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Kudos to all those silent workers!

Updated on: 26 May,2024 07:05 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Sunil Gavaskar |

The heroes off the field are in the BCCI office, where they plan for the IPL and pick venues. They burn the midnight oil to ensure it’s a smooth event. Meanwhile, the real stars of the broadcast are those out on the ground and stands. The camerapersons who do not miss a ball, bring the best pictures you will ever see

Kudos to all those silent workers!

The camera crew work on the spidercam during the match between RCB and LSG in Bangalore recently. Pic/AFP

Sunil GavaskarSince this is being written on the eve of the final of the Incredible Premier League, all one can do is to congratulate the finalists for playing so well throughout the last two months, especially towards the end of the league stage when temperatures have been such that it’s been hard to breathe. The two teams that ended up as the top two in the league stage are also going to battle it out for the coveted trophy. Whoever wins will be because they have had the greater belief and even greater desire to win. Yes, luck will also be a factor as it invariably is between two well-matched opponents in any sport, and whoever wins will be a most-deserving winner.

This is also the time when TV channels and the print media are picking their best eleven players in the league, and as always, the followers of those who miss out will have plenty to say. What needs to be said is about the heroes off the field or the silent ones on the field.

Election, an added challenge 

The heroes off the field are in the BCCI office. These are the people who will have started planning, the scheduling, picking venues and the nitty gritty of organising the cricket world’s biggest league. They will burn the midnight oil to ensure it’s a smooth event like it always has been. This time around they had to contend with the general elections in the country and so, scheduling the games became a bit of a nightmare as it would be impossible to arrange games in cities for a few days before and after where the election was due. That’s why at the start, with the election dates not announced, the schedule was released only till April 7, and once the dates and cities where elections were to be held were known, then the rest of the schedule was announced. Here also, care had to be taken to ensure that in the middle of the summer, there were adequate days of rest and travel dates for all the teams. It looks easy, but it is a humongous exercise. 

Also Read: IPL 2024 | 'Going be an asset for India in future': Tom Moody heaps praise on young Abhishek Sharma

Then, to arrange umpires and officials for the various games and their travel and hotels is again not a simple task. Summer is also the time when there are school vacations and parents are travelling with their children and flights can be full, so to get seats at the last minute is also a headache. This is where the BCCI has had the good fortune to have people who are always with a smile on their face even though they may be under tension and pressure, to see that everything goes smoothly. No praise can be too high for those in the engine room of BCCI for ensuring the way this year’s IPL has gone so smoothly.

 TV viewers usually know most of the commentators, but the real stars of the broadcast are those out on the ground and in the stands. These are the camerapersons who do not miss a ball and who bring you the best pictures you will ever see. They are out there in the hot weather, sweating away and being very uncomfortable just to get the viewer the best angle and best view on TV. The commentators have stints and so get a break, but the camera persons do not get a moment off and have to be on their toes all the time. When a commentator takes the name of a player who is on the field or even in the dug-out, how does the camera go to that player immediately? That’s an extraordinary skill and enhances the broadcast to another level.

Ensuring quality of sound

So also the sound guys, who ensure the quality of the sound coming to you and see that there’s no outside noise to disturb the telecast. Then, there are a hundred others in the broadcast room that are there, like the Hawk-Eye, the Ultra-Edge and other technical stuff that the viewer gets to enjoy on their TV screens. All these guys are there not only for every moment of the game but are also at the ground hours before the first ball is bowled. The tech guys at the ground arrive way before us commentators and are also at the venue for the derigging of the hundreds of cables and equipment that goes on well into the night while the commentators are fast asleep in their beds.

The boss of the telecast is the director who is sitting in front of a huge screen that has the feed from all the 30-plus cameras on the ground. This is known as the broadcast control room, and the picture you get to see on your monitor is the one that they decide out of all the 30-plus camera feeds that they get. There are so many other technicalities in that broadcast control room that even after more than 30 years of commentating, I have not been able to fathom, but my respect for all is enormous. They are all the ones who make the commentators sound good.

Then, how can one forget the transport guys. They are the most hassled as there are so many eleventh hour changes to flights asked by so many. They also see that there is transportation to and from the airport and hotels.

It is easy to take the telecast for granted, but the sweat and toil of those who make it possible is hardly ever mentioned or spoken about. Hopefully, I haven’t forgotten any particular department, but as always, for me every year, the team of the IPL is the unseen one, the combination of the BCCI office and the BCCI world feed guys.

Well done once again boys and girls, and more power to your elbow.

Professional Management Group

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