Sri Lanka and England deliberately played disastrous cricket to have the worst team of the tournament Pakistan in the finals. In Champions trophy majority of teams except India had played shameless cricket.
This time in the Champions Trophy played in England, it appeared like most of the teams except India came to lose. The batting performances were disastrous.
India in the tournament till now just lost 1 to 2 wickets and scored the winning runs. Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma scored centuries, while Virat Kohli remained unbeaten on 96 runs and 81 runs in 2 innings. Yuvraj played a gem of a knock against Pakistan, and Dhoni played to his capability against Sri Lanka.
Now if the performances of other teams are taken up, it looked like they came just to lose. In the match of Pakistan versus Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka tried very hard to lose the match and lost it. It is known to the batsmen that after 31 -33 overs the ball starts reverse swinging in Cardiff.
Sri Lanka also knew that. But Sri Lankan captain Mathews knowingly started playing lose shots against Mohammad Amir in that spell and dragged a ball to his wicket to get bowled. Dickvella after scoring 77 runs did the same thing. He should have played out Mohammad Amir and Junaid Khan for those 2 to 3 overs and could have accelerated the score after 42 overs. The result had been tumbling of wickets one after the other and Sri Lanka who looked like scoring 280 runs in 50 overs, ended up scoring only 236 runs which was chasable. While bowling also they took 7 Pakistani wickets, thereafter twice missed catches of Sarfarash Khan who was the only Pakistani batsman who could negotiate pace and spin with his bat. The catch was dropped in the ball of Malinga. It was a shameless performance of Sri Lanka to get the worst team of the tournament Pakistan into the Semi-finals.
England was even worst. They were playing in home conditions. In Cardiff they knew that the ball starts reverse swinging after 30 overs. They were playing well till 27 to 28 overs. Root was batting on 43 runs. Morgan was batting on 33 runs. Then they started playing disastrous strokes. They purposely played all those risky shots so that they could purposely get out and push the worst team of the tournament Pakistan in the finals. Root and Morgan got out in the middle overs and the task was on Stokes to steady the ship. Stokes got 12 crores to play IPL in the team Pune Warriors this year. He did some sort of play acting. He showed the world that he could not play pace bowling inspite of England themselves having fast bowlers of the stature of Anderson and Broad. He wasted time. Probably he did some got up. He wasted around 65 balls and scored paltry 34 runs to ensure that England lose miserabley against Pakistan. England eventually scored 211 runs which Pakistan easily scored with the loss of only 2 wickets. Butler also played a lose shot and got out without even going to double figures. Moin Ali purposely lofted a short pitch delivery to get out at deep point.
Whenever players fix matches the interest of seeing cricket matches get spoiled. The players actually dare to do all these things only because the countries don’t take any steps against them. If Sri Lankan Board would have been strict they should have sacked Mathews, Chandimal for their life. Sri Lankan cricket would have improved. The youngstars could have learned that fixing up matches can lead to ban of carrier for ever.
If English cricket board could take drastic action against Butler, Root, Morgan and Stokes the younger players can at least honestly make an effort to win in cricket matches. Due to the shameless cricket of these cricketers the standard of cricket is going down day by day.
Bangladesh is another example. They also knew that among the 50 odd overs, the most serious period is the period between 30 to 35 overs. If teams can retain wickets during that time when the ball tends to reverse swing and when spinners also get help, then they can score well after 40 overs. They went on playing shots at that time. Whatever foundation was created by Mustafizur and Tamim Iqbal in the first 20 overs was demolished in these overs. Shakib Al Hasan and Mahmdullah came to the crease to ensure that they had to waste time, show the people that they cannot play spin or pace and then get out after scoring 10 to 20 runs. The mess that they did in those overs led to Bangladesh never recover and the same team which had the foundation to score 320 runs ended up scoring only 264 runs. It was a cake walk for India.
One form of extreme politics is seen with the cricket board of West Indies. West Indies has the gift of power hitters like Keiron Pollard, Dwayne Smith, Andre Russel, Braithwaite, Gayle to name a few. Yet, by not filling the basic demands of these cricketers the West Indian Board plays other players in the one day team. The result is obvious. West Indies don’t even feature in the first 8 teams of the world in One Dayers. The West Indian Board is not bothered about it also. They are very happy to lose matches and continue their politics.
India is probably the only team in the world who play the cricket to win matches. The players have pride in their jersey and represent the nation. There is love for the nation. Neither Shikhar Dhawan, nor Rohit Sharma, neither Virat Kohli, nor Yuvraj Singh, nor Dhoni play any lose shot which can bring the team into trouble. Even the bowlers bowl a tight line and expect the batsmen to make mistakes. BCCI pays the players well and there is motivation for good performance among the Indian players. The other players in other teams all over the world should learn from India. The way they are playing shameless cricket, the game of cricket will be stopped one day. Already the charm has gone.
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