The Gentlemen With No Balls

Prthvir SolankiCorrespondent IAugust 30, 2010

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 29:  Pakistan player of the series Mohammad Amir (2ndL) looks on during the presentation on day four of the 4th npower Test Match between England and Pakistan at Lord's on August 29, 2010 in London, England.  (Photo by Tom Shaw/Getty Images)
Tom Shaw/Getty Images

No balls. How an innocent little step has such a vast effect is something I fail to understand. First, it was Randiv. Now, its the Pakistanis.

The pointless Randiv-Sehwag "battle" was...well..pointless. It wasn't as if India would have lost the game if Randiv hadn't overstepped. But Sehwag's double turn pained me as an Indian fan. Being so cool and nonchalant on the field, then slaughtering Sri Lanka's antics off it.

And this is called a "gentlemen's" game. We live in unfortunate times and we are a real unlucky generation. While we try to fend off swine flu and malaria, match fixing, sledging, racism, and what nots have infected the game like a pandemic.

Much like any die hard cricket fan, I was too stubborn to believe all of this happening. We are after all, what makes the game. But sometimes, the game takes advantage of this trust, or shall I say, blind trust. It tells us something else but believes in something else. It shows us a green picture but paints a black one in its own head.

Seeing the game played like this completely throws my trust off balance. And I hope to play at a professional level one day.

A couple of days back, a news report came out where a few Pakistani players were caught accepting large sums of money to arrange a match. A few bowlers were asked to bowl no balls in a few overs. Unfortunately, they obliged.

Pakistan is in a state of complete disaster. With the world shunning them and floods completely submerging them, these irresponsible players have put their country in quick sand. But what makes this worse, is that these "players" are less than 21 years of age.

I'm a far cry from an expert statistician or cricket historian but I love the game. And these guys are destroying it piece by piece.

When the PCB had the chance to end it all last January, they recalled their banned players to represent their country again.

The game is on such a thin line now, cricketers themselves would be losing hope. With bookies playing instead of them and money being used as bats and balls.

Is there even such a thing as the "spirit" of the game? Do players play because they really want to or because they want to make a fast buck and splurge it heedlessly?

Cricket is going into dark times. And this time around, it could be worse. Or I hope for it to be worse. We need action and we need it now. We don't want to think too much the next time the umpire raises one hand and calls out, "no ball."