Continuing my series exploring the difference between soccer and cricket (no, really, they are different!), consider the question of “home advantage.” A number of media outlets have pointed out that visiting teams are having a hard time adapting to South African conditions (those damn vuvuzelas!); the local grass is some weird hybrid, and the damn soccer ball — so carefully crafted by some South Asian village, no doubt — is doing some weird things.
Right. As The Washington Post put it, this is all whining, and wouldn’t be tolerated in cricket. Sure, some captains put out a whimper or two about SG balls when they visit India, but they also know no one really cares. Much more than other sports, cricket tolerates differences and varying conditions (in pitch, weather, balls, bats). Not only does it make visiting teams try harder, but it has led to a range of different styles of game (spinners in India, e.g.; swing bowling in England).
So, get over it, people. Besides, Brazil’s gonna win anyway.