Thursday, December 01, 2005

Play called off on day one in the Chennai test and other thoughts

I knew something like this would happen. Isn't it quite well known that Chennai experiences this kind of weather at this time of the year? If it is already known so well, why would anybody in his right mind schedule a match there?

India and SA could not play the one dayer because of rain and now the first day's play of the test has been called off. Please, please - don't schedule a match in Chennai in the months of November and December.

This brings me to another point. Is weather such an important part of cricket. Cricket - as the cliche goes - is a game of glorious uncertainties. We've all known the Fremantle doctor wreak havoc on unfortunate batsmen in Perth. The dew in the day night games in India is all too well known. If, however, the match has to be an equal contest without being some kind of a lottery, the same conditions have to be given to both teams.

Just think about what happens normally. A team fielding first will have it easy when the wicket is still green and the ball is easy to catch. But the team that fields next will have it bad, especially in a day-night game - when it has to cope with the dew and the ball getting slippery and all. Sometimes, I think this is unfair. Winning the toss and deciding to bat or field is OK - some one has to do it first. But you just can't have the team that wins the toss win the game - assuming that they've read the wicket properly.

Isn't basketball better? No weather gods intervening. Of course there is psychological pressure - but that's it! The fight is between the teams and their abilities only.

Many puritans of the game love this uncertainty which comes in because of the weather, the wicket and idiosyncratic umpires, in addition to the pressure that is experienced by the players. But in these days of instant food and one dayers in colored clothing, do we need such things that bring us more uncertainty?

I, personally, am on the fence on this. As long as it is enjoyable, anything is fine. But sometimes, scheduling the matches at a place and time perfect for rain is unforgivable. Talk to South Africa who had a great chance in the 1992 world cup and lost it in the Semi finals because of the rain and two guys known as Duckworth and Lewis.

The Telstra dome in Australia seemed to be a good idea. Cricket administrators and insurance companies all over the world would salivate over that kind of a cricket venue. You don't have rain interfering and won't have dew. Teams fight it out with all other things being equal. It should be an ideal kind of place to play cricket. But, then, I there is something that is seen lacking in such synthetic environments.

An article written on cricinfo a while ago was on similar lines. Both the players and spectators won't get to see the sky. There wouldn't be any birds (especially the seagulls we see in Australia), and of course, there wouldn't be people sun bathing.

As I said earlier, anything in the game is fine as long as it is enjoyable ! But what is enjoyable? That is a tricky question and I don't have the time to answer it!

1 comment:

hpn said...

They were completely nuts to stick with Chennai for Test venue. They should've learnt from the loss of SA - One day match. Now, not only has Chennai lost two good days of Cricket, but is put on the back of the queue for the next bunch of them.