Cricket. It's not the first time I have thought about writing about this sport. Honestly, on a scale of to 1 to 10, my cricket abilities and knowledge is very close to 2, or at best 3. But I am an enthusiast nevertheless, and well, India is democratic country (last time I checked), so I can write, comment, criticize all that I want to.
It must feel weird to be English. It's like you invent something, form it, nurture it, develop it, gift it to the world, and then, you suck at it. Such is the state of English cricket and football most days. (Note: England just won the T20 World Cup, so some might not agree to the statement here, but nevertheless, T20 is hardly cricket, and England is hardly all that talented, and we all know it)
Every time I see the coveted Indian Premier League, and the abysmal amount of sixes and 200+ scores being generated on the batter's heaven grounds, I get a feeling that, whoa, this is the way cricket should be. The more the adrenaline, the better. I also feel the overall bowling standards also will improve this way, because competition always brings out the best, and this principle of modern economics works (almost) everywhere.
So here comes the analogy. For the past two years, the IPL champion teams have been contesting the Champions League T20. The top 3 of the biggest cricket league ever (i.e. The IPL) haven't been able to scratch much in the larger, much macro version of T20. These teams broadly fail to convince us that they were the same lot who zapped the score boards a few months back. This phenomenon reminded me of the English Premier League. (Now before you smart the wise-arse comment about the IPL being based on the EPL, please read on) I have seen Indian cricketers and teams perform at humungous levels in the IPL and then cutting a sorry figure at the champions trophy and the International T20s when the represent their clubs or countries at a higher level of fair competition. I can't but draw a comparison to the club players like Rooney, Ronaldo, Lampard, Torres who perform like they have no compare in present day football. They triumph the English Premier League.
So what is it that makes Rooney in Man Utd. a different person than Rooney in the England? Or for that sake any of the above players? I don't intend to criticize any of these players, Man Utd. being my favourite FC, I picked them up as an example. A similar inroad can be carved about cricket. Players like Manish Pandey, Ambati Rayudu, Robin Utthappa who mesmerized the crowds in the IPL, failed to do so on the international avenue. I am sure they are full of talent, but there has to be a catch why these players have fumbled on more than one occasions.
England football team, and English Premier league hence can be compared to the Indian cricket team and the Indian Premier league. The otherwise star studded team of England (based on the EPL performance) couldn't manage to make it big in the Football world cup and the absolutely unbeatable Indian Side (based, again, on the IPL performance) collapsed like they would give shame to a pack of cards easily.
A lame analogy many would say, but an analogy nevertheless. I fail to understand why, and how the most talented of a certain tournament fail to even register as 'watch out' players in another of the same format.
For now, I'll just wish that in another format, namely the forgotten One-Dayers, the Men in Blue make the mark and bring home the long awaited glory. As for the analogous English Football team, honestly, I don't give as much a damn.
Afterall, Cricket is what this post is about, and Football is just the analogy!