April 28, 2007

The World-Cup-shaped void at the heart of my days

ESPNcricinfo staff
37

This is the last piece I do here during the World Cup. I shan’t be writing something the day after the final. I’m off on holiday hours after the game ends. I timed this trip to perfection. It’s a terrible feeling (I’m sure many of you know it) the day after an event like this one ends. I’m glad I’m getting out.

The end of a World Cup leaves me with a strange feeling at the pit of my stomach, a sense of intense discomfort as I go about the routine business of the day. Actually, there is no routine business. That’s part of the discomfort. The cricket will have left a void in the rhythm of the day, the days, and I’ll keep reaching for the remote at seven o’ clock in the evening my time and then realising that, well, there is no game to switch on to. (I know this from experience. I’m sure you do too.)

The evenings will seem empty because of there is no match; the days will because there is no match to look forward to in the evening.

So I’m escaping. I’m off to a place (Thailand, in case you’re curious) where cricket isn’t quite a national sport. And I shall take with me the new novel by Ian McEwan and the new book of essays by Susan Sontag to read and JM Coetzee’s Disgrace – for my money, the best book that Coetzee has ever written – to re-read. Besides, the beer will be pleasant, cold and plentiful; and the sea will be nice.

But I’m not so sure that that will fill the World-Cup-shaped hole at the heart of my days. I shall leave you now, as the final approaches, with a short extract from my book, You Must Like Cricket?. The bit that follows talks about how, especially as we grow older, the game offers us a unique, otherworldly thrill. If you've enjoyed reading these pieces – and if you enjoy reading the extract – you could do worse than to buy the book. It’s available on the web (indeed at cricshop linked to this site) and, as my publishers keep saying, at all respectable bookstores.

***

“Life, in its everyday accumulation of miseries and disappointments, its chaos and its agony, is more than we can bear. We, those of us who love the game, continue to love the game even as we grow old because we come to see how cricket offers us a parallel universe to inhabit in our living rooms. The thrills from there seem otherworldly; the disappointments do not have a bearing on my job or family.

And I need only to switch on the remote to switch off from everything else. There is another, calculating, self-serving reason to feed this middle-aged obsession with the game. It is similar to one of the reasons why some people want to have children: so that our kids, once they grow up and we grow old, can take care of us. I have no such ambition for my daughter. But I do see cricket performing a somewhat similar, if surrogate, function. It’s like this. I imagine a situation (and the older I grow the less difficult it becomes to imagine it) in which my career is over; I have arthritis or some other illness which prevents me from travelling much or playing tennis or going swimming; my daughter has left home, my parents are dead, my wife no longer finds me an amusing or interesting companion; and my friends have all died or gone to live in other cities. What will I be left with then? What is it that I know will prevent me from going over the edge, a slobbering old man drooling into his bowl of soup or plate of boiled vegetables? I know for sure that should such an eventuality come to pass (and with life, you just never can tell — life does have a habit of coshing you over the head), cricket will be my most reliable ally.

I will be able to, at the flick of a switch and the turning of a knob, with the riffle of a newspaper or the click of a mouse, be able to invite into my life those familiar images, those thrills, that construct of cricket being life. There would be nothing else. It would be, like many of the ways in which old age is, a second childhood.

I can’t afford to, in spite of pragmatic compulsions, not nurture the friend who I think will help me preserve my sanity. It would be stupid of me, wouldn’t it? Even a cricket fan wouldn’t be that dumb.”

Soumya Bhattacharya is the editor of Hindustan Times, Mumbai. He is the author of two volumes of cricketing memoirs - You Must Like Cricket? and All That You Can't Leave Behind - and a novel, If I Could Tell You

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Joker on May 15, 2007, 15:14 GMT

    Interesting....

  • Galib on May 9, 2007, 8:48 GMT

    Yeah, sure, the world cup was soooo boring. Specially for Indian, Pakistani, England, West Indies and Zimbabwe fans. Tsk, tsk, tsk, only if India could beat Bangladesh and Srilanka, and Pakistan could beat Scotland, it would have been the best world cup ever, right?

  • mez on May 9, 2007, 1:04 GMT

    KL, what do you mean the aussies bowlers just aim for batsmens chest? take a look at the dissmissals in all the games and the number of brilliant deliveries which clean bowled opposition batsmen or got them out LBW. clearly you are jealous of Australia's insurmountable performances. Other nations only aspire to play the clinical fashion in which the aussies do. This has nothing to do with being a "gentleman's" game. Bowler's may aswell tell batsmen where they are going to deliver the ball if you want the game to be played in that soft, spineless, "gentlemen-sih" way.

  • Virgo on May 8, 2007, 12:13 GMT

    The World Cup should never return to the Caribbean. This was a flop show from the opening ceremony to the final. Booooo..

  • Azfar Alam on May 8, 2007, 11:46 GMT

    I have been following Cricket since 1982 (when I was 11 years and there was no TV in my town).I have also read a lot about the '75 & the '79 World Cups. What a drag the 2007 edition has been!! I fail to understand why should so many (8) minnows be allowed into the WC.By the very definition World Cup in any game should be a competition between the best teams in the world...but in Cricket we have this strange concept of allowing non-entities like Bermuda,Canada,Scotland etc in the name of exposure. There are hundred different ways of providing exposure to these teams...allowing them to participate in the WC is the worst of all.ICC has devalued the WC by doing this. This practice should stop immediately.Freak results are quite possible in One Dayers and this is what happened when India & Pakistan were knocked out by these minnows. The charm of the event went out after that. This also resulted in huge monetary losses. It defies ny imagination as to how ICC cannot think of such things which are so obvious to the man on the street. ICC is killing Cricket. In fact the Cricket Administrators around the World are absolute duffers. They are creating a situation where something like Packer affair will recur. Take India - Sharad Pawar is a consummate politician who only know how to win election and survive. Has he come out with even one original idea to improve Cricket? He is a master in manipulating public opinion. He is shrewd enough to involve reputed names like Gavaskar, Shastri, Venkatraghavan so that he doesn't get the blame. Then there is Niranjan Shah...by the way who is this guy...what are his credentials...he cannot speak....talks like a moron...how come such people are running Cricket in Inda ?? Indian Cricket will not go anywhere till these guys are at the helm.

  • Sam on May 8, 2007, 2:43 GMT

    It was not a game of school cricket - God Sake It was world cup final why can’t ICC invest on floodlights so the game would have played in decent condition not in pitch black.

  • arjan on May 7, 2007, 17:49 GMT

    The final was a disaster. Everybody has his own thinking and in different way. So it is about time to forget about the world cup and start doing something worthy for yourself and your family. See you all in the next world cup. Cheers. Dont worry be happy.

  • Ajith Fernando on May 6, 2007, 13:52 GMT

    It is sad that the tournament did not live up to expectations. It was far too long in the first place. Then the key teams such as India and Pakistan had to pack their bags at the end of the first round. There were very few good/close matches to keep all biting their fingers. At the end, the finals could not be a full game as should have been. Think at least in future the ICC has to ensure that finals would be of full 50 overs. ICC has to learn a lot from their mistakes and do a better job in future.

  • Chris on May 5, 2007, 20:22 GMT

    At last someone else who doesn't quite know what to do with their time now! OK so here in the UK we've had the snooker, which has been on telly at least as often as the cricket was on the radio. But even that will end on Monday. Then what shall I do? I must sound like a real saddo here, but I truly can't wait another 12 days before the next test starts... I must be addicted... it's better than any soap opera!

  • David Norton on May 4, 2007, 23:21 GMT

    Almost as boring as your book but at least this time I didn't have to shell out £12 to read more of your self-absorbed nonsense. All credit to Australia for beating everyone out of sight, but their excellence apart, the World Cup threw up no more than a handful of interesting matches and a succession of predictable and uninspiring ones played in half-empty grounds.

  • Joker on May 15, 2007, 15:14 GMT

    Interesting....

  • Galib on May 9, 2007, 8:48 GMT

    Yeah, sure, the world cup was soooo boring. Specially for Indian, Pakistani, England, West Indies and Zimbabwe fans. Tsk, tsk, tsk, only if India could beat Bangladesh and Srilanka, and Pakistan could beat Scotland, it would have been the best world cup ever, right?

  • mez on May 9, 2007, 1:04 GMT

    KL, what do you mean the aussies bowlers just aim for batsmens chest? take a look at the dissmissals in all the games and the number of brilliant deliveries which clean bowled opposition batsmen or got them out LBW. clearly you are jealous of Australia's insurmountable performances. Other nations only aspire to play the clinical fashion in which the aussies do. This has nothing to do with being a "gentleman's" game. Bowler's may aswell tell batsmen where they are going to deliver the ball if you want the game to be played in that soft, spineless, "gentlemen-sih" way.

  • Virgo on May 8, 2007, 12:13 GMT

    The World Cup should never return to the Caribbean. This was a flop show from the opening ceremony to the final. Booooo..

  • Azfar Alam on May 8, 2007, 11:46 GMT

    I have been following Cricket since 1982 (when I was 11 years and there was no TV in my town).I have also read a lot about the '75 & the '79 World Cups. What a drag the 2007 edition has been!! I fail to understand why should so many (8) minnows be allowed into the WC.By the very definition World Cup in any game should be a competition between the best teams in the world...but in Cricket we have this strange concept of allowing non-entities like Bermuda,Canada,Scotland etc in the name of exposure. There are hundred different ways of providing exposure to these teams...allowing them to participate in the WC is the worst of all.ICC has devalued the WC by doing this. This practice should stop immediately.Freak results are quite possible in One Dayers and this is what happened when India & Pakistan were knocked out by these minnows. The charm of the event went out after that. This also resulted in huge monetary losses. It defies ny imagination as to how ICC cannot think of such things which are so obvious to the man on the street. ICC is killing Cricket. In fact the Cricket Administrators around the World are absolute duffers. They are creating a situation where something like Packer affair will recur. Take India - Sharad Pawar is a consummate politician who only know how to win election and survive. Has he come out with even one original idea to improve Cricket? He is a master in manipulating public opinion. He is shrewd enough to involve reputed names like Gavaskar, Shastri, Venkatraghavan so that he doesn't get the blame. Then there is Niranjan Shah...by the way who is this guy...what are his credentials...he cannot speak....talks like a moron...how come such people are running Cricket in Inda ?? Indian Cricket will not go anywhere till these guys are at the helm.

  • Sam on May 8, 2007, 2:43 GMT

    It was not a game of school cricket - God Sake It was world cup final why can’t ICC invest on floodlights so the game would have played in decent condition not in pitch black.

  • arjan on May 7, 2007, 17:49 GMT

    The final was a disaster. Everybody has his own thinking and in different way. So it is about time to forget about the world cup and start doing something worthy for yourself and your family. See you all in the next world cup. Cheers. Dont worry be happy.

  • Ajith Fernando on May 6, 2007, 13:52 GMT

    It is sad that the tournament did not live up to expectations. It was far too long in the first place. Then the key teams such as India and Pakistan had to pack their bags at the end of the first round. There were very few good/close matches to keep all biting their fingers. At the end, the finals could not be a full game as should have been. Think at least in future the ICC has to ensure that finals would be of full 50 overs. ICC has to learn a lot from their mistakes and do a better job in future.

  • Chris on May 5, 2007, 20:22 GMT

    At last someone else who doesn't quite know what to do with their time now! OK so here in the UK we've had the snooker, which has been on telly at least as often as the cricket was on the radio. But even that will end on Monday. Then what shall I do? I must sound like a real saddo here, but I truly can't wait another 12 days before the next test starts... I must be addicted... it's better than any soap opera!

  • David Norton on May 4, 2007, 23:21 GMT

    Almost as boring as your book but at least this time I didn't have to shell out £12 to read more of your self-absorbed nonsense. All credit to Australia for beating everyone out of sight, but their excellence apart, the World Cup threw up no more than a handful of interesting matches and a succession of predictable and uninspiring ones played in half-empty grounds.

  • Barun on May 4, 2007, 6:29 GMT

    " Besides, the beer will be pleasant, cold and plentiful; and the sea will be nice."

    ....and the chicks too. Good Luck.

  • MJ on May 2, 2007, 22:31 GMT

    It would appear that you are feeling the void more keenly on your blog, and are attempting to stave off withdrawal, that unrelenting scourge, by serving out a final dollop of meretricious sentimentality. I mean you no ill-will, and wouldn't be writing this if I didn't think highly of your previous articles. Have a nice time in Thailand. From one father of a [6-year old] girl to another: wish you much success with your book.

  • James on May 2, 2007, 18:53 GMT

    I feel the same deep love for the game in the pit of my stomach, Soumya. There is something romantic about this game that will always be there to rely on.

  • Jon Cocks on May 2, 2007, 6:44 GMT

    It's well documented how the ICC over bureaucratised the tournament and systematically denied local Caribbean flavour, by pricing locals out and banning the conch shells and other traditional West Indian crowd 'accessories'.

    Here in South Australia, it was particularly difficult to get directly involved, as matches began at 11.00 pm and continued through the night, almost exactly when I am normally asleep.

    Nevertheless, despite all the negativity surrounding the ICC, the failure of the locals to get right behind the Cup, the woes of the host team, Bob Woolmer's murder, the premature departures of India and Pakistan and the drawn out nature of the whole affair, I could not help but be hooked, frantically checking overnight scores in the morning, reading the match reports and devouring everything else in the media about it, because - after all - it was the World Cup, the only meaningful ODI tournament, and therefore it was important.

    I stayed up all night for the final, dozing only before the delayed start for the match. Despite the five officials' failure at the end to recognise the twenty over rule and the farcical finish, I was still deeply pleased when Australia nailed the hat trick.

    This was cricket, at the highest level, despite the blundering, the evil and the stupid that dogged the tournament. Now there is no cricket involving Australia until an extremely meaningless three ODIs vs Zimbabwe, then the 20-20 cup in South Africa.

    Thank God for the Australian footy season. My sanity will be maintained until the home summer is with us again. To paraphrase iconic Aussie sporting pundit H.G. Nelson: "Too much cricket is barely enough."

  • kas on May 1, 2007, 23:43 GMT

    i agree - this world cup has been the worst one in the history of the sport. there have been few thrilling matches and even fewer memorable performances. i think soumya has started drinking the beer a while before he left for thailand.

  • Ch V Kalyan on April 30, 2007, 17:48 GMT

    welcome to my world. For me, the world cup ended the day when Bob Woolmer ended in a bag. Every kneejerk reaction by the indian media, fans, players and officials look like episode of the Saas-bahu serials from balaji television production.

  • cricket fan on April 30, 2007, 12:59 GMT

    Soumya, Your piece almost brought a tear to my eye. Yeah, no matter what I'll always cherish all the wonderful memories and images that I've accumulated over the years watching this great game.

  • ashish tiwari,iit kharagpur on April 30, 2007, 12:13 GMT

    I seriously envy your job ! Tell me what do i have to get in? I mean can you write a post about your journey of life?It will be inspiring !

  • J on April 30, 2007, 9:10 GMT

    Congratulations Bangladesh!

    why? For making the final of WC2011 of course. If the current trend continues to hold true next WC, the runner up will be rotating member of the Asian block. Pakistan in 99', India in 03', SL in 07', no surprises who's left for the spot in 11'

  • Annie Cheung on April 30, 2007, 8:49 GMT

    Merits of Not Winning a World Cup

    I find it hard to shake off this feeling of disappointment about Sri Lanka losing the World Cup 2007.

    The pervading feeling amidst the small group of Sri Lankans here is that the “moosala” (this means jinxed) presence of the Sri Lankan politicians in Barbados took away all Sri Lanka’s chances of a World Cup victory. They feel that the moment Sri Lankan politicos got to the Kensington Oval everything started going awry for the poor Sri Lankan team, after two months of playing in a semi-charmed Utopia. Such are the bountiful graces politicos take where ever they go, that even the weather turned against Sri Lankans on that crucial day. From the get-go the match was unfavorably stacked against Sri Lanka due to the Duckworth & Lewis method. I don’t know much about this system but it shortens the match I think.

    Please do not confuse this with a ‘sour grapes’ ranting of a dejected loser, although I stand to lose a bet of 1 Hong Kong Dollar to my Bank Manager after the Cricket World Cup defeat. The silly amount should suggest to you that the Manager was trying to irk me by countering my extreme confidence in the veritable melting pot of multi-ethnic and multi-religious Sri Lankan Cricket team rather than obtaining any financial gains.

    Even though I am Chinese and we are not a cricket playing nation, it was heartwarming to see the Sri Lankan players (usually 1/3 in size and stature in comparison to the Aussie players) bravely go head to head with the Aussies, seeking to put up their best fight while back home their capital city was under an air attack by the Terrorist Group LTTE (can News possibly get anymore sensational than this?) The Sri Lankan Captain Mahela (isn’t he a dream come true?) articulate, tenacious in battle and gracious in defeat took the result of the finals with his head held high like a man although it was a blunderous and lackluster ending to an otherwise great tournament.

    However, there are merits of not winning the World Cup. Firstly, my Sri Lankan colleague Sarath (who is terribly depressed over the loss and will take sometime to recover) thinks it prevented a bunch of popularity hogging politicians trying to get a free ride back home in the wave of glory generated by a victorious Sri Lankan team. From now on, politicians will think twice before arriving on location in person and putting national players under pressure. Cricket is a sport and the team should be heartened and led by its Captain and Coach. As such, sports should not be mixed with politics. Congratulating and buoying up a sports team could be done from any corner of the World even here from Hong Kong city if you are really keen, which is what we did. What the politicians think as the best interest of the team may be self-serving and is not always in the team’s best interest. This may serve as a future lesson for globe trotting politicians who ‘moosala’ or jinx their national sports teams. They say Australia was on a World Cup ‘Hat Trick’. Hat Trick means three times in a row. Surprisingly the Aussie Premier did not go flitting half-way across the world to encourage this ‘Hat Trick’ which the hard-hitting Aussies won nevertheless. Sarath feels this is quite good for the game. The higher the goals, the greater the achievements, the tougher the future contests will be.

    Secondly, the Cricketers themselves have not lost an ounce of their glory. Cricketers in all countries do an honest to God job, work hard and play hard. Fans know how genuine they are. That is why they are generously loved and fiercely adored despite victory or defeat. This is true not only of cricketers but of all sportsmen all over the world.

    Thirdly, the Sri Lankan team stands to encourage other emerging cricketing nations such as Bangladesh, Bermuda, Ireland and possible others. This should make the sport more global and more competitive in the future. Who knows? One fine day, Hong Kong might field a World Cup Cricket team.

    This morning, I have handed over a bill of 1 Hong Kong Dollars to my Bank Manager without any regrets. Apparently, there are merits of not winning a World Cup as well.

    Annie Cheung Hong Kong

  • Abhishek on April 30, 2007, 6:46 GMT

    No matter how boring this world cup has been, we've all had something to look forward to, each evening.India crashin out in the first week made it seem even longer. But, make no mistake, Cricket will be back.

  • Ajay R Kamath on April 30, 2007, 6:17 GMT

    Sounds like a plan! However, in several ways, I'm glad this nightmare tournament is over. At least now, mediocre former cricketers will not be on TV lambasting Tendulkar and teaching him how to bat in every given situation.

  • Nasser on April 30, 2007, 3:27 GMT

    A crap worldcup which will no1 will remember in 1 years time. I think my passion for cricked has been dulled by this worldcup what with the events that transpired.

  • Chris on April 29, 2007, 21:48 GMT

    Yes - I must buy your book for your extract captures the essence of my very being in this materialistic world! Jacqueline Dupree playing Elgar in the background probably helps too!

  • Shaun on April 29, 2007, 21:32 GMT

    The world cup final was a big joke. I couldnt believe that under the terrible weather conditions that they would choose to limit the biggest and most important game of the tournament to 38 overs a side. Having to use the Duckworth-Lewis formula on the Sri Lankans was adding insult to injury.

    I think the world would have been happier to see the match being postponed to another date. The entire tournament was filled with scandal and farce and the ICC did a great job making sure that theme stayed into the final game.

    What if the game might have been different had each side been given 50 overs in good weather? Im not trying to take away anything from the Australians...they were worthy victors, but I feel that the Sri Lankans were cheated of a chance to display their true colors and bring back hope to the noble game. Just my two cents as an English fan. You can take it for what it is.

  • KL on April 29, 2007, 17:29 GMT

    Has anyone noticed that the Austrslian bolwers play very aggresively bowling not at the wicket but at the batsmens ribs? This is not sport but simple aggession.

    Imagine the parallel with football where even a simple push of another player would earn you a yellow/red card. Why can't the ICC bring in tough new rules where aggression such as bowling at the ribs is punished by a no ball or a severe warning.

    I can't believe or accept that somehow, South Africa, England, India or Pakistan are somehow less talented than the aussies but simply that australian bowlers are excessively aggressive and their aggression simply cannot be categorised as sport.

    I hope for the good of the game of cricket and for the future of the game, the ICC are bold, not get intimidated by the australians and simply put a stop to their aggressive bowling at the ribs (would they bowl at the batsmens heads and groin area if this tactic fails?!) otherwise cricket could not be categorised as the gentlemans game anymore.

    Sadly other countries are trying to imitate these terrible practises by the aussies by being aggressive themselves which does not bode well for cricket.

    I hope and wish for the future of the game of cricket that aggression not be confused with sport.

  • raj on April 29, 2007, 15:44 GMT

    Not interested in what u do and where u go on holiday. and not going to miss your writings either.

  • Aswin on April 29, 2007, 13:24 GMT

    Pity that even the final made the whole World Cup worse than before! I agree, though, that despite a love for cricket, the CWC has not billed up to expectations. I'd have to say I felt more passion watching Holland play at the WC than India at the CWC. I really do not know how the ICC can rectify this situation, how it can rebuild the passion that I, and no doubt many others, have lost for the game during the CWC.

  • duke on April 29, 2007, 11:50 GMT

    soumya!! iv read the book.. but the world cup did nothing to make me cherish my cricket fandom..it just made me realize how foolish and hapless it is to follow cricket as a fan today.

  • amy on April 29, 2007, 5:34 GMT

    this world cup was the worst ever...pathetic in fact...to some extent put me off cricket...we dont need so many games.

  • Aman on April 29, 2007, 5:03 GMT

    I think India bowing out early made this a tame event. Had the superpower (money wise) of cricket been allowed to progress, the hype would have covered up the obvious shortcomings of the tournament. Australia may be the champions, but India runs the game!

    www.manojtiwary.com is coming..

  • Malgudi Iyer on April 29, 2007, 1:55 GMT

    Only the Ind/Pak folks (ok, add Eng/WI) complain about the "boring" World Cup. The rest of us found it fascinating. Perhaps Ashesh and I were watching completely different tournaments? I don't understand what he means by "there weren't enough memorable matches".

  • ajay kumar on April 29, 2007, 0:32 GMT

    Soumya, I haven't watched all the games but i did watch the exciting games (expected to be exciting atleast: AUS X SAF, SRI X NZL, ENG X WI etc.)but almost 75 % of the games were one-sided. With no India ad Pakistan matches, the world cup was dead right after the 1st round. The world cup format should have been like that of 2003 where 8 teams per side, top 3 go on to asuper sixes and so on. This was the most boring world cup i've seen since the first world cup i saw in 1987. I hope the 2011 word cup would be better than this one and hope the winner would be some one other than Australia.

  • Y.Raj on April 29, 2007, 0:05 GMT

    Well by now everyone knows Australia winning world cup 2007 for the third time. That was awesome.

    But here to where to ? Zimbabwe in total shambles, West Indies, England, India and Pakistan following suite, South Africa, New Zealand and Sri Lanka some where up there but zillion miles behind Australia. Cricket is getting rather boring now due to lack of intense competition. May be time to switch on to World Cup Rugby 2007 in France ? But there again NZ All Backs are the sure bet. May switch to Bejing Olympics 2008 ? This predictability is killing!! But hey its better than nothing :)

  • nick mac on April 28, 2007, 23:18 GMT

    Hear Hear Ashesh..Spot on lad..i think the ICC have done a smart job on Killing cricket. Accountants and lawyers should be hired for that and only that.Obviously, they have no idea on the real things on EARTH like Enjoyment found in watching a game. I'm confident this was nothing more than a financial exercise for the bean men.Cricket is the loser in this world cup, Cricket and her supporters.Seriously, who is the moron who banned musical instruments in the "CARRIBEAN", have they not watched cricket in the carribean before? And the lack of crowds was because of ticket prices. Why price soooo high in a poor country?? Wasn't the millions made from sponsors enough that they had to scalp the public too? ABSOLUTE TOSSERS ruining the game in the name of money. What a shame.....

  • Mike Andrews on April 28, 2007, 15:18 GMT

    Looks like your gonna have to delay your trip by a day.

  • Ashesh on April 28, 2007, 13:49 GMT

    Soumya, I completely share your sentiments in the first half of this piece. But the World Cup which made me feel like that was the Football World Cup. And no, thats not because I love football more. Its because this cricket world cup has completely failed to register. Even though I've watched nearly game (yes, even Scotland v Netherlands), this world cup has not given me memories. India's loss was too quick - I couldnt even agonize over what could have been. There werent enough memorable matches. And there werent the eponymous images of Carribean women dancing in the stands! This world cup's been a washout, and an exciting finale may not be enough to salvage it.

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • Ashesh on April 28, 2007, 13:49 GMT

    Soumya, I completely share your sentiments in the first half of this piece. But the World Cup which made me feel like that was the Football World Cup. And no, thats not because I love football more. Its because this cricket world cup has completely failed to register. Even though I've watched nearly game (yes, even Scotland v Netherlands), this world cup has not given me memories. India's loss was too quick - I couldnt even agonize over what could have been. There werent enough memorable matches. And there werent the eponymous images of Carribean women dancing in the stands! This world cup's been a washout, and an exciting finale may not be enough to salvage it.

  • Mike Andrews on April 28, 2007, 15:18 GMT

    Looks like your gonna have to delay your trip by a day.

  • nick mac on April 28, 2007, 23:18 GMT

    Hear Hear Ashesh..Spot on lad..i think the ICC have done a smart job on Killing cricket. Accountants and lawyers should be hired for that and only that.Obviously, they have no idea on the real things on EARTH like Enjoyment found in watching a game. I'm confident this was nothing more than a financial exercise for the bean men.Cricket is the loser in this world cup, Cricket and her supporters.Seriously, who is the moron who banned musical instruments in the "CARRIBEAN", have they not watched cricket in the carribean before? And the lack of crowds was because of ticket prices. Why price soooo high in a poor country?? Wasn't the millions made from sponsors enough that they had to scalp the public too? ABSOLUTE TOSSERS ruining the game in the name of money. What a shame.....

  • Y.Raj on April 29, 2007, 0:05 GMT

    Well by now everyone knows Australia winning world cup 2007 for the third time. That was awesome.

    But here to where to ? Zimbabwe in total shambles, West Indies, England, India and Pakistan following suite, South Africa, New Zealand and Sri Lanka some where up there but zillion miles behind Australia. Cricket is getting rather boring now due to lack of intense competition. May be time to switch on to World Cup Rugby 2007 in France ? But there again NZ All Backs are the sure bet. May switch to Bejing Olympics 2008 ? This predictability is killing!! But hey its better than nothing :)

  • ajay kumar on April 29, 2007, 0:32 GMT

    Soumya, I haven't watched all the games but i did watch the exciting games (expected to be exciting atleast: AUS X SAF, SRI X NZL, ENG X WI etc.)but almost 75 % of the games were one-sided. With no India ad Pakistan matches, the world cup was dead right after the 1st round. The world cup format should have been like that of 2003 where 8 teams per side, top 3 go on to asuper sixes and so on. This was the most boring world cup i've seen since the first world cup i saw in 1987. I hope the 2011 word cup would be better than this one and hope the winner would be some one other than Australia.

  • Malgudi Iyer on April 29, 2007, 1:55 GMT

    Only the Ind/Pak folks (ok, add Eng/WI) complain about the "boring" World Cup. The rest of us found it fascinating. Perhaps Ashesh and I were watching completely different tournaments? I don't understand what he means by "there weren't enough memorable matches".

  • Aman on April 29, 2007, 5:03 GMT

    I think India bowing out early made this a tame event. Had the superpower (money wise) of cricket been allowed to progress, the hype would have covered up the obvious shortcomings of the tournament. Australia may be the champions, but India runs the game!

    www.manojtiwary.com is coming..

  • amy on April 29, 2007, 5:34 GMT

    this world cup was the worst ever...pathetic in fact...to some extent put me off cricket...we dont need so many games.

  • duke on April 29, 2007, 11:50 GMT

    soumya!! iv read the book.. but the world cup did nothing to make me cherish my cricket fandom..it just made me realize how foolish and hapless it is to follow cricket as a fan today.

  • Aswin on April 29, 2007, 13:24 GMT

    Pity that even the final made the whole World Cup worse than before! I agree, though, that despite a love for cricket, the CWC has not billed up to expectations. I'd have to say I felt more passion watching Holland play at the WC than India at the CWC. I really do not know how the ICC can rectify this situation, how it can rebuild the passion that I, and no doubt many others, have lost for the game during the CWC.