“The Cricket World Cup is officially over.” That’s me quoting myself before New Zealand smashed England in a surprisingly short game in Wellington.
I don’t follow cricket, as many of you know, but it’s bit of fun to watch when we’re doing well and the games are short. So my reasoning for that premature statement on the Cup was based on the what the goal of any World Cup actually is.
World Cups are not about finding out which team is the "Best in the World", and they aren’t even about the more cynical goal of discovering which team is best at making it through a knockout tournament once every four years. World Cups exist solely to further the sport and rake in those television eyeballs.
Well the India versus Pakistan match in Adelaide brought in 1.5 billion viewers (estimated). That’s 21% of the world’s population watching a single sports event. Looking at the world population table, you aren’t going to get a significantly bigger audience for any other event ever (unless China gets really into football and then plays Brazil at the World Cup).
As for furthering the game, Ireland and Bangladesh have already had their boil overs against much higher rated teams. Of course at the Irish match a man was caught relaying info to a betting syndicate. Cricket is gonna cricket I suppose.
Back before the cup actually started I wondered aloud to a friend if the country wouldn’t respond well to a World Cup that we, most likely, won’t win. His response was that we actually were one of the favourites. I raised my eyebrow in reply. Had the “Black Caps aren’t very good” meme disappeared, literally that’s all I really knew about cricket. When NZ won a match it was a big deal because it was never a guarantee.
Now I have a new concern: What do we do if we lose?