Cricket is a group activity with countless fans. This is expected essentially to the high notoriety of cricket in India, where in excess of a billion people live, and gratitude to Indian fans, as indicated by certain sources, cricket is the second most prevalent game on the planet after football. Matches lasting through the year and the wagering openings are practically boundless.
One of the most important of the latest Sunday sports news was the victory of the Indian national team in the cricket world championship. We will not go into the rules of the game. We just want to note that in countries where cricket is popular – it is not just popular, but very popular. In the countries of South Asia – India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh is the number one sport. In England, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, this is one of the most popular sports — the largest cricket ground in Melbourne with a capacity of 100,000 spectators. In England, this is not the most popular sport, which is inferior to football, but with rugby it stands at about the same level.
Cricket, before other team sports, reached the stage of formation of national federations (in England it was created in 1797) and national teams (the first match of the national teams of the USA and Canada – 1844, the first international tour of the national team – England in the USA in 1859). However, the complexity of the rules and the undisguised image of the “Game of gentlemen” limited the spread of this sport only by England and its dominions and colonies. And that is not all. Outside of these countries, cricket is at least known only in Holland and some countries of the Persian Gulf, where large Indian Diasporas live. The International Cricket Council consists of 105 countries, but they are divided into 4 categories according to the degree of popularity of the species in these countries.
Cricket is interesting because it has two main types of competitions – international games – tests that can last for 5 days and one-day games that are held in the framework of national and international championships. To become a permanent member of the federation, it is necessary to conduct tests, and in order to conduct them, it is necessary that other teams want to play with you. Butches are not interesting to anyone without a fight. That is why there are only 10 teams in the top of the federation.
Now there are 2 cricket world championships. One, the one that ended yesterday in Mumbai, India, is similar to other championships in game sports. Within its framework one-day matches are held. The test championship is more similar to the professional tennis championships – in it the champion is the team that currently has the highest rating. The competition has been held since June 2003. The first 74 weeks the champion was the Australian team, then South Africa changed it to 4 weeks, and since the fall of 2009 the Indians have been leading.
Let’s return to the Championship or the World Cup. This year it was held at 13 stadiums in India, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka. Also, the matches were to be held in Pakistan, but after the terrorist attack on the Bangladeshi national team in the city of Lahore, the Pakistanis were denied the right to hold the championship. For the first time matches were held in Bangladesh, where cricket is also a national sport. But India has already taken the World Championship several times; more than that, only England did it. In the past years, 16 teams participated in the championship and the top two teams played 11 games each. This year the regime was more benign.
Before this championship, the Australian team was the most titled team. Two victories and one second place for the team of West India (consists of players of the former British colonies in the Caribbean), one victory was for India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. The English have never managed to become a world champion, although they played in the final three times. In addition to these countries, six-time bronze medalists New Zealanders, three-time South Africans, as well as the national teams of Bangladesh and Zimbabwe are among the top teams in the championship without selection. Another 4 teams – Kenya, Canada, Ireland and the Netherlands passed through qualifying tournaments in which 39 teams took part.
The teams were divided into 2 groups of 7 teams in each and held round robin tournaments. No sensations happened – the strongest 8 teams made it to the quarterfinals. In the semifinals, India beat Pakistan, and Sri Lanka beat New Zealand. World champions Australians have resigned in the quarterfinals of the Indians in the overstressed match. In the finals, the Indian team won from 277-274 Sri Lanka.
There is such a game on the planet – cricket. Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, England, Australia are not small countries in terms of population. And soon in the championship India and Bangladesh will meet. And here began a solid geopolitics. Indian cricketists have already sworn on social networks to be sure to win “from the enemy.” Bangladeshi players are equally determined. And only one person, according to the news, calls on the parties to prevent further escalation of the conflict. And in England, newspapers rave. CNN openly occupied the Indian side (although it is unlikely that Americans are well versed in cricket). Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi they love more. In Asia, judging by the publications in the newspapers, much more is written about the upcoming cricket standoff than about the conflict itself. Bangladesh is rampaging. Sri Lanka is neutral.
This all may remind fans and judges of several incidents. On the eve of the 1982 World Cup in Spain, everyone feared the match between England and Argentina: in those years, the countries fought for the Falkland Islands. But during the draw, they were lit so that the teams did not meet before the final. In 1998, in France, they feared the US-Iran match due to the confrontation between the two countries. Then the Iranians “showed the gruel of a mother” in Persian style and won with a score of 2: 1. There were no conflicts after the match. Also, the appeals of the ex-Minister of Great Britain Boris Johnson in March 2018 not to go to the World Cup in Russia – right after the start of the notorious “Scripal case” also remain in the minds of people. As a result, those fans, which reached Russia and won the fourth place team, won.
So we really want everything to be fine in the cricket world championship as well. Cricket fans want India and Bangladesh to reach at least the semi-finals, and a billion fans want the strength to support their teams.
How does the harsh confrontation between the two cricket teams affect world relations? World disasters, as is known, usually begin with nonsense. The other day the threat of international conflict arose because of the cricket ball. We will not again bore you with detailed explanations of the rules of this ancient esoteric English fun. But in a nutshell, we recall that one team in cricket protects the small gates, standing in front of them with a bat, and the opposing team is trying to beat this player – batmen (or, literally, the beatnik) – knock out, throwing a ball at him. While the batted cricket ball is in the air, batsman makes runs that count as points to the team. But to beat off this ball is extremely difficult.
You can’t even call him a ball. It is rather a small ball, the size of a billiard room. It is almost as strong and heavy – about two hundred grams. And it flies at a terrible speed – they say, almost by plane. Such a ball can be seriously crippled (and maimed). But most importantly, in the middle of the ball – the seam, and its weight is distributed unevenly. Therefore, when it is thrown, in cricket, spinning, it is very difficult to predict its trajectory. It bounces off the ground at an incredible angle.
Therefore, cricket is a game of nuances (it is often observed through binoculars) and depends on a conglomeration of players: who casts concrete, which fights, who catches. Participants act as a team, but unlike football, opponents in the game are fragmented, one on one. There is no collective responsibility for individual actions of the team players. Cricket is a group of individualists. Therefore, cricket, although, like football, the face and pride of a nation, is also a symbol of a kind of parliamentary democracy. A lot of cricket terms about “fair play” are included in English spoken language and political jargon. Not without reason, such “cricket” countries like Australia or Trinidad, India or Pakistan are the countries of the British Commonwealth; Cricket is a legacy of the British Empire and British Democracy. Maybe that is why the cricket championship in Pakistan was attacked by Islamic extremists.
Since then, international cricket matches have not been held in Pakistan. And the Pakistani cricket team itself has become, as a political refugee, to conduct its matches on foreign cricket fields abroad. All sympathies were on the side of Pakistani cricketers, especially in connection with the catastrophic floods in Pakistan.
It was at this critical moment that several players of the Pakistan national team were accused of corruption. Corruption in sport – bribing players to manipulate the results of a match – has existed since the times when the sport has existed. I do not know if there was a tote in primitive man races in the hunt for a mammoth, but they probably also made bets on gladiators. (We are not sure, however, what the Roman gladiators agreed with each other: who should die first in the line?) Boxing, as it were, is not even thinking without such cheating. Cricket in this sense is a special case. Not only because it is surrounded by an aura of dignity, nobility of manners and respect for the opponent, sophistication and polishing of the rules. The fact is that it is extremely difficult to catch a cricket in a scam. The reputation of the players rests solely on trust in them. Therefore, this reputation is so high in the eyes of spectators and fans. And since it is enough to collude with individual players, and not with the whole team, it is extremely difficult to open the scam.
This time, the scam came to light due to the journalists who had been sent in, who were playing the mob. Several members of the Pakistani team are accused of hurling the ball in such a special way that it was considered “no-ball”. In this case, the opposing team automatically gets one point, and batsmen has the right to hit the ball, not observing the usual strict rules and, thus, to make more run-points than usual. It all depends on whether the player’s foot crossed a certain line.
And these nuances end with a feeling of national disgrace, international scandal and political conflict. It is not surprising that the idea of a conspiracy has already arisen: all this, they say, was an anti-Pakistani political provocation.