The Times of India has a video/report on Sreesanth’s reaction to not being picked in India’s World Cup squad. Apparently, his heart is broken. Knowing the peaks and valleys of Sreesanth’s emotional moods, I don’t feel too badly for him, but it does raise a bigger question: should you really feel all that bummed about not playing in the World Cup?
If I were a player — and, despite my best intentions and fantasizing, I’m not — I would have seriously hurt myself if I had not been picked in, say, 1996. But since then, and especially of late, the World Cup has receded in the public imagination. Do we really care who wins this tournament, given the surfeit of excellent cricket elsewhere? Put it this way: if you’re an India fan, would you rather have a (home) WC win, or a triumph over South Africa and Australia in the Test format abroad? Or even the T20 World Cup?
Don’t get me wrong; I’m rooting for India and I’ll watch as many games as I can (more on that later). But it wouldn’t kill me if India lost, or even left the tournament early. For other teams that are starved of cricket — NZ, Pakistan, Sri Lanka — this series is a lot of fun. But for India, South Africa and Australia — much of the cricket drama has already been had.
I presume you weren’t around to experience 1983!
Winning the World Cup is a tremendous achievement and the glow after winning lasts longer than the quiet satisfaction of a major Test series victory.
The South Africans I know would give their right arm to win it and as for Australians we take the tournament very, very seriously. I’m pretty sure the English would be given parades and medals if they won it too.
Of course, Sreesanth is upset, the World Cup is the premier tournament in the cricketing calendar and as players they only get a few chances of competing.
That’s true, Nesta–the World Cup’s prestige largely comes from the fact it takes place only once every four years. But so do most exciting bilateral series (India in South Africa, or in Australia, for e.g.).
I think part of my point is: no, I wasn’t around in 1983, and that’s the whole idea. That’s a dream of a previous generation.
DB, I have to disagree with you. I wasn’t around in 1983, nor in 1987 when the World Cup was hosted by India and people hoped for an India – Pakistan final at the Eden Gardens.
But still, the World Cup is the BIG one for me as a cricket fan. True, I do want Test series wins in Aus, SA, Eng and SL also. But then, we know we want these wins because we all consider Test cricket to be the most important format.
But in LOIs, if there is one tournament that can make you want a win for your team, it is the WORLD CUP!
And I guess it wouldn’t have ‘killed’ you even if India had lost the Third Test against South Africa! But you would have been terribly disappointed. Well, all the Indian cricket fans that I know feel the same way about the World Cup!
I think you are ageing 🙂
Oh tests are the big deal. If a fairy made me an offer today that she’ll get India to win a series in Australia AND SA AND England AND Sri Lanka at our next attempt in exchange for a first round exit in the ODI world cup, I’ll take the former every day of the week, to borrow from Darren Gough
Winning the CWC use to be the pinnacle of Limited Overs Cricket. It still is but maybe to a lesser extent. We are almost saturated with cricket now-a-days. It is time for the CWC to reformulate for the new cricket loving public. But for now at least, it is still a worthy aspiration for every country.
Don’t worry, India won’t leave the tournament early, and nor will anyone else. That’s the great thing about the ICC: they saw the format had a problem in 2007 because good teams could get knocked out early and they fixed it. Though by the time anyone does get knocked out you might wish they’d fixed it differently.
I remember being excited in 1992, and a little less excited every year since. I suspect that is partly age, partly not hosting it since, and partly because in 1992 there were lots of players and teams I’d never seen before. Now, not so much.
I am going to watch the associates play though, and hope they win every game they can.
Sreesanth is in IPL though. IPL 4 just got more interesting with Ganguly put up for sale on ebay. Take a look:
[…] recently pooh-poohed the World Cup, but it wasn’t always so. My first memories of cricket comes from the tournament. I recall […]