By Jaideep Ghosh
There was a phase, just after Bangladesh beat Sri Lanka in the final league game of the Asia Cup, when it seem preordained that they would win the trophy. That would have been a good thing for both them and the tournament.
The Asia Cup was threatening to implode – same script (India meeting Sri Lanka in the final, winning some, losing some, tying some), same teams, and even the same grounds weren’t really doing much to enhance the competition’s reputation.
Given that there is now a 50-over World Cup every four years, not to mention the T20 World Cup every second year, other multi-team events like the Asia Cup were beginning to gather some unsavoury dust.
So when the scene shifted to Dhaka’s Sher-e-Bangla Stadium, plus when the home team began to really get things together, the Asia Cup began to look good again.
But while the hype was there – once Bangladesh made the final, everything pointed at a new champion – the fact remains that they failed to reach the second-lowest total (without rain rules) in the tournament. Whether you go down by two runs or 20, fact remains that Pakistan were champions and Bangladesh were not.
Maybe it needs a little more than just hype to win title matches. For instance, not playing a barrage of maidens. Bangladesh got what they deserved.
Cut to the other side of the globe, where the West Indies let the series go by 20 yards. That would roughly be the length by which Darren Sammy got run out, handing the Australians a tie they didn’t deserve.
But it was all good fun, especially for neutral viewers, as the series ended 2-2. The West Indies got what they deserved.
But in terms of encouragement, both events had a good side. The West Indies were on a debit account as far as cricket went and Bangladesh hardly ever are on the credit side. So good news for both.
On the India front, good news for Sachin Tendulkar fans. Our man has decided not to retire, and is even eyeing the 2015 World Cup! That is all good news (so I have been told). But for the potential successors, I guess it is time to focus on keeping their form, fitness and commitment up, not to mention get some expertise in rapid packing of bags, for the tournaments the big man decides to give a bye to.
No one can tell Tendulkar when to retire, since no one told him when to start. Good point. So one can now rest assured – our man will continue till such time that he wants to play. He can also pick and choose which tournament he wants to play, I guess.
So we don’t need selectors and board I guess. Or we do, but for the lesser mortals. That is cricket, Indian style.
By Jaideep Ghosh