The 2015 cricket World Cup, which begins on Saturday, is posing trouble for several cricket-crazies across the country who are about to take their Class 10 and 12 board examinations that sadly coincide with the tournament ending on March 29.
Vishesh Sharma, a cricket fan and a student of Class 10 at St John’s High School, Sector 26, Chandigarh, will have to be content with watching the highlights of most matches and feels “terrible” about the timing. “Since the tournament is being held in Australia and New Zealand, which are about five-and-half hours ahead of us, most of the matches will be telecast early in the day, the same time as the exams. We don't have much of a choice this time,” he said. His mother is well aware of his love for cricket and the damage it can cause. She is, therefore, planning not to recharge their Tata Sky connection this month, a fact which Vishesh is oblivious of at the moment.
Sambhav Jain, a Class 12 student of St Xavier’s School, Jaipur, swears by cricket. He has already made provisions of getting minute-to-minute score updates on his smartphone. “Since I have the boards and mummy won't let me follow the tournament on television, I have enabled other ways of keeping a tab on the developments Down Under,” he said.
Apart from plans of watching the highlights and staying glued to the TV when his mother won't be around, Sambhav can’t wait for the exams to get over and finally watch the re-runs of the matches uninterrupted.
Prakrit Kohli, a Class-12 student at Faith Academy, Kasab Nagar, New Delhi, does not want to take any chances. He got his cable network disconnected on December 28 and would be abandoning the WC altogether. “I was really looking forward to watching the India-Pakistan match, but I had to do away with the distraction. Board exams are no cakewalk,” he said.
His parents are only too happy with him. “We were going to get the network disconnected anyway. Both his mother and I are glad that he is taking the exams seriously,” said Prakrit’s father.
Vaibhav Sarda, who studies in Class 10 at Ryan International School, Mayur Vihar, Delhi, feels the timing of the WC and boards could not have been more inappropriate. He, who would have seen the ball-to-ball development of most matches, will now just watch the slog overs of the games that get “too exciting”. But he is well prepared to take the situation. “I am in a comfortable position. I am done with most of my syllabus and can watch cricket for an hour daily. After all, no one can study for 24 hours,” he said.
Lalita, his 40-year-old mother, said, “He can watch cricket during his free time, but he can't afford to be tempted if he wants a good score.”
No exam can stop Vaibhav Sharma, a Class 10 student of DAV Senior Secondary School, Patti in Tarn Taran district of Punjab, from watching the ‘Men in Blue’ bat. “Even if I have an exam on the same day as the match, I will somehow try to watch India’s batting at least,” he said.
Arvind Rana, a social studies teacher at Government High School, Sarangpur, Chandigarh, believes that the WC will affect children’s performance. “The students, who do not realise that it is not every year that they give boards, will be affected by the WC. However, there are also students who are conscious enough and would not give in to the temptation,” he said. He thinks it to be the responsibility of both parents and teachers to make children understand the gravity of the situation and keep them focused.
But Leena Seth, an economics and business studies teacher at DAV Model School, Sector 15, Chandigarh, thinks differently. “These days matches can be recorded and can also be seen online at one’s own convenience. Students are mature enough to understand that the Class 12 board result is the stepping stone of their career,” she said.