Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Lost in Translation

I hear Brett Lee is doing pretty well with his Hindi lessons - a commendable effort. Ajit Agarkar might just start worrying about his place in the Indian side.

I suppose he's learning the language to help boost his already lucrative endorsement income from the Indian market. One wonders what demographic the advertisers think he can target. We know that Rahul Dravid brings in the single women, Sachin Tendulkar brings in the married mothers, and Irfan Pathan brings in the single men - so who is it that Brett Lee will attract?

The whole language thing brings up one of my favourite issues in the world of cricket - the quote and the misquote. Many years ago I was asked how I felt about a bad loss, and I mumbled something about how the young players in my team would learn a lot from it. The following morning, the newspaper had a great little report on the game, including a quote from the captain describing his happiness at losing. And that was a scenario in which the reporter and I were both speaking in English.

After hitting Harbhajan for four sixes last week, Shahid Afridi was asked about his relationship with the hapless bowler, and the english language journos would have us belive that he responded by saying "Harbhajan is a lovely man, and I enjoy his company!" Now you never know, but something tells me that a lot has been lost, or perhaps gained, in translation.

I guess Afridi hasn't spoken to his chairman of selectors, Wasim Bari, who purportedly claimed that Rahul Dravid is "a decent person, unlike normal cricketers." Wonder what his former team-mates make of that.

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