Cricket Extravaganza

Cricket has always brought madness and excitement to India over time immemorial. The true craze for it was revived during the recent organisation of the Asia Cup 2010. With the victory over the cup after fifteen long years, India was brought back to the world’s notice. The long-lost teamwork was very well portrayed in this tournament. Apart from the Indian team, the others who participated did prove to be a good opposition i.e. Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

History marks the origin of this tournament to 1983 and since then it has been decided to be held biennially in the months of June-July. With the foundation of the Asian Cricket Council, this tournament was the first step to promote goodwill between Asian countries i.e. India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Hong Kong and United Arab Emirates. This One Day International (ODI) series was kicked off to a glorious start with its first match being held at Sharjah, United Arab Emirates in 1984 between Sri Lanka and Pakistan.  The series ended with India hoisting the cup, standing first amongst all nations. India has been the winner maximum number of times (five) followed by Sri Lanka (four times) till now.

The main format being followed by this particular series since 1983 was the Round Robin format. It is described to be the game in which each participant plays the other involved participant once. Enjambment of this format was done by the three stage format viz; group stage, knockout super-four stage and the finals. Example for this can be given by the eight edition of the series (2002) in which UAE and Hong Kong were included for the first time. In the group stage the teams were divided into groups of three. The best two of each group would qualify for the super four stages and the best two of these would qualify for the finals. During this particular year UAE and Hong Kong were eliminated in the first round giving chance to Bangladesh to enter  the semi-finals for the first time. The finals saw the combat of Sri Lanka and India, resulting in the defeat of Sri Lanka by 25 runs.

Moving onto an individual point of view, the Indian cricket team was, has and still is my personal favourite. The variety in the talent possessed by each and every player seems to keep me wonder struck. Be it the master blaster Sachin Tendulkar or the young and quick Dhoni, everyone is unpredictable. According to opinions from time to time, the Indian cricket team has been questioned frequently for its unsteady performance. As for me, I count it as an asset because the opposite team cannot predict the strategy in advance and so I always hope that the team to feels that themselves. Turning your weaknesses into strengths is what makes you a true winner and not just holding a piece of metal (?). Afterall, the main motive for this tournament to be carried out was to enhance healthy relations between the Asian countries. That’s what makes cricket click every time and everywhere.

Nupur Paul

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