The episode that really matters

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The episode that really matters

In this episode of the 81allout podcast, we zero in on the cliche that makes an appearance in all sporting contests: the moments that mattered. We discuss how for fans some moments take on more significance than others, why writers need to guard against falling into narrative traps, and how the struggling media ecosystem is fertile ground for turning cricketing stories into those of heroism and villainy.

We also discuss how one approaches writing about selection, and predict what sportswriting might look like five or ten years down the line.


Sidharth Monga, assistant editor, ESPNcricinfo

Kartikeya Date (@cricketingview)

Siddhartha Vaidyanathan (@sidvee)

Related pieces:

Against narratives – Kartikeya Date

What’s the story, Morning Glory – 81allout podcast

Rahul Tewatia and the romance of the struggle – Sidharth Monga

Who removed my spinner – Sidharth Monga

The mother of all myths – Tom Eaton, The Cricket Monthly

Why there is no such thing as a finisher in ODI cricket – by Kartikeya Date

Clock ticking on Dhoni, the T20 finisher – Sidharth Monga


Lead image from here.

2 thoughts on “The episode that really matters”

  1. Awesome discussion guys. I do understand the need for a narrative since sports to many is also a form of entertainment from the mundane. I think that is how you also attract newer audiences. Of course this should not be over-emphasized to the point of lunacy. For instance I do remember the tales written around the 2001 Kolkata test- the fact that it changed Indian cricket- giving the team belief and killer instinct! As an impressionable teenager it stuck a chord with me and I was hooked on to the game. Later on as I played the game as a club cricketer I understood more about the cricketing aspects.

    1. Thank you. As we discussed on the podcast, we are drawn to storytelling in different aspects of life. So sports is no different. The problem is when players and teams start to be defined by these stories rather than by their actual performances on the field. That’s when history starts to resemble fantasy. Which can lead to plenty of distortions. – Sid

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