Thursday, March 15, 2007

Cricket World Cup 2007

World’s Most Ignored Sport Fans.

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There were a couple of matches going on at the world cup yesterday. Australia, the favorites for the tournament, was playing against minnows Scotland. In another match a war of the minnows were going on between Kenya and Canada. Both matches had predictable results. Both were a cure for those suffering from even the acutest insomnia. The case is the same for the matches scheduled for today. In fact barring one match in each of the 4 groups there are no matches in the group stage of this world cup which would make even the most ardent of cricket fans to lose his sleep over.

Personally, the author of this post was not interested in following the matches after a tough day at the office. I was looking for some entertainment which would take my mind off the hectic workload I was bombarded with for the day. Usually I would have followed a cricket match on any given day, but yesterday I couldn’t watch it even for 5 minutes. Watching the Australian toying around with the Scots was as exciting as a watching a match of chess between two unknowns. There was nothing to even stimulate the slightest of interest in the match. David and Goliath is one thing, but this was Goliath and a 90 year old. As for the other match it was a bit more evenly balanced. But even that match failed to generate even the slightest excitement.

My point is who is actually watching these matches? Is there anybody out there who might be watching these matches the full distance other than the guys who get paid for it? The media and the ex-cricketers need to write and discuss about these matches. So they might endure this torture. But what about the ordinary fan. The one person everybody including the ICC, the broadcasters and the advertisers all seem to have forgotten. What about his interests?

The ICC is of the opinion that subjecting the smaller teams to such slaughter at the hands of their more established opponents would help these teams get better. Ya Right!!! Get them better at running away from a cricket field, if they ever were to lay their eyes on one again. The ICC is being delusional if they honestly believe that anyone’s confidence gets better by getting battered black and blue by a bigger opponent. And confidence is the key to success in any sport. There are other better ways of developing the sport in new territories than subjecting these teams to utter humiliation every 4 years.

The broadcasters as well as the ICC believes that pumping in more matches equates to more viewers and hence more revenue by way of advertisements. They are all forgetting the basic rule of demand and supply here. Any time a surplus occur demand obviously goes down thereby devaluing the product. Both these parties need to realize that corporate guys would clamor over one another to advertise their product only if they believe that there is a significant number of people out there would receive their message. They will plug the moment they understand that nobody cares for the sport. So the most important person everybody should be caring about is the fan.

To keep the interest of a fan (the customer) the ICC (the producer) should provide the product that he wants. And the fans want to see good competitive matches. He wants excitement; he wants to see players with skills exhibiting their prowess on the field against equally tough opponents. But this is not how the ICC feels. They feel that they will make a substandard product and have deluded themselves into believing that the audience will lap it up. In an effort to attract new audiences, they are in fact alienating existing ones. I also don’t understand how anyone who watches cricket for the first time will be taken to it when they see Australia playing Scotland.

If there is someone out there who watches these matches just out of the love of the game then the ICC should find him out and get him some important position in the organization. But before doing that they might do well to check if his sanity. On second thought maybe that’s the exact profile the existing honchos of the ICC has.

Related Reads:

Can India bring the world cup home?
The Big Fat Caribbean World Cup
Dropped, Doped or Duped? – The drug scandal in cricket
World Cup Unforgettables – Australia v South Africa, 1999
World Cup Unforgettables – India v Pakistan 1996
The Caribbean Carnival Begins
West Indies wins on the back of good show by young guns

1 comment:

Unknown said...

The cricket game is a time wasting activity.We should have law to prohibit its live telecast.Only highlights are to be shown.