Friday, March 04, 2011

The quietest World Cup ever

We lay aside letters never to read them again, and at last we destroy them out of discretion, and so disappears the most beautiful, the most immediate breath of life, irrecoverable for ourselves and for others.”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

The cricket World Cup has started and folks who know nothing about the sport ask me how it is going. The reality is that so far I have watched only one full inning - India's inning against England.

I have just not been able to get my head wrapped around a schedule that features games for teams once every 5-7 days. CricInfo has been doing a good job of giving me the news without the need to see replays or highlights on WillowTV.

Can I force myself to stay up and watch the Indian team play this weekend (I had to look it up to even know whom they played)? I'm not really sure.

What I do know is this:

a) The Bangladeshi team is finding out first had what happens when fan expectations are high. Four years ago, when they forced India out of the World Cup, little did they imagine that they would be at the receiving end of an irate mob when the next edition rolled around.

b) Shahid Afridi is picking up wickets just for fun. Surely he could not have developed a mystery ball? Or is he reaping the reward of bowling stump-to-stump and feasting on batsmen raised on the need to hit him out of the park? Of his 14 victims so far, 5 have been bowled, and 4 have been LBW. Only 4 have been caught in the deep (of which two came against Sri Lanka).

c) Ravi Shastri needs to be told that the microphone is there for a reason, he need not scream into it. Putting the TV on mute is not enough as his voice easily carries across the oceans.

d) The ICC has perfected the art of managing the media. If there is a fiasco, they simply say that they are looking into it and will ensure that it does not happen in the next World Cup, counting on the 4 year gap to make the issue go away. Only 4,000 tickets allocated to the paying spectator for a final is a travesty of ginormous proportions and it is sad that the greedy moneybags even thought that would be sufficient. If they had their way, they'd not issue that many either.

e) I look at the Indian line-up and only see two decent fielders. The rest simply take up space. Year after year, we talk about fielding being our weakest link and the next generation is better at it. Well, after they make the team, they all regress it appears. Watching Munaf run while he was batting made me sad since he is not even 28 years old. What bothers me is not that he is incapable of running, but that he seems indifferent to even putting an effort into it to compensate for it. And that he is allowed tog et away with such a lackadaisical approach.


Leela said...

One thing even I've hated in this WC is the schedule. I am still not sure why they decided not to have two games per day. Such a waste.

Do try and catch KOB's innings (Ireland vs. Eng)...

I am hoping the fielders had an off day... I know the Indian team an't New Zealand, but they are not that bad either.
I just have to believe.

Jaunty Quicksand said...

L, thanks for the tip. I did watch KOB. My goodness. What a prolonged and sustained assault. What i liekd even more was how he was sensible after the other got out for 47 to not continue to go hammer and tongs at the bowling and instead calmly take the singles that they were giving him. (Too bad he was forced into going for a suicidal second run).

You helped make my mind for me. I am going to watch the Ireland-India game tonight. I hope Ireland bats first.

We need Raina to play simply because he hustles about the infield and puts the fear of the quick single in the batsmen's mind. Hopefully, the fielding does pick up. It has to. It must.