In Cricket, I believe

I am passionate about cricket. It is like that since childhood; has never died down and continues to flourish. I did not think that my first article on cricket would be on such an issue but the current circumstances left me with less options.

Most of the Indians watch cricket matches religiously. They become coaches, players, commentators and fill in all kinds of role during the matches. When India wins we celebrate as if we were an integral part of it. When India loses, we are often in a foul mood that day. Then, IPL arrived and we started supporting regional teams too.

Lot was and is being said about this league. “Cash-rich”, “Big-bucks”, “India Paisa League” all these words are associated with IPL. Dreams come true for the uncapped players to perform on a global stage with and against international players. IPL for many international players like Shane Watson, Shaun Marsh, Chris Gayle have given a push for a spot in their national teams. IPL sure has made players not only from India, but around the world, financially stable and secure. Or has it really?

Recent events surely indicate otherwise. I have seen loads of people expressing displeasure on Facebook and Twitter. Yes, fans who have followed IPL religiously, are disappointed. Similar feeling came in 1999-2000, when cricket had seen one of the ugliest match fixing scandals unfold. It was much bigger than this, as it involved the national cricketers of India. In those days, due to limited channels for fans to express, the heat was not much felt. But the dirty face of cricket is back this time with IPL at its centre. It is painstaking to read volumes written in newspapers about the recent events. Each day a new name comes up in the news. Has the beginning of the end of IPL started?

The other day while I was watching an IPL match, my mother exclaims, “Why are you watching those tainted people play?” Normally, such remarks irk me like crazy, but this time I paused and thought for a moment. Is everything planned? Is everybody involved? Is this no-ball/wide pre-decided? Is this player under-performing? Is this a signal to a bookie? All these questions rushed in my mind. I am sure the situation could not have been different for other cricket fans.

My generation of cricket fans believed in the Fab 5 – Tendulkar, Ganguly, Dravid, Laxman and Kumble. Come what may, these players are like demi-gods for Indian cricket. But, with them leaving, we are left with no idols. Sure, the next generation cricketers have won us the World Cup, but how many of them actually have the ideals which pulled the cricket team out of the 1999-00 mess. Though, the spot fixing was done in IPL but now, each form of cricket will come under the scanner, once again.

This year’s IPL showed 8% increase in number of people watching the match in the stadium. Doesn’t the fan who shows up for every match deserve a fair contest? Will those people go to watch another match next season? Will IPL survive through this phase? 

The important responsibility lies on the young guns of Indian Cricket. The Dhonis, the Kohlis, the Yuvrajs, the Rainas have huge responsibilities on their shoulders. (More than what the Fab 5 had during 1999-00) They should pull up their socks and try to be the idols for the coming generations. Indian fans are pretty dynamic (read chaotic) -- they react and forget. Fans will forget this gradually, provided the new torch bearers lead to a fair and positive cricket. Indian cricket needs new idols and fans deserve it for the support they have showed over the years to Indian Cricket.

I never lose hope on Cricket. We restored our faith back then in 2000s. We will do so again.

Like the words of Obama, “In these youngsters, We believe and Together We can”

Hail Cricket! Hail India! 

I thank Subhankar Kar Chowdhury and Rajat Gangrade for able inputs for the above article.

Article Published: Sportskeeda: In Cricket, I believe

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