A lot has happened in the World Cup since I published my post around 2 weeks back. Some things have changed, some things have remained the same. Two of the biggest crowd-pulling sides have been knocked out of the competition, virtually cutting the estimated global audience for this event by about half. The embarrassing exit of the Men in Blue was immediately followed by the entire country going overboard. As I said, some things remained the same. Effigies were set on fire, restaurants owned by some of the players were damaged and elaborate security was required for the players homes and families. The media, aided by former cricketers (most of whom now get free airtime as 'experts' on the dime-a-dozen news channels), was quick in blaming everyone from the coach, captain and senior players. Calls to revamp Indian cricket flew thick and past. Thankfully, after a few days, the storm has subsided. People now sleep on time and report to work on time. The tournament itself has lost quite a lot of its sheen. The Super Eights, which at one point of time, appeared to be packed with mouth-watering clashes (remember the ICCs scheduled advertising the India-Pakistan clash on April 15th) , now has to see South Africa and Ireland 'battling' it out. Australia, as before, is kicking ass and appears on course for a hat-trick of titles. For people who were calling it the 'most balanced' tournament, things have gone wrong.
But spare a thought for our neighbors. Not only did they suffer an even more embarrassing defeat, but a day later, one man actually lost his life. Till we know the exact cause of Bob Woolmer's death, we can only assume that he paid the price for 'being the man who knew too much'. That it was not a natural death was very much apparent from the start. Also, it could not have been the work of some idiot who lost his mental balance after seeing his team being thrown out of the World Cup. Quite clearly, this was a manifestation of something much more serious and elaborate going on behind closed doors. One only hopes that in the times to come, Bob would be remembered not just for his exemplary coaching skills but also as the man whose death led to a complete clean up of world cricket. After his death and Inzamam's quitting, Pakistan cricket is really in the abyss. Hopefully, it will rise like the Pheonix.