Sunday 9 June 2013

The Glory days of Cricket!!! will they ever come back? I don't think so!

With the IPL match fixing at its full glory and news of people betting millions on the outcome of a particular over may have its repercussions and many may be jailed (or maybe not).  But the sole casualty of the whole mess is the game of Cricket.  

Cricket is (or was) a beautiful game which required all the skills of every human skill.  In Football you have to just kick in and make goals, in Boxing you have to smash you opponents jawbone, inversely in Chess you have to out think your opponents moves.  But Cricket requires all of these attitudes.  You have to be fit and agile, you have to a aggressive chap.  And above all you have to out think the opponents.  

I remember the days of John Mc'Enroe and Jimmy Connors when the game of Lawn Tennis was just as beautiful.  The rallies would last hours and each one would try to out think the other. There were these silken volleys and lobs.  If a player hit an Ace it would be a monumental even in the set.  But with time power play seems to have eaten the game of Lawn Tennis as it has eaten up the game of Cricket.

My earliest memories were of 1983 World Cup when we got to watch the matches in colour thanks to Asian Games held in India a year earlier.  When the game of Zimbabwe versus India, due to lack of communications, we were quick to blame Doordarshan for missing such a important match.  It was only later learnt that the BBC staff had gone on strike and till date the footage of that match is not available.  Alas can't enjoy Kapil's 175 not out for any money in the world.

The Cricket in the olden days was about planning, strategy and out doing the opposition in 5 days.  Captains tried different techniques from body line to under arm bowling to win the matches.  The only brute man in the entire history of cricket was Sir Vivian Richards.  He was lethal and brutal and the combination of the two meant misery for opposition.

Those days even draws were worth watching.  I remember Courtney Walsh and Jeff Dujon fighting it out for almost 3 hours in England.  Each and every ball was like a do or die for the West Indies and ultimately they survived to win a draw.    The other match featuring Walsh was 1991 series versus Australia where he partnered with Brian Lara to give West Indies a magnificent win.  The five bowls that he faced from Jason Gillespe were nerve wrenching whether or not you were a West Indies supporter.
Watch that video here courtesy MoodySports

Then there is always the epic innings from our very own Very Very Special Laxman and Rahul 'The Wall' Dravid in Kolkata in 2001.  This match not only won us the match but exorcised many demons troubling the Indian team at that time.  It took patience to watch the elegant defence and silky strokes from both the batsmen.  I can go on and on with these beautiful pieces from history of cricket.

But alas! those days are gone and now cricket has become just a power play game with brawn leading the way.  A test match finishes off in 3 to 4 days and draws seem to be unheard of now a days.  While it keeps the audience happy and the cash registers ringing, the true fans of cricket lament the death of cricket.   There are many arguments about the death of genuine cricket.  Some say 1 day internationals and T20 cricket is to blame while others say the crass commercialization of the sport is to blame.  Who ever is to be blamed, the casualty has been the beautiful game of Cricket.

The cricket now a days about playing to the gallery.

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  1. I completely agree with you, with IPL and other T20 leagues around Cricket has commercialized and it has turned into entertainment industry instead of sports. Good old test cricket struggles to pull crowds as there is no glamour related to it, just sweat , passion and dedication. When the main emphasis is on the money then its unlikely that glory days will be back.

    1. Sweat, passion and dedication, wow Majaal you have touched the nerve. That is what I was referring to in the article or lack of it. Now a days power and money rules cricket. The game is going to hell and nobody seems to care :-(


  2. With time, cricket is also going through a big change. India and in particular BCCI is the big brother there. Lets see, how and where the changes are happening.

    IPL and T20 are in a sense to give only entertainment. Period. But, that entertainment is only for short-term. Need a solution for long-term also.

  3. Very true, Now Cricket has become the media of earning and entertainment. Few peoples are ruling on cricket and cricketor are more passionate about success and fame rather than a true cricketorship.

  4. Cricket has changed into a different kind of entertainment now. It;s more about money, glamour and other luxury stuff than about the skills to play the game.


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