Watching Cricket on TV in the 2000s

I see many of my friends in the WhatsApp group asking 'Match ka link he kisi ke paas? (Does anybody have the link of today's match?)'. Nowadays cricket is broadcasted not only on television and radio but streaming platforms and mobile apps. In fact, these days cricket is mostly seen on the go i.e. on smartphones.

Let's travel two decades back. Watching cricket on the television in the 2000s is one of my beloved memories. Earliest of my recollection date back to the 2003 World Cup (Although this cup proved to be a nightmare for the Pakistani team). Nokia ruled the world and the mobile internet was a distant dream. But every home had a color television. We had a black Sony with just one channel PTV.

During my school days, cricket was a major source of entertainment (No Netflix, Tiktok, and Instagram). There was something super exciting about coming back from school and switching on the television to watch cricket. Sometimes, I would even watch pre-match analysis. There wasn't anything worse than to know that the next tournament has been scheduled during your exams.

Before mobile internet and all that cricbuzz and crickinfo, I used to crop the schedule of tournaments from newspaper and keep it beside the television. Watching cricket matches with cousins and uncles was a hell of an experience. In the summer we would drag a tv trolley in the courtyard and the whole home would turn into a cricket ground. Uncles and cousins would cheer the team when it performed well and curse the team...well all the time (Pakistan team sucked in the big events but was a good side during regular series'). Since there was no way to post stories and statuses, so after the match everybody would give his opinion about today's match. Even in the school next, there used to be a post-match analysis.

The best thing about watching cricket in those days was that I could watch cricket without scrolling my smartphone. Just cricket. Nowadays, I check my phone between every two balls. Maybe the world has gotten so fast that time between two deliveries feels like an hour.

All in all, cricket used to be more of an entertainment and less of an advertising business.

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