Friday, April 13, 2007

Whatever Happened To The Game!

Yes, I wrote sometime back that I would not talk about cricket for a while! In hindsight, I could not have made such a declaration at a more inopportune time. While the news channels have been smattering the television screens with anything remotely connected with cricket, I have had tried hard to get onto the indifference curve with respect to the game. But have been an utter failure at it!

From the perspective of just the game, this has been the most insipid of world cups in recent memory. While everything else related to cricket grabs headlines, the game itself has taken a back stage. With Woolmer’s death, Coach-Player scuffle in India and with players being dropped for excessive drinking this World cup has the makings of a regular soap. To add to that we have our own Pawar, Vengsarkar, Senior Players and Subhash Chandra to spice-up the proceedings. I think the lure of this gossip is too strong to resist. Even the latest edition of Knowledge@Wharton has an article on the state of cricket in India.

If it were not for Bangladesh, this world cup would have been as exciting as a sun boiled Cola! They have been the source of all excitement at the tournament level. First eliminating India and then defeating South Africa in the super 8s. Arguably, they have the best spin attack in the trio of spinners (mind you – not the best spin bowlers but the best spin attack). Apart from that, Lanka’s bouts with South Africa and England got very interesting towards the end. But over all, most matches have been lop-sided. What is any sport without the proverbial unpredictability? So while one is made to concentrate to everything related to the game, one wonders what happened to the game!

Anyway, let me try my hand at being a soothsayer. As of now, it seems that the final four would be Australia, Sri Lanka, South Africa and New Zealand and in that order as well. So the semi-finals would look like the following:

  • SF1: Australia Vs New Zealand
    • Outcome: Aussies get a sweet revenge of the pre-world world run down
  • SF2: South Africa Vs Sri Lanka
    • Outcome: This would be a tough one. But hoping that South Africa wins this one

Now the finals would then be a replay of the 1999 world cup and I am hoping that we see a first time winner. Even if the final clash of Aussies is with the Lankans, I hope the cup comes to the sub-continent. But most likely, the Aussies would take it third time in a row! And I think it will be in line with the bland tournament that we have had till now.

Anyway, I think the composition of the Indian team for the upcoming tour of Bangladesh would make more exciting guesswork. Any thoughts?

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