CLT20 - A Fruitful Event?
Posted on: 15 Sep 2010
The pandemonium on spot fixing is yet to subside and here we are amidst yet another cricket tournament. Experts valiantly promote the idea that such encounters showcases fresh and genuine talents for the future. We eagerly look around and see a 36 year old Michael Mason running in and hurling the white ball. Down the other end Mathew Hayden who is at least a
couple of years older tries to flick it down the fine-leg, but reaches only as far as the fielder's throat. The Champion's League T20 is almost half through and a couple of hardcore followers of the game enquire who the existing title
There indeed is a definite lack of curiosity. The world wide Television viewership across the glob may or may not suggest otherwise. The tournament, which essentially is nothing but an annex to the IPL, is yet to evoke anything around us. A few discussions with the younger crops around Bengaluru, Chennai and Mumbai (The three Indian representations for the
ongoing tournament) are only reiterating this belief.
This initiative is an inspiring one for those who believe that the game is heading towards the European Football League where a Barcelona - Chelsea match could well be marketed in Algeria or Uzbekistan. Cricket has a lot to travel in order to achieve such a huge brand value. This could well be a prime mover in that direction. The start and the consequent run are a bit
unconvincing. So far, the response has been feeble.
At present, cricket to all intents and purposes remains a game with national pride attached to it. Aesthetics alone isn't the base for the following. Fanaticism apart, a Sachin Tendulkar remains so only when he represents the national side or his provincial first class teams. On every other occasion, he looks more like a CEO in charge rather than the cricketing phenomenon,
which primarily he is. The problem of, course could be of the transition. At the closing stages of an illustrious career, let us hope that this does not affect his comfort level.
The lopsided matches can only add to the woes. At SuperSport Park, the champion West Indian side could not even pretend as worthy opponent for the Royal Challengers Bengaluru. The Guyanese side perhaps has its only attraction in skipper Ramnaresh Sarwan. Narsingh Deonarine is the only other cricketer with some international exposure. Obvious outcome was an asymmetrical game. This need not necessarily be an odd match, as the Lions, Mumbai Indians and South Australia would eagerly be awaiting their turn against them, though the Mumbai team has almost conceded the hope of making it to the last four with two straight defeats.
This is supposed to be a clash between the titans, hence the anxiety of having so many back-to-back one-sided matches. The festivities can only be supplementary to the quality of cricket in the middle. The emphasis has to be on the sport, uncompromisingly.
Can a spectator be regarded as a benefactor in such events? Is he emotionally or otherwise paid back for the precious moments that he spends in front of the television sets? Or is it a botheration any more? May be, too early to have a conclusive resolution to be passed on.
In a hectic world of International schedules, the clamour is about the enormity of cricket one has to play round the year. Too much cricket – we were told that every decline in performance was its by-product and every year they add a tournament or two to the existing tight cluster of games. No one seems to be bothered or bemused.
It is hard to believe that a few such matches would throw in world-class performers regularly. It still isn't a platform for judging a talent. A visibly dejected VVS Laxman tries to convince us that he too is a part of this newest invention. How far has he succeeded? Would it be fair to evaluate his mastery on the basis of the set backs that he has suffered in his Premier league
It may be unfair to doubt the cause of such a tournament. Whatever the structural transformations be, cricket has to remain the same. The frenzied environs and the presence of bands are nothing new to this game. Such things cannot destruct the game too. Cricket is beyond the clasp of such distractions.
This is a new facet for the whole of the fraternity. There is a huge contingent waiting outside in apprehension. They are waiting to see where the nascent form is heading. Can't have them to wait for too long.