Monday, May 19, 2008

A cricketing disaster - Corridors of Uncertainty: World Cup 2007 and Beyond book review

Months after its farcical completion in near-darkness, the 2007 Cricket World Cup is now a case study: one on administrative self-destruction driven by greed, the far-reaching impact of a failed world-event and the future of the tournament itself. Bo ria Majumdar’s Corridors of Uncertainty: World Cup 2007 and Beyond examines the aftermath of the World Cup. Released at a time when better days have doused passions, the book utilises the tournament to unearth world cricket’s pressing issues.The World Cup, he explains, wasn’t merely a cricketing disaster; it affected lives, defeated purposes and dented economies. The angst of the average West Indian-Calypso singers rendered voiceless with instruments banned, members of Pickwick Club forced to relocate from Kensington Oval and online ticket booking for a region with little access to the Internet finds its rightful place. The ICC’s biggest failure was its apathy towards the local Caribbean culture, which turned the sporting event into a soulless exercise.Each page has been constructed with a historian’s romance with West Indian cricket and an academician’s appetite for numbers to substantiate. A full-blown account of a failure unprecedented in the history of the game has an academic and a curiously perverse appeal. Majumdar takes his time before bringing India’s exit into his study (barring the trite usage of a ‘billion expectations’). The World Cup reaffirmed that the two sub-continental nations (India and Pakistan) were largely responsible for advertising, tourism and other sources of revenue.India and Pakistan aren’t just nations that command a passionate following, with financial muscle; but nations shaping the future of the game. Majumdar’s book will have an academic appeal, and will find its place in the cricket fanatic for whom West Indian cricket is a symbol of simpler times in the sport. The pace might bog the reader down, since the author packs in too much too many times; but the effort that’s gone into it will find its way to the reader.

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