in response to... but hey, we are making money...

shared by straight point on Tuesday, March 23, 2010

in the midst of the ipl haze there was one refreshingly thoughtful and brilliantly crafted post at bored by jian johnson titled... but hey, we are making money...

the way he presented his case and compared cricket with the fate of sports like basket ball and volley ball and how these sports have become victims to the administrators quest to make it more tv friendly and how it's ultimately costing them is unparalleled...

extracting an excerpt from the post is very difficult and you will need to read it in totality to understand why i am saying this and also for the fact that you will understand my response to his post better...

cricket is different from other sports in a way that here only one player is defending (his wicket) against 11 players in the field... unlike other sports where the attackers (forwards) and defenders are almost equal and certainly more than one... one small error of judgment is enough to send a batsman back even on the most patta pitches... not always a good ball (or attack) can cost him his wicket while bowlers have overs and spells in their kitty to make a comeback even if they go for runs earlier...

so the batsman does need protection to balance it out coz as i said it takes just one mistake to send him back to the pavilion...

the limited overs version has this inherited flaw that you can win the contest by restricting opponent to as close a margin as one run... so the emphasis, more often than not, is to put the runs in check... although we keep on hearing the cliché that a wicket does slow down the rate but we all know the case is not so most of the time with captains... hence they becomes defensive... ask bowlers to bowl a particular line... even bowlers do not attack that much coz as i said the emphasis is not to leak runs somehow...

this is where i think that the power play is not really bad for bowlers... it has forced captains to attack and it has enabled bowlers to get wickets coz a) batsmen feel compelled to accelerate thereby presenting more opportunities to bowlers than they would have... b) as more fielders are inside the 30 yards circle the chances of grabbing these opportunities is much higher than otherwise...

i am not the stats guy... but i think more wickets have fallen in power plays than say in middle overs when the field is spread...

so where is the problem... you may ask...?

the problem is in greed...

cricket (read shortened version of game and to be precise t20 cricket) is drawing big money and only yesterday two franchisees bid successfully to own two new ipl teams... and the amount of the successful bid was even higher than all eight franchisee’s bidding amount put together last time!

so if the bids for the right to own a team or media rights etc are going to be that high they will naturally try to look at ways for not only the safe recovery of investment but also topping it with profits...

one way to recover that money, according to administrators, is to ensure the game runs its full length... so the pitches need to be made according to this need... so they have enough gate money... so they have enough eye balls for the full length of the game... which will bring in more sponsors... in turn the sponsors will get more time and their money’s worth... and the cycle will continue...

they also think that more runs on board automatically means more entertainment... so they are shortening the boundaries... so that you and me can see more fours and sixes... and in doing so they are reducing bowlers almost on par with bowling machines...

sending ball soaring down or over the boundary line has ceased to become a skill now... it has become more of on demand thing... the only problem with this is that it won’t take fans to get bored of these dlf maximums... then what they will do...?

if only they take some time out of making the moolah... they will understand that more than the fours and sixes it’s the evenness of contest that makes the match gripping...

if only they leave the tinge of grass on surface to sort out predators amongst genuine talent... and not succumb to prepare a road... where one can afford to play with mongoose even with shorter blade and play the stroke on up knowing that the ball is not going to deviate even a millimeter...

if only they can again go back to days when scoring six runs used to more of a skill than ‘mongoose’... when miss hits used to find the safe hands of a fielder coz the boundaries were further... more spinners will look to flight the ball... and the art of spin bowling won’t die a slow death...

we will have next generation thinking that picking ball (instead of bat) is also not a bad career choice...

but my impression is that although we see some crocodile tears being shed towards the general health of the game but today’s administrators wants to make money as if there is no tomorrow... they just don’t want to leave legacy... and the only benchmark they are interested in is how many times the rights... the bids increase from the last time...

until and unless this mindset changes i don’t think we will get to see these simple yet effective measures in place...

6 comments:

A Bisht said...

I agree with you, and want to pick the point which I liked best. The others appealed to logic, so can't be elaborated philosophically.

Sometime ago, I was discussing how football is different from cricket and how there are certain things which don't make it the best candidate for television or IPTV viewing. The points are discussed, were like, in cricket the whole action is comfortably captured in one screen-- The bowler, the batsman, the non-striker, the umpire and the wicket keeper, Plus close in fielder.

Money wise the game suits too, the sponsors have more time to show their brand, on field and with details. Off action ads can be shown comfortably too, as there is some time after every over, dismissal etc.

Now let I come this post,
I liked the debate, one person fighting for existence. And I think you summed the entire charm of cricket nicely.

If one looks at history, heroics are always attached to an individual fighting odds on its own. And that cricket provided all the time.

Enjoyed reading the post. Keep writing.

straight point said...

AB... thanks...

yes, as you have said, cricket does provide ample opportunity for broadcaster to put ads and sponsors to place their brand unlike many sports... but they even that is not sufficient to them...

they would like to squeeze in every possible opportunity to show ads and that is why are seeing less action than we used to...

as much as the game has got enriched due to the influx of good amount of money i am afraid said can not be said about the viewing experience both on tv as well on ground...

the fans who have made them kings are being treated like paupers...

Trideep said...

SP,

You have summed up the post really nicely. And its very true how for the hunger for money, the administrators are taking the game to the drains.

But this is totally a purist view. With time everything evolves. Changes do happen everywhere.. And it has happened to the game of cricket too. The game has evolved with time and it has become more batsman friendly. T20 format has been able to attract crowds which never ever watched cricket earlier. The fan base has grown exponentially. And all this is because of the entertainment quotient attached to it. Look at what IPL has done. It has forced all the female spectators to leave their regular soaps and watch IPL. And this is mainly due to the entertainment factor of IPL. They don't understand anything about the game.. They only like to see all the fours and sixes ad bollywood. They wouldn't like to watch a team which is not able to score quick runs.

And unfortunately these kind of fans far outnumber the purist fans like us.. Hence if cricket has to become a worldwide phenomenon.. it has to take the path of T20 and tournaments like IPL.

Hence no matter how much we crib about the old form of the game, we have to accept that the game has changed and it will keep on changing in this direction.. And that is where the future is.

This is just my view.. never intended to hurt u tho.. :)

straight point said...

never tri... you know i always welcome diverse opinions and that's what debate is meant for...

tho i would like to clarify one thing that i am not at all against ipl... and i fully agree with you when you have said it has brought altogether new fans...

but my point is to sustain their interest by giving back to them something... better facilities... better and intense contest and this, most certainly, won't be achieved by making bowlers redundant... and shortening the boundaries...

Trideep said...

SP,

I know u are not against IPL.. and i never meant to say that.. All i wanted to say that the game has evolved and thats how we should now accept it..

About giving back to the crowds... better facilities at stadiums, more comfortable viewing experiences, etc will be a welcome move.. However I doubt that if the high scoring"ness" of this format is taken away, then the recent fan following of cricket might go away.

straight point said...

thanks trideep...

lets hope for the best... i hope of million/billion dollar deals they will spare few dollars and time to poor fans like us who brave everything and pays from pocket...

about me...

BCC!straight point (sp) is restless... relentless... but a fun loving guy... likes to live life to fullest... trying to discover himself through cricket... welcome to this little world of his...

sp is also a bored member at BCC!

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