Cricket is a game that has always been known to be a connoisseur's delight because of the grace, elegance and style that players have exhibited playing the game.
It was always the lush english greens with those cream coloured flannels immaculately worn by the players that especially attracted the fairer sex.
It was a gentleman's game and a sport that was always considered to be the best leveller of character.
An age old cliche 'it's not cricket' was always said to have been uttered during times of unsportsmanlike conduct by players and whosoever was involved with this great game.
It was a feeling or expression of disapproval that emanated due to strong resentment and for anything that remotely brought the game into disrepute.
It is the bliss and the purity that the game was associated with during the early days and there was no semblance of any corruption that has engulfed the game in this day and age.
It used to be the days when listening to cricket commentaries on the radio was a delight and a passion for cricket fans.
The blaring voices of Lindsay Hassett, John Arlott, Richie Benaud, Fred Trueman, Trevor Bailey and many others during the early 60's and 70's were almost like poetry to the listeners because of their flawless use of the language.
The commentators with their rich vocabulary were able to describe the game in a manner that kept the listeners mesmerised and glued to the radio.
Players like Denis Compton and later on the Pakistani fast bowler Fazal Mahmood were amongst the first players to have advertised for Brycream product which was of course due to their film star looks.
It was their dashing looks besides their being prolific players was what earned them lucrative contracts during those days.
Like Denis Compton who was a great stylist it was Peter May, Ted Dexter, Tom Graveney and later David Gower who used to drive the commentators to the level of ecstatic expressions and make listening to commentary not just a pleasure but a much awaited moment.
The english commentator John Arlott while describing the bowling of Dennis Lillie, Bob Willis or Sarfaraz Nawaz would almost naturally refer to their ' massive shoulders and hair flopping in the air' or 'majestic' and 'graceful' while referring to the likes of Majid Khan or Greg Chappell while batting.
For the listeners it was not due to the visibility but the vivid description of the bowling actions of a Bishen Singh Bedi or a Michael Holding that actually made them familiar with their bowling actions which was nothing short of 'poetry in motion'.
The game of cricket has actually been made richer by the stylists like the late Mushtaque Ali, the flamboyant Mansur Ali Khan, the Nawab of Pataudi who was better known as Tiger Pataudi and the lazy elegance of Mohammad Azharuddin and VVS Laxman.
The grace, style or good looks of players like Majid Khan, Imran Khan and Fazal Mahmood, Greg Chappell, Mark Waugh, Gundappa Vishwanath and Brian Lara with their effortless style and stroke play were so pleasing to the eyes that spectators and viewers would remain almost speechless.
The commentators while describing the tall and bespectacled Clive Lloyd or the swagger and arrogance that typified Vivian Richards was spontaneous and have left behind nostalgic memories etched in the minds of the connoisseurs.
Some of the finest innings ever played and forever in the memories would be the innings of 187 not out by Stan McCabe in the Bodyline series of 1932/33.
Just when the Australians were skittled to a score next to nothing with Don Bradman back in the pavillion, McCabe tore into the English attack of Larwood, Jardine and co: on a difficult track and such exhilarating strokes executed with such style and grace that even the Don believed that no innings could be played of such quality ever.
Another innings that the Don referred to as one of the finest ever played was by Sir Garfield Sobers in a world X1 match against the Australians in 1971 in Melbourne.
The left handed West Indian had hit Dennis Lillie - then considered as one of the most terrifying fast bowlers of all time - into submission.
He hit the ferocious Dennis Lillie to all parts of the ground with effortless grace and aggression. Such precise and sublime was his stroke play against Lillie and co: that prompted the Australian legend to say it was arguably one of the best he had ever seen played even though it was not a test match.
Batsmanship these days have a lot to do with the commercial aspects and the economy associated with it and not so much the beauty and attraction that it is supposed to be for the old fashioned desire of the connoisseurs.
The bowling action of a Ray Lindwall, Dennis Lillie, Michael Holding or a Bishen Singh Bedi who all had the grace and ease in the manner in which they bowled is no longer present amongst the modern day cricketers.
To make cricket a leisurely pleasure and even a delight to the listeners is completely missing because of the brash and almost crude form of commentary that is being performed by all and sundry.
It is more the cost benefit approach that seems to have simply swayed away from the artistry and beauty that once was the great game cricket.
The likes of John Arlott, Christopher Martin Jenkins, Don Mosey, the late Richie Benaud, Linday Hassett, Fred Trueman and many more have alas made way for performers on the field.
The subtlety and artistry even of the commentators is wishful thinking as far as the die hard listeners are concerned and the days of old are just as matter of the past.