Mar. 30th, 2015

threemonkeys: (mars)
Australia deservedly won the Cricket World Cup last night. A magnificent first innings bowling and fielding display was too much for New Zealand.

But am I down about it? Not a bit. Being a Kiwi cricket fan makes you pretty philosophical about defeat, if not actually masochistic. I've been a cricket fan for a long time. I was in the crowd for the very first ODI in NZ and have followed all the world cups since the first one (Radio of course). Over that time there have been a lot of lost games. Many lost semi-finals. You learn that loss is part of the appreciation of the game here.

But you also learn to appreciate the good time when they turn up. And there were some excellent times in this cup. Not just watching the NZ team, but all of the matches. I have spent a whole lot of time in front of my tv and computer following the action.

So the ICC are to be congratulated for producing a well run tournament where the best teams got to the pointy end. A tournament remarkably free from the sort of politicking and bad taste that some series attract (a bit of juvenile Bangladeshi reaction excepted). But did it have to be so long. I'll add my voice to all those saying it could be more compact. The days with double headers were the best days of all - why not way more of them. I had a look and it would be easy to have two games a day (one day and one d/n) while still giving the teams more recovery time than they would usually get in a series.

So on to the host broadcaster - ESPN-Star. Only a bare pass mark there. On one hand, the camera work and direction were top notch. Then there were the commentators and they were a very mixed bunch. Some of the best and some who could barely string a sentence together. The basic problem being that former great players do not always make the best commentators. There is a lot more that can be said about this, but I'll leave it there because there is also the matter of the on-screen graphics. The obtrusive and garish on-screen graphics that were always an irritation. Perhaps I have been spoiled by Sky and Channel 9 who manage this so much better, but I have to say that this aspect was the biggest failure of the coverage - a constant low level itch. And yes, I understand the needs of the Indian market (which drive all the broadcasting decision) - but I don't care, they deserve better too.

But irritations aside, I derived a lot of pleasure from this iteration of the world cup. Now to get back to real life.

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