International Cricket CHAOS



by R. A. Ratwatte

There was a time when a cricket match used to be decided by which team scored the most aggregate of runs at the end. If by some chance both sides scored exactly the same amount of runs it was declared a draw or tie. If someone batted under extremely adverse conditions and battled his way to a good score it was appreciated, rather than when someone came in with the wicket playing easier and benefited from some poor bowling and scored many boundaries and was rather "lucky", on his way to a big score.

But the ICC has taken over the game now and the very foundations of cricket have been shaken to the core! Victory is awarded to the team that has scored the most boundaries; there are things called super overs, where basically three people, one from the fielding side and two from the batting side, decide the fate of a game.

We have commentators dressed in sharp suits and looking like used car salesmen. They do a cross between line dancing and a quickstep when talking and their cricket playing credentials seem to be outweighed by their fancy haircuts and ability to adapt different accents. Out of the commentators Ian Smith was the best and boy didn’t he look out of place among the rest of them. One wondered at the absence of the likes of Ian Chappell but then again when you saw the aforementioned dress code and theatrics that were called for I am not surprised.

Getting on to some names, Manjrekar didn’t really play for very long and neither did Nasser Hussain. As for Harsha Bogle playing credentials, they don’t exist. I was very glad to note that they dropped the usage ICC MENS cricket world cup after a while. We all knew it was the MENS world cup, otherwise most of us would not have been watching! As for women commentators, sorry but I am sick of hearing hackneyed catch phrases and statistics instead of subtle insights and the reading of the game while it is happening, that used to be the skills we looked for in a cricket commentator. The mute button comes in really handy sometimes!

Elite umpires who are probably paid a fortune showed us that they are not really elite at all. Pretty basic human error, under pressure, was displayed, even with all the technology and communications on offer. Many a level 3 or 4 umpire would have done better without all the do dahs and none of the pay.

As for match referees, I was always mystified at their function. With four umpires at a game what does a match referee REALLY do? Judging by the people who hold the job, it looks like another avenue to provide "job for the boys" and those boys seem to have sold their souls to the ICC for the proverbial pieces of silver.

Basically, the last world cup was a disaster. Not having reserve days in a Country like the UK, for the round robin games, only made it very clear that the ICC was not interested in giving the flamboyance of the West Indies, the hard work of Bangladesh or the unpredictability of Pakistan a fair go. They were more interested in finishing the first-round games at a minimal cost and of course a larger profit and getting the predetermined favourites into the semi-finals. This is INEXCUSABLE from a so called governing body and all those who are responsible should be kicked out for destroying the very cornerstones that cricket has been built on. After all think about it, isn’t it the aforementioned characteristics of the above teams that we would enjoy and savour when we watched them play?

The ICC is fast turning the game into a parody of what it was. If this lot continue unchecked the future outcome is pretty obvious.

A word of warning to the governing body of Rugby Union too….the great game is almost unrecognizable from 20 years ago and this is the next world cup we are looking forward to.

Learn from the ICC and make sure that the playing conditions and level of refereeing is up to standard. Be less pedantic with the TV replays and HUMANIZE the game. You don’t really have to give us women commentators for the men’s game either, what does it achieve except some hazy political correctness?

A world without Cricket and Rugby in a recognizable form, would be unliveable! Come on people don’t let the TV networks, filthy lucre and pedantic, overpaid officials take this away from us.


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