The modern era in the cricket world: How far have we really come?
Cricket has a known history spanning from the 16th century till present, with international matches having been played since 1844. The game of cricket arrived in Australia as early as colonisation began in 1788. Cricketers started playing on turf wickets in the late 1800’s but the dimensions only became assimilated later for both the boundary and pitch. As the years evolved, cricket gear, protective equipment, playing surfaces and the three formats of the game gradually adapted to the laws of cricket.
Cricket continued between the 16th and 20th century, to be played as cricket was a common sport played for passion and pure enjoyment. Industries began to observe other potential global opportunities through diversified business ventures in the game (as well as in other sports played globally). Cricket subsequently became a career not only for players, but for administrators and coaches, the media, health professionals, managers and the corporate world. During the late 1900’s, the shorter version of the game (T20) was introduced in order to attract crowds to stadiums as well as brandings which would create a sustained nature to this format of the game through television viewing and broadcasting rights. One could argue that this venture was merely for business purposes or was a platform for enhancing the performance of cricketers.
Presently, the game of cricket has been significantly enhanced by optimising performances and forecasting frameworks for injury prevention among cricket players from the use of technology, sports sciences, and other mechanisms. Unfortunately, these were not available during the earlier years of cricket and it would prove efficient to observe how the great names of the game would have benefited from such developments. In addition, cricketers in the 21st century are faced with many overwhelming commitments. One of these is playing cricket for 11 months in a year, which equates to more than 250 days away from their families. Therefore, as the demand of players’ contracts increase, the commitment and performances levels from players increase.
Are such disadvantages contributing to the overload and injury risks of players? How far have we really come in the cricketing world or has all facets since the game’s inception become institutionalized to a business model? These are the fundamental questions which need to be addressed in conjunction with the drafting and implementation of legislations, policies and ethical considerations. These legislations will ensure that there is equilibrium of effective transitions and management of not only the players, but also the credibility of the wonderful game.
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