sify sports
Home Astrology Business Classifieds Mobile Movies Samachar Shopping Sports Videos
Sify Home > Khel> ICC World Cup
Print Print Mail Mail
The sorry tale of World Cup
Anand Philar

The 2007 cricket World Cup is done and dusted with, but the last word is still to be written. The ICC, on its part, has plenty to answer to and the knives are already being drawn from the sheath ahead of next month’s Board meeting.

Read more hard-hitting columns

The Indian Board has already indicated that it would be taking on ICC boss Malcolm Speed and hold him responsible for the shabby conduct of the World Cup most of which was played before empty stands. Further, the murder of Bob Woolmer cast a long shadow on the 47-day event that drew repeated criticism for its duration and a format that failed to produce quality and close matches on a consistent basis.

The tickets being highly priced and restrictions on the paying public that thought it was entering a high-security prison, further compounded the problems. No doubt, in the latter half of the tournament, the authorities relented to allow musical instruments into the ground so as to inject “local flavour”. But it was all too little too late. The damage had already been done.

To be fair to the ICC, with 16 teams in the fray and each match lasting a full day, the duration at best could have been reduced by a week at best. There have been calls to introduce more knockout matches while shortening the league phase. Perhaps, the only way the authorities could have shortened the event was by playing two or even three matches daily at different venues. The other option would be to reduce the number of teams to make the competition compact and more competitive.


But I suspect that the television channels had a major say in the format as also the duration of the tournament. The longer the event meant more revenues through sale of advertisement slots. However, the truth is that even the most avid cricket fan can only take so much of the game. Given the location of the West Indies, the time difference, vis-à-vis Asia and Oceania, the two regions where cricket is mostly followed, the telecast would not have attracted the sort of eyeballs that the channels would have projected or hoped for. Read moreread more

  Also Read
   Latest World Cup Headlines
   Latest World Cup Imagegalleries
   Exclusive Columns
   Woolmer probe: Full Coverage


Also, the premature exit of India and Pakistan further dampened the interest in the World Cup. It led to a huge loss of revenues by way of reduced following that in turn lower television viewership in the sub-continent. Perhaps, the worst sufferers were the betting mafia considering the projected pre-tournament betting amount of some Rs. 30,000 Crores! Mind-boggling certainly, but one might speculate that the bookies would have made up a lot on the result of one match – Pakistan vs Ireland.

If one were to point out one aspect that really turned the World Cup on its head, then it was the absolute domination of Australia. The team was like a Derby thoroughbred, setting the pace early and sustaining the gallop through the 11 matches to emerge worthy winners. No team, including Sri Lanka, looked anywhere close to the Aussies who were not only the best prepared but also the fittest, both mentally and physically.

It spoke a lot for the Aussies that they maintained a high standard through the long tournament, not once easing off the throttle. On the contrary, they seemed to improve even more and in the end, it was obvious to even a novice that the Aussies had descended from Planet Oz. The offshoot of their intimidating domination was that their Cup triumph was taken for granted and few cared to really watch the monotonous slaying of the opponents by this Hercules from Down Under.


Is the Aussie domination good for cricket? The answer should be an emphatic “yes” if you are an optimist. They set a benchmark for the rest and only the losers would grumble about their seeming invincibility. The onus is on the other team to roll up their sleeves, pick up the gauntlet and challenge the Australians. That would be a wiser course to follow rather than complain that the Aussies are cricketing version of Michael Schumacher.

Having said that, the Aussies would be chaffing that their campaign ended on a farcical note, thanks in the main to a set of blundering officials, not the least, the umpires. The ICC cannot gloss over the sorry incidents on Saturday night at the Kensington Oval for it was a total breakdown of a system that is bound by ropes of its own bureaucracy.

If Speed and his cohorts have even an ounce of self-respect, then they should resign en masse. The ICC sold its soul for a few dollars more and in the process, allowed the sport they are said to be governing, to drift down the drain.

Sri Lankan coach Tom Moody made a valid point when he said that a World Cup final should be played over its full course of 100 overs giving both the teams an even chance to win. In this context, the Duckworth-Lewis method is rather archaic as the numbers it throws up defies logic, like South Africa were asked to score 22 runs in one ball in the 1992 World Cup semifinal against England! It is time the ICC revisited the rain rule that is simple enough to understand and more importantly, is based on logic and commonsense.

If anything, the ICC would have to reinvent the World Cup wheel so that their showpiece event would showcase the best of cricket and not the worst. For cricket to go global, it needs to first set its house in order so that the new members of the “family” would feel at home and welcome.

Print   Print    Mail   Mail  Post your comments   Post your comments  Rate this Feature Rate this Feature
Latest News
No positive dope tests at the World Cup
There were no positive dope tests at the recent World Cup in the West Indies, the International Cricket Council (ICC) said on Thursday.
Read more read more
Pakistan probe critical of Inzamam's Cup leadership
A committee probing Pakistan's embarassing first round exit at the cricket World Cup has cited "poor leadership" from captain Inzamam-ul-Haq as one of the causes.
Read more read more
Missing World Cup was a blessing: Lee
Australia fast bowler Brett Lee believes his forced withdrawal from the World Cup could prove a blessing disguise by extending his career.
Read more read more
Sify Mall OFFERS

Primex T-shirt 'Bernabue'

Cricket 07–EA CD-Rom

Sports and Fitness

Pink for U

World Cup Headlines : World Cup Interviews | World Cup Match Schedule | Wish India | India at the Cup
World Cup Past Finals : World Cup Final 1975 | World Cup Final 1979 | World Cup Final 1983 | World Cup Final 1987 | World Cup Final 1992 | World Cup Final 1996 | World Cup Final 1999 | World Cup Final 2003
World Cup Squad : India | Australia | New Zealand | Sri Lanka | South Africa | Pakistan | West Indies | England | Bangladesh | Zimbabwe | Kenya | Canada | Ireland | Netherlands | Scotland | Bermuda
World Cup Stats : World Cup Top Batsman and Bowlers | World Cup Top wicket takers | Team Records | Most Matches | Most wickets | Fastest century | Most runs getters | Fastest fifty | World Cup finals
World Cup Venues : Barbados | St Lucia | Jamaica | St Vincent | Grenada | Guyana | Antigua | Trinidad | St. Kitts

Home | Shopping | Samachar | Sifymax | MumbaiLive | Bangalorelive
© Copyright Sify Ltd, 1998-2006. All rights reserved. India News Portal, hosted at SifyHosting India's first Level 3 Internet Data Centre.
Site optimized for Internet Explorer 5.5 and above.
See Disclaimer | Privacy Policy & Parental Guidance on pornography | Careers@sify | About Us | Feedback | Advertise with us | Site Map