Ask any Indian which is his favourite sport and 90 percent chances are the answer will be cricket. And the zeal and the enthusiasm with which the answer comes is double the normal mainly because of the world cup which is right around the corner. But is the Cricket World Cup really here? I mean ofcourse everybody knows that world cup starts from 19 Feb but where is the interest where is the fanfare, the glamour that generally comes with it ? And this time being hosted by India I sincerely had expected something more than a song that no one would want to listen again after hearing once by our Hi-fi industry.
So why is there no interest amongst the people. Let us explore :-

1. MONEY

Well it is clear that World Cup is not on top of the minds of the money minded BCCI.As with the CWG, the venues aren’t prepared yet which eventually led to cancellation of the only India match at the cricket crazy city of kolkata.And now when they realised and try to bring back the match, its kinda too late. This is  the state of affairs when they had to just renovate the stadia and not build it from scratch 😀 Advertisements are played but are very less on frequency and print and internet advertising is almost none. Organisation gas been poor and ticket purchase even worse. Wondering where is BCCI concentrating? Well look no further than our backyard. They are quite busy investing and taking care of their million dollar baby.

2.IPL

IPL is the real money maker which is why the owners are ready to invest even 1600 crores on a team as evident from recent team auctions. IPL is the platform that allows audience to watch players to come from different nationalities and play together in one team. No one ever imagined they will ever see their favourite stars together. But IPL has made it all possible. The effect of IPL is such that its ads have stared coming on air even before the world cup has begun 😦 Not only IPL but England’s 20-20 and Australia’s KFC Big Bash is very famous but for some reason they have failed to attract overseas players.But IPL is really good at this..Why? Well MONEY people money.

3.Too much International Cricket

India plays almost 15 test matches and more than 20 ODI’s in a year. There was a time in last season when India toured Sri Lanka, then Sri Lanka toured India and the again India went to Sri Lanka to play a Tri series alongwith New Zeland. At that point it was just too much seeing two teams battle it out again and again and was very boring by the end. The point is there’s too much international cricket and it becomes monotonous to see same type of matches and same players playing in them which is again one big reason why IPL is very popular. Because it brings change, it brings something that is fresh, it brings something that the people had never anticipated, it brings local flavour to the game and new

rivalries that are a pleasure to watch.

4.Length of the Game

50 overs a side 100 overs a day around 10 hours of gameplay. I mean its just too much. Frankly I can’t last that much time and neither do people have time for it. In comparison look at the other popular games in the world football lasts 90 minutes, boxing depends on k.o. or the sixteen round scores which definitely lasts less than 10 hours. This may also be the reason why T20 is so much in demand.

5.No Bollywood No Glamour

Seen any of the World cup ads with any bollywood stars in them? No right ..even the stars are not showing any interest since there is not much money in the ads for the cup. At the time of football world cup last year there were ads featuring John Abraham. Ofcourse ESPN was the broadcaster that time but is’nt ESPN again the broadcaster? Should’nt hey rope in bollywood stars too? Well am sure they tried hard but due to lack of interest and money that is driving bollywood stars away from this one. As a result of which our cricketers have had to make lots of efforts on this front and you can see Sachin and Dhoni advertising for them.

Well after discussing such problems it would’nt be fair if we did not discuss some solutions :-

1.Adopt FIFA format

Whatever I write in next few lines might sound ridiculous to implement but it might be one of the best ways to bring interest in the Gentlemen’s game. Fifa has a system where in each country has its own league which comprises of various local teams participating in games round the year. International matches take place at dates fixed by FIFA in the beginning of the year. What this creates is a rivalry amongst supporters of various cities taking part in the league and makes the game all the more interesting. Also since they have lesser number of international games all fans do have a huge in interest in watching them too. Plus they have their version of  Champions League which takes place round the year. Cricket is also headed in the same direction. Now we have the IPL in India, KFC Big Bash in Australlia New Zealand has one too and England also has one of theirs. And we have the Champions League which allows  top team from these nations to compete against each other. But the only problem here is that these have a very short duration i.e they get over within a month or two and then players get back to playing for their respective countries. Where as it should be the other way round to keep the interest of the people. Of course T20 iswhere the league should be played and ODI’s is what should be the international fixtures. Even one international ODI world cup every two years will keep the fans glued then.

2. India, Pakistan play well

The format of the tournament is such that host nations India, Pakistan(not host but neighbour) and Sri Lanka reach the knock out rounds. This is a must since crowd and interest will raise only if the crowd(local public) will have their teams to cheer for. Already India electrifying performance against Australia in their friendly where they clinched victory from jaws of death has raised many eyebrows. And I think already this performances have kickstarted the World Cup. A few more performances like this during the first round will set the tone right for the world cup.

 

It is said that craze for Cricket is like Madness but it is also said that the craze for Football  begins where the madness of cricket ends. So to bring Cricket to that level something needs to be changed….

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