Saturday, March 24, 2007

WAS IT AN ABERRATION?

The Indian team christened as ‘Team India’ and ‘Men in Blue’ put up an unforgettable display in the West Indies to be knocked out of the tournament in the first round. The defeat has the media and the cricket loving public in anger. This defeat has once again raised the question of the ability of the Indian team to win the world cup.

Every team since 1983 has been regarded as the best ever and is promptly put in the reckoning for the top prize in the cricket world. But there has only been disappointment for the genuine cricket fan. The only time since 1983 that has played as a unit was in 2003 when it lost to Australia in the finals.

The poor showing of the team has brought one question to my mind. Was the win in 1983 an aberration, a fluke? This question brings anger to the cricket followers in the country. Mind you, I also consider myself to be a fan who doesn’t believe in effigy burning or demolishing half constructed buildings.

The win in 1983 was the only time that the Indian team played with purpose, with honesty and with a belief. The core of the same team went on to win the World Championship of Cricket in Australia in 1985. Those wins ought to have made better players and teams. But instead, the teams have become something of a joke.

The win in 1983 created demigods out of cricket players. The cricket player became a marketing tool.

The win in 1983 made cricket administration a much sought after occupation. No wonder even at the grassroots level, the game is run by people who know very little about the game or the needs of the players.

The win in 1983 and the subsequent advent of the satellite television channels has resulted in a frenzy that is at best irrational.

So despite being knowledgeable enough to say that the team of 1983 won the top prize due to simple cricketing fundamentals, I cannot but feel that the win was more of an aberration on account of the dismal shows put by the Indian team.

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