How to use blinking lights to improve the World Cup

The Zings bails are tested during the India-Pakistan match Getty Images

On a recent evening I found myself browsing the LinkedIn website. And taking inappropriate amounts of pleasure in noting that many people I used to work with in the past are now doing terribly in their careers. Some are doing so badly that they haven't even bothered to update their profiles since July 2012.

This in itself is not noteworthy. All of us have gone through such moments in our lives, when the only thing holding one together after some crisis is the limitless delight on seeing that Saravana Kumar, who once arranged an 11-hour conference call during one's 24-hour-long honeymoon, has recently been appointed "Lead Evangelist (After Sales)" at ThunderWithin Colonic Irrigation Private Ltd.

But what made my perusal of career catastrophes pertinent was that I was doing this during the India versus Misbah World Cup match.

Not during the highlights. Not during the pre-match "pitch is looking firm but a little sweaty, just like you Harsha" chicanery. But during the actual match.

That is how little I seem to be caring for this latest edition of the World Cup. And going by my conversation with friends, I don't appear to be an isolated case.

Actual transcript from my WhatsApp archive:

Sidin: Hi, is anybody watching the match tonight?
Beyonc : No
LizWindsor_2: One vomits at the thought. Are you in London?
GwynethPaltrowPersonal: Of course LOLJK Sidu not a chance. Is dis new DP?
So why do I even bother playing the match on my television, you ask? Why go through this charade if I have so little interest?

Simple. Those bloody brilliant blinking lights in the bails and stumps. Of all the innovations that cricket has come up with in the last 30 years - T20, video replays, Bangladesh - blinking lights have to be my absolute favourite.

There is something bright and bubbly and life-affirming about those lights. The way they come to life at a moment when someone has failed spectacularly is almost a mantra for mindful, positive living.

So then why is the ICC using them so sparingly? Why not use them in many more on-field situations? Not only can these blinking lights - "blights" - make cricket more compelling viewing, they can also enhance the game for the players.

For instance, imagine this scenario. A spin bowler approaches the crease. He delivers the ball. The ball soars through the air and hits the pitch. It leaps with bite and zing and kisses the outside edge of the bat before slipping straight into the keeper's glove. It is the most straightforward of wickets, when suddenly two rows of blights down each leg of the bowler's trousers begin to blink. Alas. This means that a sensor on the bowling arm has detected a straightening of more than the regulation 15 degrees. The bowler, Saeed Ajmal, is immediately removed from the game and banned for life.

What about all those umpires who get away with terrible on-field decisions? Imagine a scenario where as soon as an umpire is overruled by video replay, blights stitched into the fabric of his clothing begin to blink. In order to not disturb batsmen, these blights will only go off on the back portion of the umpire's clothing. The lights will blink continuously until the umpire makes a tight call that is sent for review and is proved to be correct. If an umpire is unable to make a correct call by the end of the match, he will appear for his next match in an uniform that is already blinking.

Imagine the humiliation when umpires have to go home blinking from their reverse side.

"Hey Dharmasena," people will shout, "Hey, hey, hey umpire. I am throwing a dance party at home. Can you please come stand near the dance floor and go round and round?"

This will create an excellent incentive for umpires to take their jobs more seriously.

Indian fans will particularly like my final scenario.

Imagine, if you can, that an Indian bowler has taken a wicket. It is a very important wicket and could mean victory, and zero IPL bids for the batsman. Up goes the umpire's finger, and instantly Suresh Raina starts blinking. This gives other fielders and the bowler a chance to evade Raina as he attempts to assault them with his celebration.

Truly an elegant solution that will reduce the incidence of injury and make India matches more palatable for a family audience.

With plummeting interest in the World Cup, the ICC has to up the game somewhat. And a way to do that is blinking at them right in the face.