Tag: Cricket World Cup 2011

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.

Cricket is not war

Sport is not war. Cricket is a game and should be treated as such. In football and hockey many times players get physical. Sometimes football players play karate or kick boxing for which they deserve red card. In cricket scope for getting physical is limited. Some people talk of cricket as of war. They talk of India-Pakistan match as mother of all battles or the biggest battle. That should be avoided.

In a tournament there is one final. There is no final before the final. Some people first talked of India-Australia quarter-final match as final before the final. After that they talked of India-Pakistan semi-final match as final before the final.

TV channels have responsibility about what they say. Applying words regarding war to sport is not proper. Jingoism is not good. In war people die. Cricket is not meant to kill or hurt though sometimes people get hurt.

Whether cricket diplomacy results in something good is debatable. Manmohan Singh inviting Asif Ali Zardari and Yousuf Raza Gilani resulted in freeing of an Indian prisoner in Pakistan. If cricket diplomacy is meant to keep the temperature down there is no harm in it.

People should not buy tickets in black. Matches can be watched on TV.

Cricketers and walking

There are people who praise cricketers who walk without the umpire having given them out and criticize cricketers who do not walk without the umpire having given them out. A batsman has to do his job and the umpire has to do his job. If a batsman is not out but the umpire gives him out he has to go. Umpire’s decision has to be followed.

Cricket is a team game and when a player represents his country he has to think of the consequences for his team and country. Sachin Tendulkar in the match against West Indies walked even though the umpire ruled him not out. Ricky Ponting in the match against Pakistan did not walk. He was given out by the third umpire after watching TV replay. Ricky Ponting was right when he did not walk.

There are people who say cricket is a gentleman’s game. By gentleman they mean a man whose conduct conforms to a high standard of propriety or correct behaviour. When cricket began in England, gentleman meant a man of independent means who did not engage in occupation or profession or gain. There were gentleman cricketers and professional cricketers. For a long time England’s captains were gentlemen. Leonard Hutton was the first professional to become England’s captain. Now professionalism in cricket has taken high with cricketers being auctioned.

Why did Sachin Tendulkar walk? May be he was fed up with the criticism that whenever he scores a century India lose. He hit a century against England and it was a tie. He hit a century against South Africa and India lost. Against West Indies he walked and India won. It is unfair to blame a batsman who hits a century if the team loses the match. It is not that every time Sachin Tendulkar does not hit a century India win.

A batsman should not take the fielder’s word that he has caught the ball. He may have caught the ball after the ball touched the ground. It is left to the umpire to decide.

UDRS has given an option to cricketers to challenge the decisions of field umpires. If a bowler or fielder appeals a not out decision and the third umpire is not sure after watching the replay and rules the batsman not out, too bad for the bowler or fielder. Mahela Jayawardene was right not to walk when the third umpire give him the benefit of doubt and refused to take Nathan McCullum’s word for the catch.