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. Umpireâ€™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 gentlemanâ€™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 Englandâ€™s captains were gentlemen. Leonard Hutton was the first professional to become Englandâ€™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 fielderâ€™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 McCullumâ€™s word for the catch.
Looking forward to the game between India and England today should be a cracker.Â My prediction a tie.
That was Shane Warneâ€™s prediction about India versus England match on 27/2/2011 which came true.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni won the toss and elected to bat.Â That was a good decision.
India scored 338 runs and were all out in 49.5 overs.Â They did not bat 50 overs.Â Â Two batsmen were run out at the end.Â The score looked good enough for India to win the match.Â Vivian Richards said if they can not win this match they can not win the world cup.
The match swung between England and India.Â When Andrew Strauss and Ian Bell were batting I hoped India would win by one run as Australia had done against India twice.Â Then wickets began to fall and when England had to score 42 runs off 24 balls to win the match Indiaâ€™s victory seemed assured.
In the 49th over Tim Bresnan reduced the margin before being bowled by Piyush Chawla.
When the last over began England needed 14 runs to win the match.Â India needed to restrict England to 12 runs to win the match.Â There was hope for India.
Ahmad Shahzad hit a six off the third ball of the over.Â The target for England was five runs off three balls.
When one ball remained England needed two runs to win and India needed not to concede any run to win.Â There were many possibilities.Â Batsman could be out.Â He could score runs including hitting a sixer.Â In the end England scored one run and the match was a tie.
What went wrong for India?Â Indiaâ€™s batting line-up did not last 50 overs.Â It fell short by one ball.
Indiaâ€™s bowling attack fell short by two wickets.
Andrew Strauss was dropped by Harbhajan Singh when on 22 and he scored 158.Â There were fielding lapses and few extra runs were conceded.
The match also raised the question of the usefulness of UDRS.Â Yuvraj Singh bowled to Ian Bell when on 17 and appealed for LBW.Â When field umpire Billy Bowden did not rule Ian Bell out Mahendra Singh Dhoni went for UDRS.Â The hawk eye showed Ian Bell as out.Â He was on his way to pavilion.Â But the ICC rule 3.3 stated that if the distance between the batsman and where the ball is 2.5 metres or more the decision has to be taken by the field umpire and matter was referred back to Billy Bowden and he stood by his earlier decision and Ian Bell was called back.Â Ian Bell scored 52 more runs and was out on 69.Â India had misgivings about UDRS and did not want it. ICC had imposed it.Â If UDRS is there then all decisions on appeal should be taken by the third umpire.Â Referring the matter back to the field umpire does not make sense.
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.