Cricket’s call for change

Hardly had Nepali cricket fans recovered from jolt due to ICC confirmation that the next two World Cups will be 10-team events, they were given another shock. The news of a few former national cricketers moving the Supreme Court against the activities of Cricket Association of Nepal has surprised many, at the same time raised quite a few eyebrows too.
Much has already been said by the players and officials from Ireland, the most successful of the associate nations in past two World Cups, along with Scotland, Kenya, Canada and other nations about the associates being shown the exit doors. Whether it moves the money minded ICC or not; Whether it has excluded the ‘world’ from the World Cup or not; Whether that decision will mar the reputation of cricket across the globe or not, the single decision has killed the aspirations of cricketers from the emerging nations. And that includes Nepali players too.

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Minnows’ World Cup? Not quite yet

For once, the cricket fans in Nepal, and perhaps in some other associate members of International Cricket Council, are not very happy with Shahid Afridi, the Pakistani captain and all-rounder. For once, we do not want to cherish his five-for. For once, we do not want to be a part of his match turning performance. For, he blew up the possible juggernaut of associate members, a fairytale, we could have witnessed at this World Cup.
If it was not for his superb bowling efforts, Canada could have defeated Pakistan to create second miracle at this edition of the Cup. They could have pushed the cause started by Ireland, for ICC to reconsider its plans of hosting mere 10 nations at the WC 2015. Now we can’t blame Afridi for that. He’s paid in cash by his board and in respect by hundreds of thousands to do that job, thrashing the minnows and remain competitive with the top teams.

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Four years after

And the World Cup has begun. It is four years after the almighty Aussies conquered the Caribbean, making it three cups in a row – exerting the dominance never ever seen in cricket ever. It is four years after, we searched for a team Australia would meet in the final. And four years after, we see that the Cup is wide open, up for grabs for at least four top teams, if they can manage consistency throughout the month and half long celebrations.
But there are deeper questions that surround the ICC’s 49-match, 43-day, 13-venue event, this time around. Yes, it is being organized in the biggest money collecting bowl for cricket in the world – the subcontinent we are a part of. Yes, it is perhaps the last time we’d see the two of the best batsmen of our times – Sachin Tendulkar and Ricky Ponting, playing in multi-nation tourney. But this is also a time where ODI format is being questioned, for its worth, especially in the wake of the T20 onslaught.