Sport on TV: Man with golden helmet heads the rush for cash

In 1969, Apollo XI put man on the moon. In 2008, Brendon McCullum put a cricket ball on it. When the Kolkata Knight Riders emerged on to the Indian Premier League launchpad in Bangalore (Setanta, Friday) in their black and gold-lamé spacesuits, it looked as if the world of cricket had indeed changed, as we had been promised in the long countdown. But we were travelling back in time – to the Seventies. On Planet Bollywood, the stars looked like Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars. And the outfits had nothing on West Indies' pink velour numbers in Kerry Packer's World Series Cricket.

McCullum produced an extraordinary innings for the lift-off. Sixes flew like a meteor shower. But the Royal Challengers of Bangalore utterly failed to rise to the challenge and the general euphoria came crashing to earth like a cheap firework. The "highlight" of the second innings was Ricky Ponting dropping a dolly – a Flat Champagne Moment, if not quite a Gary Pratt Moment. He had been bemused to be "auctioned off" for just $400,000, $1m less than his Aussie team-mate Andrew Symonds. Now he knows why.

From the Seventies to the Eighties: what's with these "Knight Riders"? Has there ever been a team named after a children's television series before? The Million Dollar Men may be more appropriate. And surely there must be an A-Team somewhere.

In one-day internationals on the subcontinent, the man of the match often wins a motorbike that he rides around the outfield. So why was McCullum not presented with a talking car, or at least a David Hasselhoff chest wig?

At first glance, the IPL looks no different to the Twenty20 Cup pioneered in England, apart from the Washington Redskins cheerleaders. They should have been accompanied by Mark Ramprakash, but he was too busy scoring more runs in county cricket. The format is similar: three or four big names, a couple of them from overseas, and the rest of the team made up of a bunch of local lads who have a chance to make a name for themselves in front of decent crowds for a change. The difference, of course, is money. As county players shiver here, they must all wish they were in the sun earning a fortune.

Graeme Hick showed how much the money helps in the XXXX Gold Beach Cricket competition in Australia, now in its second year and airing on Sky Sports. He earned £20,000 for three weeks' "work" and hit eight sixes in two overs off Dennis Lillee and Damien Fleming. The hosts racked up the highest-ever score, 126 for 0, in eight overs, but England knocked them off in just six, and Mark Waugh was reduced to rolling the ball along the ground, Trevor Chappell-style. Hick flicked it up with his boot and smashed it into the sea. That's the way it should have been in the Nineties, Hicky.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

ERP Business/ Implementation Analyst

£40000 - £45000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: This is an e...

Software Developer / Software Engineer

£Neg. (DOE) + Excellent Benefits: Guru Careers: Combining a passion for Softwa...

Lead Software Developer / Senior Software Developer / Technical Architect

£Neg. (DOE) + Excellent Benefits: Guru Careers: Lead Software Developer / Seni...

Digital Designer / Web Designer

£Neg. (DOE) + Excellent Benefits: Guru Careers: A Digital Designer / Web Desig...

Day In a Page

A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

Voted for by the British public, the artworks on Art Everywhere posters may be the only place where they can be seen
Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Blanche Marvin reveals how Tennessee Williams used her name and an off-the-cuff remark to create an iconic character
Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Websites offering your ebooks for nothing is only the latest disrespect the modern writer is subjected to, says DJ Taylor
Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

Edinburgh Fringe 2014

The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

The woman stepping down as chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund is worried