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    October 27, 2008

    Stop this sanctimonious sermonizing about the Stanford 2020 game

    Ok, for starters, there're just far too many 'S' words in the title.

    I've read far too much stuff (sample a few) about how the Stanford 2020 for 20 (million dollars!) is a disgrace to cricket because it is an instance of Stanford creating a reality TV show and giving players the opportunity to earn an obscene amount of money for three hours of effort (or lack of it, even!)

    I'm sure that these writers too would be more than happy to, if given the chance, play such a game on these turns. Actually, they'd even be more than willing to ferry the drinks or act as 'support staff' (like second assistant to the deputy data analyst) if they could earn around USD 100,000.

    It's a cricket game. There's a prize at stake. I'm not saying its as important as, say a World Cup or a test series win against high quality opposition, but there's obviously prestige (and a lot of money!) at stake.

    Who do you blame? The players? Obviously the players aren't going to say no to such an opportunity. The cricket boards? The boards would be stupid to turn down the opportunity to earn USD 3.5 million each, regardless of whether their team (ok, the WICB doesn't really control the Stanford Superstars) won or lost. Allen Stanford? He sees a great marketing opportunity, and has pounced upon it. The ECB were ripe for the taking since they weren't too thrilled about the BCCI's tie-ups with South Africa & Australia for the Champions League. So he flew in to London in June and made the ECB an offer that they were never going to refuse!

    Just hope for a great thrilling game next Saturday (Antigua time), preferably an even contest between bat and ball which ends in the 20th over of the second innings. The icing on the cake would be if one of the players got cold feet in the last over, and bowled pathetically (no-ball, wide, full-toss, long hop), dropped a catch, mis-fielded, got run out, slogged a pathetic ball straight to a fielder while going for the big hit, tried to be cheeky and got bowled trying a pick-up shot over short fine-leg, etc.

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    Thus spake Jagadish @ 4:13 PM |
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    2 sledge(s):

    I think you are misguided. The most important factor here is that there is no 'prestige' at all attached to this game. No one cares who wins - not even the players themselves judging by Kevin Pietersen's comments from earlier today.
    It's not the players who are to blame, but the board. To complain about the ECB's rapacity is not 'sanctimonious sermonising'. It is genuine concern about the future of the game in England when its star players are being turned into cricketing whores.

    By Blogger The Allrounder (29-Oct-2008, 10:44:00 PM)  

    There's hardly any 'prestige' attached to, say a test or ODI or T20 international game against Zimbabwe, Bangladesh, Bermuda, etc. Upwards of 95% (or perhaps even more) of the time, teams just about turn up for the game because the result is more or less obvious from the start.

    The money that the ECB raises from the game (essentially $17.5 million guaranteed over the next 5 years) will (hopefully) be used to develop the game. Its the same as India's cricketers driven to playing ODIs all over the globe. The English cricket team is a marketable commodity, especially in the Caribbean. So the ECB 'uses' that commodity.

    By Blogger Jagadish (29-Oct-2008, 11:40:00 PM)  

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