What has become of Cricket?
Seems IPL is the most happening thing right now.
Almost everyone is talking about Deccan Chargers, Mumbai Indians, Punjab Kings and the like.Sports pages in newspapers are almost exclusively dedicated to IPL news. And the fact that the event is taking place outside India makes no difference.
And yet its times like these that often make me wonder... Wonder whether I'm a Martian (Just joking). For I don't seem to share everyone else's enthusiasm about the mega event. Maybe its the exams-which never cease to irritate me-that have kept me from following the IPL so closely, or maybe not. Because I still watch every match that Manchester United plays, I still follow F1 and Tennis, but I don't feel like watching cricket anymore.
Anyways last Friday, when I got a couple of days leave I went to the common room and sat down, determined to watch atleast one whole match. And I must say that I was disappointed by what I saw.I don't deny that there's plenty of 'action'. But what disappointed me was the lack of class, the lack of contest between the bat and the ball. The match begins with the batsmen going after the bowlers and ends with the batsmen going after the bowlers. It seems that the governing bodies, in a bid to attract everyone into cricket, have forgotten the very essence of the game. Gone are the days when the bowlers would would bowl just outside the off stump inviting the batsmen to play and the batsmen, unsure as to what to do would leave the ball alone. Gone are the days when a bowler would consistently ball at a particular line and length and let the ball do its bit off the pitch. And guess whats in...Cheerleaders.
Today the aim of every bowler is not to get wickets, but to concede as few runs as possible. Its all very good if you concede only a few runs. But when that becomes your sole aim, your bowling loses its 'sting'. Any bowler who approaches the game with such a mindset is not going to excel. And curiously its not the bowlers who are to blame. The shortest version of the game is just so demanding on them. Today any ball thats pitched outside the off stump is going to be punished and that realization has made the bowlers approach the game with a 'negative' mindset.
All of this has resulted in the transformation of 'The Gentleman's Game' into 'The Batsman's Game'.
For someone like me who has grown up playing, watching and admiring cricket, the game, all of a sudden seems to have lost its soul.And thats probably why I don't feel like watching cricket anymore.