Champions Trophy October 6, 2009

A spectator sport without spectators

South Africans, we are told, are sports crazy
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Ricky Ponting and Daniel Vettori both declared this year's Champions Trophy a success. A shorter, sharper format meant that most matches were important. The cricket has been gripping enough, though unspectacular. The underdogs met the favourites in the final, and India met Pakistan in a game that was beamed around the world. Enough ingredients, you might argue, to please the ICC? Indeed, the ICC will profess itself to be delighted with the competition. Statistics and soundbites will be used to support their case.

But the ICC should be alarmed by this tournament. What is a spectator sport without spectators? The shoddy turnouts in South Africa are only partly mitigated by the unexpectedly early exit of the hosts. South Africans, we are told, are sports crazy. Well, they weren't mad for the Champions Trophy. It is the second major 50-over tournament to be poorly supported in quick succession.

Cricket's administrators must act. The sport is bankrolled by lucrative television deals. But half the thrill of watching a match on television is that you share the excitement of a live stadium event. A full stadium makes a dull match a thriller. A mostly empty stadium makes a thrilling match dull. Inevitably, cricket will lose the battle for television and internet eyeballs if the spectacle on our screens carries the thrill of a funeral procession. Once that happens, bang goes the business model.

International cricket that is dependent on full houses in only three countries--Australia, England, and India--is unsustainable in the long term. Short-term revenue opportunities with a pandemic of Twenty20 tournaments and gross overexposure of the big teams to each other is taking the fascination and sense of occasion out of cricket. If Liverpool played Manchester United in seven consecutive matches it would become less meaningful even for the most hardened fan. Why is cricket any different?

We all understand the complexities of the Future Tours Programme, and sympathise with those charged with organising it. But the current international schedule is taking the fascination and meaning out of contests, and something needs to be done. I'd argue for more central regulation of the cricket calendar, fewer ad-hoc events and tournaments, and better integration between the formats. More Twenty20, for example, has to mean less of something else. Currently, every new initiative is additive. Less is more. Each match has to matter.

These challenges cannot be insoluble but the ICC has never been convincing in its ability to master them. Many of the representatives on the ICC board are highly accomplished but the political nature of the organisation makes resolution difficult. That political posturing needs to be put aside urgently. International cricket is on the slippery slope to irrelevance. For the past decade, revenue has mattered more than the rude health of the game. Priorities must change.

This Champions Trophy is another serious warning to cricket's adminstrators and power brokers. Adapt or die is the message in 2009, the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin. But are those in control of the evolution of cricket sufficiently selfless and far sighted to win this survival of the fittest?

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Irfan on October 13, 2009, 14:39 GMT

    The best comments on this thread so far are Pranab Sarkar's. Jamshed Dasti is a political rat, whose name wasn't even known to the guy sitting next to him in the assembly. Now all of a sudden he's splashed all over the front covers. Ramiz said the right thing which is "Politician Lay Off this Game" as screwed up as these politicians are they have absolutely no idea what is going on. This is the first time in years when I sensed an urgency in every player about every game. The right camaraderie was there the right experimentation which could be subject to debate owing the failures or success was evident. But not match fixing. Jamshed Dasti should be flogged in the media and not made a hero for god's sake. Look at what and who is getting damage and where is the fall out occurring.

  • Hassan Farooqi on October 12, 2009, 17:06 GMT

    Let us focus on the point raised by Mr. Abbasi. I remember the thrill I felt over 30 years ago when I watched a match in the Stadium. It was a boring match on paper but the thrill of being part of a crowd was there.

    So whenever I watch a match on TV, I feel the same sensation when I see a full stadium. So Mr. Abbasi, you are point on that "An empty stadium would bore a TV watcher!!!"

  • Wasim on October 12, 2009, 14:28 GMT

    @Mohit

    And whatdo you have to say about Indian media crucifying Steve Buckoner after India-Australia series.

  • Mohit on October 11, 2009, 5:00 GMT

    Definition of error : Anything that goes against Pakistani interests. Note : Same error happeinig to other teams is just part and parcel of the game. source : Pakistans version of Oxford dictionary.

  • Sathish Reddy on October 10, 2009, 9:30 GMT

    Its been so long and evry body has moved on and yet you guys are going on and on about the loss. You were bad and you lost - get on with life. Your stupid half baked MP's and Sports ministers for lack of work and need for the limelight make libelous statements on the team and you guys blame the Indian press for it. Its great to think that the Indian press can create so much of damage. You guys watch our channels more than your own I guess. Alam and anybody else is more than welcome not to play with us if you so desire because we are not queuing up to play with you in any case. And for your information 75 % income to the ICC is from India. Money is made whether India is involved or not. All country's are queuing up with Invitations to tour them and something tells me its because of the money. So if you guys want to cut off your nose to spite your face you are most welcome. Get on with life and stop sniggering or start watching the champions league. Its a lot of fun.

  • RF on October 9, 2009, 14:47 GMT

    Sanjeev, the difference with Raina's out and Umar Akmal's out is this, Raina was OUT, the replay showed that the ball hit the pad first, then the bat. The decision was a correct one, only thing you can argue is maybe he could have gotten the 'Benefit of Doubt'. otherwise the decision was right on, and do not forget that Ghambir was plumb LBW and the umpire did not give him out. On Umar Akmal's case the ball hit the bat first then the pad, the rest is history. As far I am concerned Taufel is a fine umpire,made some mistakes. Technology should be used to correct these errors.

  • khalil on October 8, 2009, 18:05 GMT

    Cricket is shrinking in the name of evolution.Any body who can hit a 6 or 4 can play/claim to be a cricketer.This was not the case sometime back.Cricket is struggling for its survival.The fascination & attraction once accompanied with the stay at the wicket by a batsman is gone.6 day games were reduced to 5 & may possibly be reduced to 4 days.The invention of 20/20,double wicket,super sixes cricket, to attract crowd may work for the time being but it is not cricket in true sense.Now someone has floated the idea of 25/25 overs a side match instead of 50 overs a side. At some stage they may reduce the number of balls per over. This will not help the game. Instead we will witness the production of cricketers,whom we may not call world class performers like Lara, Tendulkar, Gavasker, Miandad,Richards etc & many more.

  • MJA on October 8, 2009, 12:41 GMT

    Sanjeev, why don't you stick to the topic at hand? :)

    It is interesting how, after every few comments, we have an Indian coming in and bringing up conspiracy theories and Pakistani politics. Here's a newsflash for you. The story was first published by Indian media who, after a few hours, even published that Pak captain and coach have been sacked by the PCB. They changed their story after an hour or so. But some Indian news sites still have it up (google it). Even our coach is saying that Indian media had a horrible role to play in this whole controversy. So please, before teaching us the morals of politics (funny because Indian doesn't exactly boast of very moralistic polticians itself), why dont you go lecture your media about basic ethics? :)

    Kamran, there needs to be some moderation in your comments section. Maybe unrelated comments can be erased to keep discussion to the point?

    Thanks.

  • richardmiandad on October 8, 2009, 10:30 GMT

    I think the Pakistani fans who are still moaning about a decision made by Simon Taufel need to get over it. Pakistan are not a top ODI outfit at present & hold no fears for any team- a half-baked NZ lineup missing Ryder & Oram easily beat them.

  • sanjeev on October 8, 2009, 7:32 GMT

    amazing really right, dasti first had a suspicion and then retracts what he had told, then the governor blames india for bribing umpires well then anyone can say that pakistan bribed the umpire to give suresh raina out is it true no. such types of politicians should be banned completely, pakistan team played well but yes coming back to dismissals of umar akmal and suresh raina a single wrong decision can change the match, technology should be used if there is a doubt in both cases there was a clear cut evidence that the batter hit the ball with the bat and decision should have been reversed.

  • Irfan on October 13, 2009, 14:39 GMT

    The best comments on this thread so far are Pranab Sarkar's. Jamshed Dasti is a political rat, whose name wasn't even known to the guy sitting next to him in the assembly. Now all of a sudden he's splashed all over the front covers. Ramiz said the right thing which is "Politician Lay Off this Game" as screwed up as these politicians are they have absolutely no idea what is going on. This is the first time in years when I sensed an urgency in every player about every game. The right camaraderie was there the right experimentation which could be subject to debate owing the failures or success was evident. But not match fixing. Jamshed Dasti should be flogged in the media and not made a hero for god's sake. Look at what and who is getting damage and where is the fall out occurring.

  • Hassan Farooqi on October 12, 2009, 17:06 GMT

    Let us focus on the point raised by Mr. Abbasi. I remember the thrill I felt over 30 years ago when I watched a match in the Stadium. It was a boring match on paper but the thrill of being part of a crowd was there.

    So whenever I watch a match on TV, I feel the same sensation when I see a full stadium. So Mr. Abbasi, you are point on that "An empty stadium would bore a TV watcher!!!"

  • Wasim on October 12, 2009, 14:28 GMT

    @Mohit

    And whatdo you have to say about Indian media crucifying Steve Buckoner after India-Australia series.

  • Mohit on October 11, 2009, 5:00 GMT

    Definition of error : Anything that goes against Pakistani interests. Note : Same error happeinig to other teams is just part and parcel of the game. source : Pakistans version of Oxford dictionary.

  • Sathish Reddy on October 10, 2009, 9:30 GMT

    Its been so long and evry body has moved on and yet you guys are going on and on about the loss. You were bad and you lost - get on with life. Your stupid half baked MP's and Sports ministers for lack of work and need for the limelight make libelous statements on the team and you guys blame the Indian press for it. Its great to think that the Indian press can create so much of damage. You guys watch our channels more than your own I guess. Alam and anybody else is more than welcome not to play with us if you so desire because we are not queuing up to play with you in any case. And for your information 75 % income to the ICC is from India. Money is made whether India is involved or not. All country's are queuing up with Invitations to tour them and something tells me its because of the money. So if you guys want to cut off your nose to spite your face you are most welcome. Get on with life and stop sniggering or start watching the champions league. Its a lot of fun.

  • RF on October 9, 2009, 14:47 GMT

    Sanjeev, the difference with Raina's out and Umar Akmal's out is this, Raina was OUT, the replay showed that the ball hit the pad first, then the bat. The decision was a correct one, only thing you can argue is maybe he could have gotten the 'Benefit of Doubt'. otherwise the decision was right on, and do not forget that Ghambir was plumb LBW and the umpire did not give him out. On Umar Akmal's case the ball hit the bat first then the pad, the rest is history. As far I am concerned Taufel is a fine umpire,made some mistakes. Technology should be used to correct these errors.

  • khalil on October 8, 2009, 18:05 GMT

    Cricket is shrinking in the name of evolution.Any body who can hit a 6 or 4 can play/claim to be a cricketer.This was not the case sometime back.Cricket is struggling for its survival.The fascination & attraction once accompanied with the stay at the wicket by a batsman is gone.6 day games were reduced to 5 & may possibly be reduced to 4 days.The invention of 20/20,double wicket,super sixes cricket, to attract crowd may work for the time being but it is not cricket in true sense.Now someone has floated the idea of 25/25 overs a side match instead of 50 overs a side. At some stage they may reduce the number of balls per over. This will not help the game. Instead we will witness the production of cricketers,whom we may not call world class performers like Lara, Tendulkar, Gavasker, Miandad,Richards etc & many more.

  • MJA on October 8, 2009, 12:41 GMT

    Sanjeev, why don't you stick to the topic at hand? :)

    It is interesting how, after every few comments, we have an Indian coming in and bringing up conspiracy theories and Pakistani politics. Here's a newsflash for you. The story was first published by Indian media who, after a few hours, even published that Pak captain and coach have been sacked by the PCB. They changed their story after an hour or so. But some Indian news sites still have it up (google it). Even our coach is saying that Indian media had a horrible role to play in this whole controversy. So please, before teaching us the morals of politics (funny because Indian doesn't exactly boast of very moralistic polticians itself), why dont you go lecture your media about basic ethics? :)

    Kamran, there needs to be some moderation in your comments section. Maybe unrelated comments can be erased to keep discussion to the point?

    Thanks.

  • richardmiandad on October 8, 2009, 10:30 GMT

    I think the Pakistani fans who are still moaning about a decision made by Simon Taufel need to get over it. Pakistan are not a top ODI outfit at present & hold no fears for any team- a half-baked NZ lineup missing Ryder & Oram easily beat them.

  • sanjeev on October 8, 2009, 7:32 GMT

    amazing really right, dasti first had a suspicion and then retracts what he had told, then the governor blames india for bribing umpires well then anyone can say that pakistan bribed the umpire to give suresh raina out is it true no. such types of politicians should be banned completely, pakistan team played well but yes coming back to dismissals of umar akmal and suresh raina a single wrong decision can change the match, technology should be used if there is a doubt in both cases there was a clear cut evidence that the batter hit the ball with the bat and decision should have been reversed.

  • Taimur Huk on October 8, 2009, 3:50 GMT

    @ajmak k: Yeah i agree w/ what u said. and its not only our politicians, its our ppl also. even after we lost to nz, we said, "oh, at least we beat india". I so so mad because our victory over india was a week OLD and we'd moved on2 bigger things. i was mad @ my friends for their stupid comments and they kept taunting india and their cricket fans on facebook. despite, us having played a memorable against aus and semi against nz since our defeat of india. if pak wants to win a wc or ct, its our fans who have to improve and not just be satisfied with beating arch-rivals. we have expect MUCH MORE from them.

  • REDNECK on October 8, 2009, 2:59 GMT

    i dont think one can say cricket overkill as the main reason for poor crowd attendences. look at the pak v sri lanka series earlier in the year. both gaddaffi stadium and the national stadium in karachi were empty for both the ODIs and the tests and this in cricket starved pakistan??? i would think the champions trophy being played out of season in south africa along with the hosts being knocked out early as being the main reason for poor crowds.

  • Mohamed Z. Rahaman on October 8, 2009, 0:11 GMT

    About the article.. I cannot believe that the ICC and the likes of Ian Chappel actually say teh empty stadiums and said that all was well and the tournament was a success. It's overkill plain and simple. I am a diehard for Test matches and I realise that we need T20 and ODi's to sustain the Tests, however people are sick of all the matches that means nothing. The WC is less than 2 years away. Eng & Aus just played 7 ODIs. They should go back to the old format and play the ODI's between the Tests and maybe a couple of T20s or simply shorten the ODIs to 35-40 overs. Make it more spectator friedly (who has the time to spend 6 hours at a match these days).

  • shan sheikh on October 7, 2009, 22:42 GMT

    Umpire Tofell by giving Umer out instantaneously showed his remorse towards pakisatn after having lost to a Pakistani Empire a tile of Empire of the year and his decision changed the whole scenario of the championshi.Pakistan would have been the champion by the end of the day if he had shown some true justice and taken sufficient time under the circumstances to take that decision that proved fatal to pakistan. I hope some action will be taken by ICC management in this regard to keep the game alive and above personal vendettas.

  • Javed Butt on October 7, 2009, 19:33 GMT

    ICC along with india is contineuing lts policy to segregate Pakistan from the world. It failed when India prevented pakistan to participate in last IPL tornament in South Africa.Actally it made Pakistan even stronger & they won the T20 world cup. Now India is doing the same thing inviting all teams from all over the world except from pakistan.India still have not learned their lession . As long as they keep doing it Cricket in Pakistan is going to get stronger & stronger. There was no comparision between between the audiance at the semi final game between the pak. & New zealand. Was almost sold out & the whole stadium full of green flag. Pakisatn would have won the match had Mr. Toffel taken some time before giving ummer out . Its remarkable the way he gave him out instantly. Not hesitating for one second.I guss madness of losing for the 1st time umpire of the year to a Pakistani only 18 hours ago was still their.ICC Instead investigating Mr.Toeffel going affter Ummer.

  • sanjeev on October 7, 2009, 15:29 GMT

    Thanks my dear friends, actually I like younis khan, he is a jovial guy but do you guys believe, shahid is as good a player in odi's than t-20? he should play more responsibly, he should also cement his place in the tests and well younis was injured and he should have fielded either at thirdman or fineleg because if any fitter player was there that catch would have been gulped and pakistan would have reached the finals who knows they might have defeated australia and avenged the '99 wc final loss also umar akmal should bat at no. 4 he is by far the best player his footwork is immaculate. thanks

  • Richard S on October 7, 2009, 10:48 GMT

    Welcome to the modern world. Its not only cricket that has such problems, think of any major sport and money will have adversly effected it in some way. Club football in europe for example is dominated by the same clubs from the same countries all the time because they buy all the best young players. Its dull and repetitive. For cricket to prosper we can't just have an IPL. If it is to work every country needs to have one with the same limits on foreign players, otherwise what would have happened to Collingwood if Durham had qualified for the CL, or Flintoff if Lancashire and his Indian team had? Players should be restricted to one club/county/state/franchise. There also needs to be less international games and less tournaments. Everyone should play each other over 4 years and then have a world championship for each format every 4 years (not necasarily on the same year). You could have a test world cup every 4 years and then wipe clean the rankings and start again for another 4 years

  • Ajmak K. on October 7, 2009, 10:44 GMT

    Dasti retracted his statement after he made a fool of himself and the cricket team and our country and said some people called him and told him about match fixing charges. Then Alam blames Indian media for starting the match fixing fire. He claims India is Jealous.

    Give us a break pls. Our officials / politicians are such low lives and scums that ordinary Pakistanis cannot go around in this world holding their heads high. We won the T20 and reached the SF of CT, that too with out any cricket at all compared to other countries and yet we cant revel in the success because these idiots choose to frame charges and bring in the neighbor angle. I am sick and tired and oh so ashamed of ourselves.

  • Abdali on October 7, 2009, 8:54 GMT

    I just mention Great Lara comments about cricket in which he said , "Cricket is going to die but T20 makes it live again." , Any sports played for spectators and viewers not for players themselves . If spectators like T20 then ICC must have to think more broadly for t20 , Test cricket is pure cricket and must have to continue and will continue but 50 overs cricket will not safe his status in future that's my opinion . I like IPL T20 and fan of Daccan Charges and waiting for Champions league unfortunately Pakistan Sialkot Stallions did allow to part due to political situation and Bias people like Lalit moody & co.

  • Kash on October 7, 2009, 7:03 GMT

    Pakistan MP claims India bribed Taufel to make NZ win becos they were jealous as they had knocked out. Ya perhaps India also paid NZ bowlers to bowl better and thus Batters could not make runs in powerplay. Wow if this is kind of MP's Pakistan has no wonder the country is going spirally down.

  • MG Beg on October 7, 2009, 6:07 GMT

    The fifty over format is dead . Take a look at this tournament almost all matches went as per the predictions (arrived after the first innings). Sadly for cricket purists like me T 20 is more thrilling and will be the only limited over format to survive. We are seeing the beggining of the end for the 50 over game.

  • fahad on October 7, 2009, 5:42 GMT

    i think some matches were dull because only two venues were used in the tournament..had it been more, we would have seen much better and vocal support for teams. and the pitches would've been much better than what we had in some matches.

    peace

  • Swami on October 7, 2009, 5:26 GMT

    Recession, maybe ?? Has anyone heard of it ? Surely, the ICC is not responsible for all the problems in the world.

  • Qamar on October 7, 2009, 5:25 GMT

    Sanjeev, watch the recording of last few overs of Australian inning. PAK AUSI match was the best match of the tournament. If you still feel what Dasti and TV's claim is right, i must advise you start using your own brain to find true conclusions.

    I agree with Mr. Kamran ICC must do something. It seems Indian Controll in Cricket (ICC)

  • Patrick Denko on October 7, 2009, 4:40 GMT

    @ sanjeev, From this I think Mcculum has fixed the match as well as he droped the crucial catch of White in Final.

    And Dhoni also fixed it in Pakistan match when out 302 runs 175 runs were scored at same place and he could not stop them.

    I read this news in headlines of India Newspapers and was laughing ... and I have heard that guy has taken the U-Turn and apologise from Younus.

    This is lame excuse from a poor puppet. Pakistan played really well they had a bad luck in semi final and also poor umpiring cost them som much. Otehrwise it would have a fun too see Pakistan in final against Aussies.

  • AQ Azhar on October 7, 2009, 4:30 GMT

    Pakistan Played genuine cricket. These corrupt politicians see them selves in a mirror before accusing national heroes.

    Pakistan lost mainly because of poor umpiring of Simon Taufel, ICC should investigate on intenstions of 5 times winner of best umpires award. Also the match fixing allegations have been started right after Pakistan Lost to NZL ... Thanks to crazy media of India who never focuses on poor performance of their team.

    Pakistan will Rock & keep rocking no one can stop it... Pakistan Zindabad.

  • jilani on October 7, 2009, 4:27 GMT

    Even the fact that we are discussing the fact that is made by this idiot about Pakistan delibrately failing in semis, we came pretty close to actually winning and gave Aussies a run for their money.

    Every event in cricket is not a grounds for investigation.

    Pakistani politicians have a democratic right to exercise their opinions, and they, however stupid as it may sound, do just that.

    Dasti is not cricket genius.

    -jilani

  • Suhaib on October 7, 2009, 3:35 GMT

    I dont know why Dasti's claims are being mentioned in the comments section but the truth is that Dasti is just scoring political points.

    This is the first time I am convinced that the team tried its best in each match. You cant take a match to the very last ball and loose it by 2 wickets on purpose. That is just a ridiculous claim.

    Against New Zealand, it just looked like one of Pakistan's off days. Sure we need young players and the oldies need to go, but that is just a problem within the team. Anyone can drop catches, even the absolute dollies.

    I also have problem with the claims of biased umpiring. Yes... the umpiring was pathetic... but I also know that Simon Toufel has been a great umpire for many years. Having said that, the umpires should not report players for reactions to their incorrect decisions.

  • Mudaser Hassan on October 7, 2009, 3:26 GMT

    Dasti was rubbish in his claim...and i just want to take you people at start of champions trophy when no one actually counted Pakistan as any threat...and we ended up in top four with well fought match with India. I belive cricket should be less and tournaments like World cup, IPL, T20 World cup and champions trophy should have span of 5 years in them means one big tournament a year. We have to keep 50 over and test cricket alive as they are more close and real taste of what cricket can offer.

  • MFHM on October 7, 2009, 3:12 GMT

    Now we understand why Simon toufel is not declared best umpire this year. He has really lost his repute and his discisions in PAK vs NZL match were ridiculous. He gave silly LBW dicision to push top scorer (Umar Akmal) out of the ground. There should be a referal system now like tennis. ICC has tried this before but it should be practical now bcz umpires are disturbing the results. Simon Toufal was seemed to be on a mission. He gave all LBW decision in favour of NZL. ONLY BAD UMPIRING RESTRICTED PAKISTAN TO PLAY FINAL AND LIFT THIS CUP......... I FEEL VERY ANNOYED Mr TOUFEL......

  • RQ on October 7, 2009, 1:04 GMT

    I think T20 is getting better of cricket these days. People are discovering that cricket in 4 hrs can be more interesting than spending all day or 5 days for that matter waiting for a result. One thing for sure, cricket is not the same anymore. Quite possibly, great cricketers will no longer be only be in the making as thrill will be over in matter of 4 hours. Of course young cricketers are discovering its easier to be successful with T20 with more $$. As the song by Dire Straits relates 'money for nothing and chicks for free...'

    As far as allegations by some MP in Pakistan is concerned, this gentleman has probably hit a dry patch and need something to revive his career. I would love to hear the detail of how one team can plan a last ball loss? I would think it will take a Hollywood script with likes of Lagaan to pull this off. And lets give NZ some credit of playing better cricket on the day. They deserved the victory. Lets not be sore losers. And for the MP..GET A LIFE DUDE

  • Nas on October 6, 2009, 23:26 GMT

    Not sure why the crowds didnt turn up...

    This time of year is finals time in all football codes (which are played in South Africa)... I wonder whether this contributed.

    I think there is a bit of overkill in international cricket these days...just too much! What were the ticket prices like? The weather didnt appear that pleasant... What were the TV ratings like?

    Are we right to expect a huge crowd for a WI vs NZ game in SA ? (for example?)

    What are the ICC to do? I feel for them, they are constantly stuck between a rock and a hard place. I have no doubt that they could solve all the problems and move the game forward, but they have no leverage with which to force any compliance.

    And to User55, the 'racist' umpiring call is getting a bit tiring...Everyone gets bad calls not just pakistani & indian players...Get over it. Find another excuse for your team...

  • Daanish on October 6, 2009, 22:55 GMT

    Sanjeev, mustafa is right, it Dasti is wrong, a predecided match cannot be a thriller like that, match was decided on last ball and cannot be pre decide. I would like to talk on Taufel's role here, he did not gave plumb LB's when Afridi was bowling VS india match. Decisions in VS NZ was obvious. Also Omer Akmal was called by Daryl Harper again Australian.. for What reason..check the videos and he showed no reaction..

  • Shahid on October 6, 2009, 22:29 GMT

    As cricket is not compareable to football, here we have a chice between staying at our sofa or in bed,while we are still with family and enjoy meals and tea etc. OR to be in the stadium, pay entrence fee and take a chance of a rained or onesided match. Then ofcourse there are other factors too. More then enough cricket is played at same venues and between the same teams. India is doing a good job by spreading out matches on a lot of different venues. I will say, not more then 4 matches a year should be held at same vanue.

  • Zohaib Khan on October 6, 2009, 20:26 GMT

    @ Sanjeev : Buddy this Geo TV is an absolute nonsense and they are in a habit of coming up with the most absurd of stories to keep the TRPs high and creating sensation, people in pak are mostly aware of this hoax. As for Mr Dasti, he has already clarified he didnt mean anything like it was portrayed. So hopefully that should clear any doubts for you.

  • Mustafa Moiz on October 6, 2009, 15:23 GMT

    Sanjeev, that claim is rubbish. Pakistan played in a very relaxed fasion against Australia and did not care too much about winning or losing because they didn't have to. Why should they overexert themselves when they don't have to win the match? It had nothing to do with India. And the fact that Geo is the one who reported this further shows what garbage this claim is.

  • sanjeev on October 6, 2009, 14:56 GMT

    "In a shocking revelation, Chairman of the Sports Committee of the Pakistan National Assembly has alleged that the Pakistan team deliberately lost the game to Australia to knock India out of the Champions Trophy.

    "We went with a pre-determined mind to lose out the match against Australia. Our intention was to keep India out. It was a deliberate decision to lose match against India," Jamshed Ahmed Dasti told Pakistan TV channel Geo TV in an interview.

    Dasti went on to claim that Pakistan also fixed the result of their semi-final match against New Zealand, which they lost by five wickets.

    As is often the case, Dasti has not provided any evidence to back these claims, but has summoned the team management including the captain and the coach to discuss the matter" , this is strange, unsporting and should be investigated deeply if it is true then pakistan team should be banned also the way younis dropped the catch against NZ raises serious question...

  • Arvind on October 6, 2009, 14:40 GMT

    I really feel sorry for the author and all those cricket fans who still believe that the ICC will do something good for the game.

  • Vikas on October 6, 2009, 13:43 GMT

    I am an Indian and huge fan of test cricket. I never like concept of T20..and this format of the game is only reason for empty stadiums.. Also, there is too much cricket....which will kill the .long term career of great players....

    I think IPL is also one of the reason, which can harm tests/odis in the future. Hence, ICC should set some regulations on the no. of T20 matches...Also, T20 world cup also should be once in 4 years...

    Otherwise, we might not see another Ponting, Sachin, Inzy, Gavaskar, Richards in the future...because T20 will snatch Technique from the players... may be kids won't like to be fast bowlers in the future as T20 has very little for the fast bowlers....

  • Ulrich Dannecker on October 6, 2009, 13:06 GMT

    In the case of the just completed ICC Champions Trophy, which was organised extremely well by South Africa, it was a case of poor publicity. For the weeks leading up to the tournament, I searched the internet for organised tours to the host cities and I found nothing! Whilst the locals can't afford the high entrance fees, the marketing for tourists was poor. What an opportunity to miss.

  • user55 on October 6, 2009, 12:19 GMT

    i think pakistanis like me felt done in by biased umpiring. if i felt that the umpiring in the semi final was unbiased and pakistan had lost, i would still have watched the final. but if i think - and i did - that we lost due to bad umpiring by racist umpires, i dint feel the urge to watch the match more than for 2 overs.

  • Prakash on October 6, 2009, 12:04 GMT

    Spot on ( for a change). I guess the golden goose is being killed for short term benefits. I didnt feel any tension when India Played Pakistan and that itself meant that we have Over done this. The final had few spectators and the cricket in offer was dull. Oct 8 starts the next circus of champions League.. As you said the Joy of watching cricket is slowly waning and if commercial and TV intersts overtake the Pleasure of Sport, cricket will meet its end soon. RIP

  • Pranab Sarkar on October 6, 2009, 11:09 GMT

    The main reason for spectator absence in major cricket tournaments is basically overkill! In the last two decades we had too many meaningless ODI tournaments and long drawn bilateral series. Instead of shortening the length of a cricket match ICC should think abour reducing the no. of games played in every series. Also it is the responsibility of every cricket playing nation to maintain a high standard so that whenever any of the top two teams are playing (irrespective of the format) the games should be competitive so that spectators would have real contest to enjoy.

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  • Pranab Sarkar on October 6, 2009, 11:09 GMT

    The main reason for spectator absence in major cricket tournaments is basically overkill! In the last two decades we had too many meaningless ODI tournaments and long drawn bilateral series. Instead of shortening the length of a cricket match ICC should think abour reducing the no. of games played in every series. Also it is the responsibility of every cricket playing nation to maintain a high standard so that whenever any of the top two teams are playing (irrespective of the format) the games should be competitive so that spectators would have real contest to enjoy.

  • Prakash on October 6, 2009, 12:04 GMT

    Spot on ( for a change). I guess the golden goose is being killed for short term benefits. I didnt feel any tension when India Played Pakistan and that itself meant that we have Over done this. The final had few spectators and the cricket in offer was dull. Oct 8 starts the next circus of champions League.. As you said the Joy of watching cricket is slowly waning and if commercial and TV intersts overtake the Pleasure of Sport, cricket will meet its end soon. RIP

  • user55 on October 6, 2009, 12:19 GMT

    i think pakistanis like me felt done in by biased umpiring. if i felt that the umpiring in the semi final was unbiased and pakistan had lost, i would still have watched the final. but if i think - and i did - that we lost due to bad umpiring by racist umpires, i dint feel the urge to watch the match more than for 2 overs.

  • Ulrich Dannecker on October 6, 2009, 13:06 GMT

    In the case of the just completed ICC Champions Trophy, which was organised extremely well by South Africa, it was a case of poor publicity. For the weeks leading up to the tournament, I searched the internet for organised tours to the host cities and I found nothing! Whilst the locals can't afford the high entrance fees, the marketing for tourists was poor. What an opportunity to miss.

  • Vikas on October 6, 2009, 13:43 GMT

    I am an Indian and huge fan of test cricket. I never like concept of T20..and this format of the game is only reason for empty stadiums.. Also, there is too much cricket....which will kill the .long term career of great players....

    I think IPL is also one of the reason, which can harm tests/odis in the future. Hence, ICC should set some regulations on the no. of T20 matches...Also, T20 world cup also should be once in 4 years...

    Otherwise, we might not see another Ponting, Sachin, Inzy, Gavaskar, Richards in the future...because T20 will snatch Technique from the players... may be kids won't like to be fast bowlers in the future as T20 has very little for the fast bowlers....

  • Arvind on October 6, 2009, 14:40 GMT

    I really feel sorry for the author and all those cricket fans who still believe that the ICC will do something good for the game.

  • sanjeev on October 6, 2009, 14:56 GMT

    "In a shocking revelation, Chairman of the Sports Committee of the Pakistan National Assembly has alleged that the Pakistan team deliberately lost the game to Australia to knock India out of the Champions Trophy.

    "We went with a pre-determined mind to lose out the match against Australia. Our intention was to keep India out. It was a deliberate decision to lose match against India," Jamshed Ahmed Dasti told Pakistan TV channel Geo TV in an interview.

    Dasti went on to claim that Pakistan also fixed the result of their semi-final match against New Zealand, which they lost by five wickets.

    As is often the case, Dasti has not provided any evidence to back these claims, but has summoned the team management including the captain and the coach to discuss the matter" , this is strange, unsporting and should be investigated deeply if it is true then pakistan team should be banned also the way younis dropped the catch against NZ raises serious question...

  • Mustafa Moiz on October 6, 2009, 15:23 GMT

    Sanjeev, that claim is rubbish. Pakistan played in a very relaxed fasion against Australia and did not care too much about winning or losing because they didn't have to. Why should they overexert themselves when they don't have to win the match? It had nothing to do with India. And the fact that Geo is the one who reported this further shows what garbage this claim is.

  • Zohaib Khan on October 6, 2009, 20:26 GMT

    @ Sanjeev : Buddy this Geo TV is an absolute nonsense and they are in a habit of coming up with the most absurd of stories to keep the TRPs high and creating sensation, people in pak are mostly aware of this hoax. As for Mr Dasti, he has already clarified he didnt mean anything like it was portrayed. So hopefully that should clear any doubts for you.

  • Shahid on October 6, 2009, 22:29 GMT

    As cricket is not compareable to football, here we have a chice between staying at our sofa or in bed,while we are still with family and enjoy meals and tea etc. OR to be in the stadium, pay entrence fee and take a chance of a rained or onesided match. Then ofcourse there are other factors too. More then enough cricket is played at same venues and between the same teams. India is doing a good job by spreading out matches on a lot of different venues. I will say, not more then 4 matches a year should be held at same vanue.