Cricket as a sport is more than a 100 years old!
However, in the past two decades the gentlemen’s game has shifted its centre of attraction from England and Australia to India. Rightly so, for it finds its biggest audience group in Asia, especially in a billion-plus population of our nation!
As the game has grown by leaps and bounds in past two decades as far as its financials are concerned, so have the controversies surrounding it. Never before in the history of the game has it been maligned so badly, not only in India, but across the world.
The long format of the game, the tests, is dying a slow death anyways and all possible plans to revive it, including the world cup of the tests, lie in a trash! Then comes the one-dayers and again money is doing the big talk here. Instead of involving more and more nations into active competition, International Cricket Council (ICC) is restricting the big tournaments only between the eight major cricket playing nations so that a regular stream of revenue is maintained. Their logic is that a match between a big team and minnows doesn’t get enough eyeballs so there is no point in planning a series! How lame is that idea? If a minor team is not given opportunities, how is it going to grow and learn?
If that is not enough, IPL in India is generating enough amount of news for all the match-fixing and scandals associated with it. Add to it Mr. Lalit Modi’s latest revelation of creating an alternative cricket authority of the world that’ll align itself with the Olympic movement and will only have Tests and T20s associated with it!
So multiple leagues, limited cricket playing nations, host of controversies and everyone eying the same revenue stream! It is like everyone is out there to kill the goose that lay golden eggs!
No doubt cricket is a rich sport even if it is played in just a few countries, but if it is exploited like this, how long will the sport retain its charm? The fans are already getting disillusioned by all the scandals and all the politics surrounding it. That is one reason why other sports like Football, Hockey, Kabaddi etc. are gaining importance and fan base in India! It is good for sports to have fans that love all kinds of games, but if they are losing interest in one sport due to wrongdoings of a few, then it is a sad state of affairs!
It is high time that all the different voices go silent; there should only be one voice, one uniform view about the development of sport and all the parties involved be it the administration, players or fans, work only towards preserving and nurturing the sport that has been entertaining us for a century now!