Saturday, January 3, 2009

2008: A Year That Bought A Revival In Cricket

You may say whatever but, the year 2008 was a year that bought some great as well as some most of the never-again like issues. Starting with the most popular one in the decline of the world dominating Australian team, with the retirement of Adam Gilchrist in particular, which followed by their second Commonwealth Banks series loss. If on one side there was team Australia who were fading from their days of excellence, there came India who, started emerging as one of the toughest competent who was on the hit list of the opposition. These being true both for on field performance and off the field issues as well. Indians have learnt to give back the verbal abuse what they received and at times even initiate the same.

If there was any team that hit the list for the most verbal exchanges on the field, it was none other than India. The list includes Harbhajan Singh, Gautam Gambhir, Ishant Sharma, Zaheer khan and not to forget our hero Sreesanth, to name a few. This being something that even the great stalwarts of Indian cricket like Sachin and Dravid were never found to learn despite their experience. Looks like not everyone would like to back answer with their bat and ball. I leave it to you guys to judge whether its worth the praise or not. Proceeding further, some changes include the introduction of big bucks in Indian cricket, that made even a Tom-Dick & Hary to become a crorepathi, with no room for comparing a player's performance with the money what he takes home.

And then on the list is the cancellations that took a toll this year, first as all of us are aware of, Australia and New Zealand cancel their tour to Pakistan where security never allowed them to breathe free. And this followed by the cancellation of the ICC Champions Trophy, which made most of us to miss this mega event. This being supported by South Africa as well, in addition to England and Australia. Probably, this was the first instance where the Australian and English brains in cricket worked towards same thinking. And then, India once again showed that they are no way less compared to Pakistan in getting the cricket tours canceled. This is of course needless to be said.

A year where Australia has lost more than it won is the year 2008. A year where a decent team in Pakistan goes without playing even a single test or an ODI (at home). Some consolation being the 3 one dayers against Windies at Abu Dhabi. While, the West Indies and New Zealand are least bothered about playing cricket, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka have something to convey. But, it looks like there are no one to listen. Forget It! And, as per the ICC rules, the non test playing nations are supposed to come to light and make it to the sports page only when there is a mega event. Thanks to Pakistan who never let that happen. When the BCCI was busy cracking its head as to where will MSD play? Chennai Superstars or the test against England? Well, the Mumbai terror attacks had a solution to it.

Next comes the year of retirements, which was a continuation since its initiation in 2007. First being Shaun Pollock, for reasons best know to him. And someone like Scott Styris and Shane Bond, whose pockets wanted more and that took over their love & passion for cricket. India have a reason to smile, for the people who retired served their team with full heart and Ganguly's fans need not burn the effigies of the selectors anymore. And someone like Marvan Attapattu, whose dismal performance equals his contribution, nothing in particular can be said. So, guys, lets hope that the worst of 2008 never repeats and the best progresses to even more best in the year 2009. Wish you all a very happy and prosperous new year 2009.

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