Saturday, June 13, 2009

Best Chance

Can we ever have a South American or an European nation ruling our beloved sport a.k.a Cricket? Ever since I started passionately following the King of all sports, as every Indian thinks I have only seen the elite 9 ICC member nations playing it. It's so sad to digest the fact that cricket has the 2nd largest audience after football which I am sure is the prime sport in more than 100 nations. The FIFA policies are no where in comparison to what the ICC has. It has encouraged and funded soccer super-powers like Brazil, England etc to open training centers in countries like India and Sri Lanka. You would be surprised to know that Liverpool recently started their talent-tapping center in Pune and ManU is too planning to follow it.

The best bet for ICC to expand the game is the mega-popular slam-bang version, Twenty20 cricket. Traditional European and American crowds have been betting on climaxes that ended after a 3-4 hour show, not more than that. And an ODI takes double the duration. There's no point in ICC waiting for nations like Ireland, Scotland, Holland to prove their mettle in ODIs before they become member nations. What's required is more and more chance for such countries in the world stage like the current T20 world cup. An increase in number of participating teams to say, around 15 would have 6 new nations. And such tournaments need to be held at a regular basis.

Series that would involve one superpower in cricket and around 2-3 upcoming nations has to be held at a regular basis. I think it's time the ICC and all the Cricket Boards seriously think about expanding the game. The richest sporting club in the world, the BCCI could very well open a cricket camp in China or Myanmar or USA that have a large immigrant population from cricketing nations. The writing is on the wall....."T20 Cricket". Cricket needs expansion at this hour and it would be sad for you and me and more importantly for the game if ignored now.