No, seriously — the possible headline ‘Play called off due to no rain’ put me in mind of this recent article by Peter Roebuck.
Cricket cannot be serious. A game supposedly trying to hold its own in a packed marketplace cannot a moment longer pull up stumps whenever a drop of rain falls or grey skies hover. It’s high time the game put aside its precious refusal to play except in the most benign conditions. It’s pathetic.
Yeah, I know — a cyclone was supposed to make its landfall somewhere in or around Mumbai sometime at or around 10 pm. Which — coupled with the few millimeters of rain that fell the previous evening and night, was apparently enough to call the game off while, as I noticed on the Twitter stream, fans who had bought tickets kept each other updated on weather and traffic conditions.
At one level this could seem like undue fuss over a dead rubber — which it is. But this thought actually occurred to me during the recent Champions League, when one game — I forget which one — continued in the midst of not a mild drizzle but a seriously brisk shower.
The umpires who stood in the CL are the same ones who stand in ICC-mandated matches — so how then does the perception of risk to players change so dramatically? Simply because CL and similar leagues live or die by the bottom-line, whereas the ICC apparently feels no such compulsion to give the fans what they paid good money for.
Suits me just fine, anyway. Today and tomorrow are, thanks to staff shortage, insanely crazy days here at work. I’d originally planned to post some thoughts structured as a kind of freewheeling series retrospective, but that will have to wait for another day. For now, will leave you with this post by Great Bong on his blog. The money quote comes right at the top:
While we came very close to becoming the statistical number 1 ODI team in the world, the fact remains that we have far too many fundamental problems to claim that we rightfully deserve the top rank.
And in passing, a not so savory story out of the bizarre world of Pakistan cricket. Kamran Abbasi reckons the fault lies with Younis, and maybe he is right — Kamran is well connected with the PCB power structure and likely knows the inner workings of this latest fiasco. Absent such knowledge, though, it strikes me as sad that a captain picked by the national board — and more recently, reinstated in the face of an incipient rebellion — can be reduced to the point of wanting a break from the game because he realizes he is no leader, merely a lonely man taking a walk.