Time and tide

March 6, 2007

It was interesting to read Sangakkara’s statement that this could well be a world cup dominated by people like Lara, Tendulkar, Jayasuriya and others for whom this could well be the last appearance in cricket’s premier championship. Did he mean, by extension thereof, that he expects the West Indies, India and Sri Lanka to be the front runners for the world cup.

Leaving aside the fact that the media will milk this angle for increasing viewership and readership as much as it possibly can, does sport by its very nature lend itself to this kind of romanticism.  It is drama without take twos and rehersals. At the end of the day, it is the team which perfoms consistently, gathers momentum as the bloated schedule meanders along, avoids injuries and peaks at the right time that will walk away worthy champions.  Even a voting mechanism like the Academy Awards refused to pander  to sentimentality by denying the great Peter O’ Toole a leading man Oscar yet again.

Both Lara and Tendulkar spent a considerable part of their careers bolstering the fortunes of mediocre teams. Sachin was possibly at his best during the last edition in South Africa and the team did ride on his form and meaningful contributions from the rest to make it to the final. However, India stumbled at the last hurdle and no one was in any doubt that the better team had prevailed.

The fact also remains that of the squads announced by the teams for the world cup, looking purely from a perspective that cricketers have a chrnological sell-by date beyond which the odds on them continuing are bleak, Australia has the most number of such “soon to retire” blokes. This will most certainly be the last world cup for Hayden, Gilchrist, Hogg, McGrath and possibly for Ponting, Hussey and  Stuart Clark. Although the Aussies need no props for giving 110% on the field, this sentiment may spur them even more. Whichever way one looks at it, Australia is right there as THE favorite.

What, however, is a lip smacking prospect is, if egged and driven by the human urge to make one’s swan song memorable, the respective players dish out the stuff that they are individually capable of. If this were to happen, there is no denying that fans are in for a veritable treat. Let the show start and may the best team win.


4 Responses to “Time and tide”

  1. Vivek Says:

    It is highly unlikely that there’ll be a chorus of a swansong. But Zidane reached the finals and Kim Clijsters almost won her last tournament in Belgium. There is a chance since all are batsmen.
    I doubt this will be Sachin’s last World Cup though.

  2. Mohan Says:

    We do not know how many think it will be their last chance. Going by the supply of youngsters, every incumbent is threatened. Good for cricket and the audience.

  3. Jason Says:

    Wish Sachin has the last laugh 🙂

  4. Srinivas Rao Mahankali Says:

    A number of other stalwart champions -Dravid/ Kumble/ Jayasuriya/ Pollock/ Inzy/ Vaughan/ Fleming / Vaas who have given us immense pleasure will also go .. for once the ICC seems to have got the format right – the Super 8’s will pit the best against each other – when the going gets tough, the tough will ..

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