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Monday, Aug 12, 2002

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Catch him in the gully


Kapil Da Jawab Nahin...

ONE HAS to think twice before screaming at the boys playing cricket in the neighbourhood. No, not because they have acquired a special license or have learnt the art of not breaking window panes, but because the Cricketer of the Century, Kapil Dev, might just be bowling or batting with them.

Kapil Dev will travel across five cities (Nagpur, Pune, Kanpur, and Ludhiana, besides Bangalore) to play "gully cricket".

The tour was flagged off in Nagpur on August 4. The player will not only meet cricket fans in various gullies of the City, but also play with them. Sony Max, the sponsor of Kapil's gully trour, promises some prizes along the way. He will be in the City on August 17 as the Max Brand Ambassador. It is part of the channel's campaign for the coming ICC Champions Trophy, Sri Lanka 2002, and the ICC Cricket World Cup, South Africa 2003, which will be telecast on Max.

Cricket may not exactly have the reputation of being a game of the subaltern classes, unlike say football, but has surely caught up with every section of society in the recent past. Bombay is specially known for its "gully cricket". Even in the lower middle-class localities and slums of our own city, it is not uncommon to find young boys play cricket with gusto. They do not have the horrendously expensive cricketing gear that their role models (the Kapils and the Sachins) sport, with the names of the multi-national companies that sponsor them duly in place. But the young and dreamy-eyed boys do try their best to drive a ball in just their style. It is this tremendous popularity that Max is banking on for the success of this campaign.

For details on Kapil's visit send a mail to pavanc@setindia.com

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