In the last few years I've had a declining interest in cricket, which is sad because for most of my life it's been my number one sport.
My declining interest can be attributed to a number of factors:
The 2007 World Cup
A horribly long, slow, boring World Cup. There was no emotion from the crowds, and sadly they had their instruments taken away from them. There was the bitterness of finding out that Bob Woolmer had been murdered, and the exasperation of finding out that he hadn't been murdered after months of scandel. Worst of all was the final, a farsical event, horribly run. I think the best team won, but it was a tained game.
The horribly bitter 2007/08 series between Australia and India
I won't go into much detail about this because it'll stir up some feeling here at CW. I'll just say that both teams acted poorly in my opinion. Both teams acted contrary to the spirit of the game. In any other sport both teams would have been punished. I'll just note that in no other sport would a team be allowed to criticise an umpire/referee as much as India did. When they said Steve Bucknor was an incompetent referee and should be dropped or else India wouldboycott the tour, I was shocked. A week later Criag Bellamy, the Melbourne Storm coach, went on a similar tirade and got punished harsher than any other coach I've heard of.
Over-saturation of cricket
If it's not regular 20/20 it's the IPL. It's it's not that it's Test cricket etc. The same thing happened to me with wrestling a couple of years ago. I used to follow Japanese wrestling, but then 2 major promotions became three, and then four. Now there's no limit to the number of Japanese promotions there are to follow. I lost interest. It's the same with cricket.
20/20 cricket is ruining the game
I hate how little people care one-day cricket after 20/20 cricket. 20/20 cricket is worthless to me. To me any side on any day could beat any side because there's not much different between hitting a six and hitting the ball and going out. I know you have to be skilled to play 20/20, but you also need luck. What works in one game, might not work in the next.
Average players dominating games
OK this is sure to stir some debate here. Take Shane Watson. He can't swing the ball, he doesn't make it talk, yet he dominates games. How? By definition people would say only good players can win games and only Watson being a good player can win games. Watson is a good batsman, but he doesn't possess the same skill set as other bowlers do. Even Glen McGrath, who didn't do much with the ball, is someone I'd consider extremely skilled because he's so accurate. I just don't see great skill being rewarded in games these days. To me it's like watching South Africa win games with that kick-chase style that works for them. I'd rather sides win in a more challenging way, preferably using all 15 men etc.
If anything I now have a greater appreciation for Test cricket, because that awards skill better than anything.
But for all that, this recent One Day series between India and Australia has really got me excited about cricket. You had:
Tendulkar's massive century
To me probably the best one-day century I have ever seen. He's just a freak and I think perhaps my favourite batsman ever.
Australia doing it with injuries
Australia won despite injuries plauging them. They were disciplined (a few fielding errors aside), determined, and play to a game plan.
The spirit of the games
It was bloody competitive yet both teams seemed to keep the fire inside this time.
Bravo both teams. That was a fantastic series, and I hope I see more cricket like that in the future.
Does anybody else feel rejuvinated by this series?