Usually when a big sporting event is underway, it generates enough euphoria to justify its magnitude. But that's not the case with the ICC World T20 Championship, which is underway in the serene ambience of the Caribbean.
Take the tournament's first edition of 2007 that was played in South Africa. It was a pure cricket carnival and an instant hit. This time around, it took off just five days after the culmination of the Indian Premier League (IPL) but has failed to generate the interest that it should have. The interest may gradually go up as the tournament progresses, but so far it's been a dud. And there are reasons for it.
First and foremost is the IPL. In comparison to the ultra-glamorous and glitzy T20 cricket festival that went on for 45 days, the World T20 comes across as a plain-Jane older sibling of the IPL, far more mature, far more accomplished but still not alluring enough.
Of course, the World T20 is an international event, but it has failed to generate hype. After all Twenty20 cricket is not cricket alone, it's cricketainment. Had there been enough gap between the two mega events, we would not have drawn the parallel so brutally.
After the lukewarm response to the 2007 World Cup in the Caribbean, everyone hoped it would be better this time. Cricket, especially the T20 format, without spectators in the stadium lacks the flavour and fervour that it's generally associated with. The fans have not really turned up in great numbers, may be because most of the matches are played during daytime.
Sporadic rain in the Caribbean has added to woes. So far three matches have been decided by the Duckworth/Lewis method, while the England-Ireland game had to be abandoned. Now such outcomes are never inspiring.
Cricket, undoubtedly has the largest fan following in Asia, especially, the Indian sub-continent, but here TV viewers have struggled to follow the live matches due to the huge difference in the time zone. By this I don't mean that such big events should not take place in the West Indies. I am just trying to highlight the reasons why the ICC event hasn't really taken off.
As a cricket fan I hope the tournament gets more exciting in the Super Eights stage, fans come flocking in to the stadium, and rain-gods take a trip to scorching India. Can I wish a little more? How about a repeat of 2007 T20 World Cup final?