Thursday, October 22, 2009

Watching Cricket - Is It Boring These Days?

My daily routine for the last few years – immediately after I get up from the bed I browse the internet – I check my mails, glance through the major news stories and then go to Cricinfo website and update myself with all the latest in the cricketing world. This was true till almost end of last year. These days I never feel like visiting Cricinfo nor read in detail about the matches nor interested in seeing ball by ball telecast of majority of international matches.

India played Pakistan in the recently concluded Champions trophy in South Africa. Typically an India - Pakistan match in such a major tournament like Champions Trophy should have created lot of craze to watch the match. But I never felt like watching the match and I just followed the last five overs of the game. I never felt that disappointed or that sad seeing India losing that match to Pakistan.

In contrast, the last ball six Javed Miandad hit against Chetan Sharma to defeat India in Sharjah still hurts me when ever I think about it. Lose of that Test match in Bangalore (last Test match of Sunil Gavaskar) in 1987 or the lose of India to England in the semifinals of the Reliance World Cup gives me painful memories when I look back. But these days I don’t get excited when India wins nor I get depressed when India loses. Lot of my friends, who are ardent cricket fans, have told me the same thing that they don’t enjoy watching cricket the same way they use to. Why? Is it due to over commercialization of cricket? Is it due to too many unimportant matches? Or is it due to change in the way cricket is played?

When I was young and following cricket religiously, the superstars in cricket field where Kapil Dev, Sunil Gavaskar, Mohinder Amarnath, Ravi Shastri, Srikanth, Mohd. Azharuddin and as I grew up, it was Sachin Tendulkar, Anil Kumble, Rahul Dravid and Ganguly. They attained superstardom after performing consistently in match after match, year after year. A cover drive by Gavaskar, a hook by Mohinder or flick by Azharuddin or a straight drive by Tendulkar or a cover drive by Ganguly or Kapil Dev bowling a perfect out-swinger were feast for the eyes.

Now in the last few years game has seen a sea change. With the eye on profits, matches gets played on pitches that offer no assistance to bowlers with short boundaries. “Elegant batting” made way to “power hitting” in modern cricket. With less technique and brutal power a batsman these days can easily score boundaries after boundaries. The boundaries these days (especially in Twenty20 format) is so short that a mishit can go for a sixer if hit with power. When you see such “pyjama cricket” you start developing an aversion to the game of cricket especially for those who have grown up seeing graceful cricket.

Now some players who have played some handful of games for India these days behave like superstars. These average players, who has not achieved even ten percent of what Tendulkar has achieved starts behaving like they are the best in the business. The arrogance these young players show on and off the field was unimaginable a few years back when there was not much money involved and cricketers were playing just for the fun of it.

Too much cricket is another issue – in the name of promoting cricket, international matches are played every where across the globe round the year. On top of it all these IPL, ICL and now Champions League, matches between Test playing nations and ICC associated members. All these unimportant and over-commercialized matches slowly kill the true cricket fan.

What do you guys think about this? Do you feel the same enthusiasm in watching a cricket match involving India as you use to say five years ago?

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Anonymous panthayi said...

May be because we started to win most of the old days it usually need somthing special from some one for india to win.And whenever we beat aus,eng or pak it was special.nowadays only australia and south afric is as good as our team.we are not playing with SA that much.The Australian tour will be something to watch-out for.And also India is playing Sreelanka every now and then.Its just boring now

October 22, 2009 9:49 AM  
Anonymous naresh nambisan said...

i think its just because we have cricket almost 10months in a year.formerly we had exclusive cricket seasons but now we have some major tournament or something related to international cricket every time and infact most of the time india is also involved. how much can human mind and heart see??its natural to get bored after being bombarded with a overdose or i dont own a t.v..

October 22, 2009 6:06 PM  
Blogger Vittal said...

Its a batsmans game today.If you observed the rules of modern day cricket are heavily stacked in favor of the batsman. Bowlers have no room to experiment with the stringent rules.Moreover the crowds come in to watch a run fest so the pitches are prepared keeping this in mind. Gone are the days where it ws a bliss ( atleast for me ) to watch Curtly Ambrose,walsh, Botham,Imran khan ,Wasim ,Waqar,Kapil steaming in bowling their rippers.
Fast Bowling seems a dead art now a days.Bowlers are refraining from putting in the extra effort in their deliveries for the fear of sustaining injuries that would force them on the sidelines and mean a loss of revenue.

The biggest evil that could ever happen to cricket was the 20-20 format. This evil is now so prevalent and it seems to be deep rooted and difficult to get rid of.

October 22, 2009 7:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ur just getting over it !! dude....age???? may be?

October 23, 2009 1:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This could be due to the advent to 20/20 format, I am losing interest to watch one day games these days but have not lost the interest to watch Test matches though. Unless there are more meaningful contests between equally balanced teams, one day cricket will lose its grip.

October 23, 2009 6:36 AM  
Blogger scorpiogenius said...

It is very difficult to predict how cricket will be in the next decade. The game is evolving and the admistrators and the think-tanks are standing with wide open mouths not knowing what to do. At the moment the game is taking the controllers for a ride but it may well be for good.

One thing is certain: the batsmanship has come down...degraded painfully. It is shocking to see how elite batting orders can collapse for 60 and 70 runs on bowler-friendly surfaces. We don't have Steve Waughs, Laras, Tendulkars and Aravinda de silvas who can win the test of temperament and talent even on greentops. Now-a-days even batsmen like Dhoni make it to the Test XI, its a clear sign of the decay.

T20 may be the only version remaining in 2025 Brijesh, if you ask my personal opinion. There is no point in ODIs and I hope for the game's sake that Test Cricket survives. At least we have an Ashes now which generates viewer interest. If Test Cricket becomes history then Cricket as a game is going to lose its soul.

October 23, 2009 9:29 AM  
Blogger opsudrania said...

USA separated out from the parent country and declared their independence on 4th July 1776. They
have the british blood in their veins. Yet they do not recognise cricket as a game. Neither do they play, nor do they talk about it. Have you ever thought why? Think and then........

Truth is to be understood only through a "FREE" mind "FREE" of all mental and physical bondage.
They have even got rid of themselves from their "BRITISH" mental bondage too. They were supposed to be a "British Colony" at one time, not an offshoot of "Britain". Please differentiate.

Cricket is regarded as a "Colonial Legacy".

"ENGLISH" AND "ENGLISHDOM" are two things. PLease learn to differentiate.

God Bless. Dr. O. P. Sudrania

October 25, 2009 11:41 AM  
Anonymous r4i card said...

Hi there,
I like to play games on my console and in my pc cricket was one of the favorite game of my..
So this blog will also like me....

November 18, 2009 11:28 AM  

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