Only individual acts stand out

Published on Sep 24, 2004 01:39 AM IST

In the end it doesn't matter who wins at the Oval. More enduring are special moments created by individual brilliance on what otherwise is routine play, writes Amrit Mathur.

HT Image
HT Image
PTI | ByAmrit Mathur, London

One-day cricket has countless fans and an equal number of critics. Yes, we know it has progressed cricket by raising fielding standards as a result of which Sourav Ganguly dives to save runs. Running between the wicket is also quicker, which forces even Inzamam to get a move on. And nobody disputes that players today are power-hitting, fitness-driven, clean-living, weight-pumping, abdomen -crunching specimens.

So what, ask the non-believers, for whom one day cricket is just sexed up maths, a simple ball versus runs equation. It is upfront, direct and easy to follow but people who value quality assert sport should be tantalizing, suspenseful and mysterious.  

One reason one-day cricket is slammed is because the present tournament has been boring. The structure, which allowed US entry and produced a match where less than eight overs were needed to win, was flawed. That the whole thing took too long (India unemployed for 8 days in between) meant momentum was lost. 

And if this was not insane, the final blow came when India exited before the semis. With this, interest of fans and sponsors ebbed and the tournament became lifeless. India's absence from any tournament is a guaranteed suicide, it is as disastrous as a Mumbai film that bumps off Shahrukh Khan before the interval.

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