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Pathetic Show

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India’s Cricket team let down its fans in the T20 World Cup semi-final. These fans are the ones who support Indian Cricket in multiple ways, making it possible for the Board and the ‘Stars’ to make ginormous amounts of money. If the disappointments continue and the support base becomes disillusioned beyond a point, this lucrative sport may lose its sheen in more ways than one.

India’s pathetic defeat raises the question whether the game is being run as professionally as it should be, or has it just become about the money. Players who make big bucks by appearing in advertisements may be interested only in remaining in the team rather than risking it all by trying to play out of the safe zone. Has it become too much of a profession rather than a sport?

It is not as if there is a shortage of talent in the country. A number of very talented players are awaiting inclusion and are overlooked because of the larger than life persona of star players. Should not a spirit of competitiveness be encouraged within the team by making it clear that no one is an automatic choice?

Major defeats such as this one should also lead to the team management taking responsibility by submitting resignations, or being held accountable and getting sacked. It was not so long ago that the team had the necessary hunger for success, which evidently has disappeared, going by the performance in this tournament.

If each match that India played is closely examined, it will become evident that the necessary understanding of how the wicket would play and which players were most suited to the conditions was lacking. If one is to go by Coach Rahul Dravid’s cricketing approach during his career, it is certainly not suited to the T20 format. The players were left to perform as best they could without any strategy or understanding of the opposition’s strengths and weaknesses. This needs to be rectified.

The fans too should hedge their bets by not depending too much on just the one sport for emotional gratification. Other sports federations should make the necessary effort to excite the passions of sports lovers. Everybody loves a winner – we must learn to develop them in every field. The required support will come on its own. With alternatives available by just changing the channel, defeats in Cricket will sting that much less.