Originated in England during the early 16th century when the elite gentlemen of the era played the game. Known as just another “club striking ball game” no one would have thought that this would go on to be one of the most followed and played sport in the world and be regarded as a religion in some parts of the world as on date. Not only on the field, but off the field as well, the sport has become an inspiration to some of the best selling books or even one of highest grossing Bollywood film. In current time, the sport is no more about 22 yards or the 22 players, it about two nations who are fighting it out to become the best. Yes, you guessed it right, I’m talking about the World’s favorite sport CRICKET.
As you are aware that the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 is underway in the island nations – Australia and New Zealand, this edition of the event has definitely seen the new benchmarks being set in the all the departments – be it bowling or batting, this edition has delivered the best performance in recent past. And talking about the performance, its not only the Test Playing Nations – India, Australia, South Africa, Pakistan, England, West Indies, Bangladesh and Zimbabwe, the ‘so called’ Associates – Ireland, Afghanistan, UAE, Scotland have shown their true potential during this mega event. Many –including me –strongly oppose the 10 team World Cup from 2016 onwards as this wouldn’t do any good to the game.
Talking about performance, we’ve seen the likes of Tim Southee rattling the England batsmen with good FAST bowling in the early stages of the tournament by taking 7 wickets in that match that ensured a cake walk match for the Kiwis. At this time, when it was said that the game has become more ‘batsman’ friendly, bowlers like Starc, Shami, Boult, Tahir have shown that bowlers do exist in the game ! What better example that out very own Indian team that has managed to bowled out the opponent for 6 times in a row !! For a team that was struggling to win a single game in 2 months, this was highly unexpected.
Batting too has seen some fantastic innings by some great players all this while. With the likes of Brendon McCullum bulldozing the opponent bowling in almost every game he played, to the big hitting Chris Gayle who smashed 215 against Zimbabwe. Or be it the duo of Miller and Duminy who had a great 130+ run stand to help Proteas win the match. Or be it our own ‘Gabbar’ aka Shikhar Dhawan for those amazing starts he has given to the team. Batsmen from every team have given some best innings,be it Sangakkara’s 4 consecutive centuries, Mahmudullah’s 2 consecutive centuries or the associates – Afghanistan’s Shenwari and Ireland’s Potterfield have scored with the bat.
In Cricket, performance means numbers, and these numbers are definitely promising and clearly show that the standard of the game has been lifted manifold in all the departments. We’ve seen teams score 300+ runs consistently and that too against some great teams. On the other hand, we’ve seen bowlers bowl out teams for less than 150 to take their team to pole position. We’ve seen some of the best catches been taken this tournament. The Run rates have definitely increased for the mandatory powerplay. Last ten overs or the death overs have seen the batting teams score almost at the run rate of close to 10 RPO. The standard of fielding has improved greatly as the teams are diving and ‘flying’ to stop the boundaries and sixes, a thing that was only synonymous with the Proteas and Kangaroos few years back.
All in all, the game has changed A LOT since its invention. The facilities have improved, technology has stepped in, players are being exposed to various playing conditions, and more importantly the game is spreading its wings as more and more countries have started playing the game. These all have additively ensured the standards of the game keeps on rising match by match, innings by innings and ball by ball…