Monday, February 2, 2015

The World Cup is providing diminishing value

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The format of this World Cup is such that it would be virtually impossible for India to not qualify for the Quarter Finals, 5 weeks into the excrutiatingly long tournament after an equally long winless series against Australia and England on this tour. It would be commendable if India go any deeper into this tournament 

It is sad how, over the years, the game has become lopsided in terms of distribution of sporting prowess. 

The West indies are a side in turmoil, where they have got themselves into a situation where they cannot send their best side. Pakistan seem to be stuck in the 80s; some may say England's too. The promise of Bangladesh now seems misplaced and Zimbabwe's political situation has left its cricket weak. Post 2003, World Cups have ceased to be truly open events and the decline of many teams has robbed the recent World Cups of a good amount of high quality competition.

Administrators may pat themselves on the back for maximizing their revenue streams, but for the average fan the World Cup is providing diminishing value. It is in the hands of sides like Afghanistan, Ireland,   Scotland and UAE to deliver that excitement in the early stages. Australia, New Zealand and South Africa seem set to do the same in the knock out stages. Pakistan having won the World Cup in Australia before, has to get a token mention as a dark horse, simply as a mark of respect for Imran Khan's triumph in 1992.

India is a side bound to be weighed down by the length of the tour and judicual proceedings at home and their World Cup may well end emotionally just as soon as it begins if the place where 'the streak' started also becomes the place where Pakistan finally win one against India. 

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