Recently the Centenary of the birth of Sir Donald Bradman was celebrated in Australia and cricketing countries. Bradman was the greatest cricketer to ever play the game and based on his statistics, the greatest sportsman ever in any sport. Yet outside the cricket world, no one knew of the Centenary or even who Bradman was. Bradman didn’t play an obscure sport, cricket was the first internationally played organized sport, and for practically all of organized sports history been first the # 1, then the # 2 game ( behind soccer ).No Minnows anymore The first international match was played between the USA and Canada in 1844.
Around 1912 the USA was kicked out of the ICC because it was not part of the British Empire, thereby damaging the game in the US and in turn Canada. Cricket had such a following in the US that Bradman and the Australian Team toured the US in 1931-32, but the cricket world gave up the US and Canada to baseball.
After all these years there are only 10 countries accepted at the top (Test) level, and of those 10, some are looked down on as “minnows”. It seems many in the cricket world don’t care for expanding the game. Selfishly many recent resources spent in the countries that don’t play cricket.
Recently the number of countries playing in the 2011 World Cup was reduced from 16 to 14. How can anyone be satisfied with such a slow rate of growth for anything? Face Reality
Many want to preserve a status quo that has little bearing on reality. Back in the days (like the 1930's) when you spent 1 month on a ship to travel from England to Australia and there was no TV, Test matches were even played with no time limit. Now TV has brought 100 channels of entertainment to our homes, plus there are so many other forms of entertainment - the cricket world has to accept reality. Though I love Tests we have to go back to playing them less.
In between Tests, we can have various formats of cricket - first class, ODI’s, 20/20 and take advantage of the entertainment value of these formats to reach more people, and bring more income to the athletes who play cricket. Whether we like it or not cricket has to exist within the context of people's lives and provide a value. Polar Bears on a melting Ice flow we will also get more athletes devoting their lives to cricket if they can make a good living. Right now the cricket world is like a Polar Bear on a melting ice flow and unless it tries to expand it will continue to lose ground. The game will explode globally if it is played at the 2012 Olympics - it
will be the most exciting sport on display with the charging pacemen, dynamic batsmen, and diving fielders making catches with a skill beyond other sports.
Yes in Bradman vs Phelps the winner should be the Don but because of the Olympics, the world celebrated Phelps' Gold Medals, not the Don's Centenary.
nice article man...
you are really right about the part where other countries will use their own resources and not depend on ICC to develop better cricketers so that countries like china, Russia, Germany, etc can win the gold medal in cricket...
But it does seem like a long shot as of now...I couldn't believe why there wouldn't be cricket in the next Olympics especially when it been organized in England. It's a shame.