Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Oh, stop whining.

The 1999 World Cup was bad. The 2003 tournament was worse. Now, in 2007, winging has reached a record level.

More or less every blog in the world is united on the “failure” of the World Cup. It was predictable (even though two minnows made it through into the Super 8s). It was flawed and farcical. It was sad, dull and, in short, the worst World Cup ever. Even Jonathan Agnew, who is normally a thoughtful contributor to the cricket debate, has said:
"What an appalling advert for the game it was - and those responsible must never be allowed to administer a cricket tournament again."
It was an utter disaster. A catastrophe for cricket. No one is going to watch cricket ever again. Well, although this sheep-like hyperbole is interesting, it is wrong. I jolly well enjoyed this World Cup. I’ll tell you why: they played cricket.

I like cricket. It’s good.

I saw all the best teams of the world play plucky upstarts. I saw great innings. Superb bowling. Athletic fielding. There were crushing victories and close nail-biters.

What more can people ask of cricket? That Shahid Afridi gets enraged by Shaun Tait's short stuff and impales a seemingly innocent Adam Gilchrist with a stump?

I really cannot understand what more can be expected. They bang on about the Caribbean “spirit” being quashed, whilst fans couldn’t afford to watch boring matches in sterile grounds. Well bugger people. Its cricket I want to watch.

Yes. The ICC brought in daft, over-baring regulations. But these were quickly removed. Ticket prices were dropped and some even given away free to locals. And the grounds lack atmosphere because they are brand new. The character of stadia take time to emerge. But they have BRAND NEW STANDS. Isn’t that brilliant in itself?

Moreover, a lot the reasons why the World Cup was oh so terrible were nothing to do with the ICC. The Death of Bob Woolmer, the knocking-out of India and Pakistan and lack of real opposition to the Australians were nothing to do with "those responsible".

Lastly, we have to ask, are these issues really that important? It’s like going to watch Viv Richards play and complaining about the stickers on his bat. Administrative issues, in cricket, are irreverent. The quality was good, so what else matters? Just enjoy the cricket for God's sake.

There was much to take pleasure in. I suppose, though, we expect thrilling entertainment all the time now, wins at the last ball, rapid changes of fortune and excitement. Well, to be frank, that's just not cricket.

1 comment:

Trapper John said...

Eh. While I sympathize with much of the whinging, I part ways with the majority on the length of the tournament. Like you, I like cricket. And naturally, I like two months of cricket better than I like one month of cricket. I don't understand those who want less cricket. How is less cricket better?