20-Mar-2007

Not Cricket

Not any longer. It isn't just a game any more. Money plays a starring role.
Kunal Dasgupta of Sony, the official broadcaster of the World Cup, agreed that the money spend on advertising will be hugely affected if India is knocked out. He complained, ‘‘The entire format of the 2007 World Cup is flawed. In a 48-day tournament, if a team like Pakistan is already out for playing bad cricket in two matches, there is something really wrong. We were against this format and even told the GCC (the commercial wing of the ICC) to reconsider it. But they refused.

‘‘Now that Pakistan is out, the fun of an India-Pakistan Super 8 match is gone. And if India lose another group match, the Cup will be the biggest flop in India and advertisers will lose value of their investments and we may also lose money even after selling all slots,’’ he said, indicating that advertisers could force the broadcaster to lower rates if India went out. He refused to divulge any financial details.
So a television channel is trying to influence the format of the cricket World Cup. And the world cup is no longer about the best teams winning, but an India-Pakistan match on a Sunday.

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