TV has killed the beauty of international cricket

My mom doesn't follow cricket on TV anymore. She quit watching cricket on TV when Mandira Bedi and Sidhu became the new Pundits of the game.

Greedy TV channels wanted to 'spice up the game' to attract more viewers and more commercial revenues. The pathetic Shaz and Waz show is another example.

Indian cricket is filthy rich today thanks to the TV revenues. A game which we all enjoy in our backyard - may it be 'one tip' cricket or gully cricket... has been transformed into something too artificial.

Do we blame it on Kerry Packer? Do we blame it on Rupert Murdoch?

TV channels that don't win the TV rights, then go on an offensive - systematically abusing the team through disgruntled former players.

Guys like Sandip Patil shouldn't be allowed anywhere near a cricket team - not even a school team. The man is so full of negative energy.

Sidhu's colourful career has taken him to the Indian parliament. In between his burden of representing his constituency - taking care of the wishes and needs of the people he represents, Sidhu finds time to be on TV - talking rubbish on cricket and in a pathetic 'Laughing challenge'.

It was interesting to read a report in Al Jazeera:

Inderjit Bindra, a former BCCI president and still one of its most influential members, denied rumours in the media that the board had already decided to sack both Chappell and Dravid.

"We are all disappointed but I can promise you there will be no knee-jerk reaction," Bindra told reporters.

"We will hear both Chappell and Dravid and see how best we can find a long-term solution.

"By making sweeping changes we are not going to improve Indian cricket overnight."

Chappell, former Australian Test captain, has been coach of India for a two-year term that was due to end after the World Cup, with the Indian press predicting he would either be sacked from the job or quit on his own after returning from Trinidad this week.

"The meeting next week has been called to essentially extend our support to the team in this hour of despair," Bindra said.

"We are appalled at the manner in which the media, especially TV channels, has reacted to the team's early exit, and the BCCI cannot just sit back and allow the players to be torn apart in public.

"The team never claimed it would come back with the World Cup," the BCCI member added.

"To suit their commercial interests, some of these TV channels first created unprecedented hype and now have been behaving in a regrettable manner."
There are good examples like Richie Benaud who has earned his respect analysing the game. So are the likes of Ian Chappell and David Gower.

An international cricketer need not have a better understanding of the 155gms cricket ball than someone who bowls a flipper in a local village game.

They all keep talking about the pressure of this and that. To really enjoy a good game of cricket, go to a local game and watch the boys put in a good performance.

The idea that International cricket is some superior form of the game is so wrong. If you can bowl a flipper/googly on a makeshift pitch in a paddy field, you would bowl the same at SCG or at Eden Gardens.

Cricket is such a beautiful game. TV has killed the beauty of international cricket.


* ICC's decision to ask Youtube to remove World Cup clips is deplorable. These small clips would only help popularise the game around the world. In fact, the likes of ICC and BCCI should strike a deal with Google to have highlights posted - and have a revenue share on online adverts.

ICC has lost a big opportunity. Take a look at the ICC website, then you would know why ICC refuses to understand the significance of new technology.

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