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The Midget Goliath

The brash Twenty20 versus the diminishing aura of 50 overs

The Midget Goliath
Getty Images (From Outlook, February 21, 2011)
The Midget Goliath
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

The 10th cricket World Cup opens with the format, and the event itself, on trial. That’s curious, for through most of its history, the World Cup has been an extraordinary success story. It came about more by accident than design (to plug a gap left in the English season by the ouster of apartheid South Africa), but the enthusiasm of fans and the ingenuity of players turned it into a premier attraction. Administrators eventually converted that achievement into a vast money-spinner, and the World Cup became the centrepiece of cricket’s tryst with the global market, the world’s third most watched sports tournament (after the FIFA World Cup and the Summer Olympics).

Then came the 2007 World Cup in the West Indies: a dismal disappointment, a choice example of a modern mega-event gone awry. Disengaged from local life, overpriced, over-policed, with few high-quality, competitive matches and a final that ended in chaotic anti-climax.

But it’s not just the legacy of 2007 that the 10th World Cup has to overcome. The...

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