Monday, December 17, 2007

Too much Cricket

How many times have we heard our dear beloved cricketers complaining of "too much cricket". I dont think I can agree with their constant complaining. Ok, let me analyse this clearly.

The cricketers possibly play cricket for about 150 days in a calenday year. A common working man, works for atleast 250 days in a calendar year. The cricketers are paid way more than the average working man. So, what the cricketers want is more money, and they want to work less? What kind of justice is that? Considering the kind of pay that the cricketers get, I would want them to work much more than even 250 days in a year.

Now another angle. A normal cricket match lasts upto 7 hours in a day. So even if a cricketer is not sitting on his backside in the dressing room, he can spend a maximum of 7 hours on the field of play, "working" (of course, that is expecting the cricketer, to be the wicket-keeper-cum-opening-batsman who bats all 50 overs, and even practices during the lunch break!). An average working man, works atleast 8 hours in a day. Somedays, the cricketers play 20-20 matches, which last only 3 and a half hours!

Ok, there may be an agrument from the contentious mind. Cricket is a physical sport, and a player could get injured, and that a player has to travel across the world to play matches and live away from home. My response to that would be simple: C'MON!! Isn't every industry unique? Doesn't each industry have it's own work environment? A cricketer knows what he is getting into when he decides to play cricket. I'm sure the aim of a striving cricketer, is NOT to sit in the pavillion, sipping tea and eating biscuits! As for the travelling bit, let me see...they travel to different countries, stay in a 5 star hotel, their food, travel, etc. is taken care of. They have so many off days, (and on their "working days" they work only 7 hours max) that they can do enough site-seeing. Their wives are allowed to travel with them. So where is the problem?

So what are the cricketers complaining of? Do they want more off days, to relax their tiring bodies? Most of them are in the age group 20-30. If they can't handle it, should they really be representing their country at the top level? And if they are not fit enough, should they not give others a chance to play, or should they make the viewers suffer by playing lesser? They are afterall in the entertainment business.

A last thought. Do they want more time off from cricket to do more advertisements? (this is in specific to the Indian cricketers)

Sunday, December 02, 2007

20-20 Champs

The 20-20 cricket revolution brought about by the ICC is great for the game. Not that it needed a boost in the sub-continent, but in the rest of the world, the following of cricket was dwindling. It needed a form a cricket which would attract more people. One must congratulate the ICC and the South African cricket board for hosting a fabulous tournament, in which there were no "boring" matches, or dead rubbers.

The 20-20 game, brings in new spectators who are willing to watch a fast paced match, which would get over within 3 hours. It is of little surprise that most of the popular international sports (soccer, field hockey, tennis, volleyball, table tennis, baseball, basketball, etc) are played over 3 hours or less, so as to attract huge crowds. Definitely, the game of cricket needed a format that would bring in more crowds (into the stadiums) and in general bring in a new section of people as spectators.

I think that the ICC and all the affiliated boards should make an effort to promote this form of the game, and not just have an international tournament every 2 years. Most of the "pundits" have asked the ICC to go slow on the 20-20 version, and not use it much. However, I differ on this. I believe that the revenues will come in more due to the 20-20 version. So as a roadmap, I can suggest that every internation tour should have 3 to 5 Test Matches, 3 to 5 One Day International Matches and 3 20-20 Matches. I can say with sureity that the largest crowds would come in for the 20-20 matches! Also, giving encouragement to this new format of the game, would bring in new players who would be specialists in this version of the game (NOTE: The specialist teams, like England, and South Africa were out by the quarter finals, whereas newbies like India and Pakistan made it to the finals).

Another step that ICC should take to grow the new version with care, is to create an international ranking (in the same format as done for Test Teams and players and ODI Teams and players) for 20-20 teams and 20-20 players. That would generate more interest. So far, Wikipedia carries a lot of statistics on the new version. I also feel that a shorter version of the game if promoted properly, could bring in new teams like the USA, Canada, Singapore, and who knows, they might play this version better than "ICC Test Recognised Teams"!

All the best ICC.
India are surely deserving champions.

(Sports Aficionado)