South Africa had abundance of talent before. It seems their losses were due to non-cricketing reasons. There was betting and match-fixing. When many people put money on South Africa winning South Africa lost. Bookies made money. People lost faith in South Africaâ€™s ability to win. They stopped betting on South Africaâ€™s wins. South Africa winning became profitable for bookies.
Too much cricket
There is the story of a man who killed the goose that laid golden eggs. Similar is the case with BCCI.
Recent ODI series in India against England witnessed large number of empty seats in Hyderabad, Delhi, Mohali, Bombay and Calcutta. There was drop in television viewing. The law of diminishing returns was at work. Within six months of World Cup interest in cricket had declined. During World Cup there were long queues for tickets for matches played by India and in some cases there was lathi charge. For the past four years there have been Tests, ODIs and T20s one after the other and people were bound to lose interest at some point.
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.
BCCI, cricketers and rest
With cricket being played throughout the year players getting injured is more frequent. Some cricketers want matches to be reduced so that they can have rest. BCCI has signed contracts and it will lose money if it cancels matches.
Very few players represent India in Tests, ODIs and T20. BCCI is ready to give rest to players who want. When Anil Kumble was Test captain and Sri Lanka series was played Mahendra Singh Dhoni had rest.
The tri-series involving India, New Zealand and Sri Lanka ends on 28/8/2010. Champions League in South Africa is from 10/9/2010 to 26/9/2010. India versus Australia series is from 1/10/2010 to 24/10/2010. India versus New Zealand series is from 4/11/2010 to 10/12/2010. India versus South Africa series is from 16/12/2010 to 23/1/2011. ODI World Cup begins on 19/2/2011.
India can have many teams. The players who play in Champions League can be rested for Australia series. When India plays home series it can have three teams: One for Tests, one for ODIs and one for T20. Players in one team will not be in other two teams. India is ranked no. 1 in Tests so the best players will be in Test team. For ODIs and T20 we can even have multiple teams with local teams representing India. If an ODI is in Nagpur, Vidarbha team can become India Team. If a T20 is in Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh team can become India Team. Test players will not be part of local teams. Let us not worry about performance because India recently i.e., on 10/8/2010, lost to New Zealand by 200 runs and had at one time lost to Sri Lanka by 245 runs. For local players it is once in a life time opportunity and they will do their best and we may unearth talent. With matches being played all over the country players from different parts will get their turn. BCCI does not have to spend money on travel of players.