Fasten seat belts and await the action would be our advice for India’s billion-plus crazy cricket fans
It is time for: Lights! Camera! Action! The first ball will be bowled in cricket World Cup 2023 on Thursday to set in motion what may be the most exciting World Cup ever to be held since the men began playing in them in 1975. The conditions, apart from the threat of rain in south India in this phase of the Indian monsoon, are such that extremely competitive and possibly high-scoring matches featuring big hitting are in store.
Fasten seat belts and await the action would be our advice for India’s billion-plus crazy cricket fans even as the event aims to capture global attention that may place it next in the popularity charts to the soccer World Cup in terms of sustained viewership.
The excitement building up over the event is such this World Cup could contribute a bit more than usual to the world’s fastest growing major economy. Just compare marked up hotel accommodation and black-market ticket prices to compute how much this major attraction could add to the GDP.
The burgeoning Indian middle class with rising purchasing power will be a prime target once again for broadcasters and live-streamers who have paid a prince’s ransom as rights fees, though some of the advertisements they accept to recover their investments might be jarring to the viewers.
In decked up arenas around the country in the first ODI World Cup India is exclusively hosting, Team India is expected to win the Cup they last won in 2011 and emotionally dedicated to Sachin Tendulkar. Team India appear to have struck top form at the right time to stand a good chance of leaving their imprint on a coveted trophy.
Defending champions England may be Team India’s chief threat with the 2019 runner-up New Zealand and South Africa, who have deep striking ability in their batting order. They are two teams equipped to go all the way. And then there is Team Australia, five-time winners, never to be underestimated in a big cup event and Pakistan who can revel in conditions that are closest to home.
The beauty of cricketing events of this magnitude in India is that once the ball starts rolling they provide spectacular enough entertainment to put in the background the logistical nightmares, a docile ICC which is a lackey of the superrich BCCI and the madding crowds. There is nothing quite like cricket to get the frisson going in India.