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.
Sunil Gavaskar claims BCCI owes him money. BCCI disputes the claim. Sunil Gavaskar says he has not demanded dues from BCCI but has sent gentle reminders. If someone says I will pay you X and I say no and he says I will pay you X + Y and I say yes it is not a demand. The payment regards to membership of IPL Governing Council. How much was X and how much was Y? It seems X was one crore rupees per year and Y was four crore rupees per year. X was in writing. Y was promised orally by Sharad Pawar, then BCCI president. How to deliver Y was not decided because of logistics.
M. A. K. Pataudi and Ravi Shastri were also members of IPL Governing Council. When BCCI decided not to make payments to cricketer members M. A. K. Pataudi and Sunil Gavaskar chose to quit and Ravi Shastri chose to continue. How much M. A. K. Pataudi and Ravi Shastri were paid?
What were the logistics to deliver Y? Payment by cheque would have resulted in taxes. M. A. K. Pataudi and Ravi Shastri could have demanded equal payment. Paying four crore rupees of BCCI money in cash is not an easy thing. It can not be done by few vouchers.
Why did Sunil Gavaskar keep quiet all these years? Why did he not collect Y amount when Sharad Pawar was BCCI president? Shashank Manohar is not bound by oral commitments made by his predecessors. Sharad Pawar is not in a position to influence BCCI. His enemy Jagmohan Dalmiya is in favour with BCCI.
Sunil Gavaskar expects Sharad Pawar to hold a meeting with Shashank Manohar, possibly in Nagpur. A meeting is not necessary to tell that there was an oral commitment.
Pakistani cricketers are in news for match-fixing and spot-fixing. That should not surprise. The way Pakistan had lost some matches was an indication that something was wrong.
Pakistanis have been caught but it is foolish to say only Pakistanis were involved in match-fixing and spot-fixing. Many matches involving different countries raise questions and sometimes the role of umpires needs to be probed. What is passed off as umpiring error could be match-fixing. It could have been going on since the last millennium.
When Sachin Tendulkar was to lead the Indian team to Australia one BCCI official predicted that India would lose the Test series 0-3 and that series witnessed many umpiring errors and India lost the series 0-3.
When Anil Kumble was captain and India toured Sri Lanka there was decision review system. The decisions went in favour of Sri Lankans though TV replays showed that Sri Lankan batsmen who were correctly ruled out by field umpires were ruled not out by the umpire on decision review system. After that series India did not want decision review system. Recently in an ODI Dharmasenaâ€™s three decisions were against India. Some felt India should have opted for decision review system. They were naive. All three decisions after review would have been against India.
There is talk of Indian bookies being involved in match-fixing and spot-fixing. That would not be surprising considering the amount involved in betting in India though betting is illegal in India. Some have doubts about IPL matches.
One can assume match-fixing began when betting began. Bookies wanted profits and they tried to fix matches. Betting is business. Profit is the motive.
After Pakistanâ€™s loss to Australia some Pakistani cricketers were banned for match-fixing but they were soon back in the team. It seems PCB is unwilling to act against fixers.
Some say Pakistanis began match-fixing in 1979. Asif Iqbal declaring Pakistanâ€™s Innings 40 runs short of Indiaâ€™s score was the reason to say the Test was fixed.
In 1981 Australiaâ€™s Dennis Lillee and Rodney Marsh were involved in betting. Australia had enforced follow on and England has lost seven wickets. At that time Lillee and Marsh bet that England would win.
There are various suggestions for punishing players for match-fixing. One suggestion is to confiscate property of the players involved match-fixing. Another suggestion is to expunge the records of bowers. Suitable punishment for players who fix matches to lose would be to try them for treason and get them maximum punishment.