Wednesday, September 28, 2005

After all, it is the thought that counts, right?

After the tsunami ravaged many coastal areas of southern Asia, the ICC announced a pair of cricket matches matching the worlds best against each other, all for a good cause - to raise money to help the victims of the disaster.

There was overwhelming support for the first game, played in Australia, where millions of dollars were raised.

The second game was first postponed, and then called off. The reasons given were ones that could have easily been foreseen in January itself, but in the end were lamely put forward in the hope that sufficient time had elapsed and the public would have moved on to other concerns.

If the authorities truly, honestly, cared about their word then such issues could have been settled for the sake of the bigger cause. But it was not to be. Once more, mere lip service was provided to assuage the general public who expected to hear that some charity would be provided and were told that measures would be taken to achieve them.

Thank goodness, the first game was ACTUALLY held. When the two-match series was announced, my fear was that this was a public service announcement, a knee-jerk reaction to the disaster. When the first game took place, I was happy. And when the second was cancelled - I was not surprised. I had almost expected that to happen. For too long I have seen the authorities promise monetary (and property) rewards for sporting achievements, only to not hear about them any more after the grand announcement or for the athletes to only get a fraction of the promised sum (such as this one, or this one, or sometimes change their priorities in support of the flavour of the month).

Somehow, I did not expect this tsunami benefit series to be any different, and I was not mistaken. Sadly, the losers here are people whose hopes were raised when despair was their sole outlook.

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