It’s a strange world we live in, and we have no one to blame for it but our own selves. It’s a world where language has been both weaponised and neutered — we use language to “other” those we don’t like, and we use language to obfuscate the truths we don’t want to tell, or hear. (I’ll have a lot more to say on this once this week ends and with it, my current consultancy contract — for now, I’ll just leave the thought here).

Mukul Kesavan is one of the very few Indian columnists I still read assiduously. That is in The Telegraph; it was only last evening that I realized he has been writing cricket columns for NDTV during this World Cup. This afternoon I spent time reading through those, and here is a passage from the one I wanted to highlight:

That makes about as much sense as saying that between two people with a thousand rupees, the richer person is the one with the greater number of large denomination notes. That is not just an arbitrary judgment, it is, by the logic of currency, an illegitimate one. In exactly the same way, a run, like a rupee, is a unit, equal to every other run. The fact that runs can be clubbed together as fours and sixes doesn’t make a total made up of a larger number of boundaries and a smaller number of ones, twos and threes, more valuable than one where the reverse is true. If you tried to act upon the argument that a thousand rupees made up of two five hundred rupee notes is worth more than a thousand rupees made up of a thousand rupee coins, the Governor of the Reserve Bank would want a word with you. And here we have the governors of cricket debasing the currency of their sport – runs – to fabricate an utterly arbitrary result.

That is the crux of the argument Mukul makes here about the outcome of the World Cup final, decided on the basis of which team hit the most boundaries — and IMO, it is irrefutable.

His conclusion:

England are in illegitimate possession of cricket’s most prized trophy for no fault of theirs. Perverse playing conditions and a possible umpiring error got them there. The only reasonable, honourable, cricketing resolution of this absurdly concocted result would be to declare England and New Zealand joint winners of the tournament. If that doesn’t happen, the result of this World Cup should be permanently asterisked in cricket’s records as a coup and 14 July, 2019 ought to go down in the game’s history as the day the Grinch stole Cricket.

Two other columns worth reading: The first, on how the Kohli-Dhoni bond cost India the World Cup, and the second, about why the Dhoni problem can’t be wished away. And from the Telegraph, this column on why — and how — sport and nationalism are joined at the hip.