What makes the World Cup so big?
Gautam Wagle (firstname.lastname@example.org)
There is a lot of hype around this World Cup in paricular. Never have I seen such a great response and drama behind any World Cup to date. Is it because of this being the last World Cup of the millenium?
Maybe -- but then, the next World Cup will be the first of the next millenium. So there may be even bigger hype about it. In my opinion, it is being hyped because of the increased competitiveness in international cricket. The last World Cup was won by Sri Lanka who, till probably the 1992 World Cup, were never considered for the top post at all.
Zimbabwe, the minnows in the Test arena have gone on to show that they too can humble the mighty Pakistan side on home soil. This kind of thing gives almost everybody a chance at the title. If not the title, it definitely makes for upsets being created in the round-robin league.
But whatever hype is being created has been welcomed by the fans. It gives them chance to air their views on columns such as Rediff, take part in the chats and competitions organized. They are doing their best to add to the hype and participate in any way possible, backing their respective teams for the World Cup.
But is all this hype good for the players? In some ways people might say that it will help motivate them to give their best. But all the pressure from fans, and expectations, is definitely going to have a toll on these fine players. To make matters worse, some players have come under fire for match-fixing and bribery allegations.
Fans might say that the players are professional and they should be able to cope with pressures on and off the field, but one must not forget that they are humans after all, they might shine for a day out there, but they might also have a gloomy day thrown in.
We should therefore learn to enjoy and appreciate the game rather than put all that pressure on them, and critiize players if they have a bad day. This would make it lot easier for the players to perform, with only pressures on the field to concentrate on.
So to answer he original question of "What actually makes the World Cup so big?", the answer is -- the hearts of millions of fans, all keeping their fingers crossed. And, of course, the spirit of the participating players.
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