|HOME | WORLD CUP 99 | INDIA | OPINION | PRITHVI ANAND|
|May 18, 1999||
The unfair advantagePrithvi Anand
All 12 teams have played their opening gambits in this World Cup. There has been little surprise in terms of strategy, and by way of results too. And the theory of World Cups being a place for innovations has not happened. It may be early days yet.
The only innovation was the 'earpiece controversy' at
Hove the other day. In
one's view, an advantage was sought and a deliberate
attempt was made to
hide it from the opponents, in this case India, and the
One thing about this earpiece situation, which promises
to "speed up the
game": Who are we to know who is linked at the other
end. Is it a coach or
One also wonders what would have been the case had an
Indian or Pakistani
captain attempted it. A few debatable decisions from
Javed Akhtar was enough
to send the 'white' force of cricket up in arms. A
Mohammad Azharuddin or a
Wasim Akram would have been dubbed as eternal villains
Salim Malik, for all his perceived and imagined links with shady dealers of cricket, is yet to be proven guilty. But he has been pilloried more in the press than the two Australian gentlemen, so proud of the green baggy cap, who are guilty of having direct links with bookmakers.
To take a wider picture of the situation though, it
must be said the MCC
rule book needs to be thoroughly revised in view of the
innovations which are being experimented everyday. Just
to update those old
rules of 100 years, in some cases, or at best at least
a generation old,
will not help. A complete review of technological
issues waiting in the
pipeline must be handled straightaway and also
unforeseen developments must
be taken into account.
Mercifully, if this smacks of a racist attitude, it is not true of the British society largely. This melting pot of a society has accepted people of different culture and creeds rather well. In the England-Sri Lanka match, a great number of Sri Lankans had come draped in their national flag and there was a fair bit of national jingoism. Imagine this happening in a India-Pakistan match in India. Who would dare to support the Pakistanis so openly without any fear of recrimination to follow. In a way, the western society is far more amenable to accepting pressures of different nationalities than is possible in an increasingly fascist-like nation that India is turning to be.
Maybe what British society has already learnt, the cricket establishment is yet to learn. They are still warped in that time zone where things were viewed with prejudiced blinkers. Hence there is no attempt to assimilate the growing Asian presence into the cricket mainstream.
According to an estimate, everyone of five Britons is either interested in cricket or is playing it. It is a huge number, but surprisingly 80 per cent of this number belong to men from Asian stock. All of them feel unwelcome in the British cricket system. Hence they form their own league and tournaments and remain just there. Naturally, there is a simmering discontent.
Many in England have
started to question this philosophy and are wondering
whether it is not English cricket's loss if this talent is allowed to go
unwelcome d in the hierarchy.
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