It’s the cricket world cup which causes a ripple of interest in England but is a national passion in India. Our Indian correspondet, Karan Pradhan has ten improvements of his own for the competition.
The tenth edition of the Cricket World Cup is almost upon us. Why is this significant, you may well ask. Well, it’s significant because it’s the only time in four years that the English and Australians stop talking about the damn Ashes (well, most of them). And even though the WC only comes around once every 1,400 days or so, you’d have thought the organisers would have had enough time to tweak the format to perfection (36 years since its inception!).
Nevertheless, here’s 10 steps that will help craft a brilliant World Cup 2011:
1) Canada, Kenya and The Netherlands should start every match with 125 bonus runs, to reduce the number of one-sided snoozefests that viewers will have to endure.
2) In the event of rain, matches should be decided with a game of Dodgeball. Each team gets to have as many players as they have wickets in hand (i.e. batsman who weren’t out or didn’t bat). Banish the Duckworth-Lewis rule once and for all to a place it truly belongs ”â in the annals of the forgotten alongside Busted.
3) Instead of the customary open-top bus parade for the winners in their own land, they should get to visit each of the other 13 participating countries and do an open-top bus parade there, thumbing their noses at the public at large.
4) Hidden microphones should be set up all around the pitch. Aside from the occasional swearing (that can be bleeped out), the various insights they would provide into sledging and team management would be priceless.
5) The designation of World Cup Chairman should be created and filled with none other than Vince McMahon. And accordingly, in addition to each cricketer getting his own entrance theme music and video, each match will have random WWE-style shenanigans. For instance, Stuart Broad could run into the field and intercept Chris Gayle and kneecap him, leaving him unable to bat for the rest of the match. Just then, Yuvraj Singh, whose rivalry with Broad goes back many a year could appear on the screen all set to bat and take Gayle’s place (It’s almost ridiculous enough to work).
6) Umpires should be empowered with the right to dismiss argumentative or badly behaved players from the field. If they’re really out of hand though, the board should allow umpires the right to smack offending players upside the head before dismissing them from the field. Meanwhile, the concept of a contact sport must also be embraced, allowing fielders to slide tackle batsmen to stop them completing a run and batsmen shoulder-charging fielders to force them to drop a catch. It’ll make the tournament (especially player selection) far more strategic, in my opinion.
7) In addition to the added run and extra free hit ball bowlers have to bowl as the penalty for a no-ball, the bowler should also be made to bowl with his wrong arm, so as to teach him the gravity of the situation when it comes to bowling no balls.
8) More pyros. You can (and should) always use more pyrotechnics. Admittedly, the arrival of Vince McMahon would automatically mean that Buckinghamshire’s entire budget of fireworks for one Guy Fawkes’ Day would be blown in just one match.
9) Spectator catches should count. For example, if Pakistan is batting against Sri Lanka and one of their batsmen hits a six, should the ball be caught be a Sri Lankan spectator, the batsman should be declared out (He can have his six runs).
10) Bollywood should be exiled. Full Stop. No Bollywood star or music or promotion should be allowed within 400 miles of a city hosting a World Cup game or the television station of a channel broadcasting the matches. And besides, there’ll be plenty of time for Bollywood when the IPL comes along a few days after the World Cup.
It is my fervent belief that these 10 steps will not only greatly enhance the Cup, but turn it into the 21st Century Sporting Carnival that it deserves to be. Or it may just turn this already complicated game even more confusing and difficult to understand (unlike the offside rule, Mr Andy Gray).