4.03.2007

इंडिया's Kerry Packer

Everybody is analyzing the world cup loss these days (stop and smell the fumes from Pakora Korner) -- too much cricket, too little exposure, players are soft and complacent, coach must go, captain must go, selectors must go, but expert commentators must stay on (how else would we know who should go?).

In the midst of all this comes the news of a parallel league in India. A $23M venture, involving two Indian internationals, four overseas players and eight juniors in each side, along with cricket academies equipped with state-of-the-art facilities across the country. Nothing like competition to liven things up, and nothing like investment in infrastructure to elicit and groom the talent that has to be out there. However, I think there remains a concern for burn-out. Part of the failure was that we simply did not have the intense urge to win. How else can one explain our losses, Team India is simply not able to keep up the pressure when it matters. We had Sri Lanka on the defensive at one point when we suddenly became the mouse in the game. Who from the Indian team gave a demonstrion of going all-out, like the catch Muralitharan took to dismiss dada.

It has been said that Indian cricket is going the way of hockey, where we are unable to keep pace as the game revolves more around fitness than skill. I think we should keep in mind that physical fitness helps to keep us on our toes but for truly inspirational play, mental fitness is also vital. Burn-out is detrimental to this cause. Perhaps the BCCI should look for some balance between cricket and R&R when it sorts things out with the proposed Indian Cricket League.

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