Socio-cultural

OCTOBER 19, 2014

Broadcasting

Has cricket hit the roof?

Cricket's dominance in India might not be fading just yet, but the team's performance has not been as compelling as the last decade and high-profile retirements since have also had an impact on viewership. Ashok Malik, in Asian Age, wonders if a saturation has been reached, especially with other sports enticing the average fan.

Cricket viewership, even Indian Premier League viewership, is not growing. It has either reached a ceiling (IPL) or a floor (Test cricket). Even limited-overs cricket (the Fifty50) game, the mainstay of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), is showing a worrying pattern. On-ground presence is lower than previously. The BCCI is masking it by hosting matches mainly in smaller cities and towns, where the novelty may still be there. As for television, a comparison between the India-West Indies limited-overs series of 2011 and 2013 would be telling. Both series were played in India. The first was played in the aftermath of India's World Cup victory and showed a TRP of 3.4 (male/15-34/Sec A, B and C). By the 2013 series, the TRP number had fallen to 2.2. TRP figures for the just-concluded (October 2014) India-West Indies series were not immediately available.

OCTOBER 18, 2014

The gentlemen of the village green

Michael Jeh: A tribute to men for whom a game of cricket was just that
OCTOBER 16, 2014

What is defined as bullying on a sporting field?

Nicholas Hogg: Standing up to an intimidating opposition rather than complaining about them might be an old-school attitude, but it's still relevant
SEPTEMBER 16, 2014

Offbeat

The nature v nurture debate in cricket

In an article for Aeon magazine, David Papineau explores the idea of nature v nurture in cricket by comparing it with other sports and examines whether genetic qualities plays a bigger role in the development of cricketers than environment.

If environments matter more in cricket than in soccer, then this makes cricketing skills look less genetically heritable than footballing ones. In football, most of the differences come from genetic advantages just because there aren't many environmental differences (if you live in a soccer-mad nation, opportunities to play are everywhere). But in cricket, there would still be a wide range of abilities even if everybody had exactly the same genetic endowment, because only some children would get a proper chance to learn the game. In effect, environmental causes are doing a lot more to spread out the children in cricket than they are in football. To sum up, cricket runs in families precisely because the genetic heritability of cricket skills is relatively low.

SEPTEMBER 14, 2014

The Lahoris in the Champions League

Hassan Cheema: They don't quite inspire the awe that their legendary predecessors did, but they will do well if they keep the cricketing traditions of the city alive
SEPTEMBER 01, 2014

The power of booing

Jonathan Wilson: It has value when used against players who have transgressed - particularly if they have somehow offended the spirit of the game
AUGUST 27, 2014

All hail the new, macho Fawad Alam

Ahmer Naqvi: He had phenomenal numbers before he sprouted luxuriant facial hair, but it seems Pakistanis have started to take him seriously only now
JULY 10, 2014

The value of a cricketer's brand

Michael Jeh: Andrew Strauss will recover from the indiscreet remark he made about Kevin Pietersen, but his image won't be entirely as it was
JULY 01, 2014

Catching practice with South Africa

Firdose Moonda in Colombo: South Africa train Sri Lankan schoolchildren to raise money for the country's blind team
JUNE 24, 2014

In quest of the ideal junior coaching system

Michael Jeh: More Australian states should look at the model created by NSW and Victoria
JUNE 06, 2014

Offbeat

Green gloves, ducks and bats taped to ceilings

While reviewing Chris Waters' book 10 for 10 - on Hedley Verity's record - for the Guardian, Andy Bull recounts some entertaining stories of superstitions that cricketers have followed.

Others take things further still. Duck seemed so portentous to Steve James that he refused to eat it, and wouldn't even let his children have a rubber one to play with in the bath, until after his career was over. He sympathised with Neil McKenzie, who developed an obsession that meant he would go out to bat only when all the toilet seats were down, and even went through a phase of taping his bat to the ceiling because his team-mates had once done that to him on a day when he scored a century.

JUNE 06, 2014

West Indies cricket

Serving the community with Chris Gayle's Big Six Club

Chris Gayle is looking to give something back to Jamaican society, through cricket. He has opened an academy in Kingston, at the Lucas Cricket Club, for "underprivileged youngsters". The academy, which also has a branch in England, will have two programmes: the Chris Gayle Academy team, and the Chris Gayle Big Six Club.

The academy team will cater to 16 young players on an annual basis, aged between 16 and 21, and - the plan is - give them the opportunity to play other Jamaican teams and touring youth squads. The Big Six Club is a 12-week programme targeted at kids from troubled communities (think low school-attendance rates, high crime levels, and rising drugs abuse).

An emotional Gayle, at the academy's launch, remembered how he was attracted to the game when he was a kid. "Being here brings back memories of me as a youngster, who used to jump the walls of Lucas from my house across the street, just wanting the opportunity to learn the sport of cricket and become a better person," Gayle said, according to the Jamaica Gleaner. "To have come from that far, and being here now, is quite moving, and the hope is that this academy will similarly open doors and opportunities for youngsters."

JUNE 03, 2014

Isn't it time Pakistanis were in the IPL?

Ahmer Naqvi: There were reasons for why the two countries stopped playing each other, but they aren't all that valid anymore
MAY 30, 2014

Whatever happened to playing for the love of the game?

Michael Jeh: There seems to be a trend in junior sport in Australia of rewarding kids for just turning up to play
MAY 25, 2014

Is the era of the factory-produced cricketer upon us?

V Ramnarayan: Young aspirants in India today have their futures planned to a t by their parents, coaches and academies. Perhaps the old ways were better
MAY 02, 2014

My Caribbean friend

Samir Chopra: How tales of West Indies cricket helped forge an enduring friendship between an Indian professor and a Jamaican security guard
APRIL 27, 2014

An alternative definition for the spirit of cricket

Ahmer Naqvi: It's the game's ability to provide struggling societies with a sense of national identity and belief
APRIL 08, 2014

Why T20 is about cricket's natural evolution

Ahmer Naqvi: The shortest format is but a logical extension of cricket's bias towards batsmen, and our changing ideas about time
MARCH 26, 2014

The anthem's call

Abhishek Purohit: Do you feel a pull when you hear the song of another nation?
MARCH 13, 2014

Time to draw a line in the sand?

Michael Jeh: It's hard for everyone to agree on what constitutes acceptable boundaries when it comes to on-field behaviour. It's best if the ICC spells it out
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