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Sunday, November 19, 2006

Cricket's Cup of Woes

The Ashes is round the corner, the world's biggest cricket show is just a few months away, my team is beginning their campaign in South Africa later today, yet I am not getting terribly excited about cricket. So much so that after the frenetic activity i displayed during the Champions Trophy, I haven't posted a single entry in the last 10 days. There's something definitely wrong with the world of cricket....

The two touring teams have begun their campaigns in identical fashion - while the Prime Minister's XI have inflicted a heavy defeat on the Englishmen, the Indians fared only marginally better in their tour opener against a Rest of South Africa team. Of the twenty-two batsmen on display from the two touring teams, as many as 13 failed to reach double digit scores including a duck each from Raina, Mongia and Anderson. These curtain-raisers don't bode too well for the cricket ahead and what makes matters worse is the injury lists - Marcus Trescothick, an important component of the vicotorious Ashes team ( 2005) with 431 runs in that cricket-at-its-very-best series is out of contention due to some stress related problems, Yuvraj Singh who tore his ligament playing kho-kho with his shoes on has added to India's already long list of batting woes, Sehwag is in discomfort, Flintoff is not in the pink of health and i am sure i am missing out on a couple of others.
Another Ashes drubbing looks not too far away for the Pommies and the Indians, who have always found South Africa in South Africa the toughest challenge ever look ready to be slaughtered again. In the tour opener, they found Steyn too tough to handle, wait till they face the likes of Ntini and Pollock on the bouncy Durban. Latest weather reports from Johannesburg (that's where the first ODI is happening later today) say that the sky is turning grey already, unless the clouds are a good nimbus, it might be a gray day ahead for India.
Neither Australia nor South Africa are the teams that they were 5 years back - one is good without being very good, the other very good but not unbeatable any more (i guess you know which adjective fits whom). That makes it only sadder for cricket - an erosion of their strength has been nullified by the alarming plummeting of quality elsewhere. India and England were the rising forces of cricket a couple of seasons back, one had bearded the lion in its den and the other had snatched the Ashes back after a long hiatus. It's mine and cricket's misfortune that their ascendancy has been reversed all too rapidly - we are back to a boring unipolar world !
Any wonder that I am disillusioned and disenchanted with cricket. Want more reasons? Throw a glance at the schedule for the coming World Cup - there are more mismatches than matches. Bermuda is a kind of shorts, a triangle, a nation, an unsolved mystery - that's all i knew about it till the ICC in all its wisdom told me that it's a cricket playing nation and they will be competing at the highest level very soon. Not to miss the others who will be joining the party - Scotland, Netherlands, Canada....is that some convoluted strategy to improve the status of the Bangladeshi and Kenyan cricket teams? I can't think of a better reason for converting cricket's showpiece tournament into a complete circus.
Cricket needs a miracle, and soon. Will you gentlemen join me in the prayer?
****
post script

while researching for the post, came across a site called www.injuryupdate.com !! further research might reveal that its board of directors include Shane Bond, Ashish Nehra, Marcus Trescothick, Sachin Tendulkar....

4 comments:

omarhaq said...

Amit - what a depressing post!

don't worry - when the initial WC matches are over, the WC should be pretty exciting. there is some time left. I wouldn't scratch out India's chances just yet. i think India has a great chance to beat Aus.

I really think this WC will be a good one. I am not too delighted with the state of cricket these days, but no doubt the Pakistani side has kept me writing furiously on my blog for the past 2 months. But trust me, I wish I had just cricket to write about rather than Hair, steroids, captaincy, and other things outside the realm of the field!

i'll be watching the IND-SA eagery. SA are almost impregnable at home.....i think they will win. Sadly Indian bowling is a bit lackluster....Lets see what happens..

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