Standing stumped

Discussion in 'Politics & Society' started by Ray, Feb 2, 2012.

  1. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

    Apr 17, 2009
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    An interesting comparison between cricket and the economy about the manner and the road that India is crashing through to find her place in the sun!

    Indeed, crass competitiveness is the order of the day if one is to survive. The time for genteel afternoon teas with crumpets and strawberries with cream is over!
    Nagraj likes this.
  3. W.G.Ewald

    W.G.Ewald Defence Professionals/ DFI member of 2 Defence Professionals

    Sep 28, 2011
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    North Carolina, USA
    Economics is "the dismal science." Is cricket a dismal sport?
  4. Energon

    Energon DFI stars Stars and Ambassadors

    Jun 3, 2009
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    I was lucky enough to spend some time in Asia and my summers in India as a kid where I was exposed to and developed a love for cricket. I have always found Indian cricket to be a befitting metaphor for modern India.

    The rise of post liberalization India mirrored the rise of the increase in confidence and economic prosperity embodied by Indian cricket. Needless to say there are many positive comparisons to be made, however there are also a lot of unique and negative aspects that also resemble what has been happening in India.

    For one, there has always been a propensity to over rely on few uber talented figures to otherwise make up for a relatively weak larger unit. The same can be seen in the economy where only a few sectors have been glorified and deified while many others although possessing potential have never been mobilized in a well organized way to reap maximum benefits.

    The second thing that comes to mind about India is the establishment's phenomenon of only being able to succeed on its own terms. Hence although India has risen in many ways those successes don't necessarily translate to the global environment because its leadership is still inward looking and comfortable within their own environment.

    The third observation is the inability to fix perennial fundamental problems. Since the dawn of time Indian cricket has always struggled with fast bowling. The batsmen being unable to navigate the swinging ball and, not many bowlers who excel at the art of fast bowling. There are many reasons for this, particularly structural and cultural. In the overall psyche, batting has always been glorified while bowlers have been considered nothing more than machines that serve the batsmen. All domestic dustbowl pitches are heavily geared toward batsmen while bowlers have to toil away with very little encouragement. Indian cricket has virtually limitless resources and they have the ability to build and maintain fast pitches from the lowest levels of competitive cricket giving burgeoning fast bowlers encouragement and balancing the scale between bat and ball. There is also more than enough money to set up training camps in foreign countries that offer greater exposure to different climactic and other ambient factors.

    Lastly the best comparison is that of poor leadership. The BCCI has become a powerful and rich entity surpassing all others and proclaiming the role of the leader. However much like the nation's establishment, the quality of leadership they display is pathetic. Not only are they greedy and lack foresight, but they are self obsessed, petty and egocentric dunces who are more interested in displaying their new found power by belittling others and showing off the wealth. Instead of working with former leaders like the ECB to ensure a smooth transition of the new order (just as the US did with the outgoing British empire after WWII) the BCCI has instead decided to indulge in petty and public feuds aimed at self aggrandizement. In spite of having limitless resources the quality of the comprehensive cricketing infrastructure in India is pathetic compared to England, Australia and South Africa. It's not just dilapidated stadiums but also the lack of quality grounds at the grassroot level that incidentally... have no grass; a problem that has been linked to poor fielding, since kids playing on rubble grounds don't learn how to dive and develop aggressive fielding skills from a young age. Much like in the education sector, the cricketing infrastructure is entirely top heavy, with great facilities at the highest level of the sport but nothing at the foundation. Likewise it has been known for a long time that India's greatest impediment is the lack of infrastructure. However in spite of having the monetary resources to build the necessary infrastructure it hasn't been done.

    From a cultural point of view there has always been the propensity to get caught up in hype. However the recent debacles in England and Australia yet again serve as a reminder that hype is not a substitute for diligent preparation and genuine competence. This is a general trend in post liberalization India where a few successes are blown out of proportion to induce mass hype and hysteria but the very serious and fundamental problems are overlooked, which results in a temporary facade of success that eventually gets shattered.

    This is not to say that there has been no improvement. There has, the facts speak for themselves, what is lacking is the inability to solve long standing fundamental problems that will obstruct the realization of the country's full potential.

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