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How cricket is slowly moving towards a brighter future

Akshay Shah
CONTRIBUTOR
Feature
186   //    16 Sep 2017, 15:58 IST

ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier: Final - Ireland v Afghanistan
Ireland and Afghanistan have been granted Test status of late

Cricket seems to be undergoing one of the finest transformations since the inception of the game. But this time it isn't about one team conquering the greatest heights in a quest to become invincible, nor is it about a single player doing the unthinkable or climbing peaks of records. This time it is about cricket as a whole, every stake holder rising and growing as the game we love grows in stature. It is almost as if cricket is working towards a new dawn.

But what is this new dawn that we are talking about? And what brought it to life?

The answer is a summation of small steps, a series of ‘news' items maybe. May be they’re small yet a few years from now when we will look at them in hindsight, we will realize that each one of those was a big leap.

Welcoming the new kids on the block


The story began with granting Afghanistan and Ireland Test status. So what’s the big fuss about an associate nation getting inducted into the test list? It happens every once in a while. Well, it is a big step. This step has come after almost 17 long years. Associate nations being inducted as full time members means an opportunity for the game to grow in a different land. It also means that two new members can step in as associates; it means more funding for them to grow.

But the tale doesn’t end there! May be it's a regular effect but think about it, being war ridden, every corner a victim of mass destruction, where at once even going to school was a risk, today that nation can now hope to come out in the international arena and say that our identity isn’t that we were ridden in misery but that we are one of the top cricket playing nations.

This also means a big pat on the back for Ireland, a team which has been on the scene for years toiling hard, showing sparks of brilliance. And well we all are aware of the potential these two nations hold. If you aren’t you probably should ask the Windies, England or perhaps Pakistan?

Old is still gold

We live in an era of T20s cricket. Almost throughout the year there are a billion T20 leagues going on, in different corners around the world. And amidst this spectacle we’ve all unconsciously yet unanimously but Test cricket, the grandfather, on a ventilator choking for our attention, for a new lease of life.

Even with numerous T20 leagues going on it was Test cricket which was making news, it was test which was topping charts and all these for a very good reason.

Test cricket isn’t going to die anytime soon, what makes me say so?


Bangladesh v Australia - 2nd Test: Day 4
Bangladesh v Australia - 2nd Test: Day 4

Bangladesh’s plan of killing all the giants, one at a time. And to roar out that they aren’t minnows anymore. If their victory against Australia was anything to go by, Test cricket is equally exciting and it is here that potential is displayed. Don’t mistaken this test victory for an upset, because it isn’t one. For winning a test requires show of character, skill, persistence and above all an indomitable spirit to fight.


England v West Indies - 2nd Investec Test: Day Five

And what do we say about the Windies? Yes in recent times the islanders have struggled with off field issues, and being stereotyped as a team which is capable of playing only T20s and nothing beyond. You may argue that they have occasionally shown such sparks of brilliance. But there was something different this time. It wasn’t an underdog’s move to an odd victory. There was display of intent. An intent that proved a majority of cricket critics wrong, an intent to be there, to bring back glory to fight.


Homecoming and nostalgia for cricket

The most recent and most brilliant move that makes me say that cricket is reigniting its glorious past is the World XI vs Pakistan series. Big names travelling from all around the world to play in Pakistan on the same ground which saw terrorists attack a visiting Sri Lankan side. This attack left a big dent on the heart of the cricketing world and Pakistan was devoid of cricket for years to follow.

The very first match in the series saw people holding placards which showed love and happiness but the one that touched all of us read ‘Cricket will Win’ and irrespective of what happens, cricket has won indeed.

There are still question to which we seek answers, and there will be more as we go on. We will need more hope more brilliance. For these steps probably are worth a decimal, but remember a decimal point between two numbers revolutionised mathematics and the world altogether!

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Akshay Shah
CONTRIBUTOR
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