Indian Cricket Fixation And Indian Cricket League

Thursday, April 05, 2007 Dr. Vishaal Bhat 1 Comments

The news is that a panchayat in Haryana has decided to ban cricket not only due to our World Cup loss but also with the realisation that it has done more harm and that it is not our game.

An analysis may lead to the following conclusions. Indian fans get too emotional and launch personal attack on the cricketers’ families. This puts a lot of pressure on the players. Fear of fai ure overtakes the will to succeed.

The players are keen on building their brand image thanks to all the corporate and other sponsors. Overnight they become billionaires. Consequently, the players use cricket more for brand building than for winning matches. They tend to become too contented and shirk challenges.

The coaching has completely ignored the little processes that guarantee a win, such as sharp singles, running between the wickets, denying runs by outstanding inner ring fielding etc. We sent a Dad’s army and not even one soldier could be classified as a decent fielder!

On the HR front, someone forgot to tell our players that winning is not everything but it is the only thing! It is about time we attempt some radical solutions. Ban the active test players from giving any advertisements and making fortunes for the next five years.

Rewards should be earned only by performing on the field and nowhere else. Four to five tours in a calendar year, by our junior teams is essential for us to unearth talent. All test players must compulsorily be made to play in counties and other countries for four months in a year so that they fare better in overseas tours.

The BCCI should have only past test players of exceptional merit and the zonal representation should cease immediately. Selection should be based on current form and not on mega brand reputation.

The fans and the media should leave the players alone. They are entitled to their dignity.

There is no need to be sceptical about Zee TV chairman, Mr Subhash Chandra’s move to launch his own parallel cricket league at the domestic level in India. he Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) may feel surprised at the development, but it would be wrong to see it as an anti-BCCI platform. The fact is that organisationally the proposed cricket league cannot be a replacement for the BCCI. But yes, it would be a torch-bearer for the BCCI, lead the path and revolutionise the game in India.

Zee TV has a strong infrastructural base and obviously there is no harm if this is used for hunting newer and newer talents and uplifting the standards of cricket in the country. If the professional league of hockey could be organised to find new talents, the cricket league could do the same for cricket. It is encouraging that the group also has the plan of setting up cricket academies and had offered the BCCI to draw from the pool of talented players. The proposal to launch the Twenty20 format needs to be welcomed.

Instead of perceiving the efforts of Zee TV as a rival’s action, the BCCI must take it in a positive manner. No doubt the Zee TV and Mr Chandra have a long list of grievances against the BCCI, basically related to denying it of telecast rights, but to presume that this is a retaliatory step would certainly be doing the greatest disservice to the game of cricket. The League is trying to pick the thread from where the BCCI has left: Budding talent must be groomed at the grassroots level and given the experience to play on competitive pitches and not on placid tracks.


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