Britain hosts a cricket World Cup match against its former colonies. A billion people are watching. But the rest of the world doesn’t understand the enthusiasm for the sport.
In Europe, many people turn their noses up when asked about cricket. Very British, a little crazy, and otherwise rather dull, the sport, with its strange rules and tea break, has caught our fancy. And yet, New Zealand and Australia are currently hosting the highly regarded World Cup, which makes for a fascinating look at a game that writes excellent stories.
Cricket’s fascination can be divided almost geographically: on one side is Britain with its former colonies; on the other, the rest of us shake our heads. But because the British have united several particularly populous countries in their empire, the preliminary round match between India and Pakistan, which drew more than a billion television viewers worldwide, was statistically as crucial as Brazil’s 2014 World Cup final. Such events are broadcast on topical sites like the cricketbetting10.in website. We advise you to use this resource if you are interested in cricket.
The highlights are few.
- Such long periods of absence are possible because the national team is most players’ most important and permanent place of employment. On the other hand, potentially the most lucrative jobs await in India. So, on the third day of the World Cup, most participants sat spellbound in front of their computers. The Indian Premier League auction was held in Bangalore. The players found out if their labor was auctioned off and for what wages.
- The season, from early April to the end of May, brings about 100,000 euros for mid-talent foreigners and up to two million for top stars. The big winner was New Zealander Trent Boult, who asked for a minimum bid of 70,000 euros, but was eventually auctioned off for 540,000 euros as three clubs requested for him.
- It is fantastic that you can make any money from cricket, considering that one match lasts an average of about eight hours, interrupted only by the lunch break. There are few highlights in this game, which is so drawn out that bored children prefer to take autographs from the stars. There isn’t much to do in a sport where those who can catch and throw are considered all-rounders.
- Like the games, the tournament requires a certain level of fitness for the spectators. A manageable number of 49 games are played over six weeks. New Zealanders, who have chosen rugby as their national sport, can handle it and are quite amused to see the Beige Brigade, a group that, in the style of the legendary 1980s team, is dressed in an outfit that looks rather unflattering by today’s standards.
Australia’s record-breaking world champion
“For me, the sport is associated with my grandmother, who has cricket on TV all day,” says Hadley Wright, a young New Zealander in his early 20s. He owes his first name to the passion of his father, who named him after cricket idol Sir Richard Hadley. He often played with the whole family in the garden and beach. But watching the game? “Too boring,” says Wright, who represents a younger generation that has lost heart with the All Blacks, the national rugby team.
The situation is different with the big neighbor. Australians don’t even have to hide from the Barmy Army, a large community of English fans regarding their passion for cricket. Australia is the record world champion and owns what Wembley is to the English in soccer: the Melbourne Cricket Ground, a 100,000-seat stadium. The world’s largest cricket stadium will also host the World Cup finals.
“This is our iconic venue,” says David Sandurski, “and I want to do my part to help us win the title here.” Sandurski holds the prestigious position of the head coach and looks forward to five matches in his living room. On the other hand, the tournament length is a disaster for his compatriots, considering they only have 20 days of annual leave.
This circumstance is due to the dictates of money, as David Richardson, CEO of the ICC, the world governing body for cricket, admits: “We would like to shorten the World Cup, but the television broadcasters insist that no more than two matches be played simultaneously. Strictly speaking, one-day matches are already a cutback that occurred in the 1960s under television pressure. Today, traditionalists still regard five-day Test cricket as a refined version of the game.
Susceptibility to betting fraud
The world governing body is limited in eliminating boredom from the sport. The ICC has no power to change the rules, but only the Marylebone Cricket Club in London, which expresses its tradition-keeping character by accepting only women into its ranks since 1998 under pressure from the British government.
At least the Europeans are spared a phenomenon that has plagued professional cricket for years: betting fraud. The “gentlemen’s game” attracts figures who can do many things, not men of honor. Several factors form an ominous alliance: the craze for betting in countries such as England, South Africa, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and India, where the sport is trendy. The vulnerability of average players, who are far from financially secure at the end of their careers. And the nature of the game, the competition between pitcher and batsman, which is particularly easy to manipulate.
A long list of scandals
The list of scandals that have knocked a whole series of personalities off the pedestal since the turn of the millennium is long. But many revelations suggest that this swamp is far from being drained. David Richardson claims, “Our anti-corruption unit is more prepared than ever.”
The truth, however, is that scandals tend to be uncovered by national authorities, which is why a team of investigators from the two host countries has worked hard on the issue for the past three years and why new laws have been passed to serve as a deterrent to criminals.
A betting scam of a different nature was already uncovered during the first World Cup matches. Several people who used laptops and cell phones to broadcast the events of an overseas battle were questioned by police and subsequently kicked out of stadiums. Illegal “pitching” takes advantage of the television signal being published with a delay of 10-15 seconds. This slight informational advantage over betting vendors can be gilded.
But only if people who are now banned from the stadium show up at cricket matches again can they be arrested for disorderly conduct. Pitching” is considered a criminal offense only in the Australian state of Victoria.