The 50 over Cricket World Cup is finally here after a gap of 4 years. The 2007 WC was another nail in the coffin for a stuttering and suffering format where audiences seemed to have dwindled and interest seemed to have gone considerably from fans and advertisers alike. Add to that the ICC ruling preventing West Indians from bringing their musical instruments which they are so known for to the ground and you wonder, what was the point of organizing such a sorry tournament. From the runaway growth of the Twenty20 format to a few ODI matches here and there which had some semblance of audience, a lot has changed in the world of cricket.
In such a scenario the Cricket World Cup comes back to the subcontinent after 15 years. But the question is – Are people really interested? Let’s take it one by one. With the growth of the T20 WC and IPL, investors are flocking to these events in return for big money as they know investing here means big bucks in return. But the same cannot be said about the ODI format. Though the money for this World Cup is big, its no where as much as IPL which will be held immediately after the event ends.
With so much cricket around, people have lost interest in some of the formats. And as life turns fast and people get busy in whatever they are doing, the slam-bang version of cricket (Read T20) is becoming the most famous drawing huge crowds everywhere. Interestingly people nowadays wonder the difference between the Champions Trophy and the World Cup. There is a growing need to remove the former event as it doesn’t make any sense at all.
If you ask a player even today he may say openly that “Test Cricket is the ultimate form of Cricket”. But many of them secretly admit that IPL is the best thing because they are getting so much cash for such a short period of time. From Pollard to Bravo to Gayle to Petersen to Bond who left New Zealand for ICL, the money is becoming too hard to resist.
In this kind of scenario do we have anyone to watch the 50 over game? The full attendance during the India warmup matches tell us a different story!! But then that’s why they got the World Cup to the subcontinent, isn’t it?