New age June 4, 2007

The Afro-Asia Cup: An exercise in futility

Cricket's administrators are already in disrepute yet they remain shameless

This has been a miserable year for cricket.

Bob Woolmer's death--murder or natural causes--has been horribly compounded by the pitiful charade played out by policemen, pathologists, and journalists speculating on the cause of death. Being uncertain about cause of death is not a new phenomenon. Doctors and pathologists in a hospital near you are inevitably dealing with the same confusion, even about patients that had every pulse and breath monitored closely for days prior to death. Imposing certainty on medical practice is an exercise in futility. From the facts released to the public I don't think it is possible to know how Bob died, which makes you wonder why his body was released for cremation before the issue was settled?

The World Cup was probably the worst in history, a consequence of greed and myopia that engulfed the ICC and the host organising committee. A World Cup that meanders on and on without the home team and their spectators joining the party is a blow to cricket as a major international sport. Another exercise in futility. Even Australia's brilliance wasn't properly rewarded when the final ended in farce.

Now we stand on the brink of the biggest exercise in futility of all: two games of festival cricket between an Asian XI and an African XI, with neither side able to muster its first choice players. We have a glut of international cricket. Players are overworked and injuries are more prevalent. Who really cares if Asia beats Africa? Who really believes that the individual performances will have any meaning? Cricket's administrators are already in disrepute yet they remain shameless. With every move they confirm that they are out of touch with the soul of cricket. And this Afro-Asian car crash in a side street is as soulless as it gets.

Kamran Abbasi is an editor, writer and broadcaster. He tweets here