Haine stops play - IPL salvation for the unemployed
24 Mar 2010 - 09:45:19
According to the Office for National Statistics, around 2.45 million people are officially out of work in a recession ravaged Britain.
And, having previously been amongst those numbers myself, I must admit that the lack of income can be severely crippling. But, in my experience, the boredom of not having a job can almost match pain of the financial issues.
Being at home all day may seem like a dream life for some, but the novelty soon wears thin. After all, there's only so many times you can walk your dog without it becoming monotonous, and once you can name all of the presenters on Sky Sports News, as well as knowing the duration of their shifts, you soon realise that you live an increasingly dull existence.
But there is hope for the jobless folk in the unexpected form of output from ITV4. Yes, the IPL on free-to-air television (the first time cricket has been available in this format for almost five years) offers some salvation from crying over the Guardian jobs pages. Two matches each day from 10:30 GMT (a tad early for the unemployed, I know) is quite the coup for a terrestrial broadcaster.
Ok, so the opportunity to watch the IPL of an afternoon will not get you back in to work, but which would you prefer - trudging to the Jobcentre to pick up your JSA cheque, or watching Matthew Hayden and Virender Sehwag spank a five-ounce ball at hyperactive Bollywood superstars?
So, while your other halves and friends are sat in a dreary office staring blankly at Microsoft Excel all day, you are stretched out on the sofa witnessing Yusuf Pathan bludgeon a 37-ball century or Praveen Kumar take a hat-trick. And if watching a side captained by Shane Warne get continually thrashed is not a constructive use of a day, then I'm afraid I don't know what is.
The coverage of the matches can be somewhat irritating with Matt Smith, a barely passable football presenter for ITV, in the anchor seat, as well as commercials appearing between balls. Also, hitting a six has, for some reason, seemingly been renamed a DLF Maximum and the majority of the commentary is so bleeding useless that you might as well provide your own over the top of it (I did, and it turns out that I'm a natural).
But, for all the general bombast and endless advertising, there is enough cricketing entertainment for you to eventually become immune to having various irrelevant companies and products continually splattered across your screen.
So, ye jobless people and jaded students, you should not fret about your future just yet and enjoy some cricket for free while you still have the chance.
READ WILL HAINE AS AND WHEN HE DECIDES TO WRITE SOMETHING