Column: Let’s Make Cricket More Fun

By Ashutosh Mishra

Bhubaneswar: The success of the first-ever day and evening cricket take a look at match in India performed at Kolkata’s Eden Gardens had created a buzz. That India gained this pink ball contest with ease has solely made the followers extra euphoric about take a look at cricket, like the 2 shorter variations of the sport, being performed underneath floodlights.

This has additionally renewed the controversy about commercialisation of cricket. As India skipper Virat Kohli himself admitted on the post-match press convention advertising and marketing of take a look at cricket, alleged to be the purest type of the sport, is essential to attract spectators to the bottom. The sport wants them and cricket Boards around the globe want cash to outlive and thrive.

India, actually, has been a late entrant to the day and evening take a look at cricket membership. The primary-ever floodlit Take a look at match was performed between Australia and New Zealand on the Adelaide Oval in November 2015. Since then extra such matches have been performed.

Fashionable cricket, allow us to face it, is quite a bit about ‘tamasha’ sort of leisure full with floodlights, cheerleaders and firecrackers. Within the shorter variations of the sport that primarily pander to the urge for food of the hoi polloi for leisure, even the outfits of gamers have grow to be vibrant. All that is designed to intensify the enjoyable related to 50-50 and T-20 codecs.

The identical factor could now occur to check cricket however the objections of purists. What the purists don’t realise is that the style of the individuals watching the sport is altering and take a look at cricket, its longest model, is starting to bore them. In its conventional type, it isn’t solely extraordinarily sluggish at a lot of the instances but in addition fails to supply outcomes. One should realise {that a} tie in a 50-50 or T20 match and a attract a take a look at match are two fully various things. Whereas a take a look at matching ending in a draw is sort of at all times boring a tie within the quick variations of the sport invariably implies edge-of-the-seat pleasure.

It was Kerry Packer’s World Collection Cricket (WSC) within the 70s that began altering the style of the cricket lovers. Packer, who needed unique broadcasting rights to Australian cricket then held by the Australian Broadcasting Fee (ABC), got here up with a brand new format that drastically modified the character of cricket. His advert marketing campaign with the catchline “ Big Boys Play at Night,” was a giant hit, due to the double entendre.

Ever since Packer’s invention has spawned many copycats. Essentially the most profitable of those has been our personal Indian Premier League (IPL) which has turned the Board of Management for Cricket in India (BCCI) into maybe the richest cricket governing physique of the world. The success of IPL, which is extra leisure than cricket, has led to the proliferation of clones in numerous elements of the world with most of them doing moderately effectively although nowhere coming close to its personal industrial success.

Within the strategy of commercialisation, the sport has each misplaced and gained. It’s drawing extra individuals to the grounds and cricketers are arising with some superb improvements in batting and, often, even bowling. The loss has been within the type of heavy compromise in approach. The straight bat as in ideally suited is now a factor of previous. However the likes of Sehwag had made mincemeat of approach even earlier than that.

So let’s not hesitate to make take a look at cricket extra entertaining and with that extra profitable for the respective boards. To cite Virat Kohli as soon as once more from his post-match convention on the Eden Gardens: “If you create an excitement only around the T20 cricket and not much around Test cricket then in the psyche of the fans there’s already a certain template that’s established.” He couldn’t be extra proper.

(DISCLAIMER: That is an opinion piece. The views expressed are writer’s personal and don’t have anything to do with OTV’s constitution or views. OTV doesn’t assume any duty or legal responsibility for a similar)

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