Japanese Influence on Cricket!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Yesterday when I was digging into my nails while watching the breath-taking match between India and Australia I realised that I have been dedicated to this sport for the last 13 years. The last 13 years have reflected a series of changes when I stepped into high school, then changed my base to Bangalore, even completed my MBA and now I am at Ahmedabad. So why does my interest for Cricket remain consistent?

If you look at Cricket as a product, you will notice that it has gone through a series of changes since its first establishment. Although it is nearly worshipped in many countries the sport's managament has steadily implemented continuous changes to improve the game, mitigate the biases, increase the interest and lastly cater to its audience.

First, the third umpire still stands tall in the middle of the ground but the Hawk-Eye (a Virtual Reality technique) helps a layman viewer to judge the accuracy of his decision. This puts competitive pressure on the umpires as well to make a sound judgement. Second, the Powerplay has been left to the discretion of the batting side where instead of a joint 15 over game it is divided into three 5-overs session. This makes the game more strategic and challenging. Third, the No-Ball is followed by a free hit to compel bowlers not to take advantage of the batsman so that he loses ground. And lastly, the most significant change is the pattern of cricket being changed to a 20-20 game which, although drives a lot of controversy, has been hugely accepted by the audience.

This reminded me of the Japanese theory of Kaizen which emphasizes on continuous improvement. It establishes that nothing in this world is perfect and there is always room for improvement as well as the need. This helps in keeping customers engaged, satisfied, and wish for more. It also makes one realise that even if you are the best, improvements must occur failing which you will soon be dethroned.

Although not as a worshipper but the sport has surely engaged me as a follower.. and I applaud its efforts for the same!


Capt A.Nagaraj Subbarao said...

Real cricket is & will always be 'Test Cricket' played over five days, where the players quality is tested.
None of the innovations mentioned have touched this form of cricket, except for the third umpire.
However, I think you presented a fresh perspective & was fun reading.

rajat said...

AAH ... such a refreshing sight to see some girl speaking about Cricket and not Cricketers and not asking "kitna GOAL Huwa" LOL

(i.e. if u have written the article and not chapoied it )

Radhika said...

Thank you for the comments!

...and Rajat, I thought you knew me better :) !!

Capt A.Nagaraj Subbarao said...

I think yesterday proved me right! First day, first session of a test match at your place & India tottering at 32/4, with its brightest & best back in the hut.
Who stands out, but our non 20/20, non 50/50, nice guy & only test player Dravid who held things together.
Also, an innovation, which is interesting is the Duckworth & Lewis rule to decide rain hit matches.
As Geoff Boycott, once famously said, the only guys who probably understand the rule are the two gents who scripted it.
How's that for innovation and change!

Radhika said...

Although I agree, more because I am biased towards Dravid :), the point I was trying to drive is that the sport has managed to ENGAGE its viewers with the subtle changes it has made over time.

If there was only Test Cricket which was existing now I am not sure regarding the percentage of viewership! Although a "gentleman's game", cricket is now for the masses and not for the niche and thus the volume of spectators is important for such a sport to boost!

Capt A.Nagaraj Subbarao said...

I have to agree, though grudgingly.......

I think cricket is being destroyed by the masala, but you need it to keep the game alive.How much of the poison will do is anybody's guess?

So you have changed formats....good, but that still does not take away the fact that quality comes through in the longer version of the game.

Next I hope to see 10/10 & then people bowling at a single stump & so on....

The possibilities......stagerring!

What gets my goat is when change happens for the sake of change & not improvement.

Finally is it cricket that is being played?

Radhika said...

Hmm. Well changes are made with a goal in mind.. Either to draw consumers, make the product more power-packed, improve it for the user... As long as THAT goal is being met, unfortunately the sanctity of the original is at a high stake :) !