Does anyone else feel an emptiness in their lives? Or are most cricket fans not as obsessed as I am, and have, you know, other things to occupy themselves?
The end of the World Cup, a month-plus juggernaut, has left me with a completely new schedule — no early mornings; no stealth browsers at work; free time at the end of the night, now not beholden to the demands of sleep. The emotion I have now is the same I feel after finishing a long book, like Vikram Seth’s The Suitable Boy — you devote such a long time to completing it that when it’s over, you start to miss the characters and the happy routine the book’s length created. (Again, I assume most people are not like me and can read quickly.)
There are competing interests in determining the length of the tournament: 1) The Associates want to be included, and the number of teams raises the duration; 2) The broadcasters don’t necessarily want the Associates, but if they have to include them, they insist on a one-match-per-day schedule; 3) The cricket calendar is already squeezed at it is, what with the IPL starting a mere week after the World Cup; 4) There are a whole range of promises and counter-promises made behind the scenes among board members.
But from a fan’s perspective, a long World Cup does have some virtues. This isn’t just a cricket fan saying, “Well, it means more cricket for me.” A team’s journey through the group and knock-out stages is one of the more fascinating elements of any tournament, and the time allows for narratives, pressure and suspense to build. It’s not all a waste, you know.
DB, I think you’ll find that if you hold the number of matches constant, more teams reduces the duration of the world cup, not lengthens it, because you can overlap fixtures. There is absolutely no reason why we couldn’t play a 20 team, 51 game world cup where the mismatches at group level were scheduled at the same time as competitive games.
Wait, yes there is, unless India plays 9 or more games the broadcaster doesn’t get as much money. That’s the ONLY reason though.
Mate I feel the same as you. Cricket was awesome and once awesome is missing life feels empty with plenty of time on my hands.