Cricket World Cup 2007 is a failure. Given that some big teams (crowd pullers) could not make it to super eight; India and Pakistan out of the game in no time; Bob Woolmer’s murder (?); No crowd even to cheer the teams that are still in the game; a few surprises and shocks from Bangladesh, Ireland etc. – yes, the game is more shock and less surprise.
BCCI and all drama in India is phase II: BCCI’s meetings; Chappell’s comments; fans’ reactions; new terms and conditions; changes to contracts and remunerations to players; new coaches, one temporary for the interim, for Bangladesh tour and the other long-standing; questions about the BCCI itself (!); conspiracy at every stage; more often than not, hype from media, are a few that are self-highlighting.
This is the divide which is taking all charm away from the game. The purpose of the game is forgotten. It’s perceived and practically changed to something else.
First of all, cricket is perceived as business; everyone is expected to ‘perform well’ in every game; players are paid based on the performance (runs/ wickets/ matches whatever); media is at huge loss (ads) if a match is lost or if a particular team is out of series; and then fixing and bookies and what not.
Second of all, the amount of pressure on the players will definitely make players nervous. True, that the ‘coach’ing and training addresses the need to deal with the situation. But, isn’t the idea of millions watching closely your every move in slow motion, with lot of hopes, scary? Further, the pujas, homas, support, cheers, autographs all of them over-turn with the loss of one match. Suddenly, people burn effigies and throw stones at houses! The ‘spirit’ of the game is seen nowhere!
Very true that a discussion and analysis on cricket needs a 500 page book and the above is not even a preview or an introduction for the work. And probably, I am not even eligible to talk about cricket (Did I ever tell you that I never understood test cricket??). However, I believe that the bottom-line is: ‘game spirit’ in no one’s mind, which has, over the time, changed the game for ever!