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5 Things I Didn't Like about the World Cup

Last updated on: February 21, 2011 12:33 IST

Why AR Rahman must be feeling better

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Old rediff.com hand and cricket aficionado Faisal Shariff on five things that put him off Cricket World Cup 2011 

1. The opening ceremony. Drab and devoid of any entertainment value. Only bright spot was the eco-friendly entry of the captains in cycle rickshaws. But, honestly, do Sonu Nigam and Shankar Ehsaan Loy represent the richness of Indian music? One can still forgive Sonu for that versatile voice but Shankar Ehsaan Loy's WC song is an embarrassment. AR Rahman must be feeling better already after the flak he faced for the CWG games anthem.

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Image: The Cricket World Cup 2011 opening ceremony at the Bangabandhu stadium in Dhaka on February 17
Photographs: Graham Crouch/Getty Images
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How can you ruin the first World Cup Sunday so!

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2. Someone's really got to answer this one and quick. First Sunday of the World Cup and as you wake up late and grab your remote, here's what you find: A dehydrated score of 70 from the Kenyans under an unforgiving Chennai sun -- though the heat had nothing to do with it, a certain Kiwi who replies to Hamish Bennett did. The match lasts all of 35 overs.

Next up was Sri Lanka -- one of the serious contenders for the title -- taking on Canada. The last time these teams met exactly eight years ago in a world cup game, the North Americans were bowled out for 36 and the Lankan chase lasted 18 minutes. This time, thankfully, the Lankans batted first and another yawning partnership between Sangakkara and Jayawardene ensured the match lasted beyond an hour.

What a waste of a Sunday after a terrific Saturday opener from Virender Sehwag. Take a cue from the IPL schedulers. C'mon, wouldn't you have skipped a trip to the mall had it been a Pakistan vs Australia or an England vs South Africa encounter instead?

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Image: Kenya's Steve Tikolo looks back in dismay. Kenya's fight against New Zealand on Feb 20 was brief
Photographs: Matthew Lewis/Getty Images
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Television kills the cricket star

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3. The television coverage on ESPNStar is nothing if not ordinary. And why on earth have they pulled off the speed gun recording speeds of bowlers from some matches? The info bar at the bottom of the screen is too crowded and busy, especially the unnecessary info of the match being a 50-over affair. We might have been through three IPLs and three World T20s but we still know it's the 50-over World Cup we're watching.

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Image: A television camera rolling at the World Cup 2011. TV coverage has been ordinary
Photographs: Graham Crouch/Getty Images
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Where are the innovations in coverage!

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4. After the innovations from Channel 9 and Sky Sports and also the IPL's innovative spider cam, the CWC2011 coverage has been sans innovations and also lacks the basic Hotspot technology, which surely the BCCI would not object to. (Apparently the HotSpot guys wanted a longer contract, which the ICC turned down).

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Image: MoM Mahila Jayewardene after Sri Lanka's rout of Canada on February 20, 2011
Photographs: Michael Steele/Getty Images
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Butt, seriously!

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5. And lastly, the saddest part of this world cup has been the return of the cheats into the fold. Disheartening to see that the news channels across the subcontinent have set the most dangerous precedent by giving a platform to former players involved in match-fixing and corrupt cricket practices to appear and comment on cricketers and the game being played at the highest level. Most of the banned or guilty players have set a sterling example to current players that being caught fixing or cheating is not the end of the world. If not on the field, they will still continue to make money by appearing on television; no Ifs no Butts!

The tough part is that the ICC, even though displeased, cannot police this. This has to come from the conscience of editors and network bosses who need to look beyond the obsession of the make-believe TRP bubble they have built around them.

In a lighter vein, dying to hear a former skipper or a banned player being asked by a host who he's betting on or where his money is on a match. We know Boycott's is firmly in his pocket. Sadly can't say the same for these extraordinary cheats.

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Image: Salman Butt, whose cricket commentary on Pakistan TV has drawn ICC's ire
Photographs: Tom Shaw/Getty Images
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