India’s World Cup triumph will reverberate for years

The wave of joy from India's win in Mumbai will continue for some time, writes Rhys Hayward

india cricket
Almost two billion people are believed to have watched Saturday's final Photo: Hugh Macdonald

india cricket

The legacy of India’s Mahendra Singh Dhoni inspired 2011 ICC World Cup win can only be determined over time but it is sure to reshape the future of cricket.

When India win major cricket tournaments, the reverberations influence the global game for years to come.

A glance back to 1983 tells you all you need to know about the importance of cricketing glory to the 1.2 billion people of India.

Back then an unfancied and limited side captained by Kapil Dev produced a shock win over Clive Lloyd’s great West Indies side at Lord’s.

Then fanatical popularity of cricket among the greater Indian public was cemented during that unlikely 43-run success.

In time the win provided the catalyst for the shift of crickets administrative and economic axis from England to the sub-continent – specifically India.

When Sachin Tendulkar made his debut in 1989, he became King of a rising dynasty – not Prince of a fledgling state.

The 2007 ICC World T20 Championship win had a similarly important knock-on effect.

Cricket in India -from the governing BCCI to the paying public -had yet to embrace T20 cricket.

But just months after a disastrous World Cup campaign in the Caribbean they beat rivals Pakistan in the final of the inaugural World Championship in Johannesburg.

Months later the Indian Premier League was born and the era of T20 began in earnest – bankrolled of course by the rising Indian elite.

What effect then can we expect from Mumbai 2011?

Perhaps most pertinently, any talk of revising or even scrapping the ODI format will be put to bed – potentially for decades.

This would never have happened anyway of course. England’s loveless relationship with 50-over cricket is not echoed in the sub-continent and as long as India continue to play the game, others have little choice but to carry on.

This tournament was enjoyable at times but far from a rollicking ride and its length and one-sidedness does little to attract even casual cricket fans in the UK – let alone new ones.

But when an estimated two billion people tune in to watch the final it is hard to condemn the competition as a failure. Try telling the millions of ecstatic Indians that ODIs are a waning format.

The next World Cup in Australia 2015 is the last in the ICC’s TV deal with ESPN.

The current wave of joy from this triumph in India will continue for some time though and the ICC -desperate for another lucrative deal -will in all likelihood negotiate a new set of four-year rotations.

Tweaks to the exact format are inevitable over time but for as long as India stays in love with the ODI, it will remain a firm fixture in the cricket schedule.

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