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Mickey Arthur - Walks the talk

South African coach Mickey Arthur says cricket world will change after Mumbai terror attacks

Friday, November 28, 2021
'I hope cricket recovers'

Tragedies like the one which took place in Mumbai give everybody an opportunity to reflect of what really matters in our lives, and for sportsmen it is a reminder that what we do is not a matter of life and death.

It is also a chance, in the desperately sad aftermath of real life and death, to remember that cricket has endured for so many years, and has become a passion to so many millions, because it has been cherished and treated as special.

The postponement of the inaugural Champions League, while disappointing for the players and teams who were to be involved, should give administrators a few quiet moments to consider whether it had been organised a little in haste.

It never seemed quite right to me, for example, that MS Dhoni would have been unavailable to play the final for the SuperKings had they qualified because of the clash of dates with the first Test match. If the tournament is to attain the status everybody would like, then it cannot have its corners cut by other series and commitments.

It would also have been less than ideal for seven of South Africa's players to travel straight from India, from the frenetic pace of a T20 week, to Perth to prepare for a top-of-the-table Test series against Australia.

There is nothing wrong with the concept of maximising revenue; and the fact that the vast majority of the cash from the Champions League would have seen 'ordinary' players benefit rather than established international superstars makes a refreshing and welcome change. But the truth is, the tournament was still being squeezed into a schedule gap which never really existed.

As I sat in my hotel room watching the awful scenes of carnage in Mumbai I felt, like everyone else who has stayed in that part of the city, a deep sense of regret and shock. Inevitably the cricket world will change as a result and there will be an even greater emphasis placed on security.

I also couldn't help wondering whether cricket's leaders could help their own cause by taking a deep breath and calm approach to planning the future of the game. Every series should be special and there should be time to breath in between them, savour the victories and ponder the losses.

In the mean time, my heartfelt condolences go out to the victims and their families. I hope and pray that they are able to recover. Then, much later, I hope cricket is able to recover, too.