This, remember, was in the 1950s. I wonder what Johnson would have made of the media circus, especially in India, circa 2013. Not just around cricket and its illegitimate children - match and spot-fixing, questionable administrative decisions and much else - but around life, the universe and everything.
I went to play wearing a replica jersey of the Indian limited-overs team once; it has my name embossed on the back. One of the boys asked me if I'd represented India at some stage, perhaps just warmed the bench for one match at, maybe, the Under-15 level or something. I asked casually if he would hang around playing football with me if he had played cricket for India. His reply, equally casual, was that he was happy never to have played much cricket.
As Suresh Menon, among others, has said on occasion, it is important for respected cricketers like Tendulkar to come out and speak to the paying public at times like these - as he did this past Friday.
N Srinivasan has never been a pushover - his performance in Kolkata on Sunday afternoon was masterly, something he backs himself to pull off each time. And unlike Srinivasan, Sreesanth probably doesn't have the wherewithal to go anywhere but down from here.
It's important that the Indian cricket fan doesn't forgive players who have let the game down.
The IPL is designed to create fan loyalties even if the clubs have very little of the corresponding cities in them, whether by way of culture, spirit or personnel.
Unsurprisingly, all teams have a bunch of players - youngsters, promising or otherwise - from the region they are named after, but hardly a few of them actually get a hit, and if they do, it's not for more than a couple of matches in a row. Usually, you'll find one or two locals in the playing XIs, not more. Offhand, I'd say Chennai scores best on this count with Murali Vijay, S Badrinath and R Ashwin featuring regularly, year after year.
The buzz around Vijender Singh's 'hero-to-heroin' journey refuses to die down. A drug bust by the cops found a link to India's best-known boxer, and since then there have been allegations that Vijender regularly consumed the drug, that he was even part of a huge cartel. The truth, as always, remains shrouded in secrecy.
In the IPL context, the stories of Yusuf Pathan and Ravindra Jadeja are legend, especially among the young cricketers - how they created a big splash in the IPL and became internationals soon after.
Shamya has done the rounds of pretty much every medium that journalism has to offer: the web, newspapers, radio, magazines and, for the last seven years, news television. Among other places, he has worked with Encyclopaedia Britannica, Tehelka, ESPN, The Indian Express and TV Today. His last engagement was as Editor - Sports with television channel NewsX, and he writes regular columns for the magazines Man's World and Sahara Time and occasionally for international journals like Sport in Society. His book on Indian boxing - Bhiwani Junction (HarperCollins India) - should be out in time for the London Olympics.
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