Thursday, December 15, 2011

Things we should learn from Dravid's speech

Rahul Dravid and a speech? What is the relation between these two? Has he turned a politician? No no this was his very special speech at Anzac Hall, Canberra when he delivered the annual Bradman Oration. He was priviledged to be the first non-Australian cricketer to do this in the event's history.


Rahul Dravid has easily been one of the biggest ever names in cricket. His elegant shots are a treat to watch. His speech was worth listening too. Who says cricketers aren't eloquent wordsmiths? He was talking on the various issues that this great game of cricket is facing recently. The base of his speech implied that whatever may be the issues, the best solution is to respect the cricket fans. Because we can't forget that whatever advancements took place in the game were just to keep the fans interested.


First and foremost, the players need to think of the fans when they play. He was referring to the terms of conduct and integrity. Cricketers should not take the fans for granted and they need to be competitive as well as fair for the game. Well I hope he wasn't signalling the Australian team to maintain discipline in the forthcoming series. But overall what he suggested the cricketers was perfectly all right. If cricketers play a neat and clean game, ultimately its the fans who would love to watch it more. We can never forget that cricket is a gentlemen's game and its the cricketers who need to play with that intensity and integrity as well.


Dravid added another very important point and that was a worrying one for the cricket world. He referred to the empty stands during cricket events. In a country like India where cricket is religiously followed, we observed half empty stands during recent ODI series against England. He said the cricket administrators need to retain the spectator interest towards the game. Probably the lack of lure is due to excess of cricket but there is always a solution.


It has been observed that tours are scheduled with one or two test matches, 5 or 7 ODIs and one or two T20s sneaked in. Test cricket needs to be prioritised. It needs to be protected. ODI cricket generated a lot of  revenue and T20 is the most loved format nowadays. But even test cricket matches have turned out to be cliff hangers in last one decade. Its just that the test cricket needs to be played more and with some added flavour to it. The inaugural Test Championship could have been a good idea but it has been postponed till 2017. Day and night test cricket is worth experimenting. 


ODI cricket is something which needs to be reduced a bit. A 7 ODI series isn't something the cricket fans would love to watch. This showcases excess of cricket in turn resulting in lack of interest amongst the fans. Dravid wasn't opposing ODI cricket but he said a bilateral series needs to maintain all the 3 cricket formats in such a way that fans stay interested. Something that causes viewer fatigue needs to be eradicated.


A lovely speech from Dravid makes us aware of alarming situations in cricket where spectators are losing interest and he also suggests effective measures for the retention of interest.


Few days to go and Rahul Dravid's bat will speak as India plays Australia in the 1st test from 26th December. Stay online for live cricket streaming updates.

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