Twitter has changed the way we enjoy our matches, and certainly enhanced them to a great degree. Being able to interact with fans around the world and share jokes, all whilst watching a big match – it is something that we would have struggled to contemplate even ten years ago.
However, commentating on cricket is not without its fair share of loonies and feckless basement-dwellers.
Here are our pro tips to make sure you enjoy Twitter without losing your sanity and/or faith in mankind:
1. Don’t ask for the score.
There are dozens, if not hundreds of websites specifically pertaining to informing us of cricket scores. Cricinfo, its younger, eerily similar cousin Cricbuzz, and plenty of other rip-off of rip-offs all fulfill this particular requirement.
If you have access to Twitter, and have evolved sufficiently to reach the stage of opposable thumbs and the ability to tweet, I assume that you can also spare a few kilobytes more of your data allowance on not being a lazy ass and showing enough ingenuity to click your way towards a live scorecard.
2. “Pliss To RT”
“Ganguly would have been a better captain than Dhoni in T20s. My latest blog: http://dadasbiggestfan19.blogspot.com/dadagreatest PLS RT”
Every time someone half-demands half-asks ‘Pls RT’, an internet angel stabs itself in the eye.
I try to read every single blog link that’s sent our way. Every single word, of every single link.
It doesn’t mean that sometimes, I would rather have a tabby cat scratch my eyes out than read another blog about how “Sachin is better than Bradman, who wasn’t as good as everybody made out because he lived in an era of uncovered pitches which weren’t as tough as everybody makes out you know.”
3. Play Nice
Cricket can often be a controversial sport. Countless nuances mean that any number of strategies and player combinations may be valid.
At @AltCricket, we like to stick our neck out from time to time and voice an opinion. Contrary to the ideas of a fair few failed Einsteins who seem to have been dropped on their heads as kids, this does not give the party in disagreement a carte blanche to dish out mindless abuse every time he – it’s always a he – disagrees with a tweet.
We have over 20,000 followers, and on a match day we receive in the region of a thousand mentions. It’s quite a task to churn through them, and the vast majority are supportive, many are lovely jokettes, a few respectfully disagree…and a select few…well, see for yourself:
They say cricket is a religion, and they’re right: while it has the ability to bring out the best in people, it also has the ability to turn people into irrational and vile beasts.
As a wise man once said: “If you can’t say anything nice, say it anonymously on the Internet and award yourself a shiny gold star for bravery.”
4. Don’t Be Ravi Bopara
Twitter is an awesome platform for cricketers to challenge fans’ preconceptions and to engage us all in their personalities – that is, if they have one to engage us with.
Is derren brown fake? He confuses me — Ravi Bopara (@ravibopara) November 11, 2012
What I mean is it real when Derren Brown just puts people to sleep & all that stuff? — Ravi Bopara (@ravibopara) November 11, 2012
Typically harmless and banal, it is the sort of sterilized ‘banter’ that the English dressing room has become famous for. Watching Ravi Bopara tweet is even less interesting than watching him bat.
Whole day of fifa I reckon. Nothing else to do in Kandy — Ravi Bopara (@ravibopara) September 30, 2012
Not a particularly smart thing to say, the day before a big match in the World T20, when you are struggling for form…and you end up scoring a duck!
5. Don’t Use Twitter As A Platform To Showcase Your Craziness
6. Be Balanced
We often get accused of being pro-Indian.
Nothing could be further from the truth: we are indiscriminately anti-asshole.
7. Take The Piss In Healthy Doses
8. Be Civil
Contrary to popular belief, I don’t believe it’s necessary to automatically bestow an impenetrable veil of ‘respect’ upon any opinion, just because a given person has been blessed with enough basic neuronal activity to facilitate a vaguely cogent thought.
By the same token, if you feel like getting into a deep argument every time you see someone disagrees whether Ravi Ashwin should be bowling with a short leg or leg gully, perhaps it’s time for anger therapy and Twitter rehab?
Ultimately, arguing with a troll is like wrestling with a pig: you end up covered in shit, and the pig loves it.
At its best, Twitter is dangerously addictive. The crack cocaine of social media will give you countless hours of quality laughs, as well as stats and info that you might not find through conventional coverage.
It is the future, so get on while it’s hot. We’re on @AltCricket.