In my view, Cricket is the best invention by British – above Newtonian science, steam engine – anything. It is a game of the highest skill. In this sport, people with limited physical prowess can still manage to do better than their large-bodied competitors. For example, Sachin Tendulkar, one of the all-time best, is just 5’4″.
I consider Cricket not only a sport, but, a form of art. The beauty of a silken cover drive of David Gower, the straight drive of Sachin Tendulkar, the leg spin of Shane Warne, the sheer terror unleashed by West Indian pacemen of the 80s and the banana swingers bowled by exponents such as Kapil or Steyn, are not only manifestation of the extreme skill, but, is very pleasing to eyes. Shane Warne was never in my team but I could never stop appreciating his skills. When the leg-spinner drifted into the batsmen, pitched outside leg and then took out the offstump – the ball of the century to Gatting – you cannot stop falling in love with the game of cricket.
Unfortunately, the batsmen-friendly pitches, especially in the limited over formats, have robbed the game of much of its beauty. Cricket is interesting ONLY if bowlers have an equal say in the proceedings. High-scoring games are making a lot of money, but, they reduce the beauty of this great game.
Let’s hope that the Test Cricket is supported by the administration and we are not robbed of this classical contest.