive and annoyingly large logo, a flying circus of commentators ( with the exception of Tony Cozier probably), appalling graphics and score cards (they expect us to keep track of the number of balls bowled every over as there is no mention of this on the score bar) and the fact that more than half of India can't access them.
Speaking of commentators, I have to put in a word here for the incurably politically correct and the incessently regurgitating Arun Lal. Why does'nt someone gag him please.
"Chanderpaul needs to stay till the end if West Indies harbour any ambitions of a win from here on"
He started off with this statement and repeated it after every ball of every over and probably still is, sitting in his hotel room dreaming of Chanderpaul hanging in there.
Paul Allott is the quintessential third party non-partisan Englishman who is generally expected to sing paeans to the "extraordinary" crowds, "marvellous" wristy batting, "superb" atmosphere, "mesmerising" spin bowling and generally stay clear of controversy by keeping his personal thoughts about all this to himself.
Tony Cozier is his usual articulate self and remains the true and concerned voice of West Indian cricket.Jeff Dujon and L Siva are the insignificant others.
The series has started off well for India but somehow it lacks a certain spark. Yuvraj, Pathan, Sehwag and Kumble are going to be back for the World Cup and rightly so. Wish they asked VVS to join in as well. He's got more pedigree than Jogi Sharma at least.