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3 key blunders by administrators that have undermined the 2023 ODI World Cup

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Last Updated on 7 months by Charbel Coorey

Cricket Opinion: 3 key blunders by administrators that have undermined the 2023 ODI World Cup | Mistakes by administrators in the 2023 WC

The ODI World Cup has been cricket’s showpiece event for nearly three decades. The tournament, rich in history, is home to countless memories etched not only in the minds of the players who took part, but fans young and old who were fortunate to witness them.

However, the 2023 World Cup, less than two matches old at the time of writing this article, has not had the same feel as previous editions. ESPNCricinfo’s countdown from 50 days served as more of a reminder that a World Cup was coming rather than the build up fans have been used to over the years.

While the sheer volume of cricket around the globe – much of it contextless – makes it challenging to build up to a global tournament, the manner in which this showpiece event has been reduced to a pass time has been nothing short of shambolic.

Administrators have a lot to answer to. The general consensus among fans is those in charge have their eyes fixed on T20 leagues, with international cricket looking ever so blurry in their peripheral vision.

Now, there isn’t anything wrong with boards cashing in on the riches of T20 cricket. With the Indian Premier League’s eyewatering numbers, we’d all do the same. But, to seemingly cast aside a World Cup with so much history is symptomatic of where international cricket is at right now and the very little planning in place to ensure it remains special.

It’s always a tricky discussion when comparing sports, but let’s think of football. Domestic leagues around the world form much of the calendar. However, the international game, especially the World Cup, is greatly valued.

Cricket, on the other hand, is in a state of confusion as to how leagues and internationals can work together. MCC President Mark Nicholas believes ODIs should be reserved only for World Cups. However, who qualifies? And on what basis? What’s the thinking behind such a statement on the eve of a big tournament?

3 ways administrators have undermined the 2023 ODI World Cup

BCCI Secretary Jay Shah has also come in for criticism. From announcing a reserve day for just one Asia Cup match to the organisation – or lackthereof – of this World Cup, fans have taken to social media to express their frustrations.

Also, fans are having their say in our CricBlog Future of Cricket Poll. This poll gives you the opportunity to have your say on what the game will look like in the next 10-15 years. You can complete it here.

In terms of this World Cup, here are three ways administrators have undermined this great tournament.

1. Final World Cup schedule confirmed just a few weeks before the tournament

Imagine a World Cup where the final fixtures are confirmed less than two months before it is scheduled to begin.

In cricket, that is not imagination, but reality. Unfortunately, buzz and excitement is likely to be missing from most games as fans from around the world were given next to no time to organise travel, accommodation and tickets to matches.

Geoff Lemon and Adam Collins of The Final Word Podcast nailed it in their assessment of proceedings back in August.

“BCCI must be the most incompetent major sports body in the world. It’s pretty hard to make the argument otherwise, just purely on the practical grounds we’re laying here,” said Lemon.

“There is a World Cup in under three months that still doesn’t have a reliable fixture. You can’t book to go to games because they might change to another city and date entirely.”

2. Ticketing fiasco

To make matters worse, even Indian fans struggled to get their hands on tickets, even for the World Cup opener between England and New Zealand at a 132,000-seat stadium. Supporters were left waiting in never-ending queues on the Book My Show app, the World Cup’s ticketing partner, who were accused of hoarding tickets merely weeks before the first ball.

Sameer Allana put it perfectly. The lack of marketing is poor, but the total disregard for fan engagement and experience is worse. It screams of administrators who have intentions of putting international cricket on the back floor of the car, with franchise cricket not only taking up the coveted front seat, but all available seats.

3. Not starting the tournament with an India match (or opening ceremony)

Now to the tournament itself. Trent Boult bowled the first ball of the 2023 World Cup to Jonny Bairstow in an empty Ahmedabad super bowl.

Sure, the hot conditions can deter fans, but why have a neutral World Cup opener at such a big stadium where a final crowd of around 45,000 looks miniscule?

Imagine if India kicked things off in front a big crowd. Think of the boost the tournament would get right away. Especially after the decision to not have an opening ceremony.

Mike Atherton and Ravi Shastri spoke about the topic during England’s innings. “I led England in the tournament opener against New Zealand in 1996,” said Atherton. “But, in the last few years, the host has started. Do you not think it’s sensible that the hosts should start because you’re guaranteed a full house; an immediate lift for the tournament?”

“Absolutely, especially on a ground like this,” replied Shastri. “At all costs, have a home team playing. If this was India-England, there’d be at least 70 to 80 thousand people even on a working day. It kicks off the tournament, there’s buzz.”

However, the obsession to have India games on weekends to suit broadcasters is most important for Jay Shah and company. In fact, there will have been four matches played before India take on Australia at Chennai on October 8.

Here’s hoping the cricket trumps the administrators. Those in suits have done what they can to reduce one of the world’s most watched sporting events to a joke.

Charbel Coorey
Charbel Cooreyhttps://cricblog.net
Charbel is the owner & founder of cricblog.net, based in Sydney, Australia. He started the website to fulfill his love for the game of cricket. Charbel has also been featured on other publications including OP India, Times of India, and The Roar, among others. For any story tips or questions, you can contact Charbel at charbelcoorey@cricblog.net.

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