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Thursday, March 22, 2007 

Group of Death

The world cup is on and there is very little else I can think of these days. Not to mention India losing to its neighbours has really set the nrr meter running. Cricket is the flavour of the day and nobody can escape it. As an Indian supporter you obviously want them to win but lately there is so much happening behind the scene that put victory and defeat out of perspective.

There was an interesting article by Sambit Bal editor of Cricinfo that I was reading yesterday. It really puts many things in to perspective. I have never been a cynic always suspecting match fixing problems in cricket. I still believe the game is much cleaner than it is shown to be. However, the vast infiltration of money in to the game is something that worries me now. I believe the game is always the biggest and nothing can be above it nor players, nor ICC nobody. Money however is getting ahead of the game now.

Matches are being scheduled in a way so as to generate maximum revenues, television rights are being sold to TV channels who offer maximum money irrespective of the quality of coverage they can provide and the ability of these channels to maintain the tempo this once in four years event deserves. Its absolutely a disgrace to see a half naked women sitting with cricket experts having no idea of whats going on, and add to the that the commercials of tv serials between overs such as durgesh nandini, ghar ki bahu ki aisi ki taisi and what not. What one wants to see is the world record sixes the Indian team hit recently in highlights. Setmax has brought nothing but shame and it is killing enthusiasm in young kids who like their game.

Cricket has created a violent following which is fed by the Indian cynicism and compounded by our inherent belief that we know better than the Indian captain. People bringing down a young man’s house because he got out for 0 is an inhuman behaviour. Sure when Indian people praise the team even that touches a certain barbaric proportions.

The major worry is that this bubble of money is expansing and there is only one end to it that it will explode. Such high expectations, pressure, nerves is adding a different angle to the game which is not part of the games’ natural evolution. Sure the game needs to be bettered constantly new rules should be brought in to make it interesting. But the ‘new rules’ should not be a back door to generating more money. The players are surely getting a lot of money, but I believe that every cricket is still in the game because he loves the game and he’d be still playing it if were getting a tenth of what he is getting now. The money is being pocketed by advertisers, bookies and administrators.

Such pressure of expectations should not result in countrywide demonstrations, burning of effigies, discussions in the parliament and stupid news channels running senseless misleading programs such as ‘match ke mujrim’. Criticism has its place in every sphere and it is necessary to have a different opinion. But it should not create a situation where players are playing for their lives.

Sambit Bal ends his article with two very beautiful lines as he remarks – ‘Greg Chappell was slapped on the back by a man in Bhubaneswar seeking his fifteen seconds of fame. He was obliged. It could get worse. Someone could get killed. Perhaps someone has already been killed.’

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cudnt agree with u more dude.. abt the media and the money .. nice post

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