Saturday, October 24, 2009

Death of ODI - Forget it

A lot has been said about the demise of ODI due to the advent of T20. However the recent Champions League T20 has proved many pundits wrong.
The TRPs are lower than the Champions trophy. Why? Well the reason lies beyond a marketing person's perspective. People, no matter what the time constraint love to watch high quality cricket.

People don't just like seeing bowlers just getting hit out of the park on a placid pitch. They also want to see the batsmen smell the the leather. This is what is missing in T20. Catches get dropped. Mis-fields are the norm. Bowlers just bowling line and length to contain the batsmen. In fact this is one of the major reason why none of the Indian team featured in the semi-finals of Champios League T20.

People go crazy when there is zero chances of error. Even in a test match a dropped catch changes the nature of the entire test match. In ODI or in T20 it is almost a sacrilege to drop a catch. However, the IPL and the recent Champion's league just dropped the standard. At the end of the day, people never like a one-sided contest. Everybody wants a evenly contested match between the bat and the ball.

The best advertisement of cricket comes when an underdog beats the favorite under extra-ordinary circumstances. This is why people love cricket. When a country like Bangladesh with little cricket history can beat a giant like Australia. Cricket is a great-leveler; it is said. T20 tournament only accentuated this belief in the beginning when India own the T20 when the cricket pundits gave them no chance. However, in the long run, cricket like any other sport depends on getting the fundamentals right. Taking all the half-chances, adapting to the conditions, and most of all the mental strength - the belief that you can win the game under extra-ordinary odds.

This is what makes the legend and cricket has plenty of it. Cricket always had this quality much more than other sports as mental strength is a bigger asset than the physical aspect. This can clearly be demonstrated by the blows taken by Mike Artherton against Allan Donald to demoralize the entire South African outfit or Steve Waugh telling Gibbs - "You have dropped the World Cup, sonny." The legend once created lives on, in the minds of the followers and creates more followers. How can one forget Javed Miandad dancing down the wicket in front of the entire crowd at the provocations of Indina wicket-keeper - Kiran More?
See the video at here
At the end of the day, the attitude of the team on-field also makes a huge difference. A team from Trinidad & Tobago defeating mighty teams from sub-continent only on the basis of the belief of playing their brand of cricket makes cricket all the more enthralling. In spite of being an Indian, cheering a Caribbean team with all the gusto is the real salute to the Caribbean spirit - The never-say-die attitude - Bcoz that's what makes cricket a sport as any massacre can be withstood if you have it in you....

PS: Got the idea to write from here