‘Greed is evil’, ‘Greed is cancerous’ we were taught thus in our Sunday Schools. But Gordon Gecko said otherwise, ‘Greed is good’. But here is a group of people who are practicing this art in one of the premier event of a sport, ‘cricket’. Whether it is going to be for the good or evil, time will tell.
Cricket is played professionally only in a handful of countries. Out of that only a few know to play it decently. So in terms of logistics a Cricket world cup is the easiest one to organize. Still there is a twist here. People responsible can do it decently or can do it profitably. Striking the balance; lies the success.
During the 80’s and early 90’s cricket and Bollywood were the quick ticket to fame and money for the Indians. But as the decade progressed and we entered the new millennia cricket became the richest sport thanks to collective spending of a billion people with no other sport to claim their own. Presently the International Cricket Council is entirely controlled by India and let’s take a look at how we are running a world cup.
I take a look at the schedule sheet and am surprised to learn that every other country plays more often than India. Indians are lavished with a seven day holiday between each game and they play only on weekends. Now is there a coincidence?
India may not have an athletics stadium but do have cricket stadiums all over the country. With a vast population raring to break into the top XI and huge sentimentality involved, it’s quite natural. But I am ‘bowled over’ when asked for a reason why the premier stadiums have been ignored and the game concentrated only in a few. Did the ICC cum BCCI president reward his loyalists?
Now speaking of the stadiums, it would be a dream to watch one ‘live’ if you are a ‘common’ man. Gone are the days when galleries were cheap. They are damn costly and even if you are willing to part with your hard earned cash, you may not find a ticket. Almost all the tickets are sold off as quotas to the powerful, who in turn sells it in black. Ok, you buy the ticket ten times its cost, still you may not be able to enter the stadium until half the match is over. Even then you may have to watch it on screen thanks to the scientific construction!
Now you decide that watching it in the comfort of your home is worthier than hours of sun. But the match is watchable only in a select group of media. DD, the supposedly national channel has no highlights even during the News. The commentators are unbearable and so are the match analysts. As the match wears on the sponsors are eager to squeeze in an ad in every second and now there are pop-up kind of ad that get onto your nerves.
Now to beat it all- Give me a good reason why it takes one and a half months to finish the WC when FIFA takes lesser with more teams?
(Well I decided to write this 'cos whoever I talked to shared my opinion but no one writes about this!)