Tag: cricket word cup

India win Cricket Word Cup 2011

On 2/4/2011 India created history by being the first host country to win the Cricket World Cup. India began by defeating Bangladesh, a co-host, on 19/2/2011 and ended by defeating Sri Lanka, another co-host, on 2/4/2011.

No Indian scored a century in a knock-out game. Ricky Ponting and Mahela Jayawardene scored centuries against India in knock-out games. India batted second in matches against Australia and Sri Lanka and won. Australia were stopped from winning the title for the fourth consecutive time and Ricky Ponting was stopped from winning the title as captain for the third consecutive time. Before that Pakistan had defeated Australia in a group match and had put an end of Australia’s sequence of victories since 1999.

S. Sreesanth was in the first match and the last match. Virender Sehwag scored 175 against Bangladesh and 0 against Sri Lanka. India’s fielding improved during knock-out games.

India’s lone loss was against South Africa. Against England it was a tie. South Africa were defeated by New Zealand and England by Sri Lanka in quarter-finals. India did not have to play any team twice.

The tournament took place when India was buffeted with various scandals. Commonwealth Games scam, 2G spectrum scam and many other scams were making news. Wikileaks gave fresh life to cash for votes scam. As the tournament progressed TV news channels shifted the focus to crickets and scams took a backseat. Regular programmes were dumped for programmes on cricket. India’s performance in the World Cup banished bad news from news channels.

The victory created a new set of heroes in addition to 1983 heroes. There were not many news channels till 1999. From 2003 onwards every time during World Cup heroes of 1983 were approached by news channels to know what it was to win the World Cup. Captains of World Cup winning teams were in great demand. CNN-IBN got Alan Border and Imran Khan. Headlines Today got Kapil Dev, Clive Lloyd and Arjuna Ranatunga. Steve Waugh was not seen.

Sponsors wanted India to be in the quarter-final and the format was arranged such a way. India played the first match and the last match of the group stage. India’s first round exit in 2007 was the reason for bringing back quarter-finals. India reaching the final was a bonus for sponsors.

UDRS was introduced in the World Cup. India were not in favour of UDRS as it had unhappy memories of UDRS in Sri Lanka. After the Ian Bell controversy UDRS rules were modified and some decisions went in India’s favour. UDRS is effective in deciding catches but remains controversial regarding LBW decisions. Sometimes field umpire gives the correct decision regarding LBW and UDRS gives the wrong decision. UDRS regarding LBW is not automatic and the operator can manipulate it. Either UDRS for LBW should be scrapped or the decision should be given by third umpire as it is done when field umpires ask for his decision on close catches, run-out or stumping. It is wrong to humiliate the field umpire by asking him to reverse his decision. Sri Lanka and other countries that were in favour of UDRS may do a rethink as some UDRS decisions went against them.

It is wrong to give a free hit for a no ball. The batting team gets a run and the bowler has to bowl another ball and that is fair enough. Free hit is too much in favour of a batsman.

Demands for tickets for matches featuring India was great and there was lathi-charge in Bangalore, Nagpur and Mohali. Common people who wanted to buy tickets could not get tickets. MPs, MLAs, MLCs and corporators demanded and got free tickets.

Firecracker sellers had good business.

Boring tournament

Cricket World Cup 2011 is proving to be a boring tournament. It has 14 teams and spread over 43 days. Olympics, Asian Games and Commonwealth Games are of 14-16 days. Football World Cup with 32 teams is about 32 days.

When Cricket Word Cup began in 1975 there were eight teams and four matches per day. The gap between matches was not long. In 1987 there were three matches per day. In 2011 it is one match or two matches per day with long gaps for teams in between. India played Bangladesh on 19/2/2011 and its next match against England is on 27/2/2011. In an ODI tournament a team having to wait for 5-8 days to play its next match is strange.

In 2015 the ODI tournament will be restricted to 10 teams. That may make the tournament interesting. Some want minnows to be part of ODI tournament. Sometimes minnows have done well. In 1979 Sri Lanka defeated India. In 1983 Zimbabwe defeated Australia. Kenya defeated West Indies in 1996 and reached semi-final in 2003. Ireland defeated Pakistan in 2007. Now Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe are Test playing nations. Minnows can play in Twenty20 World Cup which will have 16 teams. There are not many people in countries like Ireland, Holland and Bermuda who watch cricket on TV and that may be the reason for their exclusion from ODI format.

The web site for sale of tickets for final and semi-finals crashed soon after tickets went for sale. It is said that 10 million people wanted to buy tickets online but I doubt that figure. In cricket publicity stunts are normal. When tickets were put for sale for IPL in South Africa it was said that all tickets were sold within five minutes. When the matches took place there were not many spectators. TV channels should be careful about what they report and should not function as PR agencies.

India and Cricket Word Cup 2011

India hosts Cricket Word Cup 2011. If India wins it will make history.

No host country has won Cricket Word Cup. Sri Lanka was a co-host country that played semi-final and final outside Sri Lanka in 1996. India hosted Cricket Word Cup in 1987 and 1996. Both times it lost in semi-finals. Some say Indian cricketers were told to lose the semi-final in 1996 to avoid playing final in Pakistan. If that is the case the cricketers who played that semi-final should go public about who told them to lose the match. There was bottle throwing during the match and when match referee Clive Lloyd called off the match and awarded it to Sri Lanka India were eight wickets down and Vinod Kambli who was batting wanted to continue the match, pleaded with Clive Lloyd, and was in tears when the match was awarded to Sri Lanka.

No host country except England in 1979 has reached the final in Cricket Word Cup. India, Australia, Pakistan, South Africa and West Indies did not reach finals as hosts.

Most of the time the team that batted first has won the Cricket Word Cup. In 1996 semi-final and 2003 final India had won the toss and elected to field. In 1996 commentators had expressed shock at India’s decision to field first. Ravi Shastri had commented that when Australia batted first Ricky Ponting’s batting average was 144 and when Australia batted second Ricky Ponting’s batting average was 20. In India versus Australia matches when Australia batted first it had won all the matches and when it battled second India had won 44% of the matches. When Zaheer Khan bowled the first over and conceded 15 runs, eight of them extras. In 1983 final West Indies had won the toss and elected to field and India won the cup.

Some take it for granted that India will reach the quarter-final. They are sure that India will defeat Ireland and Holland in group matches. Cricket is a game of glorious uncertainties and inglorious match-fixings. This time there are no super six or super eight matches. In 1999 India did not reach super six and in 2003 India did not reach super eight. In 1999 India and South Africa lost to Zimbabwe in group matches. In 2003 India lost to Bangladesh and Pakistan lost to Ireland in group matches. The loss in 2003 was bad for sponsors and advertisers who had banked on India making it to next round. One soft drink company had to revise its TV ad. There is a saying: Don’t count your chickens before they are hatched.

India’s hosting of Cricket Word Cup 2011 has encountered a problem as Sports Ministry under Mohinder Singh Gill on 17/1/2011 has derecognized BCCI as a National Sports Federation/Apex Body for cricket in India as BCCI has not complied with the mandatory requirements of submitting necessary documents. This has resulted in withdrawal of exemption to pay customs duty on goods imported by BCCI or its affiliates. On 19/1/2001 Ajay Maken became Sports Minister. If BCCI does not reach a settlement with Sports Ministry it will have to manage security of cricketers and grounds on its own.

Wankhede Stadium and Eden Garden are not ready. There was no need to renovate these two stadia. Now the date for Eden Garden to be ready is 5/2/2011. The excuse for delay for Eden Garden is IPL 3. For Wankhede Stadium there is no excuse. This reminds of Commonwealth Games mess.