NOTHING could be more unfair than the present rules governing the ICC World Cup and the Wimbledon Championships.

They were invented by armchair paralegals who arrogated to themselves, rather like Roman emperors, the power to decide which gladiator should win and who should lose.

Take the recently concluded ICC World  Cup 2019. Organised by the International Cricket Council, it had 10 teams who came from the English-speaking people of the world to compete against each other.

They played 48 matches at different pitches across England and Wales. The matches were spread over a fortnight, during which the teams battled against each other with vigour and determination. Some teams - such as the West Indians - treated the matches with Caribbean insouciance.

It was, they said, after all just a game. Other views matches against particular opponents as replay of History.

For the Indians, the match against Pakistan at Old Trafford would have been another Kurukshetra, had Indra, the god of rain, not intervened. All they needed was Cyril Radcliffe as an umpire.

[Interestingly the match between Pakistan and Bangladesh at Lord's did not reek of of the residue from 1971].

The Indian team led by their star Virat Kohli, played throughout the tournament as though they were invincible, until in the semi-final match, ''45 minutes of bad cricket'' cost them the cup.

It didn't help that Viraj who could knock half a century with his eyes closed was lbw for one run, and his Gemini-twin M.S.Dhoni should have been ignomininously run out.

After the game, Virat Kohli sulked that the ICC rules were ''bizarre''.

He would not be the first to complain.

In the finals, New Zealand to whom the Indians lost on a technicality found themselves conceding the cup to England on the outcome of a short but decisive Super Over.

The exhausting matches and superlative performances by the best of the best did not matter. Only the rules drafter by the armchair pen-pushers did.

For millions of sports fans across the world, Sunday, July 14, became a cruel test of loyalty. One could watch either the ICC Cricket World Cup final or the Gentlemen's Singles Final at Wimbledon.

The honor and serving of this beautiful writing and observations continue to Part 2. The World Students Society thanks author F.S. Aijazuddin.


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