They stab it with their steely knives …

The way we see it, its half full.

There is a lot that ails Indian cricket but there is also a lot that it has going for it. And it bothers us when things get either all rosy (“so-and-so is the right person”, “such-and-such is the right way”) or all bleak (“we’re barking up the wrong tree”, “its the right tree but the wrong bark”, “wake up and smell the coffee”).

Over the past few days, a number of obits, DIYs, I-told-you-so’s, have been pencilled onto the cast over broken bones.

And the way we see it , Indian cricket has a bad case of the flu. Maybe even with the wrong medicines being administered to it. But its not the same as applying a band aid to cancer.

This is the way we see it.

We’re an above average cricket team. And thats not good enough. Winning at home and in the subcontinent and on the (very) odd occassion, overseas isnt good enough either. Yes, we have a lot of talent. And yes, maybe that talent is inspite of the system than because of it. But its there. Thats unquestionable.

And yes, the World Cup was a debacle. And yes also, if you were really dispassionate about it, you could have seen it coming. We were slipping for a while. And no , being knocked out of the first round was not a fair result. We’re better than that. And yes, the tournament is poorer because of that. And yes, its shown in the way the Super 8’s have been received. And no, we dont get the feeling that we’re ten days away from a World Cup final. Nor do most.

But its also true that Indian cricket is what has made cricket what it is today. Its also true that the BCCI is the one thats given the ICC’s dwindling coffers the financial might to have a 45 day tournament. It was the BCCI that had the vision to aggressively market the game and its India’s fantastic viewership and the sport’s popularity that have allowed the game to become a world event. And improved facilities. And coverage. And coaches. And academies. And lifted the game’s standards.

And inspite of all that, we dont have the world’s best facilities. Or coverage. Or coaches. Or academies. And hence, we’re not the world’s best side. (and yes, we realise that Sri Lanka might win the WC and they have none of it either – but they arent the world’s best side).

Somewhere, there is the hope that we’ll find some messiah who’ll teach a team how to win. By overhauling the system. And making everything and everybody associated a “win-at-every-opportunity” ingredient. Like him. Or him. But thats pure hope.

India’s Shining economically and so it could in cricket. But without infrastructure, it won’t be “first world” in either.

And yet we see it as half full.

  • Because there are lots of ideas. (check any of the blogs on the blogroll here, for a start). Admittedly everyone has a different point of view – but as someone who should know a thing or two about winning said – If everyone’s thinking alike, then no one’s thinking.
  • Because, the talent pool is unquestionable. Perhaps the biggest for any one sport in one country anywhere in the world. And because there are people who appreciate.
  • Because, the BCCI monopoly – in whatever oblique way, is being questioned. Because that will ensure accountability about moving from a brand to a product.
  • Because, the need for young blood is being recognised.
  • Because, legends are being questioned. And others are being asked for help.

But most of all, we see it as half full because there is tomorrow. And because a lot hinges on Indian cricket. And there is a need to be optimistic.

And thats the way we are.


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