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Cricket isn’t just cricket
Cricket can do for Asia what Soccer did for Africa
The amateur inventors of the sports of cricket must not have imagined in the wildest of their dreams that their brainchild would one day become the third most prominent sport in the world, in terms of viewership & the associated commerce.
The essence of cricket for most of the South Asian countries as well as for Australia, New Zealand as well as the Caribbean countries is that it not just gives momentary pleasure but has the potential to lift the spirit of the nation to an unprecedented level. Be it the victory of India in the 1983 World Cup when they vindicated that the Caribbeans are not invincible, or the metamorphosis of Sri Lanka from a toy poodle to a world champion in the 1996 World Cup, in both the cases the world was never the same for the two nations again. The same can be said with a bigger conviction about the likes of Australia which has taken not just the game of cricket but its professionalism to a new level which for all the right reasons is getting emulated in many other cricket playing countries. But is it just about spirit? Well, consider this: International Cricket Council (ICC) has already sold television rights for the 2011 & the 2014 cricket World Cup for an astounding $1.1 billion, coupled with the sponsorship sales of $500 million for the same. For the 2003 ICC World Cup South Africa spent US$3.48 million for cricket facilities, which not only created around 5,000 new jobs but also attracted nearly 40,000 foreign tourists to South Africa. In 2007 World Cup too, the sporting event generated over US$500 million for the Caribbean economy & brought in 672,000 spectators. If not for anything else, cricket essentially has to be taken forward for the creation of more business opportunity which results in creation of more & more employment.
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